Making Art History FUN

Every summer I like to spend one morning a week focused on art history. During the school year, we tend to be on a tight schedule, but the summer allows us to be more laid back and truly enjoy every minute of bringing art history to life.

If you have read my previous posts on art, you already know that my kids go crazy over art projects, so we do those continuously throughout the school year. But this post is on teaching art history, so this is how we do just that. :)

Beginning in second grade, we complete one module/workbook of the Beginning Drawing with Thomas Kinkade curriculum each summer. My children, including my little ones, enjoy watching the late Thomas Kinkade teach art concepts on the DVD and then they practice creating artwork in their workbooks using the concepts they learned about. Previous summers we've had an "Art Club" meet in our house with our close friends. We complete our art lesson together, eat lunch, and then jump into the pool and swim. My kids get very excited for art club!

TIP: If you only get one module from this set, it has to be Unit 4 which focuses mainly on Art History. I think it does an outstanding job of teaching on an elementary level. 

Now that my middle boys are graduated from the elementary grades, I drill my boys weekly on the names of several famous paintings and their creators using Usborne's Famous paintings cards. We focus on six paintings every week and by the end of summer, they will have mastered them all. We plan to have a contest between my two boys to see who knows them the fastest, and yes, there will be a prize!  Breaking up learning into small bits and then playing a game with what they have learned are two tricks to make learning fun.

We are also reading Usborne's Book of Famous Paintings this summer. We take our time with just a small section each week. I don't want my kids to feel like they are doing schoolwork over the summer, but they love it when I read to them so that is simply what I do.

When my children are in 8th grade, we begin God and the History of Art, which is an extensive art history curriculum. We continue to work on sections of that curriculum every summer throughout high school, and they earn an art history credit for high school. It is a terrific program, and I enjoy working alongside of them and learning, too.

Enjoy making art history FUN!