Dance is a valuable part of your homeschooling program.

dancing in homeschooling


There are many benefits to including Dance as a part of your homeschooling curriculum.  Not only does it engage the body in a creative way, it also is a way of telling stories, passing down information, expressing emotions, and marking special celebrations.

Homeschooling approaches to connecting with the Arts are as individual as each household.  Its implementation often happens according to preferences and previous experiences of the parent or children, or a more general philosophy about homeschooling education in general.  In many cases how the Arts are approached is determined by the unique needs of the child as the family lives and learns together.

While there has been limited research into Dance specific learning in homeschooling programs, there has been some broader studies of the Arts.  Some of the ways children engage in the Arts in home learning environments include child-led spontaneous activities, resource led learning, community arts learning (including private providers of Arts learning), and integrated learning activities.

Authentic arts stand in contrast to typically held views in which the arts are afforded less value than other subject areas and viewed as ‘fun downtime’.                 Katie M. Burke in How do homeschoolers approach creative arts learning and how can they be supported? Developing a flexible framework for homeschool contexts, 2022


The benefits of dance in homeschool.

The real value in including dance as an integral part of your child’s learning is that it is engaging for children of all ages.  It is equally as exciting and rewarding for those sharing this learning experience with their child.

The benefits of dance are many.

Dance promotes creative curiosity framed by sociocultural practice.  It allows children to make meaning in different ways broadening their experience of literacy.

Katie M. Burke in her 2022 research into the Arts in homeschooling, identified that the Arts could support and encourage learning in many ways.

“… authentic arts learning represents a genuine programme of learning that intentionally provides opportunities for learners to:

  • engage in active, imaginative exploration and development of arts practices, including fundamental arts knowledge and skills relevant to different art forms;
  • make and present artworks across a variety of art forms that expresses their ideas, imagination;
  • reflect critically on their own art forms and those of artists; and
  • connect to the wider world of arts practice by learning about artists from a range of cultures (Dinham, 2020).”

dance lessons for home learning

Dance is not just for fun…but it is fun!

This all sounds very serious and involving high levels of planning.  You don’t need to be afraid of encouraging spontaneous creative activity! The children themselves can play a crucial role in suggesting and planning dance as a part of their learning.

They may need support from additional resources, links to appropriate internet performances, or community dance workshops that support more structured learning experiences.  But never underestimate the value of unplanned creative dance experiences.

As a parent or caregiver, you don’t necessarily have to be confident with the dance style or even movement itself.  The children will help develop ideas of interest and add to the joint research that you can do individually or together.

What is important is that you can identify the links to the curriculum and the inherent arts learning at the end of the process.  The support resources you use will inform the reflective discussions you have with your child/children.

How do we use dance in the homeschool learning environment?

All dance is not spontaneous and as a part of a Primary/Elementary schooling curriculum it will encompass three main areas of focus.

Dance is broadly divided into.

Choreographing (Composing, Creating, Making)
Performing (Making)and
Responding (Appreciating).

It is important that children have an opportunity to have experiences across all three of these areas over time.

Choreographing Dance

Making dances often is the first thing we think about when we look at dance in a Primary/Elementary homeschool environment.  It involves making dances by selecting different movements, often through improvisation, using a wide range of stimulus.

This stimulus may come from something the children are exploring in another area of study.  Integrating dance as a part of Science, Literacy, and the Social Sciences is way that children can embody their learning.     It gives them different ways to show what they have learned and how they can apply that learning in a different context.

Choreographing dances may also be a way of expressing ideas, feelings and moods.  The child can use dance as a way of communicating as they explore a range of movement and dance styles.

These dances give children a chance to explore the Elements of Dance as a fundamental cornerstone of learning about dance as an art form.  They give children the scaffolding they need to gain confidence in creating their own dances.

Performing Dance

Performing their own dances in a range of dance genres allows children to demonstrate movement skills and expressive qualities in a range of contexts.  They can also learn dances created by professional choreographers in a variety of styles that could include ballet, musical theatre, tap, or hip-hop.

You can source dance works, that are appropriate for the age group you are working with, online or by accessing a community dance professional. Social, historic, and cultural groups often conduct dance classes that introduce children to dance as a way of joining with their local community.

Appreciating Dance

Responding to dance is an area that can easily be overlooked. Children need to give opinions about how they observe the Elements of Dance.  They can communicate how they have been used and the meaning that comes from the movement in their own and other’s dances.

There are many ways that children can communicate their responses to observing dance.  It may be through discussion, writing drawing, acting out etc.

home schooling

Recording Learning, Achievement and Progress in the dance home classroom

A combination of approaches of recording your child’s progress and learnings through their dance explorations are necessary to meet the planned objectives of the project.

These could include,

A digital portfolio,

Dance choreographic journal (written, recorded or video)

series of reflective recorded diary entries,

planning documents and worksheets,

written observations on dance works,

reflections on strengths, challenges, goals, and action plans or

Video recording of dance works, including works in progress.

Dance in home learning

Regardless of your approach to home schooling, dance can provide a fun and informative way for children to learn and express themselves.  Taking the time to look a little further into how dance is used in Primary/ Elementary learning is well worth the effort.

A great place to start is in the Articles section of Dance Teaching Ideas.   There are also complete lesson plans, units of work and ideas for dance activities that link to celebrations and special days. These are a part of the DTI Premium Membership



Burke, K. M. (2022) How do homeschoolers approach creative arts learning and how can they be supported? Developing a flexible framework for homeschool contexts