When I first read The Well-Trained Mind, I wanted to follow it to a T so that I could be confident in our first year. Having something to lean on helped greatly while I grew and learned many lessons myself, one of those lessons was that my child may not be ready for what others have deemed appropriate for her level, such as Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes.
Camille was not ready to start these lessons after doing all her other studies, we needed something much more simple, pick up and go and I desired art to be studied alongside history as much as possible so instead of using Drawing with Children, we used Artistic Pursuits. Since using Artistic Pursuits, we have used different mediums, tried different techniques and have developed the patience that creating art sometimes requires. For example, this mosaic project we did when we studied the Hagia Sophia in history.
Camille decided to replicate mosaic work from the Hagia Sophia as her art project that week. We both worked on this because 20 minutes into the 2 hour project Camille tired of it and left me with many little mosaic squares to put together. I probably should have had her continue her work but Danny worked against us, he wanted to play with Camille and I just let it go, knowing that we accomplished one key thing- the planning of an art project. We picked out the colors and aligned the squares of the cross as much like the mosaic we were trying to duplicate as possible. Here's the finished product...
I did all those white and green squares outside of the cross. This art project stayed prominently displayed in her room until we moved and decided to purge it. She would show everyone who visited her project. This year we've been drawing more as we have been sketching in our nature journals.
As I've seen her grow in patience, willingness to listen, and in natural artistic ability- I feel we're ready to start Drawing with Children. I'm excited because I've never been formally taught to draw and I find drawing very relaxing. Instead of looking at our art lessons as something to check off our list, √ Art lessons, I want to spend this time with my children and enjoy it. Savoring the time with them doing activities like art lessons, crafts and music appreciation is not only beneficial to their academic lives, but a way to commune with them in an ageless way. One of my hopes for this year is that the kids and I can learn to enjoy and treasure our time together in a productive way, hopefully creating new hobbies for Camille and myself in the process.
From the veterans I've met and other homeschoolers far wiser than I am at this stage, I've heard that their children didn't thank them for teaching history in a certain way, or for being diligent in math, their adult children thank them for the character building and the time their parents spent with them. I don't want to check art or music off my list, I want to enjoy the subjects with my children and create memories.
Here are some helps for Drawing with Children:
Barb of Harmony Fine Arts has created Drawing with Children via Nature Study lessons
she also created a lens page, http://www.squidoo.com/drawingwithchildrennature
Information about Drawing with Children at PaulasArchives.com and other drawing curricula.
Lesson plans one mom wrote for Drawing with Children
Extra practice sheets http://www.donnayoung.org/art/draw1.htm
If you know of any others, please leave links in the comments and I'll put them in the post.