When my teenage son saved his hard-earned grass cutting money for months to buy a camera, I knew he was really serious about his filmmaking hobby. He started by making stop motion animation movies with an inexpensive video camera and little action figures. Once he was bitten by the writing bug, he began producing pages and pages of scripts. He then garnered brothers and cousins together to form his film crew and branch out into live action. He truly has an enthusiasm for all aspects of filmmaking.
Have you ever thought about studying film as a fine arts elective in your homeschool? Art and music abound in my house. Between guitar and drum lessons and local homeschool art classes, we have those areas covered. Due to my son’s love for filmmaking, I decided to incorporate the study of film into our homeschool as a way to craft our curriculum to meet my child’s interests. Why not take advantage of his zeal?
Film Studies in Homeschool
“Film Studies” as a fine arts course includes a wide range of skills:
- creative arts
- critical analysis
- inquiry and research
- writing and editing
We are combining film appreciation with technical filmmaking by watching classic and award-winning movies, writing critical essays, practicing techniques, learning from mentors in the industry, and collaborating with other homeschoolers through a film club we started. My son is learning to be more organized in order to save time on the set, and he has developed a taste for classic films, even naming Citizen Kane as his favorite movie.
Our Interesting Experiences
I sometimes wonder what I have gotten myself into, such as when the kids raided my pantry for ingredients to make fake blood (strawberry ice cream syrup was the most realistic, by the way), or when my neighbor drove back and forth past our house trying to figure out what the guys in fake mustaches were doing filming the vacant lot next door. We have also amassed quite a collection of props and costumes, from fake hands and pink flamingos to crazy wigs and the aforementioned mustaches.
I have been able to find a couple of really good resources in the homeschool market, and my son has found several online sources for information. Whether or not he pursues filmmaking as a career, studying different aspects of the arts has been a valuable experience and has caused me to think outside the box. Maybe my son will be thanking me at an awards ceremony one day!
My article originally appeared at Home Educating Family.