My boys are getting older.
It’s clear in the amount of time they spend getting ready in the bathroom each day, the shows we watch together (and I actually enjoy), and in the deep, man voices that surround me.
Yes, they are getting older and as they do, their interests are changing.
This change is obvious in one particular area of our homeschool: Art.
Please know, I was compensated for my time in writing this post and affiliate links are included below. As always, I only share products that work well for my family in the hopes they might help yours as well.
Art has been a mainstay of our education since the very beginning. They naturally gravitated towards the sensory input, the calming influence and picture studies. Some of my best memories are of my two boys, creating their own works of art, side by side.
(If I could make that record scratch sound that symbolizes everything coming to a screeching halt now, I would.)
A few months ago, they sat me down for an intervention. It sounded something like this –
I am not a kindergartener.
This is stupid. No way I am doing this.
Why would you think drawing a picture of this tree is something I would be into?
The harsh reality? If I want my boys to continue in art, something I think is incredibly valuable for their personalities and learning styles, I have to find a way to make it relevant (and quick).
After a little bit of chocolate to lament the end of the elementary school years, I began researching different options.
What I found was Art History Kids.
A homeschooling mom herself, the creator, Lotus has created an art program that uses history as its guide. My boys both love history, so I knew this was a step in the right direction.
In addition, the Art History Kids philosophy mirrors what I believe and have found works best for my family.
The Art History Kids Philosophy
We focus on the process more than the end result.
We value the creativity that open ended projects inspire.
We connect all of our learning to other areas of study… and more!
A New Approach To Art History That Your Kids Will Love
We began using Art History Kids last month and I am so glad we did! Here’s why:
Easy On Mom
I cannot believe how organized and straight forward this learning is – both for me and for my boys. Each month has a main topic. Last month, it was Abstract Art. This month it is Cave Paintings.
Each topic is then divided into weekly lessons, each with a different learning objective.
For example, when we studied abstract art, one week we learned about Kandinsky and his life. The next week, we studied different works of art and discussed our thoughts. (My youngest son did say a particular piece reminded him of hipsters. Process more than the end result, right?) Another week, we talked about how abstract art often has a rhythm to it, almost like music. Then, we turned on different types of music and created whatever naturally flowed from the beat and melody. (This was our favorite. It was like art therapy for all us!)
Comprehensive and Multifaceted
Everything, and I do mean everything, is covered in this program. Supply lists, book lists to complement the learning, and planning pages are included. There’s even a planner for a field trip to the museum.
The membership studio includes video, beautiful snapshots of the art itself, and PDF’s of all the lessons to print if desired.
Art History Kids also has a really helpful and encouraging online community. The creator herself, Lotus, often hosts live demonstrations and chats. There are different ideas for making art more fun (like this week’s suggestion – art by candlelight to mimic what it was like to create cave paintings in prehistoric times) and overall, just a ton of extras to get your creative ideas flowing.
This is, by far, the best part of Art History Kids.
Every single topic includes thoughtful questions that allow my boys to form their own opinions and explore art history in a way that is relevant for them.
Does this art remind you of anything? (yes, he answered hipsters)
What do you see in this picture?
Why do you think the artist painted it this way?
This program is not prescribed nor is it boring. It is done in a manner that encourages my boys to progress through the learning in a way that is both interesting and engaging.
Art History Kids Freebies, Discounts and Giveaway!
Lotus is also offering the program at a discount for readers of Not The Former Things. (Thanks Lotus!)
Use these codes to receive 2018 pricing (the price went up at the beginning of January 2019). This will be your special price for as long as you are a member.
Code: 2018PRICE – join the membership at $19/mo ($4 off monthly)
Code: YEARLY2018 – join at $190/year ($40 off yearly)
These codes expire on January 31, 2019 at midnight (PST).
Even better, enter here to win a free year of Art History Kids!