by Abby Anderson, TCA Art Teacher
We live in a noisy world. Despite the fact that we are constantly bombarded by sounds and images, our children often lack a deep appreciation for excellent art.
Additionally, the arts are often pushed aside in our nation’s public schools, making room for subjects like math and reading which can be easily tested, scored, and compared. According to US News, since 2008 more than 80% of US school districts have cut their funding for the arts.
Homeschool families face different problems when it comes to teaching the fine arts. They can feel daunted by teaching art and music at home. Logistics or costs may make private lessons impossible, and such lessons can make the fine arts seem like a separate or optional subject.
In a world increasingly driven by images and sounds, will this kind of arts education teach our children to effectively read their world?
In contrast, TCA believes that, like any worthy discipline, true musical and artistic appreciation comes by training and practice. We want to partner with parents in this training so that children learn the fine arts as an integrated and essential part of the curriculum.
At TCA, our view of the arts differs from what you’d see at other schools in three important ways:
- We believe the visual and musical arts uniquely contribute to essential aspects of child development. Through studying the visual arts, students develop fine motor skills, gain an appreciation of other cultures, and have opportunities to be creative. Musical training simultaneously engages both the right and left hemispheres in the brain, and musical instruction strengthens both listening and communication skills.
- We strongly value the education of the whole child. We are not only filling students' minds with facts; we are seeking to instill virtue and training children to love what is good, beautiful and true. A means of accomplishing such an important task comes to us in the form of the fine arts, so we treat these classes as core, not elective.
- We desire to prepare students to critically engage with a culture immersed in art. How will a child will be able to identify what is actually beautiful in our image-saturated culture without being immersed in beautiful art or taught to distinguish what makes it a masterpiece? In a world of noise, how will a child learn to enjoy beautiful music without being taught about the great musicians of the past?
With an end goal of creating culture-shaping, God-honoring, mature Christian leaders, TCA wants to provide breadth and depth of learning by integrating the fine arts, freeing students to taste and see God's goodness in all areas of life.
If you are intrigued by an educational option that seeks to partner with parents in educating the whole child through integration of the arts, we invite you to come and hear more about our school and its unique model. Our next informational meeting takes place on Friday, February 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. At this meeting, we’ll share a full overview of Trinity Classical Academy’s curriculum as well as a vision for how we desire to form children for worship of God and appreciation of His world.