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    Art for Two

    July 4, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Now that he is four, E. has been devising many plans for his future. Besides becoming a garbage man and a tractor man {which reveals a heart’s desire to drive heavy machinery!}, he tells us often that he wants to be a builder. He wants to build “lots and lots of houses, and one church!” Couple this with the fact that he often shows dissatisfaction when he is drawing {because he wants things to look “real”}, and maybe it can easily be guessed what new subject we are adding to our studies in the fall.

    Or, one could simply read the title of this post.

    Either way, I am pleased to announce that I have my very own copy of Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes in my hot little hands! The great thing about Mona Brookes is that she invented a method for teaching realistic representational drawing to very young children because she didn’t know that it was taboo in the art world to instruct children in art at all. Many “experts” considered it to be stifling a child’s creativity to offer any sort of formal instruction.

    Now, Brookes did not seek to replace what she calls “symbolic drawing” {i.e., stick

    Everyone loves to draw if they are given a nonthreatening environment with enough structure for success and enough freedom for creativity.
    –Mona Brookes

    figures and scribbles}, but rather she recognized that children show a desire to also draw realistically, but they do not know how. When I read this about her, I thought of my son and how often he reveals frustration with his scribbles because he wants to make them look like something else.

    The only problem is His Mother. Though she can be considered “creative,” she is a far cry from actually being “artsy.” When compared with art majors in college, her hair and clothing was always considered quite normal.

    So Mom is going to have to learn first. Already, two hours have been spent studying Brookes’ “alphabet of shape.” It is an adventure I never had a deep desire to undertake, but that is perhaps an interesting aspect of homeschooling. I find myself {already!} delving into subjects because my son shows an interest in them, and I respect his developing personality too much to squash it simply because the subject is intimidating.

    So I find myself with a good six weeks to study and prepare before our official “school year” begins sometime in late August or early September…

     

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