Fine Arts options for homeschoolers that are easy to include in your day and won’t break the bank! Enjoy together or independently!
When I first started homeschooling, and for many years thereafter, I did not include Fine Arts in our lessons. It was just too difficult to find the time and resources, and I didn’t really need one more thing to do.
However, I kept hearing about this thing called the Charlotte Mason Method and I knew she advocated artist and composer studies for even the youngest of children as a way to expose them to the sights and sounds of art at its finest.
I had no idea how to implement it into our homeschool day.
I needed guidance and an open and go way to add it to our homeschool schedule. Frankly, I just needed it to be EASY – otherwise, I’d never get around to it.
A few years ago, I came across a way to easily integrate Fine Arts into our homeschool without making it ONE. MORE. THING. In this post, I will share what we did, but also share other ideas for making Fine Arts part of your homeschool without a lot of stress or rearranging of your schedule.
Fine Arts During Morning Time
This is where we started with adding Fine Arts into our homeschool day. At the top of our daily schedule, we did a Morning Time all together that included Fine Arts. If you are interested in learning more about how our Morning Time works, read these posts:
We began this kind of Morning Time during our 2017-18 Jubilee Homeschool Year, so I was ready for something different. We used ready-made lessons so that I didn’t have to try to figure it out myself. This is my recommendation for anyone who is new to Fine Arts in your homeschool – buy lesson plans and get familiar with how it works before venturing off on your own.
There are several homeschool curriculum companies that produce quality Morning Time lessons that include Fine Arts in an easy to use format. A few of our favorites are:
Morning Virtues – This product from Gentle + Classical Press has become a favorite in our homeschool! All of the lessons revolve around a common theme, and it all ties together nicely.
Everything you need (including the art prints!) are included in the lessons. You will also find poetry, a folk song, a hymn, a composer biography and links to listen to his or her music, a handicraft, and more! We do not always do everything in the lessons, but try to focus on the music, poetry, and artist.
Brighter Days Press Morning Time – The newest version (Volume 3) of this 36 week lesson plan recently arrived in the Brighter Days shop. The lessons have composer studies, artist studies, hymn studies, Scripture reading and poetry, and several other lovely additions to your day. And the price is very reasonable for an entire school year worth of material!
Everyday Graces Morning Time – Lessons are based on a selection of literature like The Hobbit or the works of Shakespeare. The lessons include poetry, copywork, artist and composer study, a hymn study, art lessons, handicraft, 2 Tea Times, nature study, geography, memory work, and more!
You could also use the links on Ambleside Online and put together your own study simply by following their schedule. However, let me reiterate…if you are unfamiliar with adding Fine Arts into your homeschool, I highly recommend trying one of the above Morning Time lessons first.
NOTE: All of the above Morning Time lessons include MUCH more than Fine Arts. Even if you use NOTHING else in the lessons, the price is worth it to have the Fine Arts work done for you! That said, I do believe you will enjoy the other lessons so much, you will want to include many of them in your homeschool day as well.
Fine Arts Based on History
We do history as a family at the beginning of our school day around the dining room table. Our curriculum, Tapestry of Grace, includes Fine Arts by introducing the children to the artists, art styles, and composers of the time period we are currently studying. You can buy the Fine Arts Spool separately, but I prefer to have TOG Integrated because it all goes together so nicely.
After our Jubilee Homeschool Year, I was better prepared to manage Fine Arts on my own. (Although, I do still use several of the lessons mentioned earlier because I enjoy them so much!). So, we continued to do Fine Arts during our Morning Time lessons as a family.
I always have my laptop at my side during our Morning Time school, so all I have to do is look up the composer and artist, read a bit about him or her, and show them the artwork or have them listen to the music.
I also learned that Music in Our Homeschool has Music Appreciation classes that line up perfectly with Tapestry of Grace’s timeline because they are based on the various periods in music history. So, when we are studying the Romantic Era, I can purchase lifetime access to MIOH’s Romantic Era Music Appreciation and we can learn all about the composers of that era and listen to their music as part of our homeschool lessons!
Everything you need is part of the Music in Our Homeschool online platform. (Talk about Open and Go!). The biography is there, the YouTube videos of the composer’s music is embeded, so you don’t have to leave the membership site. Super simple!
NOTE: I actually prefer to own a Membership to Music in our Homeschool called MIOH+. That way I have access to nearly EVERYTHING on the site, including holiday music, hymns, folk songs, etc. This has become such a huge part of our homeschool day, I do not ever want to be without a music lesson to go along with what we are studying!
This membership only opens up a couple of times a year, so get on the waitlist if you are interested!
Fine Arts as a Independent Course for Homeschoolers
So far, I’ve only mentioned doing Fine Arts all together as a family because that’s what we do, but if you are looking for classes that can be done independently and added to individual students, I do have a couple of ideas for you.
Musin in Our Homeschool Fine Arts Class – This Charlotte Mason inspired online class uses the same platform as all of the MIOH classes (see my comments above in the History Based section).
Your child will go from the Renaissance through the Modern Era with artists, composers, and poets. This is a full year curriculum, and is perfect for a high schooler needing a Fine Arts credit.
You ARE An Artist Fine Arts Classes – You ARE an Artist is best known for Nana’s fun chalk pastel tutorials which we use very often in our homeschool, but they also have Fine Arts classes that focus on an artist and a composer with chalk art lessons for one of the pieces of artwork which is such a GREAT way to learn about an artist!
You can choose a specific grade level or choose a set of lesson to do with all of your children (my preference)! By the way, if you are a Clubhouse member, you get 50% off ALL Fine Arts titles, so take advantage of that deal!
How to Easily Add Fine Arts to Your Homeschool
Now that I’ve stuffed your brains with a bunch of lesson plan ideas for Fine Arts, let me share a couple of Quick Tips for making this even easier to implement:
- Start by teaching everyone together.
- Choose a time of day when everyone is available and ready to listen and learn. This could be first thing in the morning, right after lunch, or mid-afternoon. You could even do what we used to call Tea Time School (however, this proved to be a bad time for us to try to fit in Fine Arts after all – every family is different, you find YOUR groove!)
- Keep it simple. Don’t try to do too much every day. There’s no need to do a lesson on an artist AND a composer all in one day! Just don’t. You will be more likely to stick with the lessons if you aren’t doing too much.
- Keep it fun! Notice the ugly curtain in the background of the painting. Laugh at the big nose on the portrait or the weird animal next to the lady in the painting. Tap out the beat of the music being played. Draw a picture to go along with the music. Eat a snack. Drink some coffee. In other words, ENJOY the journey!