Sunday, January 25, 2015

VCF- The Shadow of Divine Perfection

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. ~Michelangelo
This weeks VCF is hosted, once again by Susan at Hearts and Minds 
and by yours truly, 
Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Art and Beauty. I am an art lover from way back and a closet artist still. Art is de rigour in our home and we engage in artistic pursuits of all kinds.
I'd like to dispel the first myth about art and creativity out there- it's all just fun, creative expression. That is, of course, one aspect of art, and not one to be overlooked. But art at the level of the masters- be they literary are of a medium, such as paint or clay or dance- requires discipline and sacrifice, like anything else. 
Our kids learn to draw as they learn to read-using Drawing Textbook, Draw, Write Now and Mark Kistler's fantastic materials. They are fundamentally acquainted with drawing pads, prismacolors and paints, along with craft, DIY and building materials. Drawing pads and poseable art figures happen often. Cartoonists and illustrators biographies such as Bill Watterson and Peet inspire and challenge.

We've had the good fortune of having terrific art teachers, clay courses, arts and crafts wtih professionals Zigrid, Jannell and Ana through co-op, Tutoring Center and Art classes. We've made the sacrifice in terms of drive time and memberships to participate in these endeavors because learning to appreciate and create art is a gift that will last our kids a life-time.

Classical Conversations gives us 4 6 week art units- the first on the fundamentals of drawing, the 2nd on Tin Whistle and Music Theory, the 3rd on Great Artists and the 4th Introduction to the Orchestra. It's just enough to whet the kids appetites for more. Flower has spent the week replicating the project we did in class last week, working with water colors for the first time and discovering that the brush and the medium change the outcomes.

While the grammar of art- which is drawing, regardless of what medium one prefers or ends up with, -always drawing, is familiar to my kids from the time they can hold a pencil, going over the vocabulary and basics of drawing (i.e. OILS), is not redundant and boring. Rather, it is a reiteration of what they know and a cementing of knowledge that allows them to have these tools at the ready.
We've been involved in a big-time house re-building project since our house fire 5 years ago and our kids have learned to dry wall, grout, paint like pros, sand, polyurethane While house building skills might seem boring, there is a real art form to mudding and taping drywall successfully, and laying out a kitchen and finishing a basement. These skills are easily translated into cash, either as one upgrades their own home on the cheap, or in the case of Feeche, who at 20 makes a living wage doing construction and landscaping as a full time college student. (You can see our house re-build under the Tear Down to Build Up posts).
Landscaping is a whole seperate art form and one we tackle each year as drought or flood or whatever on the Praire takes place. We've done some hardscaping, to the point that all of the kids know how to lay a brick path that will last, move trees and shurbs successfully, grow enough food to eat out of a garden for a summer and plant enough flowers to decorate the house and have enough material to draw and paint and dry to keep color and scent in their lives beyond the growing season. House and porch plants are de-rigour in my life and our enclosed porch is full up during 3 seasons and the dining room houses the overflow in the winter. Green and growing things are art at its finest.

Flower took Architecture with Brick Building this fall through Bridgeway Academy Leanring Labs. they went over 7 of the 20 architectural fundamentals- great hands on class that ended with her crafting her multi-level dream house out of legos for the final. It re-iterated many of the art concepts that she knew, but in a new way and applicable to a new field.

Legos and Mine-craft are perennial favorites 'round here and this Christmas saw a couple of boxed sets delving into mine-craft building. My kids build for hours on Mine-craft and I don't mind. They read and listen and study hard and this is a great, creative reward that allows their left and right brains to work together on a project. And I love the fact that my 3 kids living at home, with an age span of 8 1/2 years will gather together to build or chat or share their latest creation. They are sharing the creative process and that is real beauty.

Open ended toys and craft material can't be beat for demanding that kids take the initiative with creating things: legos, blocks, playmobile, dolls, craft supplies, sand and water, tons of manipulative's, the great outdoors and good stories and you have the basis for creating anything.

We've done "let's paint runaways"- which are rather like paint by numbers except that a lot of painting technique is learned. Our girls have especially enjoyed these, but our boys paint as well.

Of late, the kids interests have turned to photography, stop motion and videography. We've encouraged this by seeking out information such as Crystal Creek Media's course, School house Teachers, Stop Motion kits through JM Cremps and some professional vidoegraphy equipment.

Youtube shorts and the Music guys feature predominately in our lives as plucky comic relief and a break from our day jobs. Through friends we've just discovered Andrea Ruie, and have favorite musicians, and folk music that we listen to regularly.

We count humor as an art form and frequently watch our favorite comediennes such as Tim Hawkins, Michael Junior and John Branyon. We've provided our kids with joke books and cartoonists for years and we often recount favorite comic strips, or favorite characters, as if they were old friends, as indeed, they are. (Just try to take Lucy or the Red Baron or Calvin away from me!)We can often be found quoting movie lines, taking memory work on e step farther. The telling of a joke and the delivery of a punch line are encouraged as the art of laughter and sharing the joy of it is something I want all of my kids to leave home with.
Theater has been a part of our lives for well over a decade now and currently takes the form of Tantara (Festival of One Act Plays), Drama (1 week in the spring) and Shakespeare (1 week in the summer) Camps every year. Our kids now how to perform-be that for entertainment or persuasive purposes and do so with much creative flair. Weekly presentations at Classical Conversations teach the kids how to present a clear concise something with a beginning, middle and end in 3 minutes. That, my friends, takes tenacity and skill.

I've taught writing for over a decade and it is one of my true loves. It takes logic and discipline and empathy, compassion and a vocabulary of sorts (or at least ready access to synonym finder). Poetry is an art form in and of itself and I love Language Acquisition Through Poetry Memorization for pre-K on up, The Grammar of Poetry form 5th=high school, Poetry Outloud. Teaching our kids the form of poetry teaches, as all good creativity does, discipline and expression- allows them to touch base with great minds throughout the centuries and demands compassion for people and places beyond themselves.
Dance, of course. We've not had the time or resources to pay for private dance lessons but our kids have taken ballroom dancing lessons for years, which culminates in a formal dinner dance each spring for area homeschoolers. You can't get much better than that for good, clean fun!

And of course, being around babies and the elderly teaches our kids creativity. Children are the one creative process that we can truly collaborate with God on and being around little ones teaches our children that the little things matter and the world doesn't revolve around them. The elderly take the creative process outside of our personal circle and allow the kids to have compassion on those with
 (hopefully wisdom), but again, perhaps, frail bodies. Compassion and empathy are two powerful tools we can give our children if we hope for them to be truly creative.
VCF 2014 You Gotta Have Art!

The Art of Organization�or How Clutter Almost Ruined My Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
The Shadow of Divine Perfection by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Relaxed Homeschooling: Fine Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Fine Arts {Art Appreciation, Art, Composer Study Hymn Study} for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Adding Sparkle to Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
And All the Extras by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Teaching Art Using the Bible by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Art In Every Subject by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Letting Art Just Happen in Homeschool by Amy @ One Blessed Mamma
Missing Art? by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Do YOU Have Time for Extracurriculars? by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
Fine Arts in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
The Science of Beauty for a Delight-Directed Daughter by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
Seeking Beauty: How we Tackle the Arts in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Learning To Appreciate Beauty With Fine Arts Resources@ As We Walk Along the Road by Leah@ As We Walk Along the Road

Join the party and link up with your favorite curriculum for creative endeavor!

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

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