Grandma Moses: Perfect Fit for a Family Art Study

I had the opportunity to visit a traveling exhibit of art painted by Grandma Moses, Anna Mary Robertson. Grandma Moses lived from 1860-1961. She painted her ordinary surroundings in a whimsical, folksy way that appealed to many people in American and around the world.

If you are looking for a delightful woman artist to feature in your homeschool, why not try Grandma Moses?

Here are some of her paintings to view, I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to pick a few to share with your children. They are fun and full of activity.

A Beautiful World, 1948

Hoosick Falls in Winter, 1944

My Hills of Home, 1948 Make sure to click the image to make it larger. This was my favorite painting of the whole exhibit.

Spring Flower, 1960

Sugaring Off, 1955 Make sure to click the zoom feature so you can see it clearly.

A great many of her paintings that you can click on to make larger

Have fun exploring.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Check out our new high school plan for art and music appreciation

Every Small Miracle-Charlotte Mason Education

walking on a sequoia

“Every small miracle that ceases to amaze us is like a new discovery to our children, as exciting as the discovery of gravity to Newton.”
Charlotte Mason, Home Education, volume 1, page 54

“…We have been seeing flowers for years–but our children haven’t. Flowers are still new and wonderful to them and it’s the fault of grown-ups if every new flower they see ceases to delight them.”
Charlotte Mason, Home Education, volume 1, page 53

I am sharing these quotes with you because they really have impacted how I treat learning with my own children. Often we need to be reminded of things and those reminders sometimes come as a breath of fresh air. My heart reads these ideas in Charlotte Mason’s writings and it encourages me to be a better mom and teacher.

Currently I am homeschooling my fourth child so that means this is the fourth time I have covered basically the same information in the 8th grade……four times. I could just be going through the motions at this point. Putting my feelings aside, I realize that this is the *first* time this particular son has been in the eighth grade and I need to try to be as up-beat about it as I can. It is all new to him.

Today we visited a friend and she has a guinea pig…a really big, hairy guinea pig. My boys have never seen one up close before and they were thrilled. I am not so thrilled with small furry things so I had to put on my “teacher” hat and think of ways to be as thrilled as they are. What is the point I am trying to make? Just that I could have easily been put off by this creature but instead I realized that my boys were excited to see something new so my job was to be encouraging and let them enjoy the experience.

roots of a sequoia
Ever climb through the roots of a fallen giant sequoia tree and out through the hollow center? My boys wanted to…so we did.

So much of what Charlotte Mason taught was about providing time and space for our children to learn new things….meaningful things from their real life. Our nature study is a window into the world for them and we miss out if we limit what we offer because we are worn-out or tired of looking at the same old things. Yes, a pine cone is just a pine cone to us but to our children it has a color, a shape, a texture, and a fragrance…all new and exciting.

Funny thing is that if we allow ourselves to experience these times with our children, we end up enjoying them too. Their enthusiasm rubs off on us and we see things through their eyes….just like it was new to us all over again. It doesn’t matter whether it is looking through a microscope at a leaf, planting a seed in the garden, knitting a scarf, making cookies, or laying down in the grass and looking at the sky. It is the everyday experiences that delight our children and we need to slow down and enjoy it with them. It makes us truly rich.

Try it and you will see,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Drawing With Children-Les 5 Chalk Pastels

chalk pastels fixative


Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes talks about chalk pastels in chapter five. She suggests that you try these after conte crayons but in my last Drawing With Children blog entry you read my experiences with that medium and you skipped right to chalk pastels…..or at least you probably did.
chalk pastels
The good news is that although these are just as messy as the conte crayons, your children will probably enjoy them more. They are colorful and you get lots of bright bold colors on your page. They are not as smooth on the page as an oil pastel but they give you more color than a watercolor pencil.
chalk pastels 1chalk pastels broken
We have always enjoyed the way you can overlap the colors and you can see them blend on your page but they will break if you apply too much pressure.

You will need good paper, a kneaded eraser, and a fixative in order to use these in your nature drawings. I am still not convinced I would use them directly into my nature journal or carry chalk pastels in my backpack but if you are around the house and can use them on separate sheets of paper and then insert them into your journal, they are a nice change from colored pencils.
chalk pastel leaf

You can see how the leaf looks great but there is a mess on the page and the pastels broke when I was using them. You can still use them even when they get quite small though so just be prepared that your nice new box of pastels will soon be broken and messy.
pastels pencils
I also tried the Pastels Pencils (Conte brand) and they were a little easier to use than the crayon sticks. They still have the same texture so they were a little scratchy on the paper and still made a little mess. If I had to choose, I would use the pencils but not in my nature notebook. The pencils were much easier to control and you could sharpen them to a point to get a nice sharp line.

Next week I will review using the drawing pencil as outlined in chapter five of Drawing With Children. Finally, something I like for the nature journal!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Check out my page on art supplies if you are looking for the basic materials needed for your child’s are box.

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