If you’ve read many of my other posts on incorporating art and art appreciation in our homeschool, you know that this isn’t a strong suit for me. 😉 I had little to no art appreciation in my own schooling, so I hardly know where to start when it comes to exposing my children to great artists and their works.
Thankfully, we use Tapestry of Grace and it is pretty thorough in outlining ideas. While using Year 1 of Tapestry last school year, I had a harder time with art appreciation. I hadn’t found my groove with Tapestry yet (I was still trying to make it too hard) and the ideas weren’t as plentiful for that time period.
As we study The Renaissance Period in Year 2 of Tapestry, the art opportunities are quite plentiful! I’ve made huge changes to the way we study and “do” art in our homeschool this year, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with our results so far. But no one is happier than my little students!
Browse through all of the homeschool curriculum posts here at Mama’s Learning Corner.
The Renaissance Art Game
I completely restructured my approach to art this year, and one of our favorite changes is using Birdcage Press’ Renaissance Art Game. I had the opportunity to review this game earlier this year and my children and I enjoyed it then.
However, we’ve been able to implement it in a new way since this is the time period we’re studying at the moment. This game has helped our art time come alive!
The Renaissance Art Game comes with two main components: The Renaissance Art Book and The Renaissance Art Go Fish Game.
How We Use The Renaissance Art Book
The Renaissance Art Book could not be a more lovely book from which to learn. The paper is high quality and doesn’t bend easily when little fingers turn the pages. The color pictures are simply beautiful.
The 76-page Art Book covers several popular artists of the time: Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. As we study each of these artists in our school time, I simply pull out our Art Book and read about each.
Each artist is covered in such detail, however the writing is simple enough that my 5 and 7-year-old can glean a great amount from simply reading.
There are 6 artists covered in the book, each with 5 of their famous pieces highlighted. We look at each of the artist’s paintings and compare how they are the same and look for ways in which they are different. My children love to do this – they see it as a twist on I Spy! They don’t know that it’s honing their analyzing skills and helping them think critically.
After studying an artist in detail using The Renaissance Art Book, I assign my 7-year-old (and occasionally my 5-year-old) a Notebooking Page and let him “tell” me all about our artist. The details they remember are amazing!
Using The Renaissance Art Game Cards in Our Homeschool
The Renaissance Art Game Cards are a favorite “school game” to play in our homeschool. Per the suggestions on the cards, we play one of two ways: Go Fish style or Memory-Match Style.
If I’m only playing with my 7-year-old, who reads very well, we play Go Fish style. Since there aren’t actual matches (as in 2 matching cards of Mona Lisa), it’s critical both players know how to read. To play Go Fish style, you ask your opponent if they have one of the artist’s other works listed on the card. If they do have the card, you win the pair.
If both of my older children and I play together, we often play Memory-Match style, where one player turns over 3 cards at the time and if all three cards are by the same artist, the player wins the set.
This is yet one more way we use the Game Cards: we lay all of the cards out face-up on the table. My kiddos pick their favorites, the ones they find the most beautiful or intriguing or exciting. We then go look up the artist in the book and read about his masterpiece. This is a great way for my children to see what they think qualifies as intriguing or interesting. It’s also an excellent way to review the parts of a book, since they have to look up their artist and his masterpiece in the table of contents.