Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your Child is an Artist #6

On Dexterity, Consistency, and Learning by Doing

"[D]exterity can be acquired by simple exercises with a pencil" (72). One thing Zaidenberg recommends to improve manual dexterity is rhythm patterns like hatching, cross-hatching, cross-hatching at a diagonal, curlicues, zig-zags, etc. (Some people might look at these rhythm exercises and see nothing but doodling, but these doodles improve dexterity.)

"You must endeavor to direct the purposeful completion of the theme originally chosen by first eliciting the 'story' the child has conceived for execution and then recalling that theme to the not-always-constant mind of the child" (72). Ask your child to tell you the story of her drawing, then narrate the story back to your child while she continues to draw.

Learning by Doing (from pages 79-80)
Zaidenberg actually recommends "bribing" children to draw. "Offer an apple or a stick of candy in exchange for a drawing of that apple or candy... A series of tests with all the available easy objects should fix the drawing habit and start the training of eye and hand dexterity... At the same time, make a drawing of the object yourself, not in a spirit of competition but as a means of knowing from first-hand experience what problems your child faces...

"His drawing will usually have a freshness and lack of inhibition not to be found in yours even though your manual control may produce a more skillful approximation of the contours and forms."

Zaidenberg suggests working with basic forms - the circle, the square, and the triangle. "Any four-year-old child can draw a square or a circle in such a way that everyone will know what is intended." For example, to draw an apple, a child can draw a circle, and then add a detail "to give it directed meaning." For an apple, adding a stem conveys "the symbol of an apple," makes a child feel successful, and "stimulate[s] further attempts."

This reminds me of a famous quote by Cezanne:
"Allow me to repeat what I said when you were here: deal with nature by means of 
all placed in perspective, so that each side of an object or a plane is directed towards a central point."

If you can draw a cylinder, a sphere, and a cone, you can draw anything! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Your Child is an Artist #5

On Criticism

When we critique our children's artwork, Zaidenberg suggests we consider:
1)How interested was my child in the object and the problem?
2)How much ingenuity and imagination did my child bring to the drawing?
3)How closely did my child emulate the appearance of the object?*

*Least important

I love this quote from page 76: 
"[T]he exact simulation of an object is far less important than is a unique viewpoint and imagination and intensity of observation."

Regarding Number 1, to get a child interested in an object, we have to present the object - like an apple - so we "awaken in him a purposeful approach. If you want him to draw an apple, accompany the request that he draw it with a preamble which will make the apple an object of importance and even romance."

Zaidenberg suggests telling the story of William Tell, or Newton and the apple.

(Reading that made me think of how one could tell the myth of Persephone and then have students draw a pomegranate, or the fable "The Fox and the Grapes" and then have students draw a cluster of grapes.)

"Seeking constructive critical points"

To offer our children constructive criticism, Zaidenberg says we can examine their drawings for the following:
1)Sureness and quality of his lines
2)General proportions
3)An understanding of elements of perspective
4)A feeling for composition
5)Color quality
6)An understanding of light, its source and shadows and their cause
7)Subject matter and mood

If you'd like to read the other posts in this series, here they are:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Your Child is an Artist #4

In Chapter 11 of YCIAA, Zaidenberg writes about "Play."

"Public schools have always missed out in this integrating process [the integration of art and play] by the failure to realize the stimulus involved. Art classes, except in the kindergarten stages, are made into study courses, weighted down with exams and grades, a procedure always loaded with ominous portent for a child."

Zaidenberg suggests three games: the Wriggly Line Game, Dot to Dot, and the Blot Game.

For the Wriggly Line Game, give your child a page of wriggly lines, or squiggles, and have your child complete the drawing with whatever image the squiggle inspires.

Dot to Dot: "The play involved in drawing a line from number to number...also stimulates the ability to draw" (pg. 70). A couple of years ago, I thought dot to dots had little value - something teachers gave early-finishers as a way of keeping them quiet. But then, while reading up on intelligence testing, I came across information on the WISC's subtests, specifically Coding.

The following is from Think Tonight's website:

Coding measures visual-motor dexterity, associative nonverbal learning, and nonverbal short-term memory. Fine-motor dexterity, speed, accuracy and ability to manipulate a pencil contribute to task success; perceptual organization is also important. 
One of the suggestions for improving a child's performance on the coding portion of the WISC is Dot to Dot.

I have a couple of Extreme Dot to Dot books by Mindware, including Around the World which has famous landmarks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Russia's Saint Basil's Cathedral. On rainy days, when my students are stuck inside for recess, Dot to Dots are a great inside recess activity. What I love about the Around the World book is that the pictures get students asking where the landmarks are, which in turn leads them to ask other questions about geography and world cultures.

(The Dot to Dot book on Think Tonight's site is - to put it lightly - extremely challenging. Here is an example.)

Zaidenberg suggests making your own Dot to Dots for your child by tracing an image. You could also have your child make a Dot to Dot for you to complete, or for a sibling, or in a public school classroom, for another student.

The Blot Game is like the Rorschach test. The student puts a little paint on one side of a folded piece of paper, folds the paper over, and viola - a blot. It's "calculated to stimulate an interest in design."

Now, grab your paint and go play.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Your Child is an Artist #3


"The first scribbles of a very young child of three or four...are joyous emotional and physical outlets with no conscious strings...uninhibited, in contrast to the lack of adventurousness in the grown-up which causes him to follow a 'style' to its usually dead end[.]"

"[I]n addition to the free scribble process, he should be gently led to involve the conscious world of his daily life with this instinctive art flow."

Zaidenberg suggests playing a game with your preschool-age artist. When your child draws what appears to the adult-eye as a scribble, ask your child to help you find the shape of an object or a person or an animal. You can rotate the paper to do this. You can say, I see an elephant's face with a long trunk. It's the opposite of what an abstract artist does; an abstract artist starts with an elephant and "takes from that object the elements of shape and design which he considers important..."

Lastly, Zaidenberg says to ask your child how he FELT when he made the scribble. Does the scribble mean happiness or anger? Does the scribble tell a story?

Doing these things help a child make the connection that they can communicate their imagination and their feelings through art.

(quotes are from pages 64-65 of YCIAA by Zaidenberg)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Furness Abbey*
Students in Charlotte Mason's schools studied architecture. Some of the PNEU programmes (Form III: 7th/8th grade) list a book titled Architecture by Jack, but after searching both Archive and Project Gutenberg, I came up empty-handed.

Architecture was studied under the umbrella of General Science. Different sciences were studied different terms, and from what I can tell, Architecture was a science studied in Form III or 7th/8th grade, and then in 10th through 12th in conjunction with the historical period that was being studied.
(Vol. 6, pgs. 177-178 explains that during 10th through 12th grades, the historical period determined the literature, Plutarch, poetry, art appreciation, architecture, etc. that was studied.)
In Volume 6, Mason writes, "We do what is possible to introduce children to Architecture...but there is nothing unusual in our work in these directions." (pg. 217) Pg. 220 does say, "[C]hildren shall observe and chronicle, but shall not depend upon their own unassisted observation."

If nothing unusual was done, what was a usual lesson like? In a Parents' Review article from 1903 (Vol. 14, pgs. 304-309), there is a lesson for Form IV (8th/9th grade, although the age of students was listed as 16 1/2). In this particular lesson, students were preparing for a trip to Furness Abbey. (I love field trips!) The objectives of the lesson were:
1)to prepare for a visit to the site
2)to form a relationship with the past and with art
3)to provide food for the imagination

The teacher prepared students for their visit by:
1)interesting students in the abbey's two types of architecture through comparison
2)giving students the opportunity to realize the beauty of the architecture
3)linking architecture with history

The lesson was this:
1)Find out whether students have been to the site and get them to describe it, or describe it to them.
2)Show pictures.
3)Tell the beginning of the history of the site. Make it interesting.
4)Ask questions. Get students thinking. (What buildings would have been necessary? What style do you think the church probably was? Etc.)
5)Draw pictures on the board.
6)Share more history.
7)Show a printed plan of the site.
8)Take an imaginary tour of the site using the plan. (Notice the important characteristics of the style of architecture.)
9)Place the site in context. (Who was king at this time? What was the name of the time period?)
10)Show pictures of other buildings built at the same time so students can compare.
11)Show more pictures of the site. Compare and contrast the site's two architectural styles.
12)Make a timeline.

For the timeline, there was a square for every ten years on the board. So for the 200 years between 1050 and 1250, there would have been 20 squares on the board. The teacher shaded the Norman period in one color, the Early English period in a second color, and the decades of transition a third color. Then four dates were added (when William the Conqueror, Stephen, and Richard I ascended the throne, and when the building of Furness Abbey began).

13)Students drew examples of architectural features they would see, such as arches.
14)Finally, the teacher showed them a large historical plan of the site.

An example of an architecture exam question asked to a Form III student (from Vol. 6, pg. 220): "How would you distinguish between Early, Decorated and Perpendicular Gothic? Give drawings."


Here are two fourth grade California art standards:
3.1 Describe how art plays a role in reflecting life (e.g., in photography, quilts, architecture).
3.3 Research and describe the influence of religious groups on art and architecture, focusing primarily on buildings in California both past and present.

In 4th grade, students study missions, and it's popular to have students build 3-D missions at home. I'm ambivalent about this project, so I don't assign it as homework. Sometimes parents do their children's work for them, and it's obvious. On the other hand, I do think parents should be involved and work with their children on projects. However, some parents complain when their children are assigned projects because they feel obligated to go to a craft store, which is time consuming and can be costly, or because they have to supervise the project's construction. Some students turn in nothing. Some turn in cardboard boxes or Lego buildings that look nothing like missions. Some turn in expensive kits from the craft store. Instead of making the project homework, I've had students build in-class missions (mini-missions that fit on 8 1/2" by 11" chipboard) using sugar cubes. I photocopied floor plans of missions, reducing the size to 8 1/2" x 11". Then students glued the floor plans to the chipboard, painted the area that would have been vegetation green, glued their sugar cubes on top of the floor plan, added a corrugated cardboard roof painted terra cotta, and put on their own finishing touches like farm animals or a fountain, etc.

I don't think either project - large or mini - actually teaches how the architecture of missions reflected life, or how Catholics influenced California's architecture. I'm reflecting on how I want to change things up next year. (I'm also - forever - thinking about all of the fun things I get to teach my own daughter someday, which brings me to the last part of today's post...)

Here's a post I love from Charlotte Mason in the Bluegrass. This is the architecture exam question for the author's grade 5/6 daughter (age 11):
Of the styles of architecture we've studied this term, which one is your favorite: Islamic, Italian Renaissance, English Tudor, French Renaissance, Baroque, English Renaissance, Early American Gothic or Georgian/Colonial? Describe why it is your favorite and give some examples of the architecture or the person(s) who introduced/influenced this style.


Out of all the architecture we studied, I think that English Tudor was my favorite. English Tudor is named after the Tudor family which was the line up to Queen Elizabeth. This architecture has horizontal and vertical lines.  The materials used in this architecture are plaster and wood.  A little girl once called Tudor architecture a zebra house because of the stripes.  People even today use this architecture as a modern cozy home. You can even spot one where I live in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

*image in the public domain from wikipedia

Monday, July 21, 2014

Field Trip - Storyland

My daughter with her Grandpa at Storyland in Fresno, California
Storyland opened in 1962. It has lots of trees, and shady winding paths that lead to the homes of nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters. At the front entrance, you buy a "magic" key that fits into speaker boxes around the park. The speaker boxes recite nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Three-years-old is the perfect age to visit...
Using her magic key to unlock the speaker box at Humpty Dumpty
Alice's Courtyard is one of the venues that can be rented out for parties.

Sitting in Mama Bear's chair
The Three Pigs used to be live pigs. When I was little, one tried to eat my dress.
Many of the park's features have slides.
The gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel has a merry-go-round.
When I was little, Hansel and Gretel's tall green witch was on the merry-go-round; she appeared to "chase" after the riders.
Pooh's house

Captain Hook's pirate ship
Unlocking the speaker box at the pirate ship. It tells the story of Peter Pan.
In the background you can see the entrance to what used to be the Crooked Mile.
The park is a little run-down and almost closed 10 years ago. There are no longer live animals (pigs at the Three Little Pigs' houses, and sheep at Little Boy Blue's). They've closed Jack and the Beanstalk - which I loved - but they haven't removed the beanstalk's tall metal skeleton (it used to be that you climbed up inside a beanstalk and at the very top you looked into the Giant's face as he boomed "Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!"). They also closed the Crooked Mile: There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse, And they all lived together in a little crooked house. I loved the Crooked Mile! The "mile" is still there, along with its crooked entrance, but that's it. The snack bar that was inside the park is closed up and some of the voices from the speaker boxes are a little difficult to hear.

I love Storyland. It was designed for little ones (the entrances are small, the toilets are low, the sinks are low, the paths are narrow, and preschoolers love things that are their size). It's happy (little ones can lead their parents and grandparents down the paths, discover, explore, and climb). 

Older kids and adults might be too jaded to enjoy this park, but three-year-olds think it's magical.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Field Trip - Santa Monica Pier

My three-year-old riding Inkie's Wave Jumper
She rode the bumper cars 11 times in a row! (I think that's a pier record.)
Thursday, we walked to the Santa Monica Pier and I bought my three-year-old a day pass for $16.95. (I also had to buy myself an adult pass, so I could go on rides she was too little to ride alone.) For four hours, I let my daughter ride whatever she wanted. She went on 31 rides. We also took a break from moving up, down, side to side, forward, backward, and around and around - Mommy's idea - at the old-fashioned ice cream counter.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Funny things my three year old has said this week

The other day, I said, "I'm so glad God made you," and my three year old replied, "Yes, he made me out of wood."

A few days agoI asked what she wanted for breakfast and she said half & half. (Half a bagel...and another half a bagel.)

Today, she was picking at her heel. I told her to stop and she argued, "But I don't want my scab-engers!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Field Trip - Getty Villa

My three-year-old handling materials used to make mosaics.
I love the Getty Villa. The architecture is based on an ancient Roman villa, and it has an inner peristyle garden, an outer peristyle garden, an herb garden, and a gorgeous view of the Pacific. The villa is filled with 44,000 Greek and Roman antiquities.

Our first stop was the Reading Room to learn about Byzantine mosaic-making in an intimate, hands-on setting.

My tour of the special exhibit - the Art of Byzantium - was short. My daughter was on Day Four of museum-going, and she wanted to play in the Family Forum and take a walk outside. So, we did.
Dressed as a gladiator
Slaying a gorgon

She insisted on carrying a "parasol" in the villa's garden.
Making a crayon rubbing

Monday, July 14, 2014

Field Trip - Getty Center

My three-year-old creating an illuminated manuscript with dry erase markers
 The Getty Center has an amazing collection of art. This is a link to the collection website; click "Browse" and you get the option of browsing by object/medium OR theme/topic OR artist name. After seeing Degas' Dancer Taking A Bow, and Van Gogh's Irises, we spent some time in the Family Room.
Building a tube sculpture

Inspired by a David Hockney photo collage - Pearblossom Hwy

The Family Room is neat because little ones get to participate in the art, making masks, moving magnets and mirrors, constructing a sculpture, peeping into 70 tiny holes to view paintings, tracing insects, illuminating a manuscript, or curling up in a 18th century French bed with a bedtime story. (The link is to the real bed that inspired the little one in the Family Room.)
Taking a break with a cherry juice bar - Yum!
At the Getty, you pay for parking, but admission is free, and you can bring your own food and picnic.
Yes, you can walk on the grass.
Something we didn't get a chance to do (but I want to next time) is visit the Sketching Gallery.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Field Trip - LACMA

My three-year-old playing in the "noodles."

Painting in the Boone Children's Gallery
Yesterday my family visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We saw a special exhibit - Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Expressionism in Germany and France. Having been to museums in Europe, I've seen a lot of famous works of art (including the Barnes Collection, which is now in Philadelphia). I love coming face to face with a Matisse or a Gauguin. I feel almost like I'm experiencing something I shouldn't, like these images are reserved for books, but I - me! - I get to see the real paintings, every brush stroke or pointillist point. The exhibit was wonderful.

How does one take a three-year-old to an exhibit on expressionism? And, some might ask, why should you? To answer the second question first, you should because being viewing art in person is a habit that must be trained, just like picture study/viewing copies of paintings.

The three rules of HOW are:
2)On to the next painting!

Rule #1 - Take frequent breaks. Museums often have hands-on things for little ones to do. Do them.

Rule #2 - Keep it moving. Look for 1 element in a painting and move on to the next painting.

Rule #3 - Ask questions (but only 1 per painting). What shape are those apples? What is that man doing? What color is that woman's skin? (An especially good question for Fauvist works.)

We also visited James Turrell's exhibit "Breathing Light." We had to wait hours, but it was such a weird and enjoyable experience. Turrell's objective was to eliminate the viewer's depth perception, and it works. It's a bit like stepping into a scene from the original - good - Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the one in which the factory guests dress in white and enter the white TV room where Mike Teavee is turned into particles, etc. To enter "Breathing Light," we had to take off our shoes and put on disposable white booties. I had to tie the one-size-fits-all booties around my three-year-old's feet. Then we entered the installation and the lights started changing colors and it became disorienting, but in a pleasant sort of way. Fun for all ages.

My daughter also enjoyed the Boone Children's Gallery. Kids can sit and paint all day if they want, and there is no limit to how many paintings they can make.

Lastly, LACMA has a program called NexGen. Children under 18 get a free membership (and a cool orange lanyard to wear that holds their membership badge). Their membership enables one parent to accompany them to the museum for free, and it's good until the child turns 18!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Field Trip - California Science Center

My three-year-old driving a snow mobile in the Arctic.

Building an arch after touring the Pompeii exhibit.

Listening to sound waves vibrating*

The California Science Center has so much to see and do - and admission is free! There are Ecosystems (where my daughter got to "drive" the snowmobile), and Creative World - which includes Communications (where we listened to sound waves), Structures, Transportation, and more. There is World of Life (which we didn't even get to because there is just so much to see!) with Body Works, Cell Lab, Life Source (which has a chick hatchery! among other exhibits pertaining to babies, genes, reproduction, and development) and more, more, more. My husband would have liked to spend more time in Air and Space, and my daughter liked the space telescopes. The main reason we went to the Science Center was to see the special exhibit on Pompeii.

How does one tour an exhibit on Pompeii with a three-year-old? 

1)Answer your child's questions, but don't feel the need to give background information. (Example: It isn't necessary to tell your child that a volcano erupted and killed everyone, and that you're looking at plaster casts of dead bodies. If your child does ask what something is, you can ask, "What does it look like?" and let your child answer their own question, or you can give a preschool-friendly answer like, "It's the shape of a person," and your preschooler will probably be satisfied and on to the next thing. Besides, there is A LOT more to see than plaster casts. The casts are just a fraction of what there is to see.

2)DO tell your child your expectations for behavior before you enter. ("Hold my hand or Daddy's hand at all times.")

3)Do prepare your child for anything that might be sensory overload (too loud, too dark, etc.) by saying things like, "We're going to see a pretend volcano erupt. It's going to be loud, so you might want to cover your ears."

4)Make the tour a game. If there is something that resembles an item you have in your home, an everyday object, ask your child if she can find it. (Example: "Do you see something that looks like something we have in our kitchen?") If your child can count, ask how many of the same item he can find (Example: How many fish do you see?). Look for shapes. Look for colors. Ask your child what she thinks artifacts are made from (gold, clay, wood, rock, etc.).

*The shorter the tube, the higher the frequency and the higher the pitch.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ziploc Baggie Ice Cream

Today was my day to host our home(pre)school group. My intention was for the kids to play in the park's splash pad, make our own ice cream, and read "Summer" from Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad All Year (in which Toad buys Frog and himself chocolate ice cream cones but winds up with the ice cream - and sticks and leaves - all over him).

Toad as an ice cream "thing"
We did not get around to the story, but the ice cream was a success!

If you haven't done this, DO. Here's how:
1)Get two sandwich sized Ziploc baggies and put one inside the other. (I recommend double-bagging so salt doesn't get on the baggie with the ice cream in it, or so as little salt as possible gets on the ice cream baggie.)
2)Put 1/2 cup of milk in the inner baggie. (I've done this with both 1 percent and whole milk. You can also do this with heavy cream or half and half, and I'm guessing nonfat would work too. It just depends how rich you want to make your ice cream.)
3)Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
4)Put the sandwich sized baggies inside a gallon Ziploc.
5)Put 6 tablespoons of salt in the bag and cover the "ice cream" with ice cubes. (One recipe said 4 cups, but the important thing is to cover the "ice cream." Also, I've done this with both sea salt and rock salt, and both work. Any salt will work, but recipes recommend larger crystals.)
6)Put on your oven mitts (or mittens, or socks on your hands - it gets REALLY cold) and shake until the ice cream solidifies. Some recipes say five minutes. One try, I shook for exactly 6 1/2 minutes and that worked (I watched the stopwatch on my phone). The important thing is to shake until the ice cream feels really hard. (The salt will turn the ice into brine and saltwater will drip out of the bag, so doing this outside is a really good idea.)
7)Take the sandwich-sized baggies out. If you have ice water nearby to rinse the outer baggie, do. If not, it's okay. Carefully take out the inner baggie. You'll taste a tiny bit of salt, but the ice cream will still be good; one mom suggested adding a tiny bit of caramel sauce to the inner baggie for a "salted caramel" treat -Yum.
8)You can add a small amount of chocolate sauce or strawberry topping (or caramel sauce), or any other mix-in to the baggie, seal, and give it an extra couple of squishes.
9)Squeeze the ice cream into a waffle cone. Top with sprinkles (or your favorite topping). Enjoy.

(This makes one serving.)

The average freezing point (also called the melting point) of milk is -.54 degrees Celsius (which is 31.028 degrees Fahrenheit). The freezing point of milk is just a tiny bit lower than the freezing point of water (0 degrees Celsius/32 degrees Fahrenheit), so you need salt's help. Salt lowers the temperature. For a chemistry lesson on why salt lowers the freezing point of water (including an animation) click here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Your Child is an Artist #2

A circle and line person my daughter drew a couple of months ago (2 years old)
In my last post, I wrote about Arthur Zaidenberg's Your Child is an Artist (1949).

Zaidenberg suggested children be given LOTS of (inexpensive) art materials, "lots of paper and many pots of paint and a wide variety of pencils and crayons for he will be induced to experimental and uninhibited productivity by a relatively unlimited supply." (pg. 60)

Zaidenberg's Basic Materials List:
pencils (drawing #2-#5; assorted colored pencils)
poster colors (a set of jars of paints)
water color set
brushes (5 in different sizes, "large brushes...will encourage him toward freedom of expression")
crayons (assorted colors; Zaidenberg suggested grease crayons; I use oil pastels in my classroom)
chalk (Zaidenberg suggested large flat pastels)
paper (large sheets of drawing paper and watercolor paper)
drawing board 24" x 36"
a child's easel
water jars, muffin pan for mixing, paint rags


"Habits are also most readily formed in childhood and once acquired are never a chore but part of a behavior pattern."

"The presentation of the first sketch book, preferably a bound one, should be made a significant occasion and each subsequent book should represent a step in the child's progress to be treasured."

"Persuade him to have a small sketch book with him at all times, to be filled with a rough record of all his adventures and the drawn details of their settings." (pg. 63)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Your Child Is An Artist

I've been looking through Arthur Zaidenberg's Your Child Is An Artist (copyright 1949), and have found some quotes I love and want to share...

"It only requires an examination of the lives of our friends and acquaintances to find comparison material for a study of the worth of a wholely 'utilitarian' education, i.e. one devoted to the study of such objects as will fit one into a successful career in business or science exclusively, as against an education which not only produces the competent, useful man but brings forth the man himself, in his richest potential, creative and appreciative of creation, able to express his emotions and understand the emotional expression of others." (32-33)

"It is my contention that this language [art], native to every child, lost in the inadequate educational process, can be reacquired." (33)

"The Austrian, Dr. Cizek, was among the first to introduce the theory that the teaching of art to children was a process of encouragement of the use of an instinctive language to be intuitively learned." (39) Adults tend to praise children based on how realistic their drawings are, and how they've gotten "better" at drawing something realistically.

"Parents should present their children with pencils, colored crayons and colored chalks at the earliest possible age, even at the risk of damage to the wallpaper." (59)

"One cannot teach drawing to a child...One can only prepare him to teach himself by supplying him with the tools, stimulating his interest, acquainting him with the importance of art and leading him on the natural graduated stages of his growth process into more and subtler artistic creation." (59) The author does suggest improving manual dexterity, mental dexterity, correcting misuse of materials, suggesting a child follow a path in which he or she showed an early aptitude.

"The 'don'ts' must prevent you from surrounding him with bad pictures in his home, suggesting second-rate pictures to copy and praising work of bad taste because they are 'popular' and done by 'successful' men." (59) No visual twaddle.