Lifeschooling and The Arts (Part 2) – Lorina Harris

Lifeschooling and the arts part 2(There is a bit of an echo in this recording. Apologies!)

In part 2 of my interview with Lorina Harris, we focus more on what their own homeschool looks like.

We start with a discussion of the importance of art with regard to academics. Studies have shown that involvement in the arts actually boosts test scores among students. There is something to be said for exercising both the left and right sides of our brains. As Lorina points out, all the various arts–music, acting, visual arts–help us learn to study detail and see things we are not used to looking for. There are subtle nuances we miss as mere observers that are gleaned when actually studying these creative disciplines as students. This skill of observation is transferable to many other subjects and areas, including business and entrepreneurship.

Lorina and I also talk a bit about the connection between music and math and how that has helped her son, in particular. We talk also about their family’s methods and philosophy of homeschooling. Lorina has always tried to expose her children to many different types of experiences and field trips, showing them how learning relates to real life and developing a love for learning in her children. Even during the fun times, there has always been a focus on learning. Video games are educational-based, for example, and not just mindless entertainment.

She relies heavily on “living books” and doing what works for their family rather than relying on rigid curriculum or highly structured co-ops and classes. As she puts it, “I don’t believe there’s a curriculum out there you could follow fully 100% and get everything you need for your particular family.” With such an emphasis on books, her daughter in particular has grown to love reading and we talk about some of the challenges of a voracious reader who needs to be constantly “fed”!

I ask Lorina how homeschooling has strengthened the relationships she has with her children. “We have a different kind of connection. We’re closer. My daughter considers me her best friend and I’m thrilled that she says that out loud to her friends.” She talks about the importance of talking to our children and being honest about our mistakes and weaknesses.

We talk at the end about Lorina’s art studio and her plans to begin offering online art classes. She also currently offers sketch excursions in the D.C. area and around the world. And in January, she will be launching a podcast called “Be Inspired Now” available on iTunes. You can find Lorina on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheArtSmartstudio¬†and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/theartsmartlady.

Did you miss part 1 of this interview? Go here to listen now!

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