Adding Art and Music Study to Your Homeschool (A Review of Harmony Fine Arts at Home)

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I have long been a fan of Barb, author of the Harmony Fine Arts at Home curriculum and organizer of The Outdoor Hour Challenge. It was Barb’s passion for nature study that inspired our family’s excitement for it (though we’re currently well-intentioned backsliders in that area…fall is here, though, so I’m holding out hope for us).

Review of Harmony Fine Arts at Home

Because she has been so inspirational to me over the years, I was excited to bring you a review of Harmony Fine Arts at Home (and giveaway!) as I added Barb’s curriculum to our school line-up this semester. Harmony Fine Arts guides families through picture and composer studies in a combination of classical and Charlotte Mason style.

The studies are inspired by Charlotte Mason’s simple approach to picture study, in which students study one artist and his works for several weeks. This can be as simple for the child as making observations about the works of art and describing her reaction to it.

The classical element comes in with the division of the picture and composer study into the four-year history cycles favored by classical education. Harmony Fine Arts at Home features study guides for the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stage. They are broken down by grade level, but can be used by a variety of ages.

We chose the Grade 7 Late Renaissance to Early Modern book because it best fit the period of history that we are studying. I was excited to see that the layout of the study works well with our school schedule – each artist and composer is studied for six weeks.

picture study

My favorite thing about Harmony Fine Arts wasn’t the schedule, though. It was the three options provided that allow you to do just a little picture and composer study or follow a more in-depth art program. We played around with all three versions. It wasn’t because, at first, I completely forgot that we already owned the resource for the more in-depth study.

No, that wasn’t it at all. It was so that I could give you, my readers, my thoughts on each level. {ahem}

The first option can be done with nothing but the study guide and a computer with Internet access. It features links to online resources for looking at the artwork and listening to works by composers. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Barb even provides a link to her playlist that she makes sure to keep updated in case YouTube videos are removed.

The second option provides project-based follow-up activities, some of which just happen to utilize the watercolor book that we already had as part of our elementary and middle school homeschool curriculum. I love when that happens!

The third option uses the Artistic Pursuits Junior High book (the one I almost forgot we had) to add in lessons in art appreciation and basic drawing techniques.

composer study

Barb provides a variety of quality notebooking pages so that students can record highlights of their study, such as the names of the pieces of art studied or music listened to, facts about the artist or composer and the student’s thoughts about the music or works of art.

The notebooking pages feature several styles to suit the preferences of the students using them. Some have blank lines for writing in information about the artist or composer. Others have lots of blank space where the student can draw his version of the artist’s work or sketch his response to the composer’s music. Still others have room for pasting a printed copy of an artist’s painting. There are even a few coloring pages!

If you’d like to try Harmony Fine Art at Home, I’ve got a couple of opportunities for you to do so.

First, from now until midnight Saturday, WUHS readers can receive 20% off any of the Harmony Fine Arts one-year ebooks (grades 1-8), by visiting this special features page. Because the 20% discount is only good until Saturday and the giveaway doesn’t end until Monday, if you purchase an ebook and then win, Barb will refund the purchase price of your ebook.

You can also enter to win any single grade level (1-8) Harmony Fine Art at Home e-book ($17.99 value). To enter, just follow the directions on the RaffleCopter widget below.

Rules: This giveaway is open to United States residents, ages 18 years and older only. Giveaway ends on Monday, September 17, at approximately 6 PM (ET). The winner will be selected at random using Random.org via RaffleCopter.

The winner will notified via email and given 72 hours to respond. You must enter a valid email address to win. In the event that the winner cannot be contacted by email or does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be forfeited and and alternate winner selected.

Click to read the complete rules. By entering this giveaway, you indicate that you have read and agreed to abide by these rules.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Art is one of the subjects that always gets pushed aside in our house….this looks like a great, easy, fun way to have art and keep on track.

  2. Yeah!! I would love to win this as I’ve spent entirely too much on curriculum this year already. Art and music are two of the handful of subjects I would really like to add, but never seem to find the time. I’m thinking we’d want to do 5th grade since my kids are in 4th and 6th. Thanks!

  3. Great giveaway–thanks for hosting! I’d love to study the Late Renaissance to Early Modern era. I don’t know much about those artists.

  4. We’ve used Harmony Fine Arts for the first time this year, and we really like it. For someone who would probably forget about art otherwise, it’s easy enough for me to implement and it gives my son a wide range of different artists and composers. We hope to continue using it for many years!

  5. Thanks for a chance to win. I’ve been considering buying these plans recently. I would like to win the 7th grade plans.

  6. I have been enamored with the Nature Challenge for a while now, just need to put it in our days. I have also been thinking about Harmony Fine Arts, so this is a great opportunity ~ we would love to have Grade 4. Thanks so much!

  7. I think this is great seeing as my daughter is very interested in this particular subject, I would be interested in fifth grade.

  8. I have been wanting to use something like this with my daughter (4th grade). She LOVES art and music…I’d love to introduce her to the Greats!

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