Tips for encouraging your child (or yourself!) in art beyond the class room:
*Let your child look at art. Study pictures of great paintings in a variety of styles and genres. Encourage them to observe and ask questions .
*Encourage your child to experiment with art supplies and praise progress and creativity more so than finished product. Being an artist is a lifelong journey, one that will hopefully see us learning something new every time we pick up a pencil or paintbrush.
*Encourage your child to focus on learning one skill at a time. For example, if they have just learned about colors, have them do a painting in any style they wish, using all primary colors, or all one color (just adding white to lighten and black or it's complement to darken). If they are learning about composition, have them take a few very simple, plain objects and practice arranging them in a variety of ways, then drawing or painting them (not focusing so much on color and proportions as much as overlapping and filling up the paper).
*It's ok for kids to struggle. I give my students permission at any time during a project, to take a break, set down their materials and rest for a moment or two. Sometimes kids will have a hard time getting a "line just right", especially when trying to do a realistic art work, or they will accidentally put a line where they did not want to put one. I reassure them that every artist gets frustrated from time to time, and that by thinking it through, and trying different ideas, they often come up with a solution better than the first.
* Display their work. Rotate different pieces as they complete them, or photograph their work and put in an album or DVD so they have a record of them. Consider saving (and dating) 1 or 2 pieces each year. It's good for kids to be able to see how they've progressed over the years.