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homeschool art classes

updated wed 19 apr 06


Connie Knudtson on tue 18 apr 06

I have homeschooled my four children since 1986. (I'm almost done) I have
taught more art classes to homeschool groups than I can count. I have also
taught at the local art museum and the public school summer art program.

You cannot generalize about any group from a few individuals or experiences.
At the public school, I had the most trouble with the children of one of the
other teachers. Did I assume that teacher's kids are problematic in
general? Of course not. (I was one once.)

When I teach homeschool groups, I WANT the parents to be there. That is
what makes it is possible to cover the age gap from 5-17. Older kids do it
themselves, while parents help the younger ones.

Have I had times where this didn't work? Yes. There were a few mothers who
thought that art class was time for other people to baby-sit their kids.
These were always the brattiest kids, which I do not believe is a

I encountered this same type of parent (of public school kids) when teaching
at the art museum. They sign their kids up for anything, regardless of the
child's interests and abilities, just to get them out of the way on

I learned to be blunt about what I expected from parents. Usually that
worked. What I expect, during homeschool classes, is that the parent pays
attention to the child and disciplines him if necessary. I don't want that
to be my job. There was one family where this never did work. I no longer
have them in class.

I have learned, homeschooling over twenty years and four states, that
homeschoolers are a very diverse group of people. They range from complete
un-schooling to highly structured. Their reasons for homeschooling vary
widely as well. It seems pretty arrogant to assume that you know what
homeschoolers are like based on your limited experience.

Connie Knudtson