The Benefits of Art in High School {HomeSchool High Link-Up}

You don't have to get much farther than my "About Page" to know that I am a Creative. I love the creative process! I am a knitter and a crocheter, but I am also a designer. I write and share knitting and crochet patterns. I also sew, scrapbook, and know how to do various other crafts. I am one of those people who will try to figure out how to make a desired item rather than immediately buy it.



Despite loving the art of making, we really had not done much formal art in our homeschool until last year.

At one point, we had begun to go through Mark Kistler's Draw Squad, but it never really grabbed us. We didn't make it past the first couple of lessons. I'm not sure why because it has some fabulous lessons in it and is very fun. Judah has always been good at drawing but didn't do it often. (Zarah has always loved art and doesit independently, but she's still in grade school.) I have always had the desire to incorporate more art but never seemed to be successful at it. I guess it seems counterintuitive to make art into a formal classtime.

Last school year, I was going to rememdy that situation! Our homeschool co-op was planning to hire a retired art teacher, and I signed up the oldest four children for her class. That same week, Judah and Colleen both came to me and asked to do more art that year. I guess I was on the right track! {grin}

For three semesters we were blessed to have Mrs. Marjie as our art teacher. Her class has benefited my high schoolers in ways that I wouldn't have imagined!


The Students


Judah is also a Creative. He has always been drawn to music. He sings and plays guitar. He has also taught himself to play djembe and keyboard. He has always been very good at drawing but didn't practice much. He thought he wasn't good at it. {Did I mention that he's also a perfectionist?}

Colleen is a Creative as well. She loves all the same things as I do~ crocheting, knitting, sewing, and all sorts of other crafts. She regularly gets an idea for a knitted or crocheted item and figures out how to make it without the use of a pattern. She had never really done much art on her own (oustide of crafts), but had a desire to learn and practice it.

Sean is a much different story. He is a very creative thinker, but I wouldn't call him a Creative in the same sense of the word. He dreams up stories and inventions. But he is not very artistic– at least not without a lot of effort.

All three of them have learned a lot from art class, and it was more than just art skills.



What They Learned


Judah did well in art class. He learned lots of skills and enjoyed it. He still doesn't believe that he's good at art. {He can tend to be a perfectionist and is always comparing his work to others.}

Colleen thrived. She is now constantly drawing something. Art has truly become a form of self expression for her. She has a vision of what she would like to create and enjoys the process of making that vision come alive.

The artistic students learned:

  • creative expression
  • envisioning how to create the idea in your mind
  • planning out how the details of achieving the vision, rather than rushing into it
  • ways to incorporate and fix mistakes rather than letting them defeat you


Sean learned a whole different set of lessons in art class. None of it came easy for him. Our first year was drawing and painting. Drawing was very difficult for him. He couldn't seem to make his drawing look how he wanted it to look. He lines were always very heavy, and he was struggling to erase all his dark lines to start over. He would still be struggling with the first part of the lesson as the rest of the class was moving on. He was very frustrated.



We had a lot of discussions at home about persevering and staying diligent when a new skill does not come easily. We had melt downs over drawings that were not translating to paper. I had to force him to keep going. He practiced drawing light lines. We took a whole day and worked on an Art Project review for See the Light that involved drawing a dessert. I think he wanted to throw the paper! But after some "talking off the ledge," I made him continue. He ended up getting much better at drawing light lines. He learned how to look at his object in a different way. He ended up drawing a candy bar that he was happy with. He learned to like art!

The struggling student learned:

  • perseverance
  • how to look at the world differently
  • that he can succeed with hard work and practice
  • perfection is not always the goal


Art will not teach every student the same lessons, but it is worth the journey. In the lower grades, art can end up just being about art. The maturity level in high school lends itself to deeper lessons from art class that you do not want to miss.


Where to start if you're not artistic yourself?


There are many good resources for teaching art that will walk you step by step through the process. I have not tried them all, but I can reccommend a few that we have appreciated.

If you would like video instruction, See the Light's Art Class is a fabulous way to learn the basics.(Disclosure: these are my affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my family just a bit.) This is a full curriculum with one lesson every week for the 36-week school year. The whole family can use this curriculum– not just your high schoolers. They also have free lessons on their site, as well as tutorials on the blog every week! {Love them!}

Tricia over at Hodge Podge has lots of art lessons on her blog. And they're free!

Harmony Art Mom has lots of Art and Music Appreciation curriculae. She also has Sketch Tuesdays on her blog~ which I keep intending to participate in and forgetting. {sigh}


Even if you don't have access to an art teacher, the study of art in high school is worth the effort. I would encourage you to get creative and find a way to try it!





HomeSchool High is sponsored by Apologia.

I hope you'll tell them a big "thank you"!


Now it's your turn. What have you been doing this week with your high school teens?

Check out the Link-Up Guidelines, grab a button or banner for your post, and link up your post– old or new.

Be sure to visit some of the other ladies who have linked up! Leave them an encouraging word. Let's link arms, ladies! Spur one another on to the finish!

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