“We cannot measure the influence that one artist or another has on the childs sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sight of life…” -Charlotte Mason
I was excited this month to integrate an artist study into our homeschool life. This seems very natural to me as art has always been one of my deepest loves. I was thankful throughout most of my young grade school years to have teachers that spread a feast of great works of art in front of me and I can’t help but do the same for my own children. I spent many days at the local art museum where I lived because it was a short hike through the woods to get there. I only now appreciate how neat this was. Many of the paintings and sculptures found there are still etched into my mind.
This month we studied the amazing life and work of Leonardo da Vinci. What an amazing man! His prodigious works included scuplture, art, architecture, and many sketches of machines and new inventions. We started our study by looking at reprints of his work and reading Leonardo Da Vinci from the World’s Greatest Artist series by Mike Venezia during our Morning Basket time. I also set a table up in our homeschool room with framed 8 x 10 reprints of his most famous paintings, books, and coloring pages. Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler had some great smaller versions of his works that I printed, laminated, and posted on the windows next to our breakfast table.
Some of the books we enjoyed looking through included:
- Leonardo Da Vinci from the World’s Greatest Artist series by Mike Venezia
- Leonardo and the Flying Boy, by Laurence Anholt
- Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson
- Leonardo da Vinci, by Diane Stanley
- My husband is enjoying reading How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci : Seven Steps to Genius Everyday by Michael J. Gelb
There was also a Leonardo da Vinci traveling exhibit in Denver happening this month so we took the kids on a field trip to see it. It was really awesome. There were life-size reproductions of many of his most famous works. Many of the machines were interactive so the kids could crank handles and see how things really worked. Bud was excited to learn that he was the first to invent the bicycle.
I look forward to studying many other artists in the coming months. One of the benefits of being a homeschool mom is that I get to learn right alongside my kids. I love learning and relearning about some of the amazing people I heard about when I was a child in school. It is so neat to see my children start to create relationships with these great artists in their minds. They are never to young to appreciate great works of beauty!