This week I would like to share another interesting reader’s question.
She asks ~
What would you suggest I use as a start to art appreciation for my 6-year-old and 4-year-old sons? I am not a natural artist and I was never really exposed to art, but I would love to share art with my boys. Are boys even interested in fine arts?
She also asked about purchasing art products, curriculums and art lesson books.
Here are some of my suggestions ~
- It is really not necessary to buy any art formal curriculum at this stage. While packages, books and programs are often a great blessing to moms with little confidence or art experience, it is really not necessary to spend much/any money on your art appreciation lessons.
- Pop over to my Art Appreciation pages for inspiration for art lessons, activities, links and outlines of famous artworks.
- For free lessons, I highly recommend Patti’s “All Things Bright and Beautiful” because she prepares a weekly picture, classical music selection and poems with all the Internet links. Subscribe to her blog and you will receive her emails each week.
- Read Simply Charlotte Mason post Teaching Art Subject By Subject on how to do your picture study and teaching art expression.
- Barb at Harmony Fine Art has Fine Art Plans to purchase, but she shares loads of free artist study ideas and lessons!
- Jimmie of Jimmie’s Collage shares her free Charlotte Mason Artist Study lessons, ideas and links.
- Use what you have or borrow books from the library and select an interesting artist and look at his work for a brief lesson once a week.
- Don’t worry about being able to paint or do art either. Simply enjoy the art activity with your kids. We LOVE doing Sketch Tuesday each week!
- Find stuff that is fun and non-threatening for your kids and do it along with them!
- There are tons of YouTube videos and blog with ideas and tutorials, but, again, keep things loose and informal and encourage participation without stressing about “doing it right”.
- ALL children can enjoy art appreciation. Some artists, topics or techniques lend themselves more to boys, while others, girls may find more interesting. Select interesting art – especially the subject matter. Vary the type of media or art studied. It may be typical to assume that boys may enjoy the physical, messy art lessons, while girls may prefer “pretty” art. I have found that everyone forms a personal reaction and response to art. It is a subjective experience. That is what makes it so special.
- Art appreciation doesn’t mean that you or your kids have to “like” every art piece! My youngest daughter hated most of Picasso’s art! But, she can recognize his works! Ironically, her Guitar Collage art appreciation activity was chosen from an international search for a child’s art work for a poster!
Lastly, please may I encourage you not to KILL art and music appreciation! I ruined my eldest daughters simple joy for art & music appreciation and nature study by trying to make every encounter a formal lesson with a notebook page, narration or activity to show how much she had learnt. I came on too strong and too ‘teachy’. I have learnt my lesson! Keep it really informal and relaxed. If your child shows any real interest, then by all means, take your time to research, read references and look for other examples. Even a very informal quick lesson has rich and lasting impacts on our children.
What other suggestions would you give this reader? Please share in the comments below.