How to Homeschool Fine Arts in High School

We are often asked about how to homeschool Fine Arts in high school. Here are some tips!

How to Homeschool Fine Arts in High School. Fine Arts is a required credit for the homeschool transcript in many states. Here are tips to help you find the easiest, most do-able, fun way to earn the Fine Arts credit. #HomeschoolHighSchool #HomeschoolFineArts #FineArtsForHomeschoolTranscript

Homeschool Fine Arts in High School

Fine Arts is a required subject for graduation for most homeschool high school students. Most students will earn at least one credit. (However, it is an important value to my family thus, my own kids all earn 4 credits (or more) over their high school years.)

C. S. Lewis felt that the imagination is the organ of meaning. In other words, imagination helps us explore and discover God’s purposes for us and our meaning in life. One way we access our imagination is through creativity. Creativity begins with the Arts.

We can build our homeschool high schoolers’ experiences with the Arts in several different ways.

For instance, if you have teens who do not feel creative or doubt their creativity, have them earn their Fine Arts credit for their transcript through Arts Appreciation. To earn that Arts Appreciation credit use a Carnegie credit (logging hours). They can log hours with experiences in:

  • Visual Art: drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, graphic design, art history, visiting museums and galleries
  • Musical Art: playing instruments, singing, music theory and history, attending performances
  • Dance: Participating in ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, attending performances
  • Dramatic Art: acting, participating in pantomime, theater production, attending performances (the 7Sisters ebookstore has resources to help you)
  • Download 7Sisters’ Fine Arts for Non-Artsy People and get started! Your teens will probably find out that they can actually like creativity!
  • Cinematic Art: film production, animation (here’s my son Ezra’s Interview with Ralph Waldo Emerson for example)

Another way to earn the Fine Arts credit for the homeschool transcript is to specialize in one kind of Fine Art.

Choose something from the list above and spend the entire credit hours on that one topic. Here some ways to earn a high school credit in Fine Arts in a specialized topic:

  • Log 120-135 hours in various fine arts activities (you can combine all the Fine Arts areas plus visit various art museums and performances over the 4 years of high school for a general Fine Arts credit)
  • Take an online course. (Our friend, Gena, at Music in Our Homeschool has LOTS of interesting and inspiring introductory music appreciation courses.)
  • Log 120-135 hours in lessons or co-op classes and homework
  • Join a drama club and log those hours. (Or START a drama club. Lots of homeschool moms have built fun drama programs in their community by using 7Sisters drama resources (there are lots of them…check them out! Start with our freebie: Introduction to Directing.)
    • One of the most popular resources is 7Sisters Successful Approach to Teaching Acting and Directing.
      • Acting is essentially story-telling.  Good acting tells stories well!This 22-page downloadable pdf manual, by Sabrina Justison, gives you the understanding and resources you need to teach young actors the foundational techniques and observational skills they need to take the stage.  Whether you have experience as an actor and director, or whether this is all new territory to you, you will find helpful information in this manual.

Acting and Directing

  • Take classes at the local homeschool umbrella or hybrid school
  • Take a 3 credit course at a community college (3 college credits=1 high school credit)
  • Take private lessons

Sometimes, as homeschool high schoolers experience an art activity, they discover that they do have a creative ability or at least a creative interest. Then they can feel inspired and curious to study further:

  • Sometimes, a wonder for the beauty of God’s creation is awakened.
  • Sometimes, he/she learns to appreciate the work of others.
  • Sometimes, a career path opens up.
  • Sometimes, the young person simply has a chance to explore creativity and imagination!

Whatever the outcome, Fine Arts is a wise investment during the high-school years.Your teens will fulfill their transcript requirements and be more creative and imaginative for the efforts!

For more ideas, download 7Sisters – Fine Arts for Non-Artsy People

Vicki Tillman shares a fun and easy way to earn a General Fine Arts credit in a way that enriches your teen with beautiful (and simple) experiences. This is a no-fuss, no-fail way to expose your high schooler to beautiful art, music and drama.


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Homeschool Fine Arts in High School

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

17 Replies to “How to Homeschool Fine Arts in High School”

  1. Hello there. Thank you for the article. How would I put this on the transcript? Should Dance be a Fine Arts Credit? And all others combined for Art Appreciation? Below are the hours that will be logged by the end of my Sophomore’s homeschool year:

    Dance (Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop)= 190 hours
    Piano Lessons = 18 hours
    Digital Photography = 27 hours
    Theatre Class and Performance Play at end of co-op = 42 hours
    Dancing Through Time (learning dance exploration of English Country Dance, Waltz, Polka, Ragtime, American Country, Swing, and ballroom basics) = 27 hours

    Thank you!

    • Good question, C. Your sophomore has had a marvelous and rich educational year. There are lots of ways to do this. Here are a few suggestions:
      Dance: 1 credit
      Piano: combine with practice hours for whatever credit is earned or hold these hours for next year
      Digital Photography: do a few more hours to earn .25 credit or hold these hours for next year
      Theatre: .25 credit
      Dancing through Time: do a few more hours to earn .25 credit or hold these hours for next year
      Those are a lot of fine arts credits, but that is fine. You are showing the diversity and richness of her Fine Arts experiences.

  2. My kids aren’t there yet, but I like to do my homework:). (My oldest is in 5th this year.) If I’m taking my daughter to performances, I’m likely going to take the entire family. Is there a way to log these hours even if they aren’t in high school yet or do I need to wait until they are in high school to begin counting it toward high school credit?

    • Good question, Jessie! Right now you are investing in the development of your children’s experience and character. In high school, it is wise to keep the cultural enrichment going (and at that time, you get to log credit hours). 🙂

  3. Throughout high school, my daughter has seen many play/orchestra/band performances and has been to a nice variety of museums. I’m just not sure what to label that on her transcript. ???

  4. My high school daughter is a gymnast. Where does her gymnastics training fall in assigning credit? She trains seven hours a week, plus competitions. Is this simply P.E., or does it fall under fine arts? And, how much credit do I assign for it? Thank you!

  5. If I’m giving credit for fine arts using the suggestions mentioned, my question is how to I give a grade for dance classes taken at a studio or for attending performances which we love to do? Don’t I still have to use the same grading system as I would for math, English, etc…if I am giving credit for it? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.

    • That’s a good question! For fine arts, it’s a matter of hours of participation (including audience hours if she’s attending a performance), attitude (effort, cooperation, concern for other students, respect for teachers, etc.), and preparedness as is appropriate (for example, a singer taking voice lessons weekly should have memorized the piece assigned by her voice teacher in preparation for the lesson). Even in traditional schools, there are classes in fine arts that base the grade on attendance, class participation, and attitude. In our homeschools, there’s no reason to make it complicated. Grade for fine arts differently than you would for Algebra, as success in that subject area is such a different goal.

    • Thank you so much. That is what I was thinking but needed some confirmation to make sure I wasn’t way off base.

  6. This information was helpful for me as we are starting our first homeschool high school year. Our daughter plays piano and I wasn’t sure how “much” we needed to build into her pursuit. Looks like she actually exceeds the “requirements.”

    Thank you.

  7. My family loves Fine Arts! All 4 of our children have participated in church choirs, homeschool “open” choirs, homeschool auditioned vocal ensembles and drama.

    Instrumentally they have taken turns with piano, fife, snare drum, bass drum, handbells and guitar. The fife and drums were in a colonial era fife and drum corp – great history and geography exposure there too!

    Two of my daughters have enjoyed visual arts – photography, drawing, painting, etc. As a matter of fact, Kendall just took a class with Vicki’s daughter Joanna and loved it!

  8. My children have enjoyed a variety of experiences – choir, music lessons, praise band, and drama. All of these have added to richness in their high school experience and helped prepare them for adult life.

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