Blog | Arts for Learning Disabilities | Support 4 Kids

Arts for Learning Disabilities

Our guest blog is written by Lillian Brooks who is the founder of learningdisabilities.info. Lillian who is based in America, worked for years as a special education teacher with a focus on teaching children with learning disabilities. She created learningdisabilities.info to offer information and understanding to parents of children with learning disabilities, as well as adults who are in need of continued support in order to succeed.

Incorporating Arts into Homeschool Curriculum

Confidence is a huge part of a child’s successful education. When they struggle with one or more learning disabilities, a student’s confidence can be diminished and they can become discouraged. By adding elements of arts education into your child’s homeschool curriculum, you provide a creative outlet that helps build self-esteem. Children with learning disabilities are given a means through which they can express themselves while experiencing success that encourages them to remain engaged in their other subjects.

Rather than handing pupils a box of crayons and some paper, work with children on arts and crafts projects that expand their minds and teach them new skills.

Textile Arts and Sewing

An arts education incorporates so much more than pencils and papers. Adding textile arts and sewing lessons into your child’s education incorporates a real-world skill that they can use the rest of their lives. Sewing improves fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, sewing projects are relatively inexpensive when using scrap fabric or upcycling clothes. And working with fabric and textiles can be a source of inspiration when it comes to embarking on bigger projects.

These projects aren’t just about pulling a needle and thread, either. Textile arts include:

  • Applique
  • Beadwork
  • Crochet
  • Knitting
  • Embroidery
  • Fabric weaving
  • Felting
  • Lace making
  • Macramé
  • Needlework
  • Patchwork and quilting
  • Textile dyeing and printing

Clay Crafts and Sculpture

Clay crafts give little ones a chance to be a bit messy when the rest of their school day is all about staying contained. Working with three-dimensional materials expands the mind and provides visual aids for mathematics. The delicate nature of the materials used in these crafts teach kids about the value of a light touch. It’s also nice that, by the end of the project, the child has something they can keep or gift to someone special to them. Finally, when you do clay projects, you can give the same instructions to everybody in the room, but the final products will all reflect the individual artist. This is a great lesson for kids with learning disabilities on individuality and how people in a similar situation can interpret things differently.

Sculpture projects do not have to be limited to clay. You can work with other three-dimensional supplies, such as craft sticks, pieces of wood, paper maché, plaster of Paris, and recycled materials, such as styrofoam and old cardboard. Using a variety of materials helps kids develop adaptability and creativity while they explore how to use what they have to create their vision. 

Music Lessons and Singalongs

The visual arts are not the only beneficial medium for children with learning disabilities. Music lessons aren’t just a fun break from the regular curriculum; learning how to play instruments and participate in singalongs can help kids in other subjects. Young kids respond very well to nursery rhymes and action songs that teach them about new concepts. You can use them to motivate children to stay focused and participate in their lessons. Playing classical music during study time can help kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) concentrate on their work. Furthermore, working with rhythm, melody, harmony, and all the other basic elements of music can help children improve math and reading skills. Rotate visual arts lessons with music to provide a well-rounded arts education in your homeschool curriculum.

Blog | Arts for Learning Disabilities | Support 4 Kids

Incorporating art lessons into your child’s homeschool curriculum builds self-esteem that enables them to succeed in other subjects. Art provides an outlet for self-expression and creativity. And while projects can be fun and entertaining, kids with learning disabilities still learn skills that can improve academic performance. Balance your lesson plans with the arts to encourage children with learning disabilities and ensure their overall success in school.

Lillian Brooks

Lillian Brooks

Founder of learningdisabilities.info

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3 Replies to “Arts for Learning Disabilities”

  1. When you have children with learning disabilities, allowing them to get and be creative is key to their development. I always like how children interact with things like play doh or anything they can use to “build” something. You just never know what their mind is going to create and it is quite fun to watch.

  2. I have a daughter that may or may not have a learning disability (hasn’t been 100% diagnosed yet) and one of my favorite things to do with her is singalongs. She loves to sing songs on her own, so I started to sign with her and that really seemed to be enjoyable for her that I was stepping in to “play” with her.

    Thank you for the post!

  3. There is so much good that can come from learning a skill like this. As you mention, the fine motor skills are a major bonus and that painting, drawing and things like that can really bring those skills to the forefront of a child’s mind, even with learning disabilities.

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