I will fully admit that I am not an artist. I don't know much about art history either. I know the basics, the famous painters/paintings, but techniques and time periods confuse me. I love doing crafts with the kids but real art was not something I felt that I knew enough about to teach T when he got very interested in it. I decided to enroll him in a homeschool art class and he loved it.
There is a local art studio owned by a Mom of two elementary aged children. She teaches adults and does after school art classes for kids. Recently she began offering homeschool classes during the day which were perfect for us. T went for one hour each week to a class with other homeschool kids close to his age and learned different techniques and mediums. He also attended a homeschool art history class for 45 mins each week where they studied one famous artist of the week. He learned so much about the different techniques that were used and when they were most popular. He learned to paint, draw, sculpt, and even decorate a cake.
For the last month of classes he worked on his final project which was a painting of his house on a 16x20 stretch canvas. Normally I do not stay for these classes as it is distracting for the children to have parents and siblings hanging around and my 2yr old got very bored the few times we stayed in the waiting area. I knew that he was doing a painting of his house because they told us when we were required to bring in a photo of the house for reference. I didn't see the stages of the painting though, because T wanted it to be a surprise.
The last day when he was finishing up he let me come in and take a look. I snapped this pic of him putting the finishing touches on the tree next to the house.
I was really impressed with his painting. It really does look a lot like our house. When T started this class he had just gotten really interested in drawing. The first 6 years of his life he really disliked any sort of drawing/painting so I really was not expecting much from his painting. I was pleasantly surprised at how well he did on this painting. He even added berries to the holly bushes in front of the house.
The Art studio was really great. They met T where he was in ability and helped him improve without making it feel like work. He had fun and he learned a ton. After all of the classes were finished, the studio held a Art Gallery Show. They decorated the studio and displayed the final projects from all of their classes. The children and families dressed up for the show and each child spent some time by their painting talking with viewers about their piece. They also had a fun sundae bar, drinks and goody bags for the kids.
Homeschooling is wonderful, its great to teach your own child. Sometimes its also wonderful to go outside the home to find other teachers for your children. In Montessori, children are encouraged to find a way to learn what they need to learn. Sometimes their teacher (or homeschooling parent) doesn't have the skills to teach them properly. They need to expand their search to include outside teachers at times. I think T's idea of taking Art classes was just what he needed. I love that he is enjoying creating beautiful works of art and I can't wait to hang this in a special place in our home.