With our teens’ busy schedules, it can be easy to focus on the core subjects and let subjects like art, music, and drama fall by the wayside, especially if those are subjects that we as parents don’t have a natural bent for. But teaching fine arts is important for a number of reasons, such as inspiring creativity, building confidence, helping students understand their gifts and passions, and improving academic performance. Yes, the arts can be messy or loud. Yes, they take a great deal of time for practice. But in the end, the benefits are well worth it. So, how can you go about adding fine arts to your daily schedule in the Learning to Reason stage of learning?
Tips for the Learning to Reason Stage
Many states require a fine arts credit or two for graduation, and colleges may require or strongly recommend one for admission. At the same time, your teen is likely to have strong opinions on what types of fine arts lessons he is interested in.
- Encourage your teen to step out of the box and try new things. If he has had years of piano lessons, now might be the time to try another instrument. Encourage him to try an art or drama class if he hasn’t before.
- Try to find an outdoor Shakespeare performance in your area. These performances are a not-to-be-missed spectacle.
- Create a credit-worthy fine arts class by adding projects and activities to lessons and practices. Keep a record of time spent. About 60 hours counts as a half credit, 120 for a full credit.
- If your student is not particularly creative and doesn’t care for music or art lessons, consider having him take an art or music history or appreciation course instead.
- If your teen has had years of music lessons, now might be the time to step out in this area. Perhaps she can help with music at your church or join a band or orchestra in your city.
- Many towns and cities have community theater opportunities, or have your child volunteer to work in your church’s drama program if you have one.
- Some colleges allow students to take classes as soon as they turn sixteen. Consider an early or dual enrollment option to allow your student to enjoy art, music, or drama lessons while also obtaining college credit.