Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Picture Study Our Way

As a way to incorporate more of Charlotte Mason's ideas into our homeschool, I have introduced the boys to picture study. I was a little hesitant, at first, as I was unsure of their reaction. I didn't want to be faced with resistance. Let me go on record as saying, "This is one of their favorite times during our week!" We have lively discussions about how this week's piece is different or similar than last week's, what we appreciate about it and what we don't, and what the artist may have been feeling or experiencing during the time he/she painted it.

Let me break it down for you:

1. I choose an artist to study for 6-8 weeks.

We have been studying NC Wyeth these past few weeks. It was a totally strategic plan on my part to introduce picture study with an artist who clearly has great works for boys to study.

2. I choose 6-8 works the artist created for the boys to study.

Here are a few we have looked at:

3. The first day I introduce the artist, I read a short biography and the boys fill out a biography page. We are using the free ones offered at www.notebookingpages.com.

4. I hand the boys their own copy of the work.

I purchased these cards from Dover.

5. I give them a few minutes to look at it and then the discussion begins.

I found this list of questions to use as a guide. I say "a guide" because I don't want this time to be scripted. I want the discussion to flow...and boy, does it ever!

I don't tell the boys the name of the work because I like to see what title they would give it. They like this part of the discussion. I write their title on the back of the card and then we place them in their binders.

Oh...the binders...almost forgot. We are using 3 ring binders and placing the pictures in these photo sleeves. The little business card size pocket in the upper right is where we are going to write the titles of the works that are on that page. Our artist biography notebook page will be placed in front of his works.

If you haven't yet started doing picture study in your own homeschool, I encourage you to give it a try!

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