Our Favorite Homeschool Fine Arts Resources

I have to admit that I am not very good at including fine arts in our homeschooling. I'm not a natural musician, although I played the piano for a few years in elementary school. I don't have an eye for great art, and I'm not super creative- although I color in the lines really, really well. So I've struggled to make sure that my children are at least exposed to the fine arts. So far I haven't produced any artists or musicians, but at least I can say that they can recognize the names of some artists and composers, and they've had an opportunity to see and hear great works.

Fine arts resources

Since the whole fine arts thing is a struggle for me, I've looked for good curricula and resources that can supplement what I don't know. Here are a few of my favorite music and art resources.


Music

Classics for Kids- I stumbled on to Classics for Kids when my oldest kids were young. I didn't have any idea what to do with a music curriculum, but I wanted them to have some exposure to musical works and composers. Classics for Kids is a totally free website that has so much to offer- information about the orchestra, composers, classical musical works, musical genres, musical periods.
The site has brief radio show programs. Many of the programs have printable worksheets to go along with them. There will be a current week's show, but there are also shows archived that you can search to find specific composers, genres, or musical time periods. There is so much here. I counted it as our full music curriculum for quite a few years when all the kids were young.

Hymn Studies- When we began using many Charlotte Mason methods in our homeschooling, I took some time to do hymn studies with my children. I loved the idea of listening to and appreciating the old, classic hymns. I love much of today's praise and worship music, but I think we've lost some beautiful, thoughtful words and music when we don't listen to any older hymns.

The Simply Charlotte Mason site has a page that breaks hymn study up into cycles. I took some of the suggestions of hymns from this site, and then I would look up the hymn online. There are some great sites that have the words and the music to older hymns. This site is one good one that has lyrics, history, and links to where to hear or watch a video of the hymn. We would read about the history of the hymn, read the words and talk about them, and then listen to the music.

Homeschool musicStory of the Orchestra by Robert Levine- I came across Story of the Orchestra and loved it! It's a picture book with an included CD. It talks about the orchestra and the instrument groups and then has pages on various composers. Throughout the book, there are CD tracks listed that go along with that page's reading. I made this a "curriculum" by just going through it one section at a time with the kids. We would read it, talk about it, and then listen to the CD.


Maestro Classics- I've reviewed for Maestro Classics twice with the Review Crew and have been impressed. They have CDs of classical music accompanied by stories. The kids are drawn to the stories and end up enjoying the classical music as well. You can read my most recent review from Maestro Classics here.


Art

Speeding Down the Spiral: An Artful Adventure by Deborah Goodman Davis- This is another picture book that can be used for so much more. Speeding Down the Spiral is set in the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City. As a young girl chases her baby brother's stroller down the spiral ramp of the museum, she sees various works of art in the museum's different section. The book takes the time to give readers the picture as well as some information about the various works of art mentioned.

Picture Study- Another Charlotte Mason educational tool is picture study. I interpret this like the visual version of narration. In picture study, a student studies a work of art by looking carefully at it. Then the picture is turned over and the student narrates about the picture describing it in as much detail as possible. This page on the Simply Charlotte Mason website suggests artists to study. I took this information and looked up the artist to find information and works of art online. The Simply Charlotte Mason site now sells some Picture Study Portfolios to help you in your picture study.

Children's art appreciationGetting to Know the World's Greatest Artists- The Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series has books and DVDs that teach kids about great artists. We were able to check quite a few of the DVDs out of our library, and I purchased several of the books because they weren't very expensive. They're a very kid friendly way to introduce some well-known artists and some of their works.


Homeschool art curriculumARTistic Pursuits- If you're looking for a curriculum that teaches kids how to do art, not just introducing great works and artists, I haven't found one we like more than ARTistic Pursuits. They have curriculum available for preschool through high school. I've reviewed for them several times. You can read one recent review here.

One of the great things about this curriculum for my kids has been this: My children get very frustrated when we've used curriculum that wants to teach them to perfectly reproduce a work of art done by the instructor. ARTistic Pursuits teaches with some detail but also allows the child some flexibility. It seemed to produce much less frustration for us.

Famous Artists Online Unit Study- If you are looking for a great course to talk about what art is and introduce children to some well-known artists, the Famous Artists Online Unit Study is great. This course is an 11 week course that introduces students to ten artists and a variety of types of art. It can be used with most ages and also can be used with a co-op.

If you haven't yet seen these online unit studies from Loving Learning Freely, they are a great option for those who want a multi-age unit study without huge amounts of preparation. Each unit study gives kids places to comment and share their work. They are also introduced to some type of tech/computer skill. In this art course, they use a program called Emaze to create their on online art gallery.




Those are a few of the resources that this hopeless in the fine arts mama has used to introduce the fine arts to her children. Do you have favorite fine arts resources?


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Our Favorite Homeschool Fine Arts Resources Our Favorite Homeschool Fine Arts Resources Reviewed by Leah Courtney on 11:15:00 PM Rating: 5

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