How to Teach Art When You’re Not an Artist

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As homeschool families, we are provided the opportunity to explore many interests. However, there are times when the interests of our children reach beyond the skills that we have. My daughter has always loved art, but I had no idea how to teach art because I’m not an artist.

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Both traditional and non-traditional methods of education allow for our children to pursue their interests. This is a good thing! Yet sometimes, we as parents do not feel equipped to teach a particular topic/subject.

Perhaps, we are great with words, but not so good with numbers. Like me! It is no secret that I’m no mathematician.

Maybe we have a beautiful singing voice or possess extensive knowledge about American History, but cannot wrap our brains around basic scientific concepts. This is also me. Nature is a science that I love, beyond that, science eludes me. 

If I just described you, do not worry! This is an excellent time to utilize the many tools available to us to teach our children skills, lessons, and hobbies that we have not even mastered ourselves.

Does your child want to pursue art like my daughter, but you can’t even draw a stick figure? I’ve put together a few ideas that will help you teach your kids art when you’re not an artist.

How to Teach Your Kids Art When You’re Not an Artist

  • Enroll your child in a local art class.

There are likely artists of all sorts living within your community. Many of these talented people own their own shops or regularly volunteer in schools, libraries and community centers. They may even teach children in their own homes or at local homeschool co-ops.

Ask your friends, do some research online to find local opportunities, and call around to local businesses to get recommendations and find out how and where to enroll your children in an art class.

  • Find art lessons online.

If you do a little research you will soon find that there are many online resources available to you for teaching art to your kids. YouTube and live video via social media outlets are two popular venues for this sort of thing. Fortunately for you, these are also typically free to the public.

Many of the artists creating these lessons do have paid courses, books, or lessons that you can utilize, but they often offer quite a lot for free. This will give you a chance to explore their work, to try a lesson or two, and determine whether you would like to delve deeper with that particular artist or find someone else to help your child learn.

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  • Hire an artistically talented homeschooled teen to teach your child what she knows.

Often homeschooled children pursue art in their spare time. Many are quite talented and would be happy to have an opportunity to earn some extra cash while passing on some of the skills they have attained.

To find someone who may be a good fit for your family, ask other homeschool parents that you know who they would recommend. Or you may seek out the art teacher at your homeschool co-op to find out if she has a student in mind who would be a good candidate to teach your child.

  • Check out some how-to-draw books from your local public library and let your child practice ’til his little heart’s content.

If your child is still young and has not developed many art skills yet, an easy way to get started is at your local public library. The library typically has a wide variety of ‘art’ books available for children.

‘How-to-draw’ books are perfect because they cover many different subjects – bugs, cars, horses, aliens, cartoon characters – to name just a few. They are also usually quite simple, allowing your child to find success with his drawings quite quickly. If there is a subject your child is interested in and you can’t find a how-to-draw book on that subject, be sure to ask your librarian. It may be possible to request books from other libraries within your county’s system – you may just need to wait a few more days to receive them.

  • Find a simple art curriculum and learn together.

There are plenty of curricula available for teaching art. Something fun for you and your child may be to learn together. Browse online or in your local book store to learn what is available.

It may best to choose a simple lesson book at first – something that will teach basic concepts and drawings. You can each work through the lessons and come together later to discuss what you learned and share your art pieces.

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Art provides an opportunity for siblings and even the other parent to get involved in learning together, turning a simple art lesson into a family pastime. 

Don’t let your lack of knowledge or skill in art keep you from enjoying your children’s interest in art! 

Do you have helpful strategies for teaching your child art when you aren’t an artist? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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