If you are a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler, you may be pretty familiar with picture study. If you are not familiar with picture study let me share some inspiration with you today. We also have lots of free picture study resources and printables.
Picture study is one of our favorite “subjects” in our homeschool. Most Charlotte Mason style curricula include picture study within the books or resources to make it easier and all in one. Other parents may choose to do picture study on their own, in their own time frame. Doing picture study on your own is a great way to include historical time periods or types of artists you may be studying in history.
What is picture study?
Picture study is a very simple, short and sweet form of art appreciation. It is a fine art study that can be completed in just a few minutes a day, or a few times as week. When my children were younger I enjoyed doing “Fine Arts Fridays” where we would do our picture study once a week on a Friday afternoon.
Here are some thoughts from Charlotte Mason:
“We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.” Charlotte Mason, Volume 1, pg. 309
Simply put, picture study is showing our children to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of art. It helps to open up their minds to discussion and critical thinking. It helps them to stop and pause and really think about what they are looking at. I like how even the young ones can answer simple questions about the piece and form an opinion about why they feel the way they do about the art.
“When children have begun regular lessons (that is, as soon as they are six), this sort of study of pictures should not be left to chance, but they should take one artist after another, term by term, and study quietly some half-dozen reproductions of his work in the course of the term.” (Volume 1, pg. 309)
Picture study should be done on a regular basis. She is saying that it is important to immerse even a young child in picture study. The recommendation is to study one artist at a time. Pick six of their artwork pieces to study for a set amount of time. I like to do six weeks at a time and study six of those works, then move on to another artist. You can do this in whichever way best fits your family with your time and schedule.
If this sounds great to you, you will enjoy these FREE Picture Study Resources and Printables:
This free art study activity will have your children think critically about 18 works depicting scenes from the American Revolution. They will study paintings and learn to ask questions regarding the artwork, which helps with critical thinking skills. This is available as a free download.
We have lots more printables on artists if you are looking to study a specific style or time period:
These are some of our favorite picture study books that I keep around, like coffee table books:
Children’s Book of Art: An Introduction to the World’s Most Amazing Paintings and SculpturesUsborne The Children’s Book of Art: Internet LinkedCome Look With Me: Art in Early AmericaEnjoying Art with Children (Come Look With Me)Exploring Landscape Art with Children (Come Look With Me)Come Look With Me: Animals in ArtDiscovering Women Artists for Children (Come Look With Me)
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!
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