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Great Books for Homeschoolers (Part 1)

Irises (1889), Getty Center, Los AngelesI have wanted to share this list for AGES!

These books aren’t new—thousands of homeschoolers are probably using them already—but if you haven’t seen them yet, check your local library for access to these phenomenal resources. We’ve been thrilled to borrow dozens of them as needed for our curriculum.

Without further ado, here are some Bohan favorites.

  • Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists, a series by Mike Venezia

Each book features a single artist and utilizes a combination of written history, amusing cartoons and reproductions of the artist’s work, as well pieces by influential contemporaries. We have found this series to be both educational and entertaining, conveying the artists’ talents and contributions in the context of their own personal stories and their place in history.

Despite at least one scathing review for his treatment of Van Gogh, we found these books to be age appropriate for the Amazon recommendation of “ages 6 and up.” (Based upon that one review, perhaps there should be a cap on that, limiting it to ages 6-12.)

Also included in this series are the following titles (and more):

Paul Cezanne (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Salvador Dali (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Michelangelo (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Henri Matisse (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Georgia O’Keeffe (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Picasso (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Jackson Pollock (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Rembrandt (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Pierre Auguste Renoir (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

Andy Warhol (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists)

  • Venezia created a similar series on musicians, Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers, that we have also enjoyed, though admittedly not as much as the visual artists, since these would need an audio sampling in order to truly compare. (Hmm… perhaps Venezia should distribute audio versions of these with accompanying music.) There aren’t as many titles in this group, but they include the following:

Also included in this series are the following titles (and more):

The Beatles (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)

Aaron Copland (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)

Duke Ellington (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)

George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)

  • And finally (for this post), Venezia has published two other series, Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents and Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientists, which we have found to be helpful but not quite as compelling as the series on artists. Of the two, we like the Presidents best, though they seem more well-suited for a slightly older age group, perhaps 8 and up.
Check back soon for the next set of homeschool-friendly books we absolutely adore—courtesy of Brian P. Cleary.

© Liesl K. Bohan | TipsnTidbits.com

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