“Looking at this painting... it looks like cheese because it's all yellow, and it's autumn, and some people are having a picnic and there's a town in the background and children playing and someone going fishing. The people are poor people [peasants] and the people come from Ireland. Some men are cutting down the wheat and the wheat looks like tents. I do not like this painting because it's all yellow! I prefer paintings with bright colours: pink, purple, green, blue, red, turquoise and orange.”
This is not exactly up to our usual standards, but it’s a start. We’re both trying to get back into the swing of things, which is surprisingly tough right now considering that, theoretically, we learn all through the summer. (I have no idea how she decided that the people were Irish, but I suppose peasants look like peasants all the world over…)
Here’s how we do picture study narration:
After a few minutes of guided picture study, where I ask questions and she can mention what she notices in the picture, she does the narration “blind” (without looking at the picture) and then, before she can peek at it again, draws one detail from the painting. Here, she’s drawn the bread basket that’s near the right-middle foreground:
I then paste a printout of the original into the book so she can look back at it, which she sometimes does.
In case you’re curious, here’s are some good Picture Study resources:
- A good PDF guide to picture study with sample questions (this is a sample of a full program which I have NOT used)
- More on Charlotte-Mason style picture study from Jimmie of Jimmie’s collage
- Another sample picture study from Wonder in the Woods
Practically speaking, very little formal education has taken place here during the last 8 weeks. Today and Monday have been the exceptions this week. This picture study is one of our lessons in Classical Writing Primer – Spring, which uses mainly Charlotte Mason methods. The book intersperses copywork (sections of poems, psalms and songs) with story narrations (from Danny Meadow Mouse by Thornton Burgess), Nature Study (flowers, plants, clouds so far), “light” grammar study (homonyms, rhymes, possessives, etc) and Picture Study (so far, a series of paintings by Pieter Bruegel, which we’ve enjoyed tremendously).
I like the variety, and the fact that everything is together in one easy-to-use (brainless!) workbook, BUT have decided not to pursue this program because so many of the selections are either Christian or US-based (like Our Country ‘tis of Thee; the winter and spring ones has Xmas type selections).
Am I the only one finding it very hard to just gear up and get started again…?