Add Art Appreciation to Your Week

I’ve been thinking and planning out the next six weeks of our homeschool… We have some things that we really need to address like spelling and grammar. Since the kids ADORE math circle time (see this post here) (which is basically critical thinking and math riddles) we have to add that back in as well.  But the big fat blank — the ugly square looking me (and you!) square in the face is the art/music block.

(Sorry about the flowery hard to read font… I made this for me as I was planning things out, not really with you in mind!)

I haven’t helped the kids learn a new piano piece in nearly 2 months (I couldn’t when I was so extremely noise sensitive!!). And while the kids are always drawing and doodling, we haven’t done any art (I purchased Meet the Masters, but we were derailed after my first ear surgery back in October).   So as I mulled over that big fat blank, I thought I would pull out our calendar and the art cards I made about 4 years ago.  It boils down to changing out the pictures each week and mentioning the artists’ name, but is doable at the moment. Realistically, we don’t have time to add in yet another subject, but changing out cards? That, I can do!  I thought I would share this idea if it works for your family. (If you have the time and are looking to do an actual unit, then be sure to check out Erica’s Great Artist Unitmwhich is free over on her blog, Confessions of a Homeschooler. I hear people rave about it! And Meet the Masters is highly regarded as well, but is not free.)

Back a number of years ago (when the kids were 6 and 4  — & ED was a tot), I had a calendar that hung on the wall near our dining room table. Each week, I featured a new artist in our weekly calendar. I copied and pasted some of the famous pieces done by one particular artist.  For example, in the photos below are pictures by Norman Rockwell and Albert Bierstadt. We also did  following artists:

Leonardo DaVinci
Van Gogh

I usually posted a self portrait of the artist and we talked briefly about each picture (what they see, what they like or don’t like about it) and leave it at that. These quick lessons did sink in as LD noticed a Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and commented on it a few weeks after I posted those pictures.

Another week we featured Georgia O’Keefe:

And another week was on Pablo Picasso:

If you want to go a little farther, you can do an art project based on the artist you feature.  For example, we did an art project based on Picasso. Here’s what I wrote about that activity:

The new artist we put up in the calendar this week was
Pablo Picasso. I remembered a wonderful Picasso art
lesson at Art Projects for Kids that was aimed at first
graders.  There’s a similar lesson at Deep Space Sparkle.
LD did well with it; he said it was hard, but he was
proud of his picture when he was done. DD colored in
one that I outlined and did an impressive job too.

Most weeks I try to place a new artist in the weekly
calendar that hangs behind the dining room table.

DD (above) would have just turned 4 at the time.

I just copied the art works I liked and pasted them into Word, resized them and printed them out each week. I laminated them for durability and lucky for me, still have them stashed away. I never saved the files (and don’t know about copyright issues anyway), but it was pretty quick and easy to make those cards.   Hope that helps someone this week!

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