Miss Lucy, as her students call her, has been teaching Art History (among other things) to homeschooled students for the last few years. She also homeschooled her two daughters who are currently both in college. Miss Lucy is a graduate of UCLA and a former tennis professional and coach. She lives with her husband, two daughters (when they are home) and two dogs in La Mesa, California.
ARTK12: I know that both your girls took Kristin’s Art History classes when she was teaching. What did you like about those classes that kept you coming back year after year?
Miss Lucy: EVERYTHING!!! When I initially heard about Kristin’s classes I called and spoke with her on the phone. We were both homeschooling and I loved her outlook on learning and we had similar ideas about making and keeping learning fun. She also veered away from textbooks and instead used living books and books that really engage young minds. When my kids started her classes they were so excited about all they were doing and learning that I asked if I could sit in to experience the class myself. For all of us it was a highlight every week and we drove 45 minutes both ways to get to Kristin’s classes. Kristin is a creative genius and she has a gift of knowing what kids will enjoy. She had notebooks for the kids that they filled with their art projects and different things they were studying in class (all in a fun way) – Chinese, Arabic, Latin, astronomy, geography, book lists, anatomy—those notebooks are treasures and we still have them and look through them!
ARTK12: What did your girls like about those classes?
Miss Lucy: One of my girls said, ” I loved all the art projects, forgeries, learning about new cultures and interesting history. Kristin brought in cultures other than those that are typically studied. We studied Easter Island and other different areas we had never heard of.”
My other daughter said, – “I loved the games – Bingo and forgeries and how they helped us to memorize the art works we studied. I also loved all the books we read and how they gave us a better understanding of history.”
Both girls loved being exposed to and using different art mediums in their art projects.
ARTK12: You are currently teaching Art History to homeschooled students. How did you get into that?
Miss Lucy: We moved to North Carolina in 2008 which was the same year Kristin stopped teaching. I would not have wanted to leave if her classes were still going because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss anything she was teaching! When we were back east I showed my girls’ notebooks to different families and told Kristin I would love to teach her material. When people saw the notebooks and projects my girls had done they were excited for something similar for their kids. At that time Kristin had not published her curriculum. Five years later we moved back to San Diego and Kristin asked if I would like to teach her classes. That was a dream come true for me! I so want to impart a love of learning in kids and Kristin’s classes are my vehicle for that.
ARTK12: Give our readers a little idea of the make up of your students: ages, boy/girl ratio, how many classes, etc.
Miss Lucy: Ages: The average ages in the classes are 7-13 but I have had 5 and 6 year olds also. Right now there are 32 boys and 12 girls in the 4 classes I teach.
ARTK12: I know you use Kristin’s Art History curriculum to teach your classes. How has the curriculum helped you?
Miss Lucy: There is no way I could teach the classes without Kristin’s curriculum. She is so good at selecting the different pieces of art to study and narrowing down what should be covered. She has everything organized in her books which is an enormous amount of work.
ARTK12: What kind of preparation is required to use the curriculum?
Miss Lucy: If someone wanted to teach straight from her books there would be no preparation required. Kristin has it designed so that everything is prepared and ready to be taught straight from the books. I use the books as my guide and improvise from them but that is because I love to research and add things in.
ARTK12: What do you like best about the curriculum?
Miss Lucy: I like how much the kids learn from it. At the end of the semester they have mastered 30 pieces of art and that is all from playing Bingo, doing forgeries, having a short lesson and then making a project each week. It AMAZES me how much they learn and retain and it is all in such a fun style of learning.
ARTK12: Do you think the curriculum achieves: “Art History Disguised as Fun”?
Miss Lucy: Absolutely! They learn so much and there is no drudgery or groaning – ever.
ARTK12: What do your students look forward to the most?
Miss Lucy: I have asked them this and the answers vary. Some of the kids like the forgeries the most, some like the art projects and some even like the Mathematicians that we study. For some of the kids the map drawing is their favorite part of class. Other favorites are puzzle races and a review game called Zonk that we play.
ARTK12: I believe you use the draw map series too. How does that work into your classes?
Miss Lucy: Every semester we use one of Kristin’s Draw Map books to draw a different area of the world. How I wish we had had these books when I was homeschooling my kids. The kids love these and look forward to adding to their drawings each week. It is soooo much better than filling in pre-made maps. By actually drawing the different countries and borders kids really learn their Geography instead of just filling in blanks. We also make up fun acronyms as we add countries and this helps them remember which country comes next.
ARTK12: Do you have any other comments or thoughts?
Miss Lucy: Just that I am so grateful to get to teach Kristin’s material and keep her classes alive. She is brilliant and really knows what works with kids and learning.
Miss Lucy uses ARTK12’s curriculum to teach all of her classes.
If you are interested in teaching art history using ARTK12 curriculum and have questions, please contact ARTK12 at (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can give you ideas about running your class, what to charge and even help you with website set up if you need it.
Editor’s Note: I am good friends with Miss Lucy’s husband. I am taller than him….just in case he asserts otherwise.