Re: How to teach art to kids under 8
You really need both. I teach my students that instructed practice and loose free flowing creativity are equally valued and so important. I spend the first part of the class with brief time of specific instruction for skill building. I try to keep this down to 10 -15 minutes. I tell them we are going to work really hard during that time and then we will move into "artistic license" time. Where they apply what they learned in the skill set to their creativity.
A young child can actually do some amazing work with some solid skills under their belt and often take to concepts more readily than adults.
Having said that the students I get are those who are already very interested in art. They love seeing their work look mature. If you had a class of children who are in a class room and it it "art time" you have a whole different situation.
Recently I entered samples of my student's work in a local youth fair. Most of the other art was from school classrooms. One of my students proudly commented how our art looks really different. My student's art looked more skilled.
If I demo in front of them it will be with more of a thumb nail mentality and I will talk out loud saying hmmm I like that, but don't like that, or now I know to do that different. In other words I show them that starting with a rough practice is what good artists do and every piece is a chance to learn what works and doesn't work for them. I have had student critique a piece I am working on and they are spot on. Yes, I am talking young students.
We also learn about presentation choosing real cut mats so their art is ready to take home to be frame and hung in their gallery. Parents are encouraged to have a gallery space somewhere in the main living area.
I think you have to evaluate the situation you are working in. Also, parents are not paying me to let the children free flow create. They are already doing that at home. I always encourage the students that both is vital but in class we are working on skill building.
Last edited by Daisygirl : 10-03-2012 at 12:27 PM.