With lots of holiday performances coming up in the next few weeks, you’ll be interested to know that your children’s participation in the arts have much more value than you might think. According to ArtsEd Washington, a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, students participating in the arts are:
• four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
• three times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
• four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
• three times more likely to win an award for school attendance
So the value of arts in your public schools goes way beyond the actual skills that students learn. CAPS suggests that you consider holiday gifts that pique your children’s interest in the arts as another way of extending their learning experiences. These could include software programs, magazine subscriptions, books, DVDs or CDs that focus on topics such as music, dance, art, photography or theater. They could also be tickets to performances that open their eyes to an art form that may be new to them such as ballet, jazz or opera, or even a membership to a museum so that they can explore all year round.
If you’re looking for some new ideas, your children’s teachers may be able to make age and learning-appropriate recommendations. Also consider using the winter holiday break to take local field trips to museums and historic sites and get your kids moving, and away from the television, computer, video games and mobile devices. And, of course, spending time with your children -- no matter what you do -- ranks way up there on the list of great ways to enjoy the holidays!