children art program

Easy and Simple Ways of Promoting Student Motivation and Focus

Children live in a world of "No's."  No, you can't play with slime through the house.  No, you can't lay upside down at the dinner table. NO, you can't do THAT either.  As children are growing up to learn acceptable behavior, follow rules, and go with procedures, art class is the great release for children as they can hear the invigorating and satisfying word "YES."

During our Creative Geniuses art classes we do have a list of things to be learned and goals to reach, but art class is different than many other places of learning.  In art class, our students have a goal to meet which is the art project and it's objectives. As we are reaching those goals our students find many paths to get to the destination (which is the complete project).  

We surprisingly hear so many questions asked for lots of little details such as: "Can I use a brown crayon?  Can I smoosh the clay?  Am I in trouble because I got a mark on my finger by accident....."  The relief on the student's faces when we give them a comforting "It's okay," is absolutely memorable and heartwarming.  As art teachers it's our normal to say "Everything is going to be OK", but we are reminded of where the students are coming from when we hear so much fear and hesitation when we first ask them to create. It reminds us that these children are not often set free from the routines of daily life.  We are so thankful these future leaders and innovators have art class to let their true light shine! 

Having choices and making decisions are very important exercises for young people.  As we grow up we learn some choices were awesome, some weren't the best, and some will be better next time because we live and learn. Number one priority is student safety, and a little paint on the pinky toe never hurt anyone :) 

"Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults."  - Jim Taylor, Ph.D. "Parenting: Decision Making." Psychology Today. 2009. 

This working space demonstrates that a variety of  seating arrangements helps students to be motivated, focused, and grow their art skills.  

This working space demonstrates that a variety of  seating arrangements helps students to be motivated, focused, and grow their art skills.  

 

Students that make their own safe choices and decisions get a chance to learn cause & effect, the rewards of perseverance, and can grow their confidence. 

Two students, both Kindergartener, drew portraits of their best friend.  One student liked hard lines, and the other preferred smudging and smearing color.  Each student was able to pick a drawing media that worked for their preference.  Both students are learning about shape and facial proportions, but in their own unique way.  

Two students, both Kindergartener, drew portraits of their best friend.  One student liked hard lines, and the other preferred smudging and smearing color.  Each student was able to pick a drawing media that worked for their preference.  Both students are learning about shape and facial proportions, but in their own unique way.  

                                               Everyone has a style and a unique way :)

                                               Everyone has a style and a unique way :)

Question: What is one thing you say "No" to that maybe if you said, "Yes" to wouldn't be so bad after all?  What would be the benefits? Feel free to comment below.  

Art Making That Helps Enrich Your Child's Friendships and Social Skills

Our students are blasting off this season with our Fall art program "Once Upon a Paint Drop..." which centers our art making around the big idea of storytelling.  This past week Art Squad (ages 5-11) has been working on a project about our BFF's.  We start by thinking of the fun times with our BFF and what qualities makes them a special friend.  The inspiration leads us to sketching and skill building in portraiture as we honor our BFF with a drawn portrait.

It's amazing what one single lesson in our art program can do to help build excitement and skill build.  We have put together a student gallery below to show the accomplishments our students have made during one class. Many pictures show examples of "before" and "after" practicing. Class time helps to slow down and be mindful of what we are making. Every student works at their own pace, so some kids are still working on drawing, and some have moved onto color mixing.  Pictures of the process and progress are so amazing. See below!

As our students leave class, we want to empower them to be creative in their lives at home.  Students are encouraged to interview their BFF to find out a few new things they never knew before.  This information, along with their portraits will be transformed into a news article headlining their BFF.  We hope this project brings friends closer together, builds excitement to create art, and encourages children to communicate and build their love for writing.  

Comment below to help grow our topic: In a culture of selfies and screen staring, how can we help our young people strengthen human connections and honor others?

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"This is my friend wearing my jacket. Friends Share." 

-Art Student, Age 5