Saturday, February 13, 2010
Product Review: Child-Size Masterpieces
I have had my eye on this product for a few years, since before the baby bears started coming along! I first came across it when I was training as a teacher at University. I hadn't seen the actual product, just read about it in my research into Montessori, classical and other styles of schooling. When I bought it, I almost did as an impulse buy, adding it to some other purchases I had already made with Adnil press. I have only been using it for about a fortnight and my kids LOVE it! The cards on the cover were meant to be used to put on the cover of folders to store the other cards in, but my three oldest each claimed one and have them hanging on the wall above their beds. They love sorting through the cards, looking at them, talking about them and painting or drawing pictures 'inspired' by them.
Princess Doc has developed a love of Renoir as her chosen picture is Renoir's "A Girl With a Watering Can". This is an excellent artist for her as so many of his paintings are beautiful images of families, children and domestic life I feel sure she will find many paintings of his to relate to and love. Farm Boy has found many pictures of animals to love (of course!) and has amazed me with his eye for detail as he examines the pictures so closely and picks out things that I missed quite often. Even Tool Man sits on my knee and participates in matching the pictures and talks excitedly about what he sees in them.
Even I have found something to love with this resource as it has reawakened my love of many paintings I have not thought about for years! It has been wonderful to share this with my children and it has injected our own experimenting with drawing and painting with even greater enthusiasm. Of course, it has also awakened a strong desire to travel to Canberra to see a post-impressionist exhibition next year, but I don't think our budget will stretch that far!
I love this resource because it is:
*Easy to use with little preparation and clean up once the cards are cut out.
*Adaptable and appealing to a wide age range.
*Accessible to all of us and brings fine art into our home without trivialising it or making it less than what it is.
*Able to be used in a number of ways to keep it fresh and interesting. As well as the ways mentioned in the instruction manual, I intend to use the prints as narrative and writing prompts for the children.
*A starting point to launch so much further. Because of Princess Doc's reaction to "A Girl in a Watering Can" ("Oh, I want to paint like Renoir Mummy!!) I am getting her some age appropriate books on Renoir and other artists from the library which she devours and she is drawing and painting daily at the moment.
*It can be built on. Not only are there others in the series, I can also purchase other art post cards when we visit art galleries and museums and add them to the collection, and easy way to tailor the collection to include Australian art.
So if you were umming and ahhing about purchasing this one for your homeschool, know that it gets thumbs up in this house!