Help me please! I'm the parent of an artist [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Help me please! I'm the parent of an artist

06-12-2015, 07:15 PM
My 16 year old son is a highly gifted artist. Of course, I want to help him to spend his time best preparing for whatever he chooses to do (which he is uncertain of at the time). He loathes school work. We homeschool, and it's like misery and torture (for both of us) for him to do his work. He will do it, painfully, but I think he hates it so much he probably isn't retaining a single thing. (We have tried many different curricula.)

I don't want to waste his time. Did anyone of you struggle with this and have advice for me? I think I want someone just to say, "you know what, let him do what he loves and forget the math." I could still have him read or do some writing or basic things I think are important, but I'm not sure requiring him to do a full curriculum is the way to go.

Does anyone have advice for "what should he be doing now, during his days?" Since he hates school so much, I don't see college as being an option, but with so many online choices, that's not ruled out.

I'm just grasping for straws about which direction to go.

Thank you for anyone who has a word of wisdom for me.


06-12-2015, 07:51 PM
First I'm a retired teacher my parents were teachers. What qualifications do you have to home school? It took me four years of college and one year of internship and student teaching to get my teaching certificate. Then I could teach but it took 3 more semesters of higher math and passing an 8 hour exam before I could be certified to teach math from K - 12. You asked for advice. Get your child to a qualified school. You don't have a the ability to teach him. He's a child and letting him do what he wants is not giving him the best chances in life. Math is important in art.

06-12-2015, 08:02 PM
First, I didn't ask you to investigate my credentials as a teacher. I am a teacher. I quit my job as a high school English teacher to come home and teach my children. I write books about teaching. My question wasn't about your perception of my ability. It was a sincere question about my son.

06-12-2015, 08:05 PM
You really need to watch How Schools Kill Creativity (, the TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson.

06-12-2015, 08:11 PM
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06-12-2015, 08:13 PM
What kind of person are you? "As good as my parenting?" What do you know about my parenting? I asked a sincere and honest question and you give me the most smart alek reply. But worse than that, you're illogical. No, I didn't ask for you to evaluate my teaching credentials. My son doesn't need another school. I am the best teacher for him.

Please let a sensible person answer me.

06-12-2015, 08:37 PM
What artwork does he like to produce? A proper education is essential, in my opinion, and may actually benefit him immensely with his art.

06-12-2015, 10:06 PM
Hi there.

I am also a homeschool parent and yes I feel I am quite qualified to teach my own child. Our schools have F ratings and one school was completely wiped clean, including the principal and office staff, and replaced. I have heard more than one complaint about the teachers here and bullying and drug use are rampant within the schools. No, I will not send my child into that environment.

I applaud you for your decision. You realize that public school can be great for some, but it is not for all.

What curriculums have you used? I wish I could tell you no on the math but sadly that is something that must be taught as painful as it may be. It is our toughest subject as well, but we do it.

It took me a while to find a system that works for us. I started off with one curriculum and it didn't work. We currently work out of Abeka for seatwork and use Time4Learning as his computer based program. I do seatwork during the regular school year and he chooses to do the time4learning as his summer school curriculum because he just loves it. Have you considered not doing a solid curriculum? By that I mean..I have a friend who uses MathUSee and she will use Abeka for language arts and another program for science. She basically makes her own curriculum based off the needs of her child.

I think incorporating fun into learning is also important. Music, art, field trips..all can and should be incorporated into the curriculum and done in a way that relates what they did during their field trip to the seatwork they are doing.

There are also some programs, like Abeka, that have accredited distance programs where they work online with teachers. Maybe that could be an option as well?

06-12-2015, 10:15 PM
Thank you very much. Yes, we've used a variety and I much prefer to adjust to each child. He has learned probably more than the average high school graduate, through hands-on learning, which I think is far underrated. I have a whole theory about formal academics and how it robs children of so much, and how testing is the goal now as opposed to true education, and how children learn, etc., so we use them (formal academics) as a tool, not something by which we are enslaved, if that makes sense.

An example of my son's art (I couldn't post it on my first post):

06-12-2015, 10:26 PM
I agree. One of the many reasons I refuse to out my child in public school is the common core. My sister has two Master's degrees in education and has taught both special education and currently teaches regular education. She is so burned out and disgruntled at the whole system and is an advocate for homeschooling as well.

Your son's work is absolutely incredible. You should be so proud! Wow...and he is only 16? Fantastic.

06-12-2015, 10:30 PM
Thank you, Chanda.

06-13-2015, 01:38 AM
We, too, use Time 4 Learning. It is a very good curriculum. Our girls 13 and 11 are almost 2 grade levels above their peers in the local schools. Most teachers and schools here applaud homeschooling. Give it some time. At 16 your son can decide whether he desires to learn higher math or not. Forcing anyone to do something against their will can only be counter-productive.

As for his art.. he is incredible. If that is his desire I would definitely support him in following his heart. Balance in all things is important. Help him to make wise decisions.



06-13-2015, 08:49 AM
Hey David What does HTH mean?

Wordwarrior welcome to the forum and your son's art is truly amazing. Good Luck with the math/no math conundrum. I don't have a clue what's best. I'm sure you realize that an art career is not the easiest to break into even for the best of the best and your son may have to support himself in some other endeavor until he gets established.

06-13-2015, 11:08 AM
HTH = Hope That Helps

As for the math.. which I neglected to address before.. show your son how it ties in to art to make it interesting.. such as ratios.. 1 part water to 3 parts watercolor paint. Or multiplying $250 / painting and selling 200 / year.. Or the golden ratio.. Etc Etc Etc

HTH (Terry :) )


06-13-2015, 04:10 PM
Uhhh David JMO (Just my opinion) -- I would think a 16 year old would be up to doing calculus or at least pre-calc not simple arithmetic like ratios in mixing paint.

06-13-2015, 11:05 PM
Wasn't me that said they should have to study higher math :)


06-14-2015, 02:49 AM
I know nothing about homeschooling, but I do remember hating math in high school. I know this would be out of his comfort zone, simply by looking at the art u posted, but I create Mandalas, which are also considered sacred geometry. They can involve using a compass, ruler, and square. It's not addition and subtraction, but it is incorporating math into art. :-)
Good luck!!!

06-14-2015, 07:44 AM
You know when I was in high school I despised math and when I was in grade school my mom forced me to spend a summer with a tutor. Math was always a struggle and I remember thinking I was never going to use it, so why should I learn it? Then I hit college. I dabbled in many different degree areas before settling on one and they ALL required math. The degree I wound up getting, natural resources with a minor in wildlife biology, required 4 statistics classes, college level calculus, business math..the list goes on. Then I started working as a park ranger and helped with various projects from stream restoration to pasture management to helping map rockart...ALL required varying levels of math. I am quite grateful for how much I was pushed to take math. The difference is that back then public schools were considerably more well rounded and offered more than they do now. Teachers were allowed to be creative in their approaches.

I don't let my child NOT do a subject just because he doesn't like it. I find ways to make it a little more interesting for him but certain areas I won't budge on. In life he will be given tasks he doesn't like and I want him to be one who says "ok, I may not like this but I will do this". I do not take a super laid back approach to my child's education. I believe firmly that creativity and fun should be incorporated and made part of his lessons to help him learn but I also believe that regardless of whether he likes it or not, there are just certain things he HAS to know. He might not ever go to college and he might not ever use what he has been taught but on the flip side he might. He is still young and I remember at that age being indecisive. I started off going for a degree in art because I honestly was trying to avoid math as much as possible and wound up with a degree in the sciences where I had to take nothing but math! And the girl who did so horrible in grade school and high school math wound up getting an A in her 400 level calculus class! Go figure that I was taught to never give up and push through the stuff I don't like or want to do. I am not angry or bitter about it, I am the reverse. I was given really amazing life skills and am grateful for it.

Obviously my style and approach differs from others and that is ok. Every child should be taught in a way that suits their learning style but I feel its important to never underestimate our kids because they may end up surprising us. How we, as home school parents, teach our children is entirely up to us and based on our children's needs. Home school families are some of the most amazing and tolerant people I know because we have all gone through some level of scrutiny from what I would call the secular public school parenting world. Some of the most amazing people I know were home schooled and even the ones I knew would not wind up going to college still wound up as productive members of society because they were given the tools to do so.

And with that long winded post I should probably sign

06-14-2015, 09:14 AM
I'm beginning to understand why I'm not the best of artists. I always loved math and excelled in it. My degree is in computer science. English was my weak spot. I guess I'm left brain dominant.

06-14-2015, 11:39 AM
Terry.. I think I am non brained dominant.. ROTFLOL!

Never knew you were a Park Ranger Chanda.. I know many in our area, being a Bushcraft Instructor.. Small World..

Awesome post on the concept of learning.. I would agree 110% with your sentiments!


06-14-2015, 06:11 PM
Terry.. I think I am non brained dominant.. ROTFLOL!

Never knew you were a Park Ranger Chanda.. I know many in our area, being a Bushcraft Instructor.. Small World..

Awesome post on the concept of learning.. I would agree 110% with your sentiments!


Yup for almost 9 years. I quit about the time I had my kid. My hours were such that it would have left little time for a family so I got a much less fun job that is not using my degree but at least still has retirement and weekends off and leave accrual.

06-15-2015, 09:32 AM
First I like to say. That piece is beyond incredible. He has a shot at doing art professionally. I haven't see you post what part of the industry he wishes to get involved with. If he wishes to get into fine art he will have to find some gallery's that he will have to convince to show his art this means he probably will then have to get an agent.
If he gets into graphic or concept art even as good as he is naturally and self taught, they will want him to continue with some higher schooling just to polish his work so that he will be able to create what the clients what. This means he will not be able to draw what he like's to draw. The industry right now is glutted with artist's that can create art work that is as incredible as the the work your son does. It's a very cut throat industry. I say let him pursue his dream, but he should also complete his schooling. It will help him to gain the discipline and knowledge that he will need to attempt a shot at a career in art.

07-11-2015, 05:14 PM
Have you thought about using Khan Academy to help him with math? Khan Academy has very thorough lectures that explain each new concept (many of them are pretty short if his attention span isn't super long), and it has these 5 problem sets for students to complete. Basically what happens is that if he gets 5 right, he can move on. If he doesn't, then he has to keep going until he gets 5 in a row. The site has everything from counting to Calculus, so I know a lot of home school families use it. It's also free.

I think one of the best things about Khan is that the teacher explains *why* things are true, not just "this is how you do it/use the formula." It's helpful when you're thinking "okay...but...what's the point here?"

Your son seems to have an intuitive grasp on angles and such, but I think he should learn math if only because you need it to do well on the ACT/SAT exams, and many good art schools require those.