Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fine Arts in Our Homeschool

Fine Art has been a part of our homeschool curriculum from the beginning.  Even though I'm not sure how much is sinking in, I do believe that the exposure will be well worth the effort in the long run.
I started off with classical music for Sunshyne when she was really young because I remember being in class at times wishing we could hear music like we did in our once per week music class.  As she got older, I began to put the name of the composer and title of the work on the board for her to memorize.
I would quiz her on Friday's by playig a portion of the piece and asking her to "name that tune" (so to speak).  If she could name the composer and title, she would get a sticker per each correct answer.  I'd have a chart up that she could put them on and when she reached a target number, she'd win a prize.
We still play this game and she loves it!

In addition, we attend ballets, symphonies, opera's, and fine art museums for field trips. I've wanted to provide them with a deep appreciation for the arts by studying the history and some of the medium greats.
I have found plenty of FREE resources to do a sort of make-shift curriculum of my own to get us started. I've basically just introduced them to art and have some sort of discussion about it.
They have also been able to learn by DOING, I have them try to imitate strokes, lines, and angles of famous artist.  It's always fun to paint for kids and they get to be artists...I love hanging up the finished product to display in our class.
This reprint of The Scream by Edvard Munch is my daughter's favorite painting, she says that he's screaming because his shoes are too tight...cute!
I wasn't introduced to work like this until I reached college...blasted low-budget, public school education!
This semester I'm going to be trying to blend our fine arts program with lapbooking.  I'm hoping it helps my kiddos go more in-depth with the artists and history.  I want to cover famous sculptures like The Discus Thrower, the Flying Horse, and of course, The Thinker, to name a few.  I'd also like to get some architecture in there and study a few buildings from around the world like the Taj Mahal, The Parthenon, and the Himeji Castle...(to name a few).
This is a pop culture photo of Sunshyne, Andy Warhol style...cool huh?  There is so many amazing apps out there for your phone like this one from FXCam (for the Android), that kids can create there own renditions of famous art to get their creative juices flowing (or to look cool on there mother's blog).
Just one of many ideas for an activity to spice up an art curriculum, there's also stuff like this you can do at online photo editing sites such as Picnik and Photoshop.com
There's so many possibilities for fine art in the homeschool.  You don't have to have cart loads of cash to expose the kiddos to great art, below are a few resources that lead to tons of stuff so I only needed to list a few.  Please check them out if you're considering or would like to expand on a fine arts curriculum.
Free Resources

NGA Classroom "Who Am I" Lesson plan and activity that can be adapted for generally any elementary or upper age group.  This website discusses artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Judith Leyster, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Andy Warhol.  

http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/elem/elemlessons.html a.k.a The Incredible @rt Department  Has an incredible list of artist and lessons to accompany all of the information.  I love, love love this site for ideas and just finding information about artists.  There are plenty of the more well known artist featured on the site such as Michelangelo, Joan Miro, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Georgia O'Keefe, Pablo Picasso, and Leonardo Da Vinci.  There are also plenty of the ones that you "should" know but don't as well, and that what makes this site awesome.  Head over and take a look to see what I mean.  The site is easy to navigate, he link above takes you to the elementary page which narrows down your search by grade level, subject, artist, period, medium and even integration.

Are your kiddos hungry for art?  Well just head over to the Homeschool Diner to get their fill.  Julie Shepard Knapp has an abundance of resource for every topic, but especially  Fine Arts.  There are literally lists and lists from activity links and sites to free lesson plans.  Gotta check it out...if you're serious about getting some fine arts into your kids educational diet.

Books for Purchase

The Getting to Know The World's Greatest Artists series by Mike Venezia has many, many books by artists that go into depth about their artwork and lives.  Van Gogh, Monet,Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, just to name a few.   Here's a look at a couple...or three:)

The Come Look with Me series by Gladys Blizzard (below) is another that I would highly recommend simply for the beauty of the reprints together in book form.  These are great for toddlers and preschoolers also, to get to look at and study.  I would even cut them out and frame them to put on the wall for my little one to enjoy on a daily basis.

There are even a few sites where you can purchase reprints of museum quality artwork such as LookClickPrint.com to frame and hang on your walls. These are pricey, though you may be able to find a few that are reasonable...just not for my budget-conscious family. 

No, I prefer these perfectly sized Impressionist postcards that can be matted and framed...they look just as great and are a better fit for our homeschool budget.

The link and picture above will take you to Amazon.com but Zazzle is another place to look for outstanding artwork on postcards and posters.

I'd love to know your thoughts about Fine Art in the Homeschool classroom.  Do you incorporate a Fine Arts program?  If so, how?  Do you think it's important?  Please share any tips or suggestions that you may have for my family.  Thanks so much for stopping by and as always, blessings to you and yours.

Claudea B.

1 comment:

Jenilee said...

great resources! my girls LOVE art. :) visiting from the Hop!