Primarily, I don’t teach art. I expose them to great art. Children have an amazing capacity to observe. They notice more than we think they do. Kind of like when you’re talking and you don’t think they are listening….but they are indeed. I can relate to the Charlotte Mason method of teaching art. It just makes sense to me. Exposure to great art and great artists creates art appreciation.
Okay, so how do we do this? It’s amazing how much art can cross your path without really noticing. But once your eyes are open, you start to see it everywhere. Calendars, greeting cards, books, stationary and libraries just to name a few. Calendars work especially well, each month is an opportunity to look at a piece of beautiful work everyday with little effort. If May displays a Monet, then a trip to the library can bring home a children’s book like “What Makes a Monet a Monet?”.If you are studying the Renaissance period in History, then a study of Leonardo Da’Vinci’s artwork is a natural pairing. I personally use this bridge between subjects a lot. It also helps the children to see subjects interconnected as opposed to segregated.
If budget allows, there are wonderful workshops for children to learn how to paint, draw and sculpt with many of them designed for home schoolers. I have used a wonderful children’s art studio in town that offers workshops for kids featuring a different artist each month. These workshops follow Charlotte Mason methods and expose the children to many different art techniques; often mirroring the style of the featured artist. I have used these workshops often, trying to tie them into our study of history where possible. For more information of these classes, click here.
“You could not find a major educator writer or thinker from Plato onward who did not emphasise the importance of the arts in our Western education. The ancient Hebrews also supported musicians and artisans in their culture. People are not fully human without art in their lives.”
– Ruth Beechick, You Can teach Your Child Successfully, 1993