Art Appreciation

I must confess that I know little to nothing about art.  I remember going to art museums when I was in middle school and thinking that it was a waste of my time.  Then, at some point after high school, I began to appreciate art…even modern art.  However, I never found time to educate myself about different types of art and all of the different art movements.

I would like my children to have a different upbringing so that they may appreciate the beauty that art affords.  To this end, I have a slew of different art curricula at the house and I am always keen to try more.  Here is what we have been using thus far:

Child Size Masterpieces - Level 11.  Child-size Masterpieces: these cards are a bit confusing and time consuming (you must cut out each card from the book and it is helpful to laminate them) after receiving them.  There are several different levels, but we have only used the first 3.  Each level contains many art cards that are further subdivided into 3 steps.  The first step is a simple matching game while the second step haves you match 2 cards from the same artist.  The third step of each level has you put 4 art cards together.  It is a great intro for preschoolers as the first levels can easily be matched together.  Now that my dd has grown out of that stage we use the cards for picture study.

Artistic Pursuits - Book 12.  Artistic Pursuits: a great all around art curriculum, but it has very little drawing instruction included…so we supplement.  There are a variety of art study prints included in the text with accompanying questions.  This is very easy to implement.  Check Rainbow Resource for prices.

3.  Meet the Masters: we actually haven’t used this program very much because I enjoy our other resources more.  However, the program includes artist bios and each activity is done in the style of the particular artist that you are studying.  Some people love this program, but I do not enjoy reading from a script and filling out worksheets.

4.  Atelier – the DVDs are fantastic for art instruction, but there really isn’t any art appreciation included.  However, Atelier does sell 8″x10′ art prints in packages that I snapped up when the Homeschool Buyers Co-op had a sale.  The prints are beautiful and each week my dd picks out a new print to put in the picture frame that hangs above her little desk.

That about wraps up what we use for art appreciation.  I try to do some sort of picture study each Friday and my dd loves art so much that we usually sneak in bits at least one other day of the week.  For those interested in art instruction, we have been using (and loving) Mark Kistler online lessons, Atelier, and Drawing with Children.

I have also been looking into the plans for first grade from Harmony Fine Arts.  Her plans have the additional option of folding in music appreciation. 

If you have an art appreciation program or resources that you love, then please share them in the comments section!

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