Whew! Since I’m leaving in a few days for the SEA Homeschoolers Convention, I thought now would be a good time to sit down and actually talk about the art curriculum. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, it can be found here at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
First things first: I’m giving a digital copy of the curriculum away! Which is why I have a picture with a not-so-lovely flash drive featured prominently. If you are coming to the SEA Homeschooling Convention in Atlanta, go buy a few tickets for the Convention Door Prize drawing on Saturday at 5:45 p.m. You must be present to win, and tickets cost $5 per ticket or $20 for 5 tickets. That sounds pricy, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Last year Oak Meadow gave away entire sets of curriculum by grade. Math Mammoth gave away full levels of their math curriculum. Pandia Press also gave curriculum away, plus there were tons of gift bags, books, and assorted swag. The Convention Drawing funds go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and I’m excited about being able to support such a worthy cause.
So, if you’re coming to the convention and you’re interested in my curriculum, spend a few bucks to save $75. Or more – have you seen how expensive Oak Meadow is?
Now that I’ve gotten the super important details out-of-the-way, let’s talk about what the curriculum actually is. I’ve talked about it before and given some details but I wanted to share why I think this curriculum would be helpful to you. I’m biased, of course, but I think it’s a wonderfully crafted, super amazing, awesome piece of work. I’m also very modest, in case you were wondering /irony.
Whatever you think of it, the curriculum is a piece of work – a massive one. It’s 353 pages long, and fills an entire 1″ 3-ring binder when printed on double-sided paper. It’s a beast! It’s also designed to be used without printing the entire thing, so that people have the option to save money and resources.
Art History? Isn’t that boring?
Lots of people think art history is boring. I think art history – as taught in textbooks – is boring. I remember desperately trying to memorize paintings using flash cards in my college classes, and thinking WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?! There were tears, some screaming, and a whole lot of grumping and complaining going on. So why would I enthusiastically advocate for you to teach your kids art history?
Why? Because art history isn’t boring. It’s amazing – just like the study of history, it’s full of interesting details, weird little quirks, and fun stuff that isn’t always included in the average textbook. I firmly believe that if you bring art history to life, kids will love it. More than that, it’s a perfect way to cement all sorts of cross-discipline study into one cohesive blurb.
Take the American Landscape Period, for example. I always thought they were super boring and why were we studying them? It took me realizing that they coincided with the American expansionist era of Manifest Destiny to place the art style in context. Without that historical footnote, the paintings didn’t make sense. Their moralizing, symbolism, and portrayal of the country stood in a vacuum of perspective up until I had that realization (I still think they’re boring, personally.)
Art History isn’t just “back then” – it’s current too!
I love exposing my kids to new and interesting artists. So this art curriculum tries to juxtapose both – to teach the techniques and artists who influenced art history, as well as point out the current artists influenced by their work.
When we studied mosaics from ancient times, I also included modern mosaic artists who beautify the subways, create mosaics out of interesting materials, and push the boundaries of the genre into new, interesting forms. The kids may think Roman mosaics are funny looking, but they loved the artist who uses found objects in her mosaics. Finding the Lego pieces in the mosaic or realizing that there were plastic spoons hiding in there made their day.
Modern art is the key to pulling kids into art history. Interactive art, innovative art, and art in partnership with technology fits in their world far more than paintings or sculptures. It makes sense to them.
Come listen to my talk
If you’re on a budget and confident in your abilities to create your own curriculum, come listen to my talk at the SEA Convention. I’ll give you the tools to craft your own lessons in a fun, informative way that will keep your kids interested and engaged.
I am not your average thinker. I’m out-of-the-box, quirky, and just slightly weird. So it makes sense that my style of teaching is different than traditional teaching methods. I started off adapting and creating things to fit my twice-exceptional son’s needs, and along the way I realized that it works for all of my students. Art history is fun – and I can prove it!
My students agree, by the way. We had a lot of fun with this curriculum!