Both are valuable and fun. But, is one better than the other?
Remember, in homeschool, unschool, or anything-but-government-school, you’re the boss. You decide what works in your home, with your family, within your budget and matches your ideas.
For some, art class includes traditional practices like pencil drawing, pen and ink, watercolor painting, pottery, sculpture, studying architecture and learning about art history. But for others, art class is more a collection of projects requiring many different materials and skills.
Perhaps your family prefers one to the other.
Maybe both approaches work well in your home.
As a homeschooling parent, it doesn’t take long to figure out what your family enjoys most.
As to which is best, the answer depends on where you’d like to see your children end up by high school graduation. Look ahead for a moment. Are your children very young? Is it your belief that very young children require a formal art curriculum? Do you instead prefer to provide your children many different kinds of supplies and set them free to create whatever they like, in their own time, whenever the mood strikes?
Are some of your students “all thumbs”? Are you looking for ways to improve coordination, attention, or other skills?
Do your children exhibit an aptitude or interest in particular art forms? Do they like certain materials, practices, ideas, more than others? Which?
Answers to these kinds of questions will help you decide. Spend a few moments thinking about the children in your homeschool and what could work best for each individual child.
Remember that high schoolers following a traditional or semi-traditional 4-year high school progression generally require traditional art to graduate. Colleges usually assume that applicants have completed traditional art (not crafts) in high school, as well.
The good news is, just like everything homeschool, art class can be modified at any time. Starting out one way but changing horses mid-stream is not only allowed, but common. Do what works, leaving behind what does not.
Above all, remember there are many different ways for children to demonstration talent and creativity — art being only one of them. Many children are eloquent speakers, theatrical performers, creative with their bodies through acrobatics or dance, musically inclined, or have a talent for using words in artistic ways. Remember, too, that art is not a subject that can always be taught on a specific time frame — announcing, “It’s time for art” doesn’t guarantee all students will immediately be able to produce results. Allow children to develop artistically (or not?) in they ways that feel most comfortable to them.