Do our children benefit from art classes?
Art classes are a waste of time and money! Afterall, what are your children going to learn in an art class? To draw and paint? Does the world need another Picasso? Is there even a chance for another Picasso? We do this as a hobby. Something fun to keep them entertained during the summer, but once school starts, we need to focus.
Our schedule is busy with sports, homework and tutoring. On weekends we've got birthdays, play dates and family quality time. We don't have time for anything else!
And what about the arts?
What about them?
I know they’re important and all, but come on, it’s not like those kids are going to grow up and make a career out of it. Besides, their school work is more important. Between exams, school work, sports and family commitments, we don’t have the time for anything else. And these hobbies, fun as they may be, would take time away from their school work.
You have a point! School work is getting harder and more demands are being placed on kids as young as five! Where will they ever find the time for everything? Something has to give, right? and in our case, usually the first thing to go is the arts and that's the sad truth.
But what if I told you that attending art classes, or music or drama, helps students keep their grades up? Don’t take my word for it, take the research done on the topic. Better yet, let's listen to other parents, like you. We talked to a lot of parents about their children. We've asked if they've seen any difference in them since they started taking art classes. Time and time again we got the same answers. Our kids started to become more open and social around everyone. They’re making friends easier and are even showing leadership skills.
What about school work, has it suffered, we asked?
Yes! My kids now finish their work as soon as they come home because they want to go to art class. They're more motivated to finish their work and study. They work on detailed artworks that need focus and attention to detail. They practice those skills in their school work too. And later on in life, they'll be able to practice them in work and life.
Even the most active of artists can find a medium or technique in art class that can help them calm down. Mosaics, weaving and sewing are a few of the art techniques that can help active students. They serve both as a wonderful form of expression and a meditative activity for students. It builds tactile motor skills and helps them find calm and order.
Are you wondering what else an art class teaches your children? How about commitment? One thing we noticed with our preteens is they become very committed to their class. They show up on time and do the work, no matter how hard they might view it to be.
They start to feel heard through their work and that helps them gain confidence. And in today's world, kids need a safe place to express themselves away from social media. How much value would we, as parents, be willing to place on giving our children this kind of support.
If you think that engaging in the arts during school is a waste of time and money. Then you were choosing the wrong place, not the wrong activity. I urge you to try again, think about it, it’s only a couple of hours out of their week. They are going to use those two hours on something else. More likely than not, they’ll use those hours to spend time on social media.
Yes, you shouldn’t sacrifice school work for anything you feel is less important. But don’t be quick to judge the arts as a waste of time until you’ve given them a proper chance. Commit to adding one class a week to your child’s schedule for at least three months, that's a total of 12 to 24 hours. If you’re still not convinced it has a positive effect on your child’s personal development and school work. Then by all means, please go ahead and change activities. But if you do give it a fair chance and start to see some positive results, then please keep at it. I promise you'll see personal growth in your children that will be worth all the work and sacrifice.