Combining Art & Science
Two subjects we don’t often realize go hand in hand beautifully are science and art. Many homeschooling families struggle with how to bring more formal art instruction into their homeschooling. An enjoyable and educational way to accomplish this is to augment your science curriculum with art.
The way we go about this in our home is by having 25 minutes of morning drawing time before we dive into academics. Right now I am using The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. As my daughter is studying zoology, we have decided to begin with the animal kingdom, and as it is spring, we are currently working on butterflies. We began by following the instructions on the first page about butterflies and, for the last week, we have simply been practicing the method in order to get the outline of the butterfly correct. In just that time we have learned to see butterflies in such a different way. Before we began, we had only a basic idea of the butterfly’s shape, which consisted of a body and wings. Through our time sketching, we have learned so many details about a butterfly’s anatomy that we had never noticed before. After a week of practicing, we have moved on to the design of the wings. We have discovered that there is a consistent design in the veins and branches in the wings, and we are even learning the names of each vein.
Art is a fantastic way to augment your children’s science education, as one of the most important skills a child needs to develop to become a scientist is keen observation. While sketching, the one thing we are forced to do is look closely at our subject and notice details. Sketching what we are learning about not only increases our knowledge about the subject, but also exercises our powers of observation, and one of the greatest things about this is that you do not have to be an artist or an art teacher. The book will be the teacher, and you can sit, as a student alongside your child, and demonstrate by example how to learn to sketch through looking closely and practicing.
We are planning to spend a month on one subject, such as butterflies, birds, mammals, etc, and then move on, to keep it exciting. The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling has more than enough to keep you busy all year, and if you need more instruction, click here to watch classes taught by the author, John Muir Laws. Enjoy!