Welcome back to week 2 of the 10 Days of Homeschooling blog hop! This week is absolutely full of some of the most rich and wonderful learning that comes from a Charlotte Mason style education! You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.
Artists, Composers and Poetry
Today covers some priceless topics – art, music and poetry – that too many people choose to leave out of their curriculum because they either can’t find the time or don’t think the material important. I suppose I can see how someone could feel so overwhelmed with “real” schoolwork that they don’t find the “extras” important. However, these “extras” pack more academic punch than you might think! Not to mention, if you’re incorporating short lessons into your day, there should be plenty of time left over for art, music and poetry!
I’m going to give you a brief CM explanation of each, and then tell you how we’ve modified the studies at various times to meet our needs. Remember that I tend to use Charlotte Mason’s methods somewhat eclectically by using her blueprint in a way that it works best for my family. (I know some CM purists will probably be frustrated that I’m showing you how I’ve changed things up a bit. But, I always encourage homeschoolers to do what’s best for their families, no matter what any particular book or philosophy states. That even goes for my own books!)
Artist or Picture Study CM Style – A particular artist is to be studied for one full semester (about 12 weeks), with at least 6 different prints used for picture study. Picture study is very easy and really only requires the student to talk about what he sees, feels and thinks about the art work. Mom can lead with a few questions, but most of the thoughts and discussions should begin with the child.
Cindy’s Methods – At different times, we’ve incorporated artist study into our schedule in different ways. Right now, our history study (Ancient Civilizations and the Bible) includes artist study with each unit, so we are simply completing those lessons.
Previously, I chose to focus on one artist per month with weekly picture study. Most weeks, I would allow my children to complete an art project in the same style.
See my artist study posts for an in-depth look into most of the artist studies we have completed.
Composer or Music Study CM Style – Again, one composer should be studied per semester. Many selections of his music should be played regularly so that your child begins to recognize the composer and his style. You may or may not choose to learn more about the composer himself, but your child should definitely be able to call him by name.
Cindy’s Methods – Composer study, like artist study, is currently part of our history program. In years past, we followed the same monthly schedule as artist study. Weekly we would listen to the composer’s music and often read a short biography from the library or online.
See my composer study posts for an in-depth look into most of the composer studies we have completed.
Hymn Study CM Style – Simply, the entire family should learn all stanzas of a hymn together. Once you’ve completed one hymn, move on to another. Reading about the history of the hymn is encouraged if possible.
Cindy’s Methods – We don’t necessarily focus on a hymn, but regularly sing around the house familiar hymns from church. We also own a few hymn CD’s that we like to play. We like to include contemporary praise songs, too.
Poetry CM Style – Try to read poetry with your children frequently. You might choose to complete a poet study, similar to an artist or composer study, where you choose one poet and focus on his or her poetry for a period of time.
Cindy’s Methods – Like Charlotte Mason suggested, we simply read poetry quite often. I try to incorporate poetry into various studies, holidays or seasons.
Recitation CM Style – (I could’ve included this with the narration, dictation and copywork post, but I though it fit here nicely since it goes so well with poetry.) Recitation is simply memorizing a poem, Bible verse, passage, quote, speech, etc. and reciting it in front of others.
Cindy’s Methods – We do weekly Bible recitations and I incorporate a little recitation into projects that my children complete. At the end of a study, they complete projects that have to be presented to the rest of the family. During our Slavery and Civil War unit, for example, my children had to recite the Gettysburg Address.
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There are about a million wonderful resources for artist, composer and poetry study, but here are a few of the resources I find myself going to time and time again. Some of them are series where I have included only one sample, but many others are available – like the Dover art cards, Hymns For a Kid’s Heart books, Anholt artist books and Getting to Know the World’s Greatest… books.
I think that just about does it for these fun topics. If you have any questions or comments about how you incorporate these into your schedule, I’d love to read them! Please join me tomorrow as we talk about another of my very favorite CM topics – Nature Study!