Monday, September 24, 2012

The Arts

Another exciting part of our CM education is the feast of arts that we will have before us. An appreciation for good music and beautiful art is something that was never offered to me in my public education. I look forward to introducing all of the wonderful composers and artists of the past to our children.

Girls at the Piano ~ Renoir
While we are not engaging in formal picture study in these early years, I am doing an artist introduction following the Ambleside Online (AO) schedule of artists. For example, for the first 12 weeks of our school year I will alternate six different paintings from Pierre-Auguste Renoir. My presentation in these early years is to merely display the artwork for two weeks on our kitchen table in a frame and telling them the name of the work of art. We are also enjoying looking at available children's literature about the artist.
As far as our own actual artwork, I have a craft area where the children have sometime to do free art. In that area we have markers, crayons, pencils, paint, construction paper, scissors, glue, and other art supplies the children can use with some liberty. They love to paint and I'm often not up to the mess...but I try to accommodate their desire to be artistic.
I, too, am exploring my own artistic side. With the hopes of one day going through the lessons with each of the children, I am working through Mona Brooks' Drawing with Children. The hope is that one day we can all present our art more realistically. My original vision was for this to be more help with our nature journals, but I am really enjoying working through the book and Brooks has some wonderful thoughts on how drawing can help in other areas of learning.
It is also very CM to do a composer study much like that of the artist/picture study. While we have not integrated this into our day with a specific composer, we have not completely abandoned the idea. While the children play daily, there is ongoing classical music played in the background in our family room. What it is...I have no idea unless I look at the TV. Each morning after breakfast I turn our TV to the classical music channel and close the entertainment center for the day. I love to have it playing lightly in the background as we work and play.
And that, my friends, is how we "do" the arts in the early years in our southern home.

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