multicolored paint drippings

How We Homeschool – The Arts

Confession: I’m not the most creative or artistically gifted person in the world, which meant for years I actively avoided any art tasks that couldn’t be added to a science or humanities project I had planned. This year, I am taking on the daunting task of intentionally giving my children an art education (of sorts), every Friday morning. Today’s blog post will cover how our first lesson of the year went, and will be updated regularly throughout the year. I will also include some useful links for anybody who has a budding artist on their hands!

pain brushes inside clear plastic cups
Photo by Jadson Thomas on
Term 1A

Earlier in the week, we had an ‘easing back into things’ day during which the children made their own sketch/art books for the term. You can find the video that inspired us here (bonus points for being bilingual – Spanish/English).

Lesson 1Colour Wheels, Georgia O’Keeffe & Vivaldi
This term we are learning about Plants in our science lessons from Elemental Science. Our first task was to make a colour wheel, learning about primary, secondary and tertiary colours. The children loved exploring the relationships between the different colours. I then asked them to take a walk around the garden, using the new knowledge they had gained about colours and to decide which side of the colour spectrum the different green leaves were on. They were fascinated to see some were more blue and others were more yellow, than they had previously realised. We then looked at Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist famous for her paintings of flowers and desert landscapes. The children wrote down a few facts about her in their sketchbooks. I also had Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, playing in the background for a little musical inspiration & appreciation.

Throughout the term we will try to recreate some of O’Keeffe’s most famous paintings, as well as make our own.

Lesson 2 – Flower Study
Continuing with our Plants Science Unit Study, we looked at flowers this week. I decided it was a great opportunity to do study some of O’Keffee’s flower paintings and tried to recreate them. The children picked a painting each and used their colour wheels from last week to help mix the paints correctly. We took photos of the finished artwork and put them into our art/sketchbooks alongside the original for comparison. The children included the title and year of the original piece and wrote a sentence or two about what they did.

I also continued with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, playing in the background for a little musical inspiration & appreciation. We will look at him in more detail and what an orchestra is later on this half term.

Lesson 3 – Fruit Study & Complementary Colours
We have been learning about fruits and seeds in science this week, so we picked some fruits from our kitchen for a still life/observational drawing session. The children then wanted to use their new watercolours to try to create the various hues of green and we used our colour wheels to learn about complementary colours for the background. They loved how it made their fruit paintings really stand out! They wrote the title, year and the medium used underneath (like the REAL artists they are!).

Lesson 4 – Vivaldi, Autumn
We have been listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons during our Art & Science sessions each week, today we spent the first part of our lesson listening to Autumn, learning about who Vivaldi was and drawing how his music makes us feel/what it makes us think of. This is a great video to watch for familiarity with the different sections of the orchestra:

The second part of our lesson was spent planning a Mini Art Show – the theme is Autumn, and I can’t wait to see what the children come up.

Lesson 5 – Parts of a Flower
As we wrap up our Plants Unit Study for Science, the children found this video from Kids Art Hub to do during the time when they weren’t creating their artwork for their Mini Art Show:

Lesson 6 – Mini Art Show
The children created & curated their Autumn inspired Mini Art Show for some of their Lego figures (documented below).

Term 1B

Lesson 1 – Drawing A Person
Drawing people is a developmental skill, the video below is a great guide for drawing a person. The children used it to draw pictures of themselves.

Lesson 2 – Foil Sculpture
We looked at these Five Sculptures by Black British Artists and had a go making our own with foil using the skills we gained in our last session.

Lesson 3 – Paper Sculpture

We watched the video below for inspiration and then the children experimented with different folding techniques, colours & patterns to make their own paper sculptures.

Lessons 4 & 5 – Major Biomes Dioramas

We have been learning about Major Biomes with our Elemental Science SciChunks Unit this term, one of the activity suggestions is to make a diorama using either clay, junk or other mixed media ideas. We combined what we have been learning about sculptures to make our own biomes. This video we found was particularly inspiring:

Lesson 6 – Christmas Crafts

Both of the children have shown interest in learning to sew, luckily I had picked up some DIY Christmas ornament kits from Flying Tiger when I was in Europe a few weeks ago and so they were both able to make these lovely ornaments for our tree!

Term 2 – Arts Appreciation

This term is all about appreciating (and enjoying) the various art forms of music and theatre. This term will include but won’t be limited to watching performances from The Unicorn Theatre in London and Cirque de Soleil to discussing book to film adaptions of some of our favourite books. The children will continue to develop their own interests and skills with drawing, painting, modelling etc.

Useful Links:

  • Tate Kids have lots of information on different artists, as well as inspiration to try to make your own art projects
  • Nurture Store has a FREE homeschool art curriculum, giving you a year’s worth of art lessons with plenty of art history and techniques.
  • If you’re looking for something a bit more ‘official’, Technology Triumphs offer Level 1 and Level 2 NCFE qualifications for children aged 12+ in Creative Crafts – Mixed Media & Textiles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.