Arts Promote a Love of Learning

Cindy is a copywriter, author and mother of two who was living in China when the pandemic hit.

Follow their lead: they’ll stay more engaged in learning when it’s framed by something they enjoy

Use the arts to promote a love of learning

Figure out how you can combine school subjects with their arts interests

How has the pandemic impacted your family?

We left China with a few suitcases and have been living in a temporary apartment ever since. We have a 3 ½ year old and our oldest turned 6 a week after stay at home orders. We’re 12 hours behind his school, which makes things challenging and easier in different ways. Once my husband started working from home in March, we were able to share the load. For our family, it’s been important to set up a system so we can trade off work and parenting.

Do you have any tips or tricks for other parents who want to engage in the arts with their kids?

We were already an art making family, so we make a lot of projects out of our recycling. Our 3 ½ year old asks for new toys, and I make him draw them because he sees what he wants very clearly in his head and if I draw it, then it ‘comes out wrong’. That system works pretty well for us.

Having them lead activities is helpful, and integrating art into other classes can be hugely successful. My eldest doesn’t like to write, and he didn’t want to stop his LEGO building to do his English class. I made him a deal that he could keep building with LEGO and simultaneously watch his class lessons. He then described his LEGO creation, I wrote it out, and then he wrote it under me. It’s more important that he’s understanding the concept of the lesson than following it to the letter. We like to use the arts to keep him on pace and promote a love for learning.

The more that we’re following their lead and basing it on their interests the better.

How have the arts have impacted you and your kids in these times? 

Tying whatever school lessons we can into the art they’re already consuming is really helping them continue to want to learn. LEGO integrates well with math lessons and measurement and division, not to mention engineering and geometry. They spent two hours on their own attempting to make cars that really roll because my son started out by saying: let’s do science! Following their lead on what their interest is promotes learning. You can teach almost all the subjects by whatever their daily obsession is.