The Arts
Lori Lane
hand on piano, little girl painting, ballet shoes
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Simply put, I was ‘doing school at home’ instead of homeschooling.
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Ilove the arts! What could be more exciting than making music, exploring literature through theater or learning to draw and paint? All through my childhood and teenage years, I was involved in the arts in one way or another. Concert band, marching band, choir, accompanying, piano, vocal ensembles, plays…were all a vital part of my education. I was a piano performance major in college. I taught music both privately and in the classroom. I had even taught theater and music based on historical time period. But when I began homeschooling my children, all my dreams of incorporating art, music and theater seemed to crumble onto the floor, stomped to death by the time and attention all our “required subjects” seemed to demand.

What was my problem? Simply put, I was “doing school at home” instead of homeschooling. I was thinking of education as a list of separate subjects to be completed every year, none of which related to the others in any significant way. It was the kind of education I had experienced growing up, the type I had been taught in college and the kind that I had seen many other homeschooling families doing as well. However, as I scoured Scripture and Ruth Beechick’s writings for a Biblical approach to education, I realized God’s view of education was quite a bit different than the picture of education that I had in my mind. God sees life in its entirety, and I was entrusted with teaching the heart of my child—the whole heart! An integrated approach to all subjects began to make more and more sense to me. Research shows that weaving subjects together greatly helps students retain and apply what they’ve learned. That, of course, is no surprise to God, since that’s how He views life. So, when we blend subjects together while homeschooling, we demonstrate God’s story of history in every area of life. History is truly God’s “meta-narrative” showing His overarching story of love and redemption, right from the beginning of time.

Research shows that weaving subjects together greatly helps students retain and apply what they’ve learned. That, of course, is no surprise to God, since that’s how He views life.
And, of course, the arts are an integral part of that story. Through the arts we see the ideas, worldviews and priorities of every culture come to life—through its painters, composers and writers. What more fascinating way could there be to study the history of China than to experience the art, literature, theater and music of China? What more eye-opening way to study Christian worldview than to compare and contrast the worldview found in the art, music and theater of the 1960’s to a truly Biblical worldview. What an amazing way to study the arts and bring them to life in the minds of our children. So, the question for me became: How can I realistically manage this with my busy family? Does it require a special skill or knowledge? Well, let me assure you it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Here are just a few ideas my family found helpful:
Consider the time period you are currently studying in history (ancient, medieval/renaissance, early modern, modern, etc.), and think of arts-related activities that could expand your whole family’s understanding of the time period. Ask yourself, what was it like to live during that time? Can you imagine being a pharaoh in ancient Egypt? A child learning Scripture during Biblical times? A renaissance sculptor or explorer? Read a fascinating biography of Julius Caesar and whip up some ancient-Roman style food while you study classical architecture. Listen to recordings of Baroque music while painting. A wealth of ideas and resources await you on historical websites. Look up composers, artists, poets, playwright—whatever your family finds most interesting about the period you’re studying together. Check out art and history books from your local library, along with music recordings and plays. One easy way to start is to focus on one new composer, one artist and one writer each quarter and really dive into his life and works.

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Through the arts we see the ideas, worldviews and priorities of every culture come to life…
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little boy playing guitar
Look for concerts, art shows and theater productions that go hand in hand with the cultures you’re studying. Go together as a family—and watch history and worldview come alive!
Don’t be fooled into thinking “art class” always has to be a sit-down study time. Play lots of music! Display cultural art in your home. Study plants by drawing them with colored pencils. These are just a few easy ways to weave the arts into your home and education.
If you don’t have an arts background, there are resources catering to your specific need. Squilt Music ( simply and beautifully guides homeschool moms and their children through an understanding of music as they listen and learn music by historical time period. In addition, Tricia at You ARE an Artist ( has a wonderful series on drawing with chalk pastels. These are affordable and easy-to-follow, and can be used by anyone.
If you would like a curriculum that does the integration for you, there are several options available. One I would suggest is the Artios Home Companion Series or enrolling in an Artios Academies program near you. You can find out more at:

Have arts-related materials available for your children to use on their own time. Include art supplies of all kinds, instruments, recordings for them to listen to on their own, etc.
Allow time for your child to explore and be creative. Make sure your schedule allows your children to have down time, when their hearts and minds can experiment without adults telling them how to be creative. This is so important. Many activities, classes and programs look like they will help our children. But honestly, there are only so many hours in the day. If we book our children’s schedules too tightly with activities, they won’t have the time or interest to grow wholeheartedly through exploring their own creativity.
As you can see, it’s not hard to make the arts an integral part of your homeschooling routine. My family found it just takes a little mind shift and a bit of flexibility. By implementing ideas like these, our family has enjoyed a home atmosphere rich in the arts that helped develop a life-long love of the arts in all four of our boys. Having the arts as an integral part of our homeschool experience encouraged creativity in learning and fostered amazing worldview discussions. Try a few of these ideas, and before you know it the arts will be filling your home with joy while teaching the whole heart of your child!
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ori & John Lane have been married 30 years and live on a small ranch in the beautiful Colorado Rockies where they both work with Artios Academies. They have four sons, two beautiful daughters-in-love, two precious granddaughters, and another one on the way. Lori is the author of the book, Beginning With The End In Mind, and the founder and executive director of Artios Academies. The Lane family oversees the ministry of Heart of the Matter Online. You can follow Lori at her blog The End In Mind.