So I’m realizing I know next to nothing about art.  We are going to change that.  And educate Autumn at the same time. 😉

Our core curriculum, Five In A Row, includes lots of art techniques and activities that go along with the children’s books we read, but I wanted to do more with the masters.  So we are adding in an artist or two (or more) that go along with the country we study for each unit of FIAR.

We check out a lot of books from the library but, Mike Venezia’s Getting To Know the World’s Greatest Artists series are by far my favorites for learning about the artists.  Autumn not only understands them completely, but she also reads at least part of each book aloud to me.  Yet, these books are not overly simplified.  I’m learning a lot. So is she. (This author also has a series on composers, another on inventors, and yet another on presidents!)

For activities, we discovered Discovering Great Artists by Mary Anne Kohl and Kim Solga. I’ve gotta tell you, I may be in love with this book.  It’s just so much FUN!  We’re loving every minute of it.  While the Venezia books teach you about the artists, this book teaches about their techniques and is super kid-friendly.  The activities are interesting and relevant, but generally don’t use any materials that you wouldn’t already have on hand.  I’m so happy with this book, that I’m planning of teaching a class based on it for our local homeschool co-op next semester.

Artists are sorted by the time they lived, the type of art they made, what you need for the activities, etc.  The only thing I wish was included is an index of what country each artist is originally from, as that would help with the way we are choosing people to study.  But I guess that’s what the internet is for. 🙂

Speaking of the internet, we’re also using the web for art.  While I would love to be able to see the artist’s works in real life, most of the time that’s just not possible since we live in the middle of nowhere when it comes to museums.  So the internet is extremely helpful to see additional pieces that are not in the books we read. You may want to check out this blog as well: Holly’s Arts and Crafts Corner.

At some point this year, I would like to make a special field trip visit to The High again.  Matt and I loved spending a day there before, and I’m hopeful that after spending so much time learning about them, Autumn will be able to appreciate the works and not be bored.

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