1. Motivating Your Child

2. Good practices

1. Motivating Your Child

Art is fun, but it is also a discipline that requires practice and focus for the student to become accomplished. It is human nature to get bored with routine and seek the path of least resistance, even if that path will not be beneficial. When kids get lazy or bored, here are some suggestions (from parents of our most successful students) to keep them motivated:

a) Try something new: If your child is saying he is bored, we invite both of you to meet with us and see if there is anything else that would interest him. First we will explore why he is bored. If the projects are too difficult or too easy, we can change core curriculum levels. If the child has been doing the core curriculum for a long time and would like to try something completely different, we have many specialized courses such as cartooning, portrait, figure drawing, portfolio, independent project, just to name a few. 100% of the students who meet with us before leaving continue and are freshly motivated for years.

b) Explain the benefits: Tell them that yes, they could stop taking art class but by doing so they would miss out on so many benefits. If they stick it out for just one hour a week they will eventually become one of the best artists in their class and receive the admiration and respect that comes with that. They will be able draw their favorite subjects (whatever they might be), invent their own subjects (characters, places, concepts) and become competent in a hobby that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. Further, they may choose to make art a rewarding career and become famous! On the other hand, if they add that one hour to the list of things they already do like watching TV and playing video games, they will receive little for that same hour that could have given them so much.

c) Let them choose the lesser of two evils: Instead of a choice between art and play, tell them that if they quit art you still want them to do something productive for one hour a week. During the time they would usually be at art, they will instead be doing some other productive task (extra study, chores, cleaning, etc). What would they prefer? My daughter wanted to quit piano so many times but each time I used this approach. She stuck with it and still enjoys playing to this day. She also thanks me for not letting her quit.

These are just a few ideas that have worked well for me and other parents. If you would like to discuss with us how you can better motivate your child, please give us a call. After 20 years in this business we have plenty of experience and many ideas, courses, and tracks that can motivate and inspire any student.

2. Good Practices

1. Attend regularly - Now and then you may miss class but it is best to attend as regularly as possible. By doing so, art class becomes a good habit and the student will consider it a regular routine. Regularity helps a student build momentum, which means he will make progress, get results and continue to be motivated.

2. Avoid taking breaks - Once in a while a parent or student will have a busy month and want to take a short break. Sadly, 99% of these students do not return. Why? Because once a habit is broken it is hard to renew. Anyone who has ever joined a gym and then taken a break knows this is true. We hope to take some time to catch up on other things and then expect we will have plenty of time when we come back. But we are never less busy and the good habit often gets replaced with bad habits like TV and video games - things that take our time but return little benefit. Worst of all, if you take a break and then come back, you will be subject to a higher tuition rate.

Note: We do find that taking a break for the summer does not seem to be a problem, mostly because it coincides with the flow of the school year.

3. Proper supplies - Having the proper tools: Students need the appropriate supplies to create good art and that motivates them to create more great art. This is difficult to do if they are missing a crucial colored pencil that they need to complete the picture. Periodically ask your child about the status of their supplies. One colored pencil can make or break a picture!