Homeschool Curriculum Series: Music, Art, Foreign Language

George Frideric Handel

As homeschoolers, we like to cover all bases, go beyond reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. As a creative family, we value the arts and consider it vitally important to include them in our curriculum. Thus, we’ve used some resources I’d love to share.

Music: The boys both had music lessons with private instructors for a few years. At home, we learned a lot about composers through the ages from Meet the Great Composers, Books 1 and 2. Each lesson provided a short biography, activity, and piece of music from each composer on the accompanying CD. We also read Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, which was an informative book about the inspiration behind the great composers’ work.

Art: In elementary school we did lots of art projects, many of them using a book called Discovering Great Artists. Each lesson discussed a particular artist, taught his/her technique, and then provided an art project using their method, such as lying down beneath a table and painting on a paper taped underneath the table to represent Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Fun stuff right there. In junior high, we used Understanding Art (a mega expensive school textbook which we found dirt cheap on eBay.) It was a very complete study of art through the ages and around the world.

Foreign Language: This is a little bit tougher of a subject for homeschool and many who want to tackle it may want outside lessons. However, there are self-guided resources to use at home. Most are quite expensive. One that was more affordable (and we bought it cheaper used, as we did many of our school books) was Power-Glide, now called Powerspeak. My older son got a pretty good basis in Spanish using this.

As you can see, there are resources out there for every homeschooler’s needs and so much to choose from. Don’t be deterred. The search is half the fun!

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