Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Building an Appreciation of Art and Music

We all know that the arts has received short shrift in all too many schools over the years.  There are so many ways to learn to appreciate art and music that you could literally do different things every single year, I think. 

Our art and music appreciation time over the years seldom involved any sort of formalized study and did look at least somewhat different every year.  I thought I'd give you a snapshot of one year, and have just randomly picked third grade, since I have that notebook out right now.

I happen to live in a somewhat smaller city and we have had a lot of access to theatre here over the years.  Many of our theatres offer school day performance rates that are about half the rate for regular theatre goers.  They have generally welcomed homeschoolers to join other school groups for these performances, so we have been lucky in that regard.

Here's what we did, generally by month:


My son was into coloring during this particular year.  It was one of the only years that he ever wanted to color.  He would color the pages that went along with our Story of the World reading while I read to him.  I also had some Dover and Bellepheron books and he colored some pictures from those to add to his history notebook, as well.  He did this all year.

We read parts of A History of Britain Through Art, Jillian Powell.

Made large tissue flowers for geography class (studying Mexico, I believe....)

My son worked on a Kentucky scrapbook through most of the fall semester, for a co-op class that I taught.  We also had some field trips to various Kentucky locales to go along with the class.

He also was in a 4-H Horseless Horse Club for fall and worked on a scrapbook for that.

We read Echoes of the Elders and enjoyed the beautiful artwork of Chief Lelooska.


We attended a production of "Aesop's Fables" at our local children's theatre.

We also attended a production of "Huck Finn" in the same month.

We saw a production called "Kentucky Adventure," which was an interactive play at Fort Harrod (part of our Kentucky history class).

My son took piano and guitar lessons throughout fall.  He was preparing for a winter get together and his winter piano recital.  Piano was thirty minutes, once weekly.  Guitar was 45 minutes, once weekly.

Began year long theatre class at co-op.


Attended a flower arranging class for Junior Master Gardener's at the arboretum.

Saw interpreter at Raven Run speaking about early settlers and the role of surveyors (also for KY history class)....

Made a flower arrangement for our home.

Looked at beautiful paintings in the book Children of China.  (These books generally went along with the history period we were studying at the time....)

Made a paper butterfly - pattern from the book Made in China.

  (I *think* this was the book....)

Saw a musical version of "Paul Revere."

Made a leaf collection scrapbook at arboretum, then walked the scarecrow trail (local people compete for most interesting scarecrow designs).

Read about some of the world's great composers of the 1700's (Germany/Austria).

Focus on Tchiakofsky for piano studio students this fall.

Symphony demonstration and "petting zoo" during theatre class at co-op one day.


Saw Offrenda display in connection with "Dia de Los Muertos" ballet performance.

Saw and had an opportunity to speak with re-enactors at Old Salem and Bathabara Communities in Winston/Salem, NC.

Saw beautiful German made toys at the Toy Museum in Old Salem; also, beautiful examples of riflery, pottery and embroidery.

Listened to "Mr. Bach Comes to Call."

Listened to "Hallelujah Handel."


Saw "A Christmas Carol" at the Opera House.

Saw a musical version of "The Shoemaker and the Elves."

Played piano at winter fest for co-op.

Played in piano recital.


Continuing piano and guitar lessons.

Began art class at co-op.

Saw musical "Freedom Train" performance.

Saw "Rikki, Tikki, Tavi" at children's theatre.


Saw "Anansi the Spider" at children's theatre.

Attended two Valentine's parties.

Continued art class and music lessons.

Visited Jack Jouett House (part of KY history).

Saw IMAX movie "Hurricane on the Bayou."

Celebrated Mardi Gras at home.

Went to Louisville to read for Young Authors and toured newspaper operations while there.


Attended Harry Potter Camp at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Had a pirate birthday party!

Continued art class and music lessons.

Saw musical version of "Bridge to Terebithia" at children's theatre.  Wow - this was really a year for musicals, wasn't it?

Played a game about artists and their work.  (Have no idea now what this was....)


Art class ends.

Music lessons continue.

Year-long "theatre class" at co-op finally really kicks into gear and the kids get serious about practicing their parts, etc. as the play date looms....  Play rehearsals intensify and become all-consuming....

There is a rehearsal dinner prior to the first performance and a cast party after it is all over.  It really does take up a LOT of time during this month.  Our production was a musical version of "The Secret Garden."


Saw "A Year With Frog and Toad" (and it was a fantastic production - so glad we went, just for old times sake, since we love their books....)  AND, YOU GUESSED IT - IT WAS A MUSICAL!

Attended first wedding reception and danced the night away!

Visited wonderful artisan galleries in Amana, Iowa.  My son loved the copper sculpture studio.

Attended "Alebrijes!" ballet and viewed alebrijes artwork display from Oaxaca, Mexico.

Finished up coloring for history and geography sections of notebook.

Guitar lessons end.  Piano continues over summer.

Every year is so different!  If I pulled the fourth grade elements of art and music you would get a very different picture.  This was obviously the year of the musical....


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