Studying the Arts in Harmony with History

Ancient History and Art

This post contains affiliate links which are ideal for homeschooling with the arts. 

This is the first year I have attempted to be completely immersed in unit studies in all topics of learning. I can say that Little Man and I have struggled in some areas (spelling and vocab) while others have taken off and been a joy. The greatest joy has come in the arts.

For the first time this year we are using Harmony Fine Arts Lesson Plans written by Barbara McCoy, a homeschooling mom. I first found this program toward the end of the last school year. I was excited from the first moment I found it. Knowing that I was going to be using Illuminations with Mystery of History and that the program included the arts, I wasn’t sure if I needed to make a purchase from H.F.A. but since it is available as a downloadable e-book and only cost $17.44 I went ahead and made the purchase.

Egyptian Coloring Page showing
the technique of Frontalism

I’m glad that I did. It’s more in-depth than what the unit study provided and therefore I have chosen to use it for fine arts instead of what the unit study provided. Little Man is most definitely into the arts. He loves to draw and spends a lot of his free time drawing just about any and everything that he sees. Special thanks goes to my dear friend Ginny, who saves recyclable paper from the office she works in, because he has a stash of paper supply to draw on and to last, well I hope, the rest of the year. He also loves learning about other artists and likes to study technique, although he seriously doesn’t know that he is doing so.

Additionally he loves music. I think if we could afford it, he would have me purchase every possible musical instrument and take lessons in each of them. For now he is taking piano and doing very well. I suppose it is because of his math-centric mind.

Little Man’s Version of the Ancient
Egyptian techniquie known as Frontalism

What I have loved about Harmony Fine Arts is that it combines both art and music in one, easy to follow, plan. We are using the Grade 5 Ancient Art and the Orchestra e-book. Because we were beginning our year with Ancient Egypt we skipped the first portion and went directly to the section on Egypt.

“Harmony Fine Arts is the art and music appreciation program designed for busy homeschooling families. The Harmony Fine Arts plans organize a variety of resources so you can open the schedule and with little preparation offer your child experiences with great artists and composers.” — From: Harmony Fine Arts-Overview

Little Man’s Rendition
of Queen Nefertiti

In the beginning of the book you will find a complete listing of books as well as the art materials and supplies that are needed to fully complete the plan. With the art appreciation portion you are given 2 different choices of plans to follow. For the 5th grade plan you can choose between Barbara’s lesson plan or to follow her plan using Artistic Pursuits. I have chosen to follow Barbara’s lesson plan. 

This program offers a cohesive 32 week lesson plan. The author not only tells you where to find the products that you need in order to complete the program, but if you use the e-book, you will find links within the material linking you directly to the appropriate webpage. Some of these pages are places where you can purchase a product (although all of the recommended books can most likely be found at the local library). Other pages are web sites that offer art images, or art instructions, and also YouTube video’s for art instruction or for listening to classical music.

A coloring page showing the
Egyptian Pattern of Lotus Flowers.

The lesson plans are based on a picture study foundation but also include art instruction using several formats including period specific coloring pages, YouTube videos, and web links to pages that have specific instructions. There are also period specific notebooking pages which allow the student a chance to record what they are learning in a clear and concise manner.

The 5th Grade Music Appreciation portion of the lesson utilizes the book: Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine. This book takes the child on a musical exploration of the history of the orchestra as well as the instruments found there. The music lesson plans also include printable notebooking pages, specific to topics related to the period of music study.

“The Harmony Fine Arts plans pull together affordably priced materials along with internet links so you can have a reasonably priced art and music appreciation program.” — From: Harmony Fine Arts-Overview

What to know about this product:

  • It follows the classical education approach and teaches alongside a 4-year chronological history.
  • It is available for grades 1-12 (although you can choose to teach one level for families with multiple children and adapt along with your specific period of history).
  • You can see Sample Pages for each of the grade levels on the Harmony Fine Arts webpage.
  • Several Free Downloads are available, like the Music Listening Log Pictured below.
  • Grades 1-4 are available in both e-book format ($17.44) and a print version ($19.95).
  • Grades 5-6 are only available in the e-book format ($17.44).
  • Grades 7-8 are available in both e-book format ($17.44) and a print version ($19.95).
  • Grades 9-12 both Art Appreciation and Music Appreciation are available separately.
    • Grade 9 Art Appreciation e-book version ($8.95) print version ($9.95)
    • Grade 9 Music Appreciation e-book version (FREE!)
    • Grade 10 Art Appreciation e-book version ($8.95) print version ($9.95)
    • Grade 10 Music Appreciation e-book version (FREE!)
    • Grade 11 Art Appreciation e-book version ($8.95) print version ($9.95)
    • Grade 11 Music Appreciation e-book version (FREE!)
    • Grade 12 Art Appreciation e-book version ($8.95) print version ($9.95)
    • Grade 12 Music Appreciation e-book version (FREE!)
  • Several Bundle packages are available.
  • You can also purchase 3 Mini Units.
    • Vermeer and Hadyn Mini Unit e-book ($3.95)
    • Degas and Prokofiev Mini Unit e-book ($3.25)
    • Van Gogh and Handel Mini Unit e-book ($3.25)
Little Man’s rendition of the Trojan Horse

Another great thing about this plan is Barbara’s Harmony Fine Arts Blog where she shares her own adventures in homeschooling. On Tuesdays she hosts Sketch Tuesday where she gives an assignment to her readers and their students and then has them send photo.jpg sketches to her email account. Then, she includes those sketches in a slide show the previous week. Imagine your own child’s artistic image in her slide show. What a fun way for children to experience their own gallery show.

Little Man’s Rendition of a Dolphin Fresco

Be sure to stop in over at Harmony Fine Arts and take a look around. I truly feel that the plans that Barbara has created are perfect for Art and Music appreciation at all levels of learning especially if you teach history from the classical approach. But, even if you do not the plans can stand alone. While you are there, tell her you found her from Renee @ Great Peace Academy. 

Books used in conjunction with this product: 


I am the sole author and editor of this blog and it’s posts. The review and opinions shared are my own opinions. I am not receiving any paid or other compensation for this review. I am no in any way affiliated with Harmony Fine Arts or it’s author. All photo’s and quotes belonging to Harmony Fine Arts have been used with permission. 

I am, however, an affiliate of and Bright Ideas Press. Any product linked to either of those sites from this post may result in me receiving paid compensation for purchases made. 

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