April 27, 2011

Curriculum Choices (1) - Art

I have discovered so many fun looking, content promising curriculum and ideas for a variety of school subjects. It can be hard to decide what to include in your homeschool year. I'm going to share some of the ideas I come across... mainly ideas I might use next year. And although I already have too many ideas, I'm always looking for more.

I'm going to keep away from the 'big' subjects for now and start easy with Art. As easy as it gets, anyway.

By Art I am referring to the visual arts - drawings, paintings, sculpting, and so on. I want this subject to cover artists (old and new), art movements, and use of mediums and related knowledge(technique and such).

This is a subject I enjoy and have some talent in. Both my children also greatly enjoy art and drawing so I want Art to be included in a strong way.

To begin with, I am leaning towards either Tapestry of Grace or Ancient Civilizations (or both) for a history/mixed subject curriculum based on a historical timeline. Both courses contain some reference to art with regards to history - artists and styles of the period in time we are taking. I plan to use the curriculum with other supplemental art ideas.

I want my children to be familiar with famous Artists. We will include a study of one specific Artist every 6 weeks. Each week we will take a look at a different work by that artist. I will have that piece of work displayed somewhere so that it can be seen all week (printed out for hanging on the wall or perhaps as our screensaver). Pictures from previous weeks (for the artist we are currently covering) will also remain up for comparison and viewing. As we cover each new piece of art, we will also learn a few facts about the artist. About four weeks into the artist study, we will try to reproduce one of the works or make our own in that artist's style. At the end of the 6 weeks, the children will include the information they want to remember in an Artists portfolio book along with copies of the artwork we covered, and their reproduction. I am considering the purchase of Homeschool in the Woods Artists unit study to assist me with this some. It's also at a level about right for my daughter.

Biblical art of the day website will give added exposure along with other artworks. This will be nothing more than viewing the artwork briefly and reading the name of the Artist and the work of art. If a specific work catches the interest of all, we will make note of it for further study at a later time (perhaps learn about the artist over 6 weeks or just look into that work more in depth when we find time).

For instruction on how to draw, I am leaning towards the See the Light art dvd set. It covers techniques over 36 weeks. I am also considering the Artistic Pursuit courses either on their own or with the See the Light course. This should cover most mediums, at least enough for a first year.

Movements and styles should mainly be covered by the history curriculum. I also have a couple links like Wiki art movements in chronological order bookmarked so if something is missed, I will be aware of it and can add it in.

I am also considering adding a 'major' art project with the second part of semester one. It will be a family project to decide and plan the art project, based on what was learned from the past term. The children will each work on their own project based on the plan. This will perhaps turn into an end of the year art show (with other home school families? I still feel very ambitious and encouraged. We'll see how things are after a few months really into it.).  This idea is strictly if time allows. I'm already concerned about how much time I am planning for school days. If I include everything on my list, school will run from 8 am to 10 pm. Well, maybe not quite... maybe....

As it sits right now, I'm looking at about an hour per day for art. Since it touches on biblical history and world history some, and everyone involved has a special interest in the topic, I don't feel this is too much.

Other art opportunities will include field trips to art galleries and museums and drawing in their nature journal.

So that's one subject down, more or less, I think....

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