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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Art: Drawing with Children

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,

Information about Drawing with Children at and other drawing curricula.
Lesson plans one mom wrote for Drawing with Children

Extra practice sheets

If you know of any others, please leave links in the comments and I'll put them in the post.



Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! It has encouraged me to try and draw with my son this week!

Thank you,

Dee in Sunny FL!

Angelina in Louisiana said...


I've joined the ranks of the blogging masses. I'll give Weekly Reporting a shot when we start school Aug 18. Until then, check it out and tell me what you think. Remember it's a simple start and I'm NO graphic designer :)

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Lovely art! Thanks for the resources at the end... I'll be checking those out.

I saw in your Weekly Report you are reading Paddle to the Sea. I just noticed at our library (Gwinnett Couty, GA) that there is a DVD of that book. The film was made in the 60s and apparently was nominated for an Academy Award. Looks like it uses great photography to tell the canoe's little story. Made a mental note to check it out when we read that book again and thought you might be interested.

Mamagistra said...

So happy to see that you have REAL markers! I'm drooling over those, actually. :) Have fun.

Shanna said...

I, too, discover Drawing With Children from TWTM and think it is a wonderful resource. I taught art at a school for classically homeschooled children for four years. The best way for a child to learn to draw is simply by teaching them to take the time to observe an object carefully and draw it. Then draw often! Another resource that you may like is Barry Stebbing's "The Student's Guide to Keeping an Art Journal". This is reccomended for older students but I enjoyed using it to educate myself about art journals, so that I could then encourage my students to keep art journals.

Jimmie said...

I've just gathered our Drawing with Children ideas, images, etc here:
Using Drawing With Children.

Of course, I link some of the same places you do, but it has our own flavor because I've uploaded examples of my daughter's (and my) work.