Top positive review
EXCELLENT FOR HOMESCHOOLING
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2019
Homeschooling art has been one of my greatest homeschool successes. Specifically, we instituted “Artist of the Month” as part of our homeschool curriculum. Information learned stayed learned (always a victory).
First, I bought the "Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists" book about our Artist of the Month. We own 22 of these. They are uniformly excellent. Images featuring the artist’s most famous work are interspersed with the artist’s life story.
Second, I bought poster board and those little Dover booklets of postcards featuring art by our Artist of the Month (where available - and Dover does carry a lot of them). I let the kids go to town on making a poster of the Artist of the Month using these supplies. The important point here was process not product, to get them to interact with the images, not to get them to produce the perfect poster. This poster would then be on display throughout the month.
(Previous months’ posters landed under my daughter’s bed. One day, she showed one of these posters to a friend. I heard from the mom shortly thereafter. “Raquel says your daughter has pictures of naked ladies under her bed?” Picasso, I think.)
Third, I bought more books!
We were fond of the "Smart About Art" series. Each book also features just one artist. We have 8 of those. These books are at a slightly higher reading level than the "Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists" books, but only very slightly. Colorful pages are even more eye popping than those in the "Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists" series.
For Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci, the kids really liked the Ibi Lepscky books. The titles are the same as the authors’ names. The Picasso book is a particular favorite because of an image in which Picasso, devoid of art supplies as a child, paints his younger sister with egg yolk just before the family is due to leave for church services.
Storybooks featuring the artists were always a big hit. I can specifically recommend the following to round out your curriculum:
Laurence Anholt’s books feature a story in which the artist interacts with a child. There are vibrant images, but I wouldn’t count on these books alone to provide an education about any one artists. The books we own and love include:
- Matisse: The King of Color
- Cezanne and the Apple Boy
- Degas and the Little Dancer
- Camille and the Sunflowers
- Leonardo and the Flying Boy
- Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail
- The Magical Garden of Claude Monet
Also consider Anholt’s marvelous book Anholt’s Artists Activity Book.
James Mayhew wrote an excellent series in which our girl Katie interacts not with the artists but with the subjects of the paintings! Outstanding storytelling, clever images. Again, these books are a great supplement to a homeschool art curriculum, but I would not use them as stand alone books. We own and love these:
- Katie and the Sunflowers
- Katie and the Mona Lisa
- Katie and the British Artists
- Katie and the Starry Night
- Katie and the Spanish Princess
- Katie Meets the Impressionists
Good Luck and Happy Homeschooling!