What Art Brings to a Classroom An essay from our Child of the Month

Editor’s Note: Aaron Anderson is a 10-year-old Baltimore resident, homeschool student and arts enthusiast, who is also our December Child of the Month.

Do you feel stressed out after a math test, and want to decompress? Do you relax when you color or draw? Art can help you de-stress and gain confidence. I think the public-school system should have art class every day, because art is a calming and relaxing way to develop fine motor skills, language advancement, problem-solving abilities, decision-making skills, cultural awareness and improved academic performance. Math and reading are on the state tests and art isn’t, so art is not considered as important in most school curriculum. Art, even though it’s not on the state test, can help you succeed in more ways than one, both in school and in life.

Aaron Anderson

You can develop enhanced fine motor skills by creating art. You use scissors, pencils, paints, rulers, crayons, markers and clay to draw, mold, cut, paint, and color in an art class. Grace Hwang Lynch says, in her article, The Importance of Art in Child Development, “Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.” Writing is used in all subject areas and is a necessary life skill. Using multiple hand motions in art class adapts a student’s fine motor skills to write and draw better.

Language development improves when studying art and builds self-esteem. Grace Hwang Lynch says, in her article, The Importance of Art in Child Development, “students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.” Using descriptive words helps you improve your writing, and verbal skills. It develops a better sense of understanding and awareness with written and spoken language. A person’s self-esteem strengthens when they can communicate better with their peers.

Problem-solving and decision-making skills improve when creating art. Art encourages open-ended thinking, which means there are no wrong answers. Mark Wagner says, in his article, Ten Reasons Why Art Is Good for Kids, “Making art demonstrates that there can be multiple solutions to the same problem.” Students who make mistakes in art class can handle failure better in their other classes. Wagner also says, “Art allows one to grow from making mistakes.” Art shows you how to try new things, take risks and think about problems from a broad range of perspectives.

Art positively influences cultural awareness and shows expression from around the world. Grace Hwang Lynch, says in her article, The Importance of Art in Child Development, “Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.” Art introduces students to cultures through visual learning. With more cultural awareness in school, there will more acceptance of students with diverse backgrounds.

Art also improves academic performance. Whether you are in math, science, or English class, you need to be creative in the way you think about solving problems. Art teaches you how to think inventively. Lynch also says, “A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children that do not participate.” More art classes in school would increase achievement in math and science, and promote creative thinking.

Schools should have art everyday as a part of their curriculum, even though it is not on the state test, because it will help reduce stress as well as promote individual creativity. This will improve performance in other classes. Through students’ artwork, teachers and peers get to know each other better, which improves a student’s environment. Art class also helps improve dexterity, speech, and a students’ ability to make decisions. Art can help you decompress after a test, and it can show others what you’re all about.

Thanks, Aaron, for sharing with this our readers!

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