Archive / mini-units

RSS feed for this section

Charlotte Mason and Art Appreciation – Simple Beginning Steps



“Art appreciation is regarded with a lot of respect, but teachers tend to be intimidated about how to teach it.”
Charlotte Mason, volume six, page 213

As homeschoolers we’re in the unique position to change our own thinking and look at our children as people with varying needs and interests. Balancing the more academic subjects with an introduction to things beautiful to the mind and spirit brings a sense of joy to our homeschool.

“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


“The six reproductions are studied one at a time so that the students learn to not just see a picture, but to look carefully at it, absorbing every detail. After looking at the picture, it’s turned over and the children narrate, telling what they saw, perhaps, ‘a dog driving a flock of sheep along a road all by himself. No, wait, there’s a boy, too. He’s lying at the river, getting a drink. You can tell by the light that it’s morning, so the sheep must be going out to graze in the pasture,’ and so on. The children don’t miss any details–the discarded plow, the crooked birch tree, the beautifully formed clouds that look like it might rain. There’s enough to talk about to keep the children busy for half an hour, and afterwards, the picture will have formed such a memory that the children will recognize it wherever they see it, whether it’s a signed proof, an oil reproduction, or the original itself in a museum.”
Charlotte Mason, volume six page 214

If you’re viewing the painting on your computer screen, you can have your child move away from the monitor and complete the narration of what he sees in the painting from memory. Over time, this simple exercise helps your child to see the unique style and techniques of each artist you study. A Monet will look like a Monet. A Raphael will look like a Raphael. All ages of children are capable of this sort of activity and all will learn to narrate paintings quite naturally if you offer the opportunity each week for art appreciation.

monet-and-mendelssohn-mini-unit-buttonIf you want some help getting started with picture study, please check out my free plans for six week’s worth of art and music appreciation featuring Claude Monet and Felix Mendelssohn.

Summer 2009 Art and Music Appreciation Plans

Everything you need to get started with a study of Claude Monet is included in the plans, even the paintings and links to viewing them online.


I’ve written several other mini units covering other artists and composers. You can click over and read more about them on this page:

Harmony Fine Arts Mini Units


Van Gogh and Handel ButtonVermeer Haydn Cover Button 2Degas and Prokofiev button

Harmony Fine Arts Thursday Promotion #3 Free Mini Units

Harmony Fine Arts

Month of Promotions!

Week 3


This week’s promotion will make you pretty happy!

I’ll give you a coupon code to receive all four mini-units FREE with the purchase of any year plan or bundle available here at Harmony Fine Arts! That’s a $13.40 bonus gift to you, just for making a purchase by 8/22/18.

Use the coupon code ALL4 after adding the four mini-units to your shopping cart. You can click here to see the four units available: Harmony Fine Arts Mini Units.

Vermeer Artist Study @harmonyfinearts

Vermeer and Haydn Mini Unit: Nine weeks of plans, 16 notebooking pages, coloring pages, and internet links.

Degas and Prokofiev button

Degas and Prokofiev Mini Unit: Complete plans with internet links, notebooking pages, and coloring pages.

Van Gogh and Handel Button

Van Gogh and Handel Mini Unit: Detailed plans with internet links for viewing art and listening to music, notebooking pages, and coloring pages.

Clouds and Art

Clouds in Art Mini Unit: Plans for viewing and discussing 7 different paintings, includes notebook pages.

These mini units are a super easy way to fit a single artist or single composer into your homeschooling plans. Or, maybe you want to get your feet wet with a simple plan for art and music appreciation. These units are just what you need to have a complete plan ready for you to open and get started. The plans include art prints to view and notebooking pages to download and use.

Don’t wait! This promotion will only be good until 8/22/18!

Harmony Fine Arts Purchase Now button

Get started this year with art and music appreciation in your family!


Every Thursday during the month of August, I’ll be posting a special offer, a free printable, or a giveaway opportunity! August for homeschooling families can be a last flurry of planning and I thought this might be a fun way to anticipate a September start of the school year. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list so you don’t miss a single one of the August promotions!

Music Appreciation Monday – Prokofiev

Music Monday on Harmony Fine Arts Join us every Monday for a new musical selection.

Music Appreciation Monday – Sergei Prokofiev

Listen to this waltz on Youtube: Cinderella’s Waltz.

This composer is featured in the Harmony Fine Arts Mini-Unit: Degas and Prokofiev. 

You can purchase this mini-unit in the Harmony Fine Arts store for just $3.25. This pre-planned art and composer study will provide about six week’s worth of activities including viewing art, listening to music, and then following with notebook pages and suggested projects.

Degas and Prokofiev button

Practical Homeschool Award 2016 Harmony Fine Arts

Harmony Fine Arts products were winners in the Practical Homeschool Awards for the past several years! This award was voted by users as one of the top programs for 2016.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...