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Art Appreciation – Think Long Term!

Need some help getting started with art appreciation? Today’s entry hopefully will spark some ideas and show you that creating a family of art lovers is possible for anyone who wants to make it a goal…think long term!

Creating Art Appreciation Goals from Harmony Fine Arts

This post is my way of encouraging you to create some art appreciation goals this year for your family. If you work on creating the opportunity for your family to view and enjoy some paintings each year, it will become a habit that pays off in the long term.

I found this to be true in my own family. We had humble beginnings as the boys were growing up…just hit or miss until I developed my Harmony Fine Arts plans that really kept us on track from year to year.

I invite you to use my free printable entitled, Art Appreciation Goals, to stimulate your thinking or to help you keep a bigger picture view of offering artist study and picture study in your homeschool week. You can use this printable with any art appreciation curriculum you plan on using this year.

Download a copy here: Creating Art Appreciation Goals from Harmony Fine Arts

Picasso Faces

“Art is a thing of the spirit, and we need to teach it in ways that affect the spirit. We realize that the ability to appreciate art and interpret it is as universal to all people as intelligence, or imagination, or the ability to form words to communicate. But that ability needs to be educated. Teaching the technical skill of producing pictures isn’t the same as appreciating art. To appreciate, children need to have a reverent recognition of what’s been created. Children need to learn about pictures: they need to learn about them a line at a time, and as groups, by studying pictures for themselves rather than by reading about them.”
Charlotte Mason, volume six, page 214

Charlotte Mason Picture Study High School Timeline

You may be interested in reading these two posts from my archives that show just how far you can get with the year to year approach once you hit high school.

 Homeschool Art Apprecition – Charlotte Mason High School Examples Part One: This is a must read with specific details from our actual high school art appreciation. I hope it helps you see where you are aiming by the time your children are in high school. This entry details how we did art appreciation on a high school level.

Homeschool Art Appreciation – Charlotte Mason High School Examples Part Two: This entry outlines in detail how we offered art skills in high school.

You may find these helpful:

Harmony Fine Arts Grades 1-4 Artists and Composers List

Harmony Fine Arts Grades 5-8 Artists and Composers List


Harmony Fine Arts Purchase Now buttonIf you are ready to have an easy plan for art and music appreciation for your family, click the button above to head to the Harmony Fine Arts store. If you need help choosing a year to start with, please email me with any questions: [email protected]

Creating Art Appreciation Goals for the Year…Or More

Creating Art Goals for Homeschoolers


Creating art appreciation goals helped our family to become a family of art lovers. It wasn’t anything fancy or complicated that grew the love of art inside their hearts. It was just the simple act of offering a few minutes a week to slow down and get to know some pretty amazing artists, together in a relaxed way. I know many of my readers are new to my blog and I thought it might help you if I pull some ideas from my archives to share on this topic. The ideas below have all been tested in my family and I would say they are my best tips on how to create art appreciation goals in your family and enjoy the journey.


Art Appreciation Goals:

These are the original art appreciation goals I came up with for my family over a decade ago. They really were what Harmony Fine Arts grew from as far as format and content. If you want a premade plan based on these goals, you may wish to look into the Harmony Fine Arts plans available here on my website. I would encourage you to look at the top of the page, click the sample pages button, and then download a print a sample to look at closely. They may be just what you need to get started with art appreciation in your family this week!

  • 1. Be familiar with and able to identify at least 30 major works of art by the end of high school. (artist’s name, title of the painting, and the time period) This would be approx. 4 pieces per year between 4th and 12th grades.
  • 2. Be able to view a painting and discuss the elements of the painting.
  • 3. Be familiar with the major periods of art in order to place a piece chronologically on a timeline.
My Best Hints
  • Use a series of artwork from one artist and that will help define for your children the artist’s style. Pick four paintings you like and share those one at a time.
  • Closely observe and enjoy one painting at a time, increasing your child’s awareness of what it means to have a “style”. View the artwork together and have your children tell you what they see in the painting…many people call this narration or picture study. Most paintings have some sort of story to tell, encourage your children to try to guess the painting’s story.
  • Keep the artwork you are studying in plain sight for a period of time. Make the painting your computer’s desktop background or have a print of the painting in a prominent place where you spend time each day.
  • After you have studied two or more painters, begin to compare and contrast the artists. How are they different and how are they similar? Over time this will help your child learn more about the periods of art history but in the beginning, just make casual observations.
  • Come up with a way to review the artists from time to time. Keep your prints in a notebook, binder, or folder. Pull them out at the end of each term and spend a few minutes going back over the various paintings and artists. This is a fun time for children once they start to accumulate a number of artists. Keep the mood light and do not make it like a test.

Getting Started with Young Children
1. Study one artist at a time.
2. Study at least four prints one at a time, using careful and casual observation.

To Add a Little More Depth or For Older Children
3. Follow up with learning the name of the painting and the artist’s name if desired.
4. Store the prints in a three ringed binder or in a spiral sketchbook and review at the end of each term.

To Include a “Hands-On” Activity
5. Follow up with a coloring page from a Dover Coloring Book if desired or sketch a part of the painting or the whole thing.

Remember that your goal is to spark a love for great artwork. This goal is one that can be achieved using any artist that suits your family.

Would you like the tips above in a printable format for your homeschool planner? Here you go!

Creating Art Appreciation Goals from Harmony Fine Arts

Creating Art Appreciation Goals from Harmony Fine Arts

Print a copy for yourself and make sure to pin this on Pinterest for all your friends to see as well. You can see more of my art ideas here: Art Ideas on Pinterest from Harmony Art Mom.

Autumn Paintings Picture Study

Autumn Paintings Picture Study and Art Show @harmonyfinearts View autumn art with these selections to make an easy art afternoon.


I was in the mood for a little art viewing and decided to pull together a simple autumn themed art show for your to enjoy with your children. You can either view the paintings here on the blog (clicking the image will make it more prominent) or you can follow the painting’s link to view it larger on Wikiart. I picked all paintings that are in the public domain so if you want to right click and save the painting, you can print a copy for your family to use in your picture study.

I even printed one and put it in a frame on my nature display table for the month.

Scroll to the bottom of this entry to find the link to the printable art question cards to use as a way to discuss the paintings with your children.

Make it fun and enjoyable!


Rain Edvard Munch

Rain, Edvard Munch. 1902.

 the-eiffel-tower-1889 Georges Seaurat

The Eiffel Tower, Georges Seaurat. 1889.

the-walk-falling-leaves-1889 van gogh

The Walk-Falling Leaves, Vincent Van Gogh. 1889.

autumn-landscape albert bierstadt

Autumn Landscape, Albert Bierstadt.

 along-the-woods-in-autumn-188 sisley

Along the Woods in Autumn, Alfred Sisley. 1885.

 autumn-or-the-grape-harvest-1787 goya

Autumn, or the Grape Harvest. Francisco Goya. 1787.


Autumn on the Seine at Argenteuil, Claude Monet. 1873.

Additional picture study ideas and printables:

Viewing Tip: Set one of the paintings as your desktop wallpaper for easy viewing throughout the week.

 Autumn Art Paintings on Your Desktop for Viewing @harmonyfinearts

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