For many parents, summer vacation is a difficult time to manage child care, much less worry about their child’s continuing education. However, the summer months offer a great opportunity to parents to integrate education in the arts into their child’s education. Many schools have cut back on programs in the fine arts to save on money in this fiscal crisis, limiting everything from art classes to theater. However, the fine arts have many valuable lessons to offer, and parents can easily supplement this area of learning with the many cultural events that occur all throughout Western New York. In recognition of the important role fine arts education plays in the life and learning of children, Tutor Doctor WNY will dedicate Saturdays to the intersection of the arts and education. In this feature, we hope to give you ideas of how to engage your child with the arts. Taking a child to a museum, concert, or play is one thing, but truly maximizing the experience to become a teachable moment is another. As always, we at Tutor Doctor WNY would love to hear from you regarding your own experiences with your children and the arts, or to hear your ideas for weekly topics.
For our first feature, we wanted to look at what we feel are some of the many benefits of exposing your child to the fine arts.
1.) Exposure to the fine arts encourages your own child to be creative. Seeing what others have done doesn’t have to be limiting. By exposing your child to many different kinds of music, theatrical performances, and pieces of art, you teach them that thinking outside the box is something valuable. Your child will be encouraged to take risks in their own creative ventures, and will reap the rewards of being a free-thinker!
2.) The fine arts provide children a glimpse of other viewpoints. Whether it’s the perspective of someone of a different ethnic background, age, gender, or sexual orientation, the fine arts broaden the way you view the world. In an increasingly global society, it is more important than ever that students are able to cross boundaries and be true citizens of the world.
3.) The fine arts appeal to multiple intelligences. For children who are not verbal or auditory learners traditional classroom learning may prove difficult. The more tactile nature of watching a play being performed or being able to touch a sculpture can help children embrace their different learning styles.
4.) As Pablo Picasso once said, “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” The fine arts incorporate elements of learning that are important enough to be included on standardized testing, but beyond that they are simply enjoyable. The fine arts provide an escape and a chance to identify with something other than yourself.
Ideally, learning should be enjoyable. So get out there and enjoy learning with your family this weekend!