I am so excited to share this curriculum I have created with everyone! This current school year I tried an art study curriculum that gave a lot of useful information, but our family found it to be very cut and dry. It lacked imagination and creativity in my opinion. From my experiences almost any core curriculum for history will dabble and teach the basics of art history so I feel that the core learning concept of art history is being covered at this point for the next year or two.
While I do feel that art is a key component to any child’s (or adult’s for that matter) learning, art also teaches them about the history of the world around them. I feel that when you are dealing with younger children, perhaps a Prek-3 grade level, all the core subjects that your child is being taught will be expanded upon later in their schooling, so you need to plant the seeds of imagination and inspiration to keep them interested. There will be plenty of time later to expand on this foundation as your children grow older and move through their academic careers.
Recently I was at our local library perusing what was on the shelves in the children’s art/history/geography section. When I was starting to walk away from the section I literally stumbled upon a book titled Artist to Artist. What I first noticed was that it was created by Eric Carle, whose illustrations and storybooks I absolutely love, so I decided to flip through the book before placing it back on the shelf. It must have been fate stepping in because WOW! I have never seen an approach similar to this book on teaching children (both young and old) about the art world through storybooks they already know and love (although I fully admit that the Five in a Row series does have some amazing lessons on art).
This book immediately inspired me to create this curriculum for our children to use next school year. I have come across so many families recently (including my own family) who desire to study art in their homeschool, however perhaps your children find most artist studies too mature, cut and dry, or perhaps you or your child are not artistically inclined. Art is a magical world with endless limits and every child should be given that opportunity to explore that magical world in a way that is comfortable to them.
My plan is to span each artist unit study into a lesson plan that is 4 days in length. There are 92 lessons included in this curriculum with several ideas for additional Final Projects to complete at the end of this curriculum. I personally have decided to teach 2 lessons a week. The lessons vary from illustrator to illustrator but my overall goal was to study each illustrator, learn about art techniques, etc.