One of the many things I love about Classical Conversations is the Fine Arts portion of the program. I love learning more about Great Artists and Composers. Recently, I finished reading "How Should We Then Live" by Francis Schaefer. It is on the Challenge level reading list and I am slowly trying to make my way through thier books ahead of my oldest who is 9 (that gives me some time, but there are a lot of books!). This book was phenomenal. Really. The reason I mention it is because Schaefer takes the history of man and intertwines art, music, the sciences, literature – all facets of human thought – into how it brings us closer or further away from our Father. This book re-ignites the passion in me for my kids to re-discover the Great Artists and Composers so they too, can have a firm picture of how everything is about bringing glory to God. (I will write more about Schaefer's book in another post).
The trouble is, that my days are full, and it is sometimes hard to simply squeeze everything in.
Recently, Colleen over at Solagratia Mom sent me her Great Artists Resource to take a look at. She created it for parents who are trying to easily integrate a few components without adding another full study to your week. Here are my thoughts on this resource:
This resource covers 8 artists (6 of these align with those we study in CC). Artists studied are Rembrandt, Linnaeus, Gainsborough, Monet, Degas, Morisot, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
1. The first section includes flashcards. If you print and fold them in half, then laminate, you would have flashcards with the Artist name and portrait on one side, and facts about them on the back.
2. The second section includes 28 vocabulary words you might find in the art realm such as "facial expression" or "movement". I like this idea. It might be fun to study them, then practice using them when describing art in one of our artist books. I would have liked to see this section have some sort of interactive component – a matching page for the kids to fill out, flashcards, lapbook folds, sorting, something rather than just a list, but having the list handy is helpful, and all CC moms are used to the "stick-in-the-sand" approach.
3. The third section includes one or two examples of the artists' work. Unfortunately, this resource does not include information about what made each artists' work unique. You will probably want to have a separate resource (check the library) that has more examples of the artists' work (see point 6 below) to really study the artists' technique and to see it replicated among his/her works.
4. The fourth section includes a map of the artists' birthplace. It is always nice to have an excuse to review your European geography!
5. A blank timeline page and a book list follow the geography section. Great recomendations! Check your local library for these books!
6. The real gem – this section includes 2 activity / art ideas to complete for each artist. If you do not have another resource that has suggested activities, these seem fun and doable for even a time-pressed mom like me!
7. The last section includes copywork pages. These provide a brief description related to the artist, and three-ruled lines for copywork.
Altogether, I think this is an easy resource to integrate into what you are already doing. It provides some basic ideas and resources to complete with your student. I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMEND PAIRING IT WITH SOME BOOKS ON THE GREAT ARTISTS (you can use Colleens suggested booklist or find some at your local library).
HERE IS THE WAY I WOULD USE IT:
Day 1 – study the artist flashcard and review 5-10 of the vocabulary words. Read about the artist.
Day 2 – Review the flashcards and vocabulary. Complete the copywork. Read the same book as Day 1. This time, stop to discuss the artwork and try to use the vocabulary words you studied.
Day 3 – Review the flashcards and vocabulary, look again briefly at the pictures in your book. Ask your kids what they see and notice. Then complete one of the artwork activities.
Simple and fun! Plus, any excuse to cuddle up on the couch with the kiddos and a book we all peer into is a great day for me!
Colleen has offered one free cpopy to the readers of Wisdom And Righteousness! Enter below for your chance to win! You can also find out more about this resource and others by visiting www.Solagratiamom.com.
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this resource to review. It is my intent to always provide you with an honest and non-biased review. Opinions are my own.