GHA - Is this too much for ages 7-10?

Including using "English From The Roots Up," "God & the History of Art," & Composer Studies
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Jill S
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GHA - Is this too much for ages 7-10?

Unread post by Jill S » Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:04 pm

Tina wrote:Hi everyone: I am getting ready to purchase CtoG at convention in a few weeks and I am concerned about my ds. He is going to be 8 in June and is a young 2nd grader. I do not want to overwhelm him with the God and the History of art curriculum. Do you think it may not be a fit for him? The recommended age is 10. I still plan to purchase it because I think it is something my older dd would benefit from.

I guess what I'm asking is did any of you out there use it with a child under 10 and did you have success? Or, is it just one of those things that they participate in if they feel like it?
My dd will be 8 tomorrow, April 6, so she's not much older than your son. She is enjoying God and the History of Art. It seems to be improving her drawing abilities, too. We were to make a diptych today, and she decided to make a triptych (sp?) and did a beautiful job.

I should mention that my philosophy is that she needn't get every single drop of learning from the art book, so the fact that she does so well is just a bonus. ;-)

I also have two 10 year old boys. One of them has enjoyed it and learned a lot, but the other has been floundering, particularly in the historical part. HOWEVER, he is very learning disabled, so this is not a huge surprise. Also, I should add that the daughter I referenced is a very eager student and has great attention and memory skills.

Don't know if this helps, but I hated to give the impression that our homeschool was a perfect success. It bugs me when people do that! :-)
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Unread post by cbollin » Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:35 pm


My oldest was not ready for GatHoA when she was in CTG. She was 9. She likes it more now that she just finished with RTR.

She liked trying the art work. It was fun. I really found myself cutting the art history information down for her until about midway through RTR. She just wasn't ready to do formal drawing until now.

If your son doesn't want to do it -- wait. That book is used CTG, RTR, EX1850, and again in year 5. If you see his fine motor skills need a little more time to catch up -- don't worry.

If he likes to do art work, he might like it. Since you're getting it for older child, play the wait and see game.

have fun at your convention

Posted Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:04 pm by cbollin
One of the things in God and the History of Art --- is also the building of a Christian perspective and worldview on history as seen through how art changes over time and civilizations. So, I would at some point try God and the history of Art -- even if some of it is just background information for you to help your child learn a bit more about picture studies and art history. It's more than just picking assignments in drawing and painting that relate to things you are studying in history -- it is about developing a worldview even in the study of other art. So you not just try to draw an Egyptian walking and the differences in perspectives and sizes --- you learn why it was so important to them in their belief system to do that style of drawing so consistently. Or why do ancient Greek and Roman sculptures look so "perfect" --(you might start to think their civilization was a lot like the entertainment industry of today).

Yes, it can be used in jr. high and probably in high school. I'm just not sure how it would end up logging as fine arts over 4 years. but that's a whole other issue....


Heather (WI)
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Unread post by Heather (WI) » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:16 am

I am glad to read everyone's replies to this post, and thanks for asking this, Tina, because I have the same questions.

We are planning to use this with CtG next year with our 9yog (in September), and I was wondering if it would be "too much", also.

It sounds like it can work (and thankfully is used for several years of MFW!!) if we don't over-do the art history part, right?

Also, are the actual art assignments a lot more complicated than the ones in "I Can Do All Things"??

Thanks in advance!!
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:36 am

So fun to see you here again. All of Barry Stebbings basic art lessons are very similar. He emphasizes learning the ellipse for 3-dimensional drawing, & learning to shade using lines. He does a lot of color blending when you get to colored pencils & paints. These are very basic & very good lessons.

However, there is some jumping around in the skill level when you are "copying the masters" so-to-speak in GHA. I think this is because he is teaching to a broad age/skill range. Yet this is balanced by his taking the time to print example drawings that include very young students, so kids can see that you do not actually have to "duplicate" the masters! Be sure to point out these younger samples to your younger students!

Have fun! Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Heather (WI)
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Unread post by Heather (WI) » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:39 am

Sounds fun!! Thank you, Julie!!
(And, it's great to "see" you again, too. :o) )
Love in Christ,
Heather (WI)
MFW user since 2004:
and starting Ex-1850 in Aug. 2008!!

Julie in MN
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Art appreciation and leave out drawing/painting?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:40 pm

Jenn in NC wrote:We did not order God and the History of Art with CTG this year because I felt certain that the drawing lessons etc would be too much for my dc (they are 10 & 8 yo). But now I am wondering if I should have gotten it just for the art appreciation lessons? And left out the drawing/painting etc. Any thoughts? How much of the richness of CTG will be lost without this component? Can it be replaced by something a little less expensive?

Thanks :)
Hi gals,
You might notice in the CTG archives that GHA is a popular topic of conversation :o) I contributed my thoughts about what GHA teaches of Egyptian and Greek art in these two posts (I assume I remembered more at the time I wrote them than I do now :o)

Also, I would say again that I really like how he addresses nudity in art, which of course is quite in-your-face in all the ancient art! I feel he is very real & on-target in the things he brings up.

Of course, an occasional lesson may not appeal (because it's about an obscure artist, or because the kids don't like that method, or because you've done a lot on that subject already) and we have the freedom to skip whatever we like!

As for how it's set up, the first section is general art skills (drawing, colored pencils, mixing paint), then some Christian artist sections, and the biggest portion is history sections (Egypt, Greece, etc.).

CTG schedules you in and out of the general art lessons, as you go in and out of studying major civilizations. I think you only get to the first 1-2 painting lessons near the end of CTG. You also get postcards of famous art with your book, but you will only use 1-2 in CTG.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Unread post by momof3nKS » Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:04 pm


We are in Week 5 of CTG. I am using it with a 7 and 8.5 yo. I almost didn't get it because I thought they were too young. However, after talking with David Hazell at a conference, I decided to go ahead with it.

So far, it has been good...despite their young ages. I don't expect wonders out of them, but they do try and are doing a wonderful job! The book itself just adds a little extra to the lesson. For example, you study pyramids and how kings/pharohs were buried. Most were buried in a maze inside the pyramid, so one of the art exercises is to build a maze from the opening to King Tut's burial chamber...adding dead ends, trap doors, etc...

(My other thought was to go back and do I Can Do All Things from the Adventures curriculum, as we started but didn't finish it.)

I don't know all that we will get in GHA, but I suppose I can always omit anything I'm not comfortable with.
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Unread post by ElaineTX » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:26 pm

I don't have much experience with it yet, but thought I'd mention that my kids are also 10 & 8 and are enjoying GHA. We are only on week 3, but the lessons haven't been too difficult for them. My 10 yo is especially enjoying it and asking to do another lesson before they are scheduled.

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Unread post by LSH in MS » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:10 pm

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:26 pm

We are all doing I Can do ALL Things together. We will probably do GATHOA the next cycle through. (I wonder if it could count as an Art history credit for High School? Just thinking aloud.....)

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Re: God and the History of Art - for ages 10+?

Unread post by baileymom » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:41 am

Fenni wrote:I was looking ahead and noticed God and the History of Art is best for ages 10+. Ds will have just turned 9 when we start CTG and he's not a fan of drawing anyway, so I'm thinking we wouldn't use it that year. What do others do who use CTG with 9 yr. olds?

I am thinking he might do better using the DVDs for instruction instead of me. So maybe I could get the DVDs for this fall and work through them over the next two years during ECC and CTG. Thoughts?
I had an 8 yr old who used it this yr in CTG...sometimes my boys 6 and 4 would even join in, I think he would be OK. It sounds like he may not enjoy art, Usborne sells some much easier art books. You might want to try something like those, before the more formal instruction. I think it depends more on the child/family.
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Re: God and the History of Art - for ages 10+?

Unread post by tiffany » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:54 pm

We used the DVD's for use with I Can Do All Things and found they really enhanced the program. The kids enjoyed the instruction, and I could see a difference in their work. Plus, we were more likely to do it, if I didn't have to sit with them through the whole lesson.

There aren't DVD's for GATHOA unfortunately. I wish there was.
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Julie in MN
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Re: God and the History of Art - for ages 10+?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:31 pm

To me, GHA is two things.

(1) It's art history/appreciation. You learn that Egyptians made all their art exactly the same & had no need to sign their works. You learn who drew George Washington on the nickel. You really get to know Michelangelo and DaVinci and others.

(2) It's art lessons. My son has used this part off-and-on, but mostly we just discussed the lessons & used something else for actual drawing practice.

I think it's worth getting GHA just for #1. It's a powerful addition to the history lessons, when you realize how values are reflected in the time spent on art and the focus of the subject matter. I know my son won't remember every detail, such as Rococo art reflecting the extravagances just before the French Revolution, but I think he's gained the knowledge that a whole picture of a time period includes many things, from political documents to art to architecture. He's also gained a teacher who can point those things out on occasion :)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Amy in NC
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Re: God and the History of Art - for ages 10+?

Unread post by Amy in NC » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:07 pm

My girls dreaded GATHOA at the beginning of this year, but now somewhat enjoy it. My dd8 actually looks forward to it. Her drawings are mostly stick figures, but that's okay. It's a no-stress subject around here with Mommy doing the drawing also. I am not an artist, but I think it helps the girls see that they can enjoy art even if they aren't all that artistic. They usually compliment me on my drawings and I return the compliments and we giggle about our funny looking sketches. I guess it's whatever you make of it.

Also, this is the first time we've been able to incorporate art into our day. I think because it ties into history that I feel compelled to stick with it.

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Rob♥ for 18 yrs
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Julie in MN
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Re: Trying to decide about God and the History of Art...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:18 pm

TammyB wrote:I'm getting ready to order Creation to the Greeks in a few weeks, so I need to decide whether I should purchase God and the History of Art. This fall I will have a new 10 year old and an eight year old. From the samples I have seen online God and the Hist of Art looks quite advanced for them. We are still working on I Can Do All Things, and that is perfect for them. We are actually STILL on the preliminary exercises, so we have almost the entire program to do. I have the dvd set that accompanies it and am committed to DOING IT with the kids beginning in early March.

My only concern is missing the historical perspective from God and the History of Art. I met a gal at last year's convention who was using it and asked if it were possible to only use the commentary from the book (as a read aloud basically) and was told the book wouldn't work well that way. What do those of you who have used it think?

Can't wait to order! I have waited sooooo long for this program. :)
I'm maybe more flexible than is good for me sometimes, but I can't see why using the commentary wouldn't be a blessing.

Do the Egyptian art lesson. Read aloud about when folks first started signing their artwork. Do the George Washington coin artist lesson. Read about the "gothic farmer" portrait with the pitchfork. Save the rest for high school if you need to. That's what I say :)


Posted Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:38 am by Julie in MN
We've mostly used GHA as part of our history -- learning about how art reflects the worldview and the priorities and such in each culture. It's been worth it for that alone. We did a few of the actual art lessons, but usually either my son had an art class in co-op or he just wasn't into art. If he just wasn't wanting to draw, we'd sometimes read a book about the art instead or look up paintings online. It was still a great program for us.

- He recognizes famous pieces of art from the Mona Lisa to the American Gothic (farmers with the pitchfork)
- He learned about how Egyptians didn't sign their art and how the American coins used a famous artist to design George Washington
- We discussed things over the years such as how Christians look at nudity in art and how images of Christ have been portrayed (or not portrayed) over the years

It's not all that much if you just focus on the history, and it's 4 years worth of history. In CTG, there are only about a dozen actual art lessons, a very few of them painting lessons, and the rest really are historical. I'm glad we had it on hand.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Re: Trying to decide about God and the History of Art...

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:22 pm

We use GATHOA - my dd is only 9. I read the pages, and she takes a try at the assignment. Sometimes she does "her own thing," and doesn't hardly follow the lesson at all. But, what is cool, is stuff that she didn't like at first (like color blending, lines and calling colors cool or warm), she is now doing in her other drawings when she draws for herself. Oh, it's not Michaelangelo or anything ;) , but it is neat to see it carry over. I certainly think you could read the book for the historical perspective on art. And, the color blending, lines, shading, color wheel and lessons about the "basics" would certainly be something worth attempting, even if you don't try the more complicated lessons. My dd wouldn't do the "dragons" lesson, and she'll get frustrated because she's not a great artist, yet, so she'll give up. But it's something I don't press too hard on. I'm glad when she at least makes an attempt and tries something. Other than this, we've not done any "formal" art lessons, so it's good for us.


Posted Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:54 pm by TriciaMR
I just would make sure you don't "push" too hard to follow the lessons exactly. Oh, and do some of them yourself, too. That encourages my dd to keep trying if she sees mom trying.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: Trying to decide about God and the History of Art...

Unread post by momofsix » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:43 pm

I did not use GHA in Creation to Greeks but did order it this year to use w/ RtR. Many times I've wished I had used it previously because some of the lessons refer to skills learned in prior lessons ... but if you're just using it for the history/info then you might not worry about this. But since you're ordering it you can see & choose lessons if you feel they are skill/interest appropriate for your children. Sometimes my 8 yo wants to join but I don't usually encourage her to unless she asks. My 10 yo can do the lessons well.
Elissa in MN (really mom of 8 ) 3 boys: 16, 10, 7 & 5 girls: 13, 11, 5, 4, 1
Using: God's Creation from A to Z, Exploring Countries & Cultures, World History & Lit, Math-U-See, Sequential Spelling, Rod & Staff English...and more

LA in Baltimore
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Re: Trying to decide about God and the History of Art...

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:57 pm

I have used ICDAT with all 4 of my children and have loved it!
We are in CTG this year and I do read all the GHA assignments to the children each week while omitting the actual assignment, but each Friday we complete one of our ICDAT assignments. I rotate the work through the book. Each month we pick up where we left off in a particular section (Drawing, Colored Pencils, Markers, Painting). We have been doing this for over 2 years. We have the videos that accompany it, so that is just the icing on the cake! :-)
JMHO... :~
Reading from GHA (even if you are going to wait a bit to start it as art instruction) during CTG has been very profitable for all of us.
Using ICDAT for one extra year just made their art time more enjoyable for them.
Hope that helps!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
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Re: Trying to decide about God and the History of Art...

Unread post by TammyB » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:20 pm

I'm really pleased with all of this positive feedback. :) I'll definitely order it.

I'm also looking forward to getting back to ICDAT next month. Once we get past the preliminary exercises we will be able to use the dvds, and the kids are looking forward to that.

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Re: Trying to decide about God and the History of Art...

Unread post by my3boys » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:00 pm

Hi Tammy,
We are half way through CtG. So far my 10yo has done all of the assignments and reading in God and the History of Art. He is doing it independently and not having a problem with it - it's actually been one of his favorite things about this year.
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

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