Our family really likes literature based curriculum. I love how easy it is to grab a stack of books and our reading schedule, and all gather on the couch for school. For this reason I had avoided teaching the messier subjects like science labs and art appreciation. Initially the reading schedule overwhelmed me, thinking about reading from so many books each day, until I figured out the pattern! Each day we opened the book to the next 2 pages, read it, answered the question or 2 on the student sheets, and then stopped.
Doing science this way was enjoyable. That year we savored our way through the world of animals and the systems of the body. Maybe, just maybe, the same method could be applied to another book in another subject. Art Appreciation, like science, is a very large subject area with many parts. Doing messy projects did not excite me with a house of littles and I didn’t know where to start. So for our first few years of homeschooling we didn’t do formal art lessons. Any projects they did were done a co-op, because I was just not a fun project mom. What if this 2 pages a day could work to teach the kids about art, without the mess?
Learning Art in 2 pages a Week
Earlier, I had picked up a set of Usborne Art Activity books which were in our homeschool closet. I decided to test the method out. After looking at the table of contents, we only needed to do it once a week to make it last all year. Worst case scenario was: they got the same amount of art appreciation we did the year before, zero. Best case scenario, It would give my kids a taste of fine art and wouldn’t bore them. Adding these not messy, bite size weekly art lessons was completely manageable to me. And I loved getting to add some beauty to our learning.
The kids didn’t hate it, they loved it! I loved how it changed up our schedule, since we all go to do something different. After several weeks of reading about art in our book, it was time to see some art up close at a museum. Lucky for us, Grandma just retired from working at our local Art Museum and was happy to help us with a field trip! She was even trained at giving the “real” tours and knew all the fun facts about the different pieces as a museum docent.
Field Trip Time!
Even with Grandma’s help and knowledge, I knew attention spans would wander and we needed something to make the art museum not boring and a little hands on. I made a list of the lessons we had completed in our Art Activity book, pulling out the vocabulary and key terms to make a scavenger hunt for each child to use. This gave them a purpose to their looking and wandering at the museum. With clipboard and pencils in hand they were focused on looking for the the things we had been talking about during our sweet art time each week. And they knew what they were looking at because we had learned some key terminology.
Three of the things on our Art Scavenger Hunt were Still Life, Portrait, and Landscape. It was a moment for me to feel the weight of being their teacher. I didn’t remember learning these basic art terms myself, and they were new to my children because it was something we just hadn’t discussed. Learning them with sticker pages in our activity book made it easy and empowered them to enjoy the museum.
I’m sharing my scavenger hunt with you below. Learn some art appreciation vocabulary and schedule your visit to the museum. It was a great day of memories and learning for our family and I hope its an easy tool you can use to make a messy subject easy and simple.