Emilia's eyes were shining, eager. "Mom, doesn't this look like something Raphael would paint?" She held up stamps that my mother-in-law had in her purse. To tell you the truth, I couldn't remember who painted this particular painting, but I was thinking it was probably Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo. But, sure enough, she was right!
We've learned about various famous artists in our history book, The Mystery of History, so I shouldn't have been surprised that she knew who painted this Madonna and Child, but I was. To say that I was happy would be an understatement. I was thrilled!
The academic part of homeschooling can be intimidating at times with thoughts of, Am I doing enough? Are we learning the right stuff? Will my children be smart?!, rolling through my mind. But when the Lord allows me to witness moments of recognition, understanding, or connection...ahhh...it's pure joy!
I understand that being able to recognize famous works of art is not the most important thing in life. We pray that our children will first and foremost love and serve God. But we also pray that they will be able to engage in the many different conversations that flow through the everyday. That includes, but is not limited to, art.
Hopefully exposing them to some art culture will help them be able to engage more effectively - for the glory of God.
I attempt to teach using Charlotte Mason's idea of exposing children to the best of the best in art, literature, music, etc.
Talk of "engaging the conversations" I first heard from a good friend of ours, Chris Brewer, who recently published, Art that Tells the Story, a very well written and aesthetically pleasing book that portrays the Biblical story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation through (modern) art.