Yesterday’s Artists, Today’s Inspirations: Homeschool Art History Class 1

I am so excited to be blogging about this!  It’s beyond a dream come true to be teaching art to homeschoolers. As of this school year, I am officially an “art teacher”.  Like for pay.  With other kids.  Outside of my own home.  Pinch me. I must be dreaming.

This past Friday, I had my first class and it was wonderful!  Leading up to the class, I was pretty nervous as I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.  But fortunately, most everything went smoothly, my students seemed to be having fun, I had fun, and my youngest child was pretty well behaved.  All in all, a huge success.  Whew, what a relief.  Now I can relax about that part and focus on all of the awesome lessons I have planned for the semester!

We discussed the Expectations I have of my students.  These include:

  1.  Treat others with respect.
  2. Try your best and take your time.
  3. Take care of our facility.

Additionally, we went over the different elements to my class.  This class that I have designed is not just a journey through art history. We will be touching upon many subjects and those are as follows:

  1.  Literature: Each week I’ll be reading a book or reading from a book.  The book will pertain to the artist we are studying.

2. Geography:  Students will be provided with maps and will use the maps to label where the artists were born and where they lived/worked.

3.  Timeline:  We will be using our Timelines to record information about each artist and to glue a photo of them.

4.  Fast Facts: I’ll provide three “fact facts” about each artist which the students can record in their notebooks.  Because we have a wide age range (5-13), I pointed out that younger students might not want to record fast facts and that older ones might like to record more than three.  We also discussed how students might be able to record these fact facts at home or through dictation, which works well also.

5.  Art Projects:  Every time we meet, we’ll be creating art!

6.  Sharing:  All students will be encouraged to share at the end of class.

7. Homework/Expansion:  Most homework will be optional but after each session, I’ll provide families with optional homework and expansion activities in case they would like to make their study of our artists a little bit more thorough.

During our first meeting, we focused on getting to know one another.  I let the kids in on some details about my life and then I got to learn a few about theirs.  We all took part in an “ice breaker” activity called People Hunt and then we created self portraits of our hearts.  I enjoyed learning more about my students and found it fascinating to find out what each of them considered to be the contents of their heart.

This is the portrait I made of my own heart.

This is the portrait I made of my own heart.

For homework, they were asked to finish decorating the covers for their timelines.  They were also given a blank white index card to take home and completely cover in decoration as an optional homework assignment.  It’s a free art project with no directions and no limitation that I will use for a group art project to display at our art show at the end of the school year.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

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There were a lot of things that I loved about the class… the biggest being the fact that it went smoothly and I survived it despite having just come off two of the most stressful weeks of my life.  Some other highlights included the sweet hugs and comments I received from some of these precious children. Truthfully, I cannot think of a better way to spend my time than by helping  a group of homeschool students learn how to view themselves as artists.  This school year is going to be a special one… I just know it.

Next up:  We study Leonardo Da Vinci and we build flying machines!