Our Visual Arts Program is part of what makes Coeur d'Alene students' educational experience so special and unique. Child magazine reported that "a full 80 percent of grade-schoolers considered outstanding achievers by their teachers also demonstrate artistic skill and have received art instruction since preschool." Art seems to boost mathematical reasoning, creative problem-solving, reading proficiency and language ability - most likely by stimulating connections in the brain necessary for later learning. Art helps young people develop discipline, perseverance, an ability to classify, sort, think critically, communicate, and other skills that can be useful in a job. The process of choosing colors, determining where a line should go, selecting shapes and discovering what different combinations produce are also important and empowering learning experiences!
    Through our Visual Arts Program, Borah not only strives to develop and expand students' imagination and creative expression, but also to instill an appreciation of Visual Arts knowledge and skills through art history, criticism, and aesthetics. Teacher collaboration allows cross-curricular project integration and lifelong value through varied practical applications.  Instruction begins in kindergarten with the basic elements of design (color, shape, line, form, value, space and texture.) Gradually, as students move toward the 5th grade, they are introduced to the principles of design (rhythm, contrast, unity, emphasis, movement, pattern and balance.) Students are also exposed to museums, Native American and other multicultural art forms and careers in the arts, including design and architecture.
    Here are some tips for teaching art at home: (Some suggestions provided by the Spokesman Review.)
     1. Set up an art area. Provide paper, tempera-type paint, a variety of brushes, a palette made from an ice tray or plastic cups, chalk, crayons, colored pencils and markers. Offer at least the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) so your child can experiment with mixing colors.
     2. Encourage collage. Take your child for a walk and collect leaves, shells or other natural items that can be glued to paper. Save souvenirs from trips. Encourage your child to feel and notice the differences about the items.
     3. Play with clay or Play Doh. Show interest in the creations by asking your child to tell you about them.
     4. Visit your local libraries for books about drawing, sculpting, painting, paper folding, etc.