A homeschool mom recently asked me for recommendations of resources for teaching art. Besides websites (www.simplycharlottemason.com/ and www.teachartathome.com/Free.html—the Masterpiece Art Instruction program), books provide hands-on visual aids for exploring and understanding art.
Of course my bookcase is bulging with lots of art resources. Beyond books, I gain inspiration from magazines and my own photos and Internet images. In fact, I love my somewhat organized files crammed full of colorful clippings and inspiration for lesson plans.
I’m currently enthused about two USBORNE books which I refer to frequently: ART TREASURY (featuring 22 Master Artists and projects to do in each style), and THE USBORNE COMPLETE BOOK OF ART IDEAS (over 400 inspiring ideas for things to do with paint, collage, pastels, crayons, inks).
A classic resource to complement the newer USBORNE books—DISCOVERING GREAT ARTISTS: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Kohl and Solga) includes project plans as well as a brief biography of each artist featured, from the Renaissance to the present.
One of the best ways to expose young children to quality art is be very selective about the books you select for gift-giving. Caldecott Medal winners are a good starting point, but do not overlook the books your children and grandchildren are drawn to when they roam the aisles in the library or at the bookstore. Their aesthetic sensibilities may surprise you!
What are some of your recommendations for children’s books with top notch illustrations?
Gift shops in art museums offer unique selections—another chat topic for a future post!