We don’t do what I consider “formal art study” in our home, but I love how Charlotte Mason emphasized the importance of Art Study in education. Today I am going to share about sprinkling art throughout your home and how we do art study in ours.
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She called it “Picture Study”, and Charlotte Mason was confident that children could draw their own profound conclusions about works of art with little help from us. In a Charlotte Mason Education, studying specific artists during school terms is considered essential to becoming a well-rounded individual.
1 artist for every 12 weeks
You should choose at least 6 of the artist’s works.
Throughout the 12 week term, you will study the artist’s life, works, and have the children narrate the works as they see them.
How We Do Art, or Picture, Study:
In our home, we choose an artist and I print out miniatures of their works and a bio sheet on that particular artist. These get laminated and taped up on the wall as a “gallery” for the next 12 weeks. Every two weeks, we select ONE of those works off of the wall and it gets placed in our Morning Basket. Every other day or so, we have a time of “looking”- committing the picture and its details to our memory. We memorize the title and then the children narrate as many details as they can remember to me. If they feel inspired, they can, throughout the week, try to recreate these works by drawing or painting.
Which brings me to the “sprinkling” of art:
Sprinkling art throughout your home doesn’t need to be hard. It’s nice to have pieces of art incorporated into your decor if you can, and they need not be expensive. We have found interesting things at local thrift stores to display as “art” in our home. I like taking things we ourselves have made and placing select pieces in each room. For me, it isn’t necessary to be artistic on a professional level in order to enjoy art and to help show children that art can be all around us and truly a part of our every day lives.
I also ‘sprinkle’ art supplies that are easily accessible to the children so that when inspiration strikes, they can grab what they need and create. Paintbrushes are in a mason jar in the kitchen with paper and paints in a nearby basket on the counter by the dining room table. There might be a couple art books under the basket for the kids to look through for ideas. I have grey kitchen trays like these for the children to do their artwork and crafts on so that most messes stay contained and easily cleanable:
In the homeschool room, there are sketch books, a nature table and colored pencils for the child who might want to try sketching that pine cone we found on our nature walk that week. We have beads, yarn and other crafting supplies on a shelf in the living room for when they want to make something more substantial, like a woven project or necklace.
Some days, they don’t touch a thing and some days, my house looks like a messy studio, but the point is that it is available. They learn that art is not only fun, but also thoughtful, and useful, and that its impact can be felt and appreciated.
Art expands the mind, touches the emotions and can ‘move us’ in ways that mere words often cannot.
Including art in your homeschool not only teaches an appreciation for beauty but also for visual communication and impact. Sprinkling art throughout your home and “Art Study” should be done in a natural, unforced way in the midst of every day life. The rewards will continue to serve your children, and you, for many years to come!