Sunday, March 20, 2016

What are We Fighting For? Virtual Curriculum Fair- Seeking Beauty

Join Drama Class my senior year... Get back to doing what made me happy in the old days.:

Because we are created in the Image of God- the ultimate Artist, it is no wonder that we have the deep desire to create, and the innate ability to respond to creativity. 
Art is integral to our homeschooling. It has taken many different forms over the course of 25 years but has always included some basics.
Nature studies.
Sketchbooks and colored pencils, pens, erasure, paints, markers
Time to think, reflect, ponder, mull
Drawing instruction
Vocabulary and word study
Excellent writing instruction
Humor -how to create and tell a good joke
Story telling
Scientific inquiry
Logic and recognition of fallacies
A good story
Books, movies, magazines, live events
Challenging activities
Theological studies
Theater and Public performance
Event Planning and creating programs

I've done a fair bit of creating myself: photography, stained glass, basket weaving, painting, scrapbooking, journaling, poetry, writing, DIY, house-crafting, and all manner of fiber arts. It's just something I have to do. Dr. Dh is much the same way, though his creativity can often be found in areas like language studies (he's on his 3rd) and intensive intellectual pursuit. 

Which leads me to a point. True creativity and artistic instruction IS an intellectual pursuit. I created and taught a high school level Creative Writing Course a couple of years ago (best class evah- amazingly talented kids who really loved the work!) and they were shocked at the level of discipline the class demanded. We learned poetry forms and memorized poetry, did writing prompts weekly, had a word count to reach every week, books to read and so much more. Often we look at "art" as free-from expression and devoid of plan or purpose. In fact, classic art- that which spans time and culture, is the result of amazing discipline.

I propose that true art is mastery of a subject area that allows those participating in or viewing it to reach beyond themselves and hope for better things. C.S. Lewis's Narnia series is a great example. There are so many deep spiritual truths found in this simple imaginative tale, even the youngest reader can hear and see that God is good and for them. 

But does art always demand mastery? Well, no. We can take simple pleasure and enjoyment in a great many things without excelling at them. And along those lines, I don't buy the adage that practice makes perfect. Good, intentional practice allows us to reach for perfection. Schlock practice re-enforces bad methods and behavior.

And a brief discussion of curriculum. There are some brilliant curriculum's out there- you know the ones. They take a difficult or intimidating subject matter and make it accessible to the point that you ever wondered what was daunting in the first place- IEW, Lost Tools of Writing, Story and History of the WorldOld Western Culture, Classical Conversations, Henle Latin, The Grammar of Poetry, etc. It's not that the student doesn't have to actually do the work- it's that the work allows them to excel quickly and well. These curriculums are worth every penny. 

I've said it before and it bears repeating. Often what you are good at, your kids will excel at. Imitation and all of that, not to mention that it's far easier to teach what we know and understand. As a result our kids all know how to draw, cook, garden, write, speak, plan, study and memorize and understand exceedingly well theology, the Bible and scientific inquiry. Things I struggle with, they often do. But, that also allows them the added benefit of them watching me/us struggle through something that might be initially difficult- like dry-walling, or learning Latin.

This year our creative pursuits have included the study of Latin and integrating the culture and vocabulary in new and interesting ways, sculpture and drawing, ballroom dancing, cartography and nature sketches, along with weekly drawings of body systems, Flourish, debate, Drama, recitation, Shakespeare, the Piano Guys, Studio C, Tim Hawkins, Foyles's War, Dorothy Sayers mysteries on DVD, violin, music theory, straw bale gardening, DIY projects, an arbor and an amazing display of Christmas lights, along with some great books and CD's, You gotta have art.

Past Virtual Curriculum Fair Posts on Teaching Art

Stop by my blogger buddies sites and read more Virtual Curriculum Fair posts
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses - Seeking Beauty Through the Arts
Yvie @ Gypsy Road - Art Museum Staycation & Elements of Art Unit
Sarah@ Delivering Grace - First Things First
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World - Add An Element of Beauty with Fine Arts in the Homeschool
Lisa@ Golden Grasses - What Are We Fighting For?
Annette @ A Net In Time - Art, art, and more art
Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset - The Sounds of Music
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break - Music and Other Beautiful Things

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Annette @a net in time said...

I have never thought if Latin being a creative art.... Interesting perspective. Visiting through VCF

DeliveringGrace said...

That is such an impressive list of creative activities-some ideas for me!