Monday, February 6, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

This is the 4th installment of the Virtual Curriculum Fair. It was due January 23rd. The topic was Seeking Beauty: the Arts and Everything that Brings Beauty to Our World. This theme can include any of the arts, as well as handicrafts. I went away with my husband to his Uncle's funeral and did not complete this post, though it was started. I wanted to finish it because I like the topic and I hate not finishing things I start. So here you go.

I feel it is important to expose students to good art and music. What is good art and music? That is a very subjective question. What I think is good art you may not like, what others think is good art I may not agree with. I will tell you for sure, I do not agree with a lot of it. The same goes with music. I am very choosy when it comes to what I expose my children to.

Every week we cover these subjects on different days. Monday we do Artist Study. Tuesday we do Composer Study. Wednesday we do Hymn Study. Thursday we do Poetry. Friday we play a game.

Below each section is a list of free and for purchase books, resources and websites I like to use. I hope this is a help to you.

Artist Study
We study an artist and his paintings for about 9 weeks. We read about him, study 9 of his works and the boys do a few notebooking or lapbooking pages. Sometimes I go with the schedule on Ambleside, sometimes we study an artist that lived in the time period we are studying for school, and sometimes I just choose one of the ones from the Ambleside list that we haven't covered yet. Besides the list of artists Ambleside has copies of the work of each artist that you can print out and use with your study. If the pictures on Ambleside are to my liking I use them, if not I use the images at Wikipedia. You can use the search function at Wikipedia, then they have a Gallery down near the bottom of each page or you can use the link I have provided below.. It will take you to the list. From there you can choose those paintings, sculptures, etc. that you would like to have you children view and discover and compare. That way I can choose photos that are not scantily clothed or unclothed. I also like to include a variety of prints: drawings, landscapes, portraits, etc. The Wikipedia page does have scantily dressed and not dressed humans so please view the pages there and on Ambleside without your children in the room. Then print out the only the ones you want to study. All the pictures on Wikipedia that I printed were public domain. Be careful also of books you borrow from the library if you are trying to avoid exposing your children to this. Keep the books only for your use in reading portions to them and keep them out of site at other times.

I have the students look at the picture until they can see it clearly in their minds’ eye. When all the students are ready, turn the picture over or close the book and ask them to describe the picture. When their "narration" is finished, display the picture again and notice together any new aspects. Summarize any accompanying information if desired, but be careful not to interfere with each child’s forming his own relationship with the artist’s work. This study is not a lesson in art criticism. Display the picture in a prominent location in your home so children can look at it throughout the week. We put them on the wall in our dining room where we do most of school. I have them posted on the wall in plastic sleeves. The plastic sleeves just stay on the wall and I can change the pictures as needed.

Continue to study works by the same artist for several weeks until the children become familiar with that artist’s style. If possible, read a short biography about that artist sometime during your study of his or her work. I have found several old texts about artists at that are very good.
Sometimes older books are better when studying History, even Art History.

Artist Study Resources:
Wikipedia: Lists of Works of Art
Art Appreciation Curriculum from HOAC 
Study Any Painter Curriculum from HOAC 
Great Painters of the World Curriculum from HOAC 
Hands-On History Activity-Paks - Artists
Ambleside Artist Study schedule  free download
Famous People – Artists TOC - Notebooking Pages (you have to have a membership now to access even the free pages... but the membership does not cost anything.)
Famous Paintings: Art Appreciation/Lessons For Kids
National Gallery of Art - NGAkids
Knights of Art   free download
A Child's History of Art free download
Art Exploration Co-op Curriculum and Lapbook free download
Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists free download
Stories Of The Italian Artists From Vasari (1908) free download
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists (check Amazon, other used book websites, or your library)

    Composer Study
    Music appreciation is done in much the same way as art appreciation. Simply listen to the music of one composer at various times throughout the week. We especially listen on Tuesdays and read any biography's I have located. Be sure to begin the CD or tape at different songs to make sure the children have a chance to hear more than just the first selection. We especially like the Music Master Cd's - Story of...(composer name) in Words and Music. Continue to listen to pieces by the same composer for several weeks until your students become familiar with that composer’s style. We also do notebooking or lapbooking pages.

    Composer Study Resources:
    Composers Study at Ambleside Online  
    Ultimate Playlist - Classical - at YouTube

    Music Appreciation Curriculum
    Music Masters - cd's - Story of...(composer name) in Words and Music
    Homeschool Share
    Famous People – Composers TOC free download
    The Great Composers or Stories of the Lives of Eminent Musicians free download

    The appreciation of music, vol. II: Great modern composers free download
    The Gift of Music (book)
    Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers (book)

    Color the Classics (coloring book and cd)
    Mr. Bach Comes to Call on cd.
    Hands-On History Activity-Paks - Composers (lessons and printables)
    A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers (to purchase, a year long study or use it as you wish.) 

    Classical Kids Series Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage, Mr. Bach Comes to Call, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Mozart’s Magic Fantasy, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, Tchaikovsky Discovers America, and Hallelujah Handel 
    Getting to know the World’s Greatest Composers a series (check Amazon, other used book websites, or your library)

    Also keep an eye out for music/cd's/tapes at local thrift shops. One day I found sets of music tapes by different composers in nice boxes at our local thrift store for only a couple dollars each. They have been a great asset to our studies. 

    My children like classical music, since they were introduced to it so early in life. They sometimes even listen to it outside of school hours.

    Hymn Study
    My family sings A Capella hymns for special music at church and at nursing homes. We also sing hymns as a congregation at church. I also do hymn study each week. I choose a hymn writer to study for the 9 week time period, sometimes it is a hymn writer from the time period we are studying in History sometimes just a random one I choose, sometimes I choose the one that Ambleside online is doing. Choose a hymn and print out the words and music for your children, or use hymnals if you have enough for everyone. Sing the hymn over and over, use a cd if you don't have much musical talent. There are a lot of hymn collection cd's out there. My children also use the lyrics of the hymn for copywork. We sometimes can find or have a biography of the hymn writer and studying the History of the Hymn is also good.

    One of the ladies in an online Bible study I was once a part of, sent us the link to this website I had never seen before. A Great wealth of hymns, most of which I have never heard. I love the old hymns, I grew up singing them in church and still prefer them to singing praise and worship songs. I sing alto though, I love singing harmony.  NetHymnal has thou­sands of Christ­ian hymns and Gos­pel songs. I like that you can hear each hymn with only an organ and piano so you can feel free to sing along. Learn a new hymn. A Great resource for your personal Bible study or for homeschooling and introducing your children to hymns old and new to your family. I also like that you can search for or click on a favorite hymn writer and see all the hymns they wrote that are on the cyber hymnal site. I looked up Charles Wesley for instance.  It gives a little biography and then the listing of his 265 hymns on this site and you can listen to each one or pick your favorites.

    Hymn Study Resources:
    Hymn Study at Ambleside Online  free
    NetHymnal free
    Hymnsite free

    Poetry Study 
    We have been doing poetry study for a few years. Lately I have been just choosing good poems that hit the character traits my boys need to work on. Poems for Memorization has a lot of these. If you want to you can focus on the poems of one poet for a few weeks, reading a biography about that poet sometime during those weeks. This is especially effective when combined with your History study or unit. Occasionally assign a poem for copywork, dictation or recitation. It is also good to read and recite poetry aloud frequently. You can read poems about nature, the seasons, holidays, and life events.

    Poetry Study Resources: 

    Poetry Study from Ambleside Online  free
    Famous People – Poets TOC free printables
    Poems for Memorization 
    Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected For Boys and Girls

    We also like to do nature walks at Winterthur and Longwood Gardens. Taking in the beauty that God created, enhanced by the work of man to cultivate and organize the plants. At Winterthur, besides walking and taking photos, we like to take tram tours. The guides tell us new things about the plants and the grounds every time we take a tour.

    Well, that is how I acquaint my students with some of the beauty this world holds. I find it enriches their lives and my life as well.

    All Things Bright and Beautiful (the link will take you to Hymnsite where you can hear the hymn as well as download a pdf of the music if you want)
    All things bright and beautiful, 
    all creatures great and small, 
    all things wise and wonderful:  
    the Lord God made them all.
    Each little flower that opens, 
    each little bird that sings, 
    God made their glowing colors, 
    and made their tiny wings.  
    The purple-headed mountains, 
    the river running by, 
    the sunset and the morning 
    that brightens up the sky.  
    The cold wind in the winter, 
    the pleasant summer sun, 
    the ripe fruits in the garden:  
    God made them every one.  
    God gave us eyes to see them, 
    and lips that we might tell 
    how great is God Almighty, 
    who has made all things well.  

    I thank the Lord for eyes to see all he has created and for being able to choose the best artwork, music, and poetry for my students from the creativeness of man. God put the creative nature in man because he is made in the image of God and God is creative.

    Lastly remember these verses when you choose art, music, poetry, actually any thing for your students, or yourselves, to study and look.
    "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

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    1 comment:

    Susan said...

    Tons of great resources here. ;0) I'm tweeting this to share with my twitter followers.


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