Artist of the Term: Van Gogh

I want to touch people with my art.  I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly’.

— Vincent Van Gogh

This term we have returned to an old friend, Vincent Van Gogh. It is remarkable how familiar the children are with his paintings just from seeing memorabilia and prints in shop windows or hanging on café walls.  Like many artists, he produced such beautiful and vibrant paintings amidst such deep personal sorrow. I remember reading Irving Stone’s classic fictional biography Lust for Life as a teenager over and over again and being intrigued by his sad life that brought so much beauty. Navigating the traumatic side of Van Gogh’s life has been enlightening for the children.


To help guide us through some of Van Gogh’s key works we are using Simply Charlotte Mason’s Van Gogh Picture Study Portfolio.  All the work is then done for me.  The downloadable pdf is a beautifully put together short biography, and a selection of 8 works with a little information on each and some questions to discuss orally with the children.  We tend to look at a painting a week. This week was Starry Night.

Below I’ve put some other picture books we are enjoying to bring Van Gogh to life a little more, and some other free resources I’ve found on the web.





Enjoy learning alongside your children! I certainly am!


Other Van Gogh web resources:

BBC Dramatised Autobiography (2:42)

Van Gogh Word Search (Free Printable)

Art Tutorial: Easy to Draw Sunflowers

Art Tutorial: How to Draw a Sunflower

Art Tutorial: Starry Night


Previous Posts from the Classically Curious archive:

Museums and Galleries with little ones

Artist of the Term: Michelangelo

American Modernism Exhibition

Classical Music with Children

Getting Ready for the Ballet

Learning to love poetry

Poetry with Children



Tree Books, Games and Crafts

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
Vincent Van Gogh

There is something about autumn that draws me to gaze up at Continue reading

Autumn Books

The Harvest Moon

It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Oxford is feeling very autumnal.

The holidays are nearly over.

We have got building work beginning on our house tomorrow morning!

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So for our ‘artist of the term’ we have Continue reading

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Homeschooling is always a great conversation starter. I am pretty good at anticipating people thinking that I’m mad, so I normally preempt the look of surprise by saying, “Yes I know – I’m crazy aren’t I?!”

The questions very quickly come to, “How can you teach your older two with your little toddler around?”, or often more bluntly phrased as, “What do you do with her when you are teaching?”  Continue reading

Audiobooks for the Summer

I don’t know what your summer holiday is looking like, but we will be visiting family and friends in the Lake District and on the coast of Spain. Good audiobooks will definitely be our companions both when travelling and for down time during the days.   Continue reading