Hebrews 4:16

Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Teaching Art - Home School Style!

I have often tried to help my children in their 'bents' as we travel this homeschooling journey.  When they have expressed an interest, we have tried to let them follow it... to an extent.   When there was something that I couldn't teach them, specifically when it comes to the arts, we would try to find a talented individual who could.

I am a lover of music in many forms but I am truly limited with my ability to teach music and since I have played only 2 instruments in my life, for limited time, I have a limited skill with which to instruct them in the art of music.  While studying music history seems more up my alley teaching my children to play the piano was not. So...we found a piano teacher. ( a few actually)  And a guitar teacher.... and a violin teacher. :)

Ever since our youngest could hold a crayon she was mesmerized by the world of art, drawing and coloring. She has wanted to be an artist for as long as we both can remember, ( she's 10 ....you'd think that we'd be able to remember that far back.)  However, it wasn't just her interest in arts, crafts and painting and the like....she was gifted in this realm. My limited ability to draw those funny little flowers and trees that often mesmerized me was not enough to train her to look at perspective, light, shading, and depth and exactly how they all work together.

I found an art teacher. :) We love our art teacher.  She has opened the world up for this young budding artist. It was like finding a kindred spirit, I think. Yet, it wasn't just for our youngest that the gift of art has been a blessing, it has been an added gift to the other 2 children.  Being exposed to art, especially with someone who has a love for the Lord and for others, has touched our children in multiple ways.

As with the specialties we have found a huge blessing participating in a co-op with our kids.  The co-op meets during the week and the kids get to take classes they are interested in learning and working through.  Again, it opens that door to a wide array of opportunities for them to participate in something that brings in additional learning blessings.

That is one of the reasons we home educate, right? To open the doors to educational liberty with our children

So after learning a new and fun lesson yesterday in co-op art class, our budding artist begged and pleaded for a chance to show off  her skill.  She set us all down at the table, giving us our necessary tools and began to explain, in detail, the steps we would need to take to complete the task.  She was able to explain what we were going to be drawing and why we needed to use the colors that she suggested. She showed us on various websites the pictures of the real art, as she called it, with contagious enthusiasm. Patiently, ( truly she was patient beyond her years), she taught us how to draw our figures and place our symbols on the paper.  Joyfully, we each completed our masterpieces. Each unique to our own personality, inherently resembling those things that point to the creator of the piece.

The art of being able to relate and teach someone a skill is the rhetoric of learning. It is the highest form of learning and even at 10 and younger our children can be rhetorical.  I love the dynamic of the classical model in education.  The tools of learning, laid out in the foundations of the classical model ( grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric), are reinforced in every stage of life.  I, though considerably older, was the grammarian in this case.... learning from my child who was rhetorically using her dialectic skills of instruction to teach me.  :)

Here is her lesson with pictures.  Go draw something fun with your children!!!


How to Draw  Massai Art

1. Get a blank piece of paper and a pencil. Put your name in the lower right hand corner and the word "Maasai" in the  lower left.
2. Draw a small oval or circle in the upper middle portion of the page.

3. Draw a skinny neck ( attached to the circle).

4. Draw slanted lines from the neck with a curved bottom and a straight line across the top to separate the neck and the necklace.
5. Draw wavy vertical lines for a dress. ( " Everyone wears a dress"... she says)
6. Add a headdress and a spear or shield, if you are drawing a boy, or a basket/bowl for a girl.
7. Draw skinny arms holding basket, 1 or 2, and/or the spear/shield.

8. Draw small (short) legs at the bottom of the dress with rounded feet.
9. Make 2 small children next to your person in the middle. ( *note.. you can add more if you want to.) Keep the feet on the same level as the big person.
10. The Maasai People love jewelry and the color red. So draw some jewelry on your people with a red pen or marker. Girls wear large earrings vs. the boys smaller earrings. Girls wear lots of bracelets on arms and legs and  big necklaces. Men wear bracelets on feet and arms and smaller necklaces.

11. Make designs on the clothing. Lots of fun designs.
12. Add lines to the baskets to make them look woven.
13. Color all the skin that is showing in black.

14. Add 2 horizon lines.One below your people's feet and one in the middle of the paper. ( not above the adult in your picture but it will be above the children's heads.) Add some rounded lines under their feet, as well.
15. Draw a large sun on the horizon.
16. Color the gowns of your Maasai people." Please use lots of bright colors," we are instructed.
17. Color the sun.
18. Color the background behind the sun pink.
19. Color the middle layer green.
20. Color the bottom layer red.

This was a very fun activity added to our day.  I hope this will be a blessing to you as well. I will try to add a pdf. version of this art lesson to my website in the download section at www.journeysingrace.com.  Here are 3 of the completed pictures.

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