Art is a critical component of education as well as a means of self-expression. Directed drawing, the process of step by step drawing instruction, is one component of art instruction and essential for building confidence and art skills. However, participation in directed drawing classes also helps develop observation skills, attention to detail, fine motor and organizational skills, as well as a strong visual vocabulary. These skills require time, patience and repetition to allow the child’s hands catch up to what the eyes can see.
I recently took a mini-vacation with my oldest daughter. We spent a few days together in sunny Montauk, NY, enjoying the beach and delighting in the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. While my daughter and I always enjoy our time together, I was also blessed to have Julia Child join us.
Recently, I was invited to be part of a teacher in-service at a local Montessori pre-school. We met in the evening, after the children had gone home. As I entered the classroom, I saw shelves lined with familiar Montessori activities—all colorful, well-organized and designed to entice young learners. There is a special place in my heart for Montessori pre-schools, because their teaching method includes techniques and tools that work well for a multitude of learning styles, especially our visual and kinesthetic learners. Their engaging activities get the children interested but are also designed to help children develop discrimination, sequencing and organization skills that are critical to successful learning.