Art was a major concern for me when we first made the decision to homeschool.
I am the least artistic, most stick-people-drawing person I know. Add to it my lack of knowledge about art movements, history and even art supplies and you understand my concern.
Although I may not be much of an artist, I do have two sons who most certainly have artistic talent and interest.
Although I was compensated for my time in writing this post, please know that I only share products that work well for my family. I hope they help yours as well.!
Over the course of the last few years, as they have grown older and their interests have intensified, art has added more to our schooling than I could have imagined.
I find my boys have an increasing desire to express themselves creatively. More importantly, when they are able to engage in artistic endeavors, I find they are calmer, more focused and content. Art therapy exists for a reason! In our case, it has been incredibly effective.
Homeschooling High School: Art Lessons For Teens and Tweens
Because they are getting older and have far outpaced their mom/teacher’s abilities, we have had to find other ways to incorporate art into our days.
For a couple of years, they both took art classes at a local private school. It worked, for the most part, but the truth is, it added an element of pressure – exactly the opposite of what my boys are seeking and what I want for their artistic expression.
Because of this, we have started using at art programs specifically designed to help kids learn and create at home.
One of our absolute favorites is Sparketh.
Sparketh provides unlimited access to a library of 500+ short, bite-sized video lessons taught by seriously talented artists. With new courses added to the library weekly, my kids never run out of new things to explore and create.
It was an easy decision to include Sparketh as one of my son’s high school electives for this school year.
Because my high schooler has completed art classes in the past, he wanted to challenge himself a bit. He also wants to learn to better draw real people so he decided to try Sparketh’s Portrait Style track.
In the Art Style Portrait track, students have the opportunity to learn to create portraits in 10 distinct styles:
(Incidentally, before he even picked up a pencil or paintbrush, my son was excited to learn about all of these different styles and expressions.)
Each style contains 45 to 60 minutes of instruction with 14 courses and 100 videos in total. Because the lessons are broken into segments of eight to 10-minute videos, my son did not feel overwhelmed. In fact, his younger brother joined him for more than one lesson, because the length and expectation was also appropriate for his attention and needs.
In addition to the lessons about each art style, there are also a number of skill-specific lessons. For example, the first lesson is one on facial proportions. Later in the course, there are also lessons on watercolor and colored pencil techniques.
I was truly impressed with the level of instruction in Sparketh’s Art Style Course. The teachers are genuinely skilled as both artists and instructors. The content is comprehensive and teaches as much about different art styles as it does creating portraits.
Most importantly, the course allows my teenager to take the time to relax and create in an environment that is best suited for his needs.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.