How to Develop an Appreciation for Art in Your Homeschool

Jan 12, 2015

Developing art appreciation in your homeschool is the first step to including art in your children's lives.

Developing an appreciation for art in your children is easier than you may think.

I didn't have any type of art education as a kid. I had no knowledge about artists or art. I had never even been to a museum until I was homeschooling my own kids. I'm not kidding.

So how did someone with my lack of art experience raise so many kids with such artistic talents?

Granted, the greater credit should go to our Creator who gave my children their gifts in the first place. Still, these gifts were nurtured in their homeschool atmosphere. How did I do that? How can you?

Develop an Appreciation for Art in Your Homeschool

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Expose Your Children to Art 

Exposure to art is key to nurturing art appreciation. Attending art museums and festivals are a great start to developing a love of art. Don't just look, though. Discuss what you're viewing.

Questions are a great way to get the children paying close attention to the pieces. Make it fun and not like a pop quiz. There is no right or wrong.

  • Talk about what feelings it evokes.
  • What might the artist have been feeling at that time?
  • What colors do you see?

How to Conduct Artist Studies

The beginnings of our appreciation for art was learning about the artists. There is something special about getting to know the artists through living books, biographies, and even games.

My experience has been that once the children grow to know the artists, they never forget them. Likewise, by studying the artist's pieces in conjunction with these studies, they know their work every time they see it.

Choose an artist. 

First, choose an artist for the term (a Charlotte Mason term is 12 weeks) along with 6 of his pieces of work. 

Read books about the artist.

Choose a quality, living biography about the artist. Spend 10 minutes reading 2 -3 times each week (middle and high school students can read 30-45 minutes).

Use narration to evaluate. 

Have the child narrate immediately reading. The easiest is oral narration. But a very young child could draw picture and an older child could write a narration using artist and picture study notebooking pages

How to conduct picture studies. 

After you've chosen 6 pieces of art for the 12-week term, what do you do with them? 

You will study one piece of art for two weeks. Two or three times each week, have your child look at the artwork for five minutes. Then take the picture away. Ask the children to describe to you what they saw. 
If the child is having trouble,  you may prompt them (this happens with very young children) with questions. 

  • How did the painting make you feel?
  • What did you see? How many people were there?
  • What colors do you remember?
  • Do you remember anything about the paint strokes?
The list of possible prompts/questions has no limit. There is so much to see in a painting! These prompts will serve to develop the habit of paying greater attention during future picture studies. They'll learn to truly see the work. 

Summary of how to conduct artist and picture studies.

  • Study the artist 2-3 times per week by reading, doing online activities, or coloring pictures of the composer.
  • Study the art 2-3 times per week by quietly look at the painting for 5 minutes.. Focus on that one piece of work for two weeks.

These are just a few ideas for developing an appreciation for art in your homeschool. Do you have any ideas to add? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Come back tomorrow for to read 9 Ways to Nurture Your Child's Artistic Interests. Better yet, subscribe here so you don't miss any posts. 

This is the first post in my 5-day series on 5 Ways to Include Art in Your HomeschoolThis series is a part of iHomeschool Network's Winter Hopscotch 2015 where you'll find more helpful homeschool posts.

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Happy Homeschooling!


  1. I would love to do more artist study in my homeschool.

    1. You can do it! Like Tricia says, #youAREanartist! ;-)


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