It is easy for us to understand what a gifted child is like when they are academically advanced. But what about the child who struggles academically, but is artistically gifted? How do we help them learn while at the same time, nurture their gifts?
I am often asked by parents of gifted and twice exceptional kids what to do when their child is clearly gifted, but not in any real academic context. When they ask, it is not uncommon for there to be a hesitation associated with having to admit that the typical subjects we study in school are not coming easily to their gifted child.
The Perception That Giftedness Is Only Academic
The hesitancy to discuss this type of giftedness should not surprise any of us. There is a strong perception in the world and often, even among experts who work with gifted children, that academic subjects are the true measure of a child’s capabilities and gifts.
Not only is this perception false, it creates unnecessary barriers to learning for children who are wildly gifted, but in more artistic and right brained functions.
Artistic Giftedness Is Just As Gifted
The reality is that “artistic giftedness” is fully an element of giftedness for many children. This is “just as gifted” as the math prodigy or history enthusiast.
In fact, there are key indicators of artistic giftedness that make a child a strong overall learner.
Artistically gifted students typically exhibit a strong sense of creativity. They are risk-takers who employ innovative methods, use interesting materials, and test artistic boundaries. For example, when the rest of the class is still drawing stick figures, they’re experimenting with three-dimensional figures.
Often, artistically gifted students have a desire to express themselves through their art, and they see their art as an extension of themselves.
The difficulty comes when we try to determine how best to help an artistically gifted child in their academic studies.
An Interest-Led and Strength Based Approach To Helping An Artistically Gifted Child Learn
For any gifted child, I strongly recommend an interest-led and strength-based approach to learning. This is just as important, perhaps even more important, for children who are artistically advanced.
Because of their natural ability to approach learning in an innovative and more hands-on way, using strengths to inform your approach to their academic learning in your homeschool makes all the difference in their overall learning.
Quote – Teaching to an individual’s strengths, exponentially increases productivity and learner satisfaction.
The research also surprisingly showed that a learner, when allowed to progress in a ‘strengths based’ approach, increased his overall capabilities and performance, even in the areas that were weaknesses .
Your child’s love for art can be the perfect opportunity to teach academically.
Using Art To Help Your Gifted Child Learn
One of the best options I know of for using art to help your child learn academically is You ARE An Artist’s homeschool lessons. These lessons seamlessly integrate art into academic homeschool lessons.
The lesson library of Chalk Pastel art tutorials is exceptional. There are kid favorites like Star Wars and Harry Potter themed art lessons. But perhaps more importantly for the artistically gifted child, there many art lessons available that correspond with your homeschool history, science, literature, and geography lessons
Take a look at just a small sample of the lessons available:
- Famous Artists
- Ancient History
- Medieval History
- Knights and Crusaders
- American History
- Classical Collection History
- Modern History
- Literature Studies
- Space And Space Exploration
- And so much more!
In my family, one of subjects that really began to click for my more artistically gifted child was geography. Rather than looking at a map of the world in a textbook, my son needed to experience it to fully grasp and understand the big picture. Enter You ARE An Artist map lessons.
These are the maps he has worked on so far.
- Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland
- The United States and Canada
- Lewis Clark’s journey
There are also map lessons for:
- The voyage to the first Thanksgiving
- Biblical map of the journey to Bethlehem for Christmas
- To the moon and back for modern history studies
- Laura Ingalls Wilder family travels
- Even a Map your garden plan
Learning geography in this way opened the world to my child. It worked so well; we have also used it in other subjects. You ARE An Artist has formed the backbone of our history studies, both ancient and modern. We have done science with their inventor lessons and space studies. We have also used You ARE An Artist for literature studies including Stopping by the Woods, by Robert Frost, The Hobbit, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Helping Your Artistically Gifted Child Succeed Academically
Using art to inform the academic studies of an artistically gifted child is a wonderful way to learn. Your child will enjoy and engage with the lessons in a much more profound way. Perhaps even more importantly, using art in this way helps your child lean into what makes them unique. This strength-based approach is easy with You ARE An Artist.
The good news is the You ARE an ARTiST Clubhouse is always open for membership – with access to a growing lesson library of over 700 video art lessons at the Complete level.
This post first appeared on Raising Lifelong Learners.