This excerpt is from an article on tips for parents from the Center for Education Reform, Washington, and D.C. It was printed in October 2000, in the National Art Education Association News.
How can parents use art to help their child achieve?
*Begin by introducing your child to art museums and books of art.
*Provide materials that encourage creativity such as pencils, paper, crayons, paper scraps, watercolors and modeling materials.
*Provide a space for your child to exhibit their work (refrigerator, wall, bulletin board….)
*Write down what your child says about his or her creations. This may involve guiding questions from you, such as “Can you describe what you created?”
*Refrain from comments that may contradict what your child has tried to express in the artwork, such as “That doesn’t look like a dog” or “Dogs aren’t blue.” Use reinforcing comments such as, “I like the way you made the dog so colorful.”
*Encourage your child to develop problem-solving techniques by having him or her draw when upset. Drawing will enable the child to see what happened so you can discuss ways to solve the problem.
*A journal provides a place for your child to return to each day to draw out, as well as write, what he or she did that day. You can encourage the journaling activity by adding your personal comments and dates to the entries.
*Let the arts inspire you and open you and your child to a colorful way of seeing and learning.