This is part of a five day series on how to homeschool Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students. Today I am giving you a glimpse into how I teach Fine Arts. Here is how we teach fine arts (music, famous artists, art appreciation, dance, etc) in our homeschool.
Fine Arts Curriculum in our Home School
Music Curriculum in our Homeschool
Learning to Play the Piano
Beginning in 1st/2nd grade (depending on when the child is ready) I start teaching piano. I teach piano and theory at the same time starting with these books:
The books have proved to be excellent teaching tools for us. They take children from no musical knowledge to being able to start reading music and playing basic piano pieces quite quickly. I think the three books should all be purchased as they work well in tandem – Lesson Book, Theory Book, and Recital Book.
I give weekly lessons where I listen to everything he has been practicing all week. I correct any mistakes and ensure that he is using good posture and counting his notes correctly. I also review the theory work he’s done. Then I assign the next 2 pages from each book for the following week and we play through them together. My 2nd grader practices piano every weekday at 8am.
Introduction to Music Theory and Appreciation
I used different elements from my FREE Music Lapbook and Music Worksheets to help teach my kids about musical notes, rhythm, instruments, and music appreciation. It also includes free flashcard which are helpful for kids to get quicker at identifying the correct note which is really beneficial for children learning to play an instrument.
I taught this as a unit to all my children spending about 30 minutes a week for several weeks. I revisit the lapbook annually to reinforce it and to teach kids who have gotten older and are now ready for different elements.
Studying Famous Music Composers
For children Preschool – 2nd Grade I highly recommend the series Color the Classics. This is a gentle introduction that will help your children hear and learn about famous composers from the time they are young in a creative, age appropriate method.
One day a week we spend 30 minutes learning about and appreciating some wonderful classic music in our homeschool. I start by reading a paragraph or two describing a part of a famous composers life. Then my kids get to color a picture depicting what I just read as they listen to several famous songs from that composer. It is a wonderful kinesthetic approach that has been really fun and memorable in our homeschool.
See how we study about famous composers in our home school:
Studying Great Artists
I grew up in Spain where our backyard included many amazing art museums, palaces, and cathedrals filled with amazing art work. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t always appreciate that as a kid, but my Dad loved art and took us to see all these treasures and took the time to explain about art. Because of this, I appreciate art and want my kids to appreciate great artists as well.
Child Size Masterpieces – Famous Artist Study for Preschool, Kindergarten, and beyond
Starting when my kids were in preschool or Kindergarten I started using Childsize Masterpieces to help them learn and become familiar with great works of art. The series uses memory type games to help kids “play” with famous art. As your child continues in the series they will learn to identify artwork by the same artist, identify masterpieces and their artist, and more. The high quality postcard prints of famous pieces of art alone is worth the minimal cost.
We played games with the famous painting postcards once a week for 30 minutes.
Discovering Famous Artist Study for Homeschoolers
Beginning in Kindergarten, I pick 4 famous artists a year for our entire family to study in depth. We use the books (or videos if available) from the series Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists form Mike Venezia – this is a wonderful series that explains the life of the artist, shares several of their works of art, and does so in a fun way kids of all ages enjoy. Discovering Great Artists by Mary Ann Kohl has fantastic ideas for helping kids try making art in the style of the famous artists we are studying.
Here are the studies we’ve done so far:
- Seurat – Discovering Pointillism through Melted Crayon Art
- Monet – Tissue Paper Water Lilies
- Picasso – Self Portraits a la Picasso – Yikes!
- Jackson Polluck – Modern Art Fun for Kids
- Rembrandt – coming soon
- Mary Cassatt – Coming Soon
- El Greco – coming soon
We do lots of art projects (many seasonal) to let my kids explore with their senses and learn to express themselves through authentic art.
- Aztec Clay Art
- Melted Crayon Artwork
- 4 Seasons Pointillism Style Hand Art
- Painting with Flowers
- Snowman Keepsake Handprint Ornament
- Dr. Seuss Inspired Canvas Art – Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3 Hand Art
Plus lots of Seasonal Craft Ideas:
Dance is another area of fine arts. My daughter love ballet, has since she was little. So until her interests change, she is taking ballet. I never took dance growing up, but I am always excited to let my kids try something they are interested in and explore something new!
Want to know how we teach other subjects? Don’t miss my complete series >> Homeschooling Preschool – 2nd Grade: This is How I Teach << which is part of collaborative hopscotch from iHomeschool Network.