ART…and Homework, Study Habits & Organization

Let’s face it, kids are all individuals, special and unique little persons that we love and care for. After all, adults are all different in so many ways: underachievers, overachievers, mellow or intense personalities, the list goes on and on. When we observe these attributes, we may find there are some behaviors we might like to change to help the child work in a more efficient manner or better organize themselves. Some parents may find that they are looking to de-stress their child or give them a better sense of self, with more confidence, helping them interact with other children in a more positive manner. Look to see where your childʼs interests lie and encourage activities that relate to it. It might be a physical activity such as sports or dance, martial arts, or anything else that involves movement and coordination. The discipline in that activity may be able to transfer into other areas of your childʼs home or social life. Think creatively and see what parallels you may be able to apply in those areas and there may be positive results.

In artistic activities, there are many areas in which your child may engage her imagination, motor skills, eye-hand coordination, awareness and personality. She may have a wonderful flair for design and pattern, yet not much patience for the workmanship involved for completion. Your son may love drawing animals or cartoons, but rushes through the artwork in a haphazard manner, although he is capable of much more. You notice the similarity in their efforts to do their homework, home chores or other activities. The good news is that the same skills used to improve their artworks do transfer elsewhere! By engaging in art related activities and projects parents may see the improvement carry over in their childʼs schoolwork, from improved handwriting and neatness, organization, and on to working faster or slower, yet more efficiently.

How does art affect your child? When drawing is taught, there are step-by-step methods used to teach drawing by observation, which enhances awareness, attention to detail and spatial relationships. Using a method to begin work can jump-start a project and have it move along more quickly and effectively, minimizing wasted time. These step-by-step processes can be applied to learning and study habits in other areas that involve systems such as math, spelling and creative writing.

When children are working with paint or pastel, they see they cannot rush or colors will muddy up or run into each other, creating colors that they didnʼt want. Drawing cartoon characters develop freedom to go out of bounds and be weird or silly, yet to repeat successful drawings of that character develops restraint and mastery. Detail and proportion are critical to achieve a likeness. They learn that control and patience can be achieved and give them the results they want. This can be applied when they check their spelling or keep their columns in line in math.

Three dimensional art literally encourages thinking ʼoutside the boxʼ using diverse materials and learning how to construct and design both aesthetic and structural balance. Increase in patience and hand-eye coordination are applied here. Clearly, building and fitting pieces together cannot be rushed in an effective assembly, so the child must develop a sense of patience and system as there is a sense of order to the process.

Acceptance of mistakes and encouragement to retry are also extremely important for a child to understand in developing self confidence. This can relate to mistakes in judgment in many areas both inside and outside of school, and used as a great learning tool in many areas. Learning to pause and think things through before taking action will show them improved results. Let them create and reap the many benefits that go along with creativity!

Marlene Bohnyak Owner, Artisan Studio