Does it feel impossible to add one more thing to your homeschool? Do you worry that adding fine arts will cost too much? Read this post for ideas to help you fit fine arts into your homeschool schedule and your budget.
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When you’re planning your homeschool year, you want to try to include everything you can.
But do you remember to add fine arts like art and music?
Often fine arts can feel like an afterthought to your homeschool schedule. You’ll add it in if you have time or if it’s in the budget. However, fine arts should be more of a priority.
Continue reading for ideas on how to easily fit fine arts into your homeschool schedule and budget.
Why Include Fine Arts in Your Homeschool?
Fine arts like drawing, painting, and music help develop creativity in your children. They are also known to help with decision-making and fine motor skills. Creative thinking and confidence is shown in children who participate in fine arts. It’s important to include them in your homeschool just as you include math and history.
How to Fit Fine Arts into Your Budget
However, you may wonder how you’ll fit fine arts supplies into your homeschool budget. Luckily there’s a variety of ways you can do this. And they don’t all have to be expensive!
Free Ideas for Fitting Fine Arts into Your Homeschool
Obviously when you need to get fine arts supplies, you won’t be able to obtain everything for free. However, you can try to find free items when possible to help your overall budget. For example, you can find quite a bit of artwork, poetry, and music available in the public domain. We use these in our artist, composer, and poet studies. You may also be able to find background information about artists and composers in other online resources as well. Your local library may also be a good resource for books about artists and composers or how to draw.
Let friends and family know that you’d love to take any old supplies they are no longer using. For example, perhaps they have more construction paper than they’ll use and would share some with you. Others may have older paints or paintbrushes for a hobby they no longer have time for. Sometimes you can find local homeschoolers giving away old supplies on local homeschool FaceBook groups.
Many websites that offer online classes will also have several free sample lessons available. This is a great way to try out a variety of different art techniques, especially if you want to make sure it’s something your kids will like before spending money. The only cost here will be consumable supplies you need for the lesson, if any.
For example, you can find many free chalk pastel lessons at You Are an Artist, with the only cost being some copy paper and a pack of chalk pastels that you can find for under $10 at the grocery store. If you have younger children and are looking for a way to introduce them to music, Clap for Classics! offers a free 5 Under 5 Musical Play email series that includes 5 daily video lessons. For more broad art history, Art History Kids has some wonderful free content to share with your kids.
Ideas to Save Money when Adding Fine Arts to Your Budget
After finding what you can for free, the next step is to try to find less expensive materials where possible. For example, you may be able to find books for artist and composer studies at local or online thrift stores. I found many books from the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Series inexpensively on Amazon. The Draw Write Now series can also be found inexpensively per book, or you can purchase the entire series to use for years.
Ask around to find out if anyone has musical instruments that aren’t being used anymore that you could borrow. Perhaps a local music store offers rentals. You may be able to find used instruments at garage sales. Choose inexpensive art supplies if you are unsure whether your children will continue with it. Some choices are chalk pastels, oil pastels, and watercolors. Air dry clay and colored pencils are other inexpensive art supplies.
You may also be able to find options for inexpensive fine arts lessons. You may be able to find a local artist or musician who offers classes for homeschool students. My boys take an art class locally that they really enjoy. The class size is small and they get to try a variety of art techniques through the year. Another option is to find a talented homeschool parent who would enjoy being part of a co-op. Each parent could teach a class on something they are knowledgeable, such as art, music, or nature study, for just the cost of supplies.
Online lessons are also an option. You can find great value in options like the You Art an Artist Clubhouse Membership or an All Access Clap for Classics! Membership because you’ll have access to all they offer. However, the price may not be in your budget. In that case, look for smaller offerings that your kids will enjoy. Perhaps look for one that complements what you’re studying in another subject. A monthly listening calendar is an inexpensive option for adding music to your homeschool.
Additionally, many online fine arts teachers offer workshops or other smaller courses that may better fit your budget. For example, you and your children could take time enjoying a course learning about 10 artists or add in a smaller workshop for a single topic or just a few artists. Children under 8 can enjoy a single music course instead of a larger, yearlong commitment of a membership.
How to Fit Fine Arts into Your Schedule
Once you realize how to fit fine arts into your homeschool budget, you may wonder how to fit fine arts into your homeschool day. You can easily add fine arts into your schedule.
One simple way to have time to include fine arts is to schedule it during your morning basket time. In our homeschool, the morning basket includes subjects that all of my kids can enjoy together. Fine arts is a perfect fit for that as all of my kids can enjoy art and music studies together. This is the time we learn about artists, composers, or poets. It’s also nice to use this time together to enjoy an online art lesson. We save our morning basket time for the last thing we do before lunch, so taking a break for fine arts is a nice, relaxing way to end the morning.
Fine Arts Fridays
Recently we shortened our morning basket time. So instead of adding in fine arts throughout the week, we decided to create time on Fridays for it. These Fine Arts Fridays are something my kids and I look forward to at the end of a long week of work. My boys participate in a local art class two Fridays each month. So we decided to do Fine Arts Fridays on the weeks they don’t have the local class. It’s been working well having a whole day to dedicate to the fine arts instead of feeling like we need to rush during the week to fit it in.
If your kids are anything like mine, I’m guessing they love to eat all day long. So occasionally I combine fine arts and food. My kids all love doing Tea Time, which is when we make food like small sandwiches and a little dessert, as well as some tea, lemonade or apple cider. We decorate the table and enjoy poetry or an art lesson while we snack. This can be done along with a Fine Arts Friday or any day of the week. You could make it a weekly or monthly experience. All of my kids, from Kindergarten to high school, ask to do more tea times. You can’t go wrong when you combine learning with food!
Combine Art with Other Subjects
Another easy way to find time for fine arts in your schedule is by combining it with other subjects you’re teaching. This can help develop deeper, more critical thinking. It also gives your kids a chance for more hands-on learning.
So what are some ways to combine art or music with other subjects? First of all, have your children create maps for geography or when learning about a place. They can also draw or sculpt landmarks or people. Learn about artists and composers from time periods studied in history. Listen to music or look at art from the time period.
Diagrams are a great way to show learning for science topics. For example, have students draw and label a plant cell when studying plants. Nature journals are a fantastic activity for nature studies and a beautiful way to show learning. My kids always draw or paint in their nature journals during their live classes for No Sweat Nature Study.
Additionally, children can combine fine arts with literature and religion. When reading, have children draw scenes from the book or create a diorama. They can draw maps of where the stories take place, whether real locations or fictional ones.
If your kids enjoy chalk pastels, we’ve used video lessons as part of our You Are an Artist Clubhouse membership to add art to other subjects. When I’m planning, I’ll search for lessons on topics we’ll be covering in different subjects. They make a great addition to our Fine Arts Fridays that I described above. Or I may have one of my kids do the lesson alone while I work with another child. It’s as simple as starting the video and grabbing our chalk pastels and paper.
The Draw Write Now book series is another way to easily add art to other subjects. There are eight books in the series with quite a variety of topics per book, including ponds, holidays, animals, and farms. You can use these books to teach a drawing lesson to all of your kids, which is a perfect addition for your morning basket. Or you could have your kids choose a lesson on their own to do.
As you can see, you can easily find ways to fit fine arts into your budget and schedule. Using as many free or lower cost materials as you can will help you fit fine arts in your budget. It might also help you save enough that you can afford art or music lessons online or locally. Fitting fine arts into your schedule is much easier when you think outside of the box. Add fine arts to what you’re already teaching, gather all fine arts lessons together for Fine Arts Fridays or tea time. Or teach fine arts to all of your kids in one lesson during your morning basket time. You and your children will be thankful you made time for the fine arts in your homeschool.