TOP
Art

Exploring Art with Teens

When my 14-year-old son saw the above painting, he announced to all those within earshot, “That is the hippiest-looking Jesus I’ve ever seen in a painting.”

Based on his cultured observation, you should listen to everything I say about exploring art with your teens because I clearly know a thing or two about growing sophisticated art connoisseurs. Sharpen your No.2 pencils and get ready to take notes!

1. You don’t have to know anything about art.

You really don’t. I grew up in a tiny Deep South town with zero culture. I slept through most of my college art appreciation classes. Hey, I was working full-time and going to night school. I was tiiiiired. When the teacher turned off the lights for the unimaginative slide show, was I expected to stay awake?

2. Grab some library books and throw food at your kids.

Art & Tarts Tuesdays, guys. Dip those toes in the water.

3. Street art counts as art exploration.

I love finding street art. I’m not sure if my teens love it as much as I do, but they love the frappucinos I buy them as we mosey around downtown. Actually, my teens do like our street art excursions. Street art is generally fun and quirky. What’s not to like about a cat holding a hat and a crown? I have no idea what it means but it makes me smile.

Sometimes you’ll even come across “real” art while you mosey around the streets.

 

4. Check our your city’s community center

Depending on the size of your city, your community center may host works from local artists. Just by having a few Art & Tart days, my boys recognized the influence from The Scream in one of the paintings there. See? Learning happened without boring curriculum. Or slide shows.

(I would show a picture of the Scream-inspired art we found, but my oldest teen said ex-nay on his photo being on my blog.)

5. Go to museums

You don’t need prepared lesson plans or to know anything about the current art at the museum. They have info plaques for that kind of thing. So just go.

Sometimes I’ll find out about an exhibit and will have time (and energy) to do some pre-planning before we go. Perhaps we’ll do a featured artist Art & Tarts day where I pull books on that artist or art period beforehand. We had a special family art & tart dessert night before we went to see Botticelli paintings at the Muscarelle Museum of Art. That was a big art trip for us. A three-hour drive to Virginia and totally worth it.

In a year in a half since we started exploring art, I’ve done the pre-planned thing twice. So don’t think you have to put in a lot of extra work.

6. Use short videos to learn.

When we dove into the early Renaissance period, we kept noticing man-face babies. Why were the babies so ugly? Why couldn’t these famous artists get baby faces right? Are babies that hard? I want to run away from these babies!! WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!

We had no idea. Then I found this video and now we know. (Humor is an added bonus with teens.) Maybe if my college professor had shown funny videos like that I wouldn’t have fallen asleep.

Surf around Ted Ed videos if you do want some outside instruction from time to time. I’ve saved a few on my Pinterest board.

7. Think outside of the box

Don’t limit yourself to traditional art venues or paintings. Teens like the weird and unusual.

Are there any cathedrals in your city with stained-glassed windows? Talk about gorgeous artistry.

Duke University Chapel

One of our previous cities had an art exhibit made entirely from Mardi Gras beads. We were blown away by the creativity.

You can even explore art at a Mellow Mushroom if you’re lucky. The Cary, NC location has hilarious art work.

It may seem that adding in art exploration is just one. more. thing. you have to do when homeschooling high school is already jam-packed. I remember when I felt that way. Ain’t nobody got time to figure out another subject to teach! So don’t. Don’t teach it. Simply explore it.

«

»

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram

  • I bought this game and plan to play it first day of school on Monday. I figured I should play around with it beforehand. I rolled these literally the first time. The dice don’t lie. #metaphordice #homeschoolhighschool #secularhomeschool
  • Question! Are all of these buttons the same as the 8 cycle choices on a washing machine? No one ever uses them?
  • Need
  • Front and center in my literature teaching notes. Eudora Welty because we need to remember there are no right or wrong answers to literature. My public school years of multiple choice quizzes marked right or wrong brainwashed me. Welty’s quote un-brainwashes me.
•
The literature compass because it’s easy to get overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS the experts say we should teach with literature. “The Close Reading monster asks kids as young as elementary school to use the level of challenging analysis that my daughter faced as a college English major!” (Trees in the Forest pg 14)
•
I gleaned those four bullet points from the essay “How to Create Nonreaders” by Alfie Kohn. (Give it a google.) Those points spoke truth to me. That WAS what hooked my kids in. I need to remember them when facing the Close Reading monster that pervades our current pedagogy, especially as we start our junior and senior year where time is “running out.”
•
Steady on, Mom. Keep following your North Star.
#secularhomeschool #rootedinlanguage #homeschoolhighschool
  • I was hoping not to do these again this year. It began to feel more like a chore than fun for me. But my son still loves them, so here I am, gearing up for it. I bought this letter board thing, thinking it might put enough spin on it for me, but now I’m wondering if setting the letters will be a pain. 🤷🏻‍♀️ And now to start collecting literature lines for the year...
  • School supplies rolling it. #secularhomeschool #bravewriterlifestyle #metaphordice
  • Shakespeare planning! The Friendly Shakespeare has been one of my best school purchases, at least for me. We’re tackling three plays first semester. We’ll see how things go. Hamlet is first up! #secularhomeschool #homeschoolhighschool
  • I keep drinking out of this mug because SECULAR curriculum hunting! 🧐 I have spent all afternoon trying to find a quality rhetoric homeschool curriculum at the high school level that’s secular. I’m about to put some vodka in this mug. #secularhomeschool #homeschoolhighschool #secularhomeschooler

Follow Me!