Should My Children of Different Ages Do Art at the Same Time?

Question from Member: Should My Children of Different Ages Do Art at the Same Time?

I think homeschoolers have a challenging setup when we have multiple kids at differing abilities. My 4 yr old criticizes her work (she’s four!! And I’ve NEVER been negative about hers or any of my children’s work) when she compares it to her older brother (8). No encouragement or lack of (I’ve tried simply being neutral and not really commenting for or against) seems to persuade her that her work is lovely and good….she “can’t draw like G” and that’s that.  It’s throwing me for a bit of a loop. Should I try to keep them from drawing/painting at the same time, instead having table work with each child? – Amanda

Answer from Waldorf Teacher Diane Power

Needless to say, it is a challenge, Amanda. there are very different abilities even in one classroom of same-aged children. I try to discuss the gifts of each child in a way that all the students recognized that some subjects/arts came easier to them than others. I also had those children talk about what it was like to make the art, if they could suggest tips to the others.

I would recommend that you could have both group art time and individual time to address what each child would like to focus on or what you feel could help them with their skills and self confidence.

I also think it’s important as the teacher to allow an atmosphere for conversation about the art in a respectful way, especially for the older student. Comparison can be rough for the 4 year olds. To be so aware. My intention always was to “see” more, to open up the capability of observation. “Which yellow seems so comfy & inviting?” “Which blue looks sad?” “What would happen if instead of blue for the sky in this painting, we made it purple?” “How could we have used more or less water on the paper to create the effect you want?”


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