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Observing History through Picture Study: English History Review by Jennifer King

The Tudor through Victorian Years
Queen Homeschool Supplies, Inc.
168 Plantz Ridge Rd.
New Freeport, PA 15352

For awhile now I have been wanting to try using picture studies with my children. Since my oldest is quite artistic and very much a visual learner, a very reluctant learner as of late, I have been looking for ways to breathe a bit of life back into his home learning. So, he was pretty curious about using the program: Observing History Through Picture Study for English History.

This came with ten full color reproductions of historical pieces of artwork and an accompanying study guide for English history from the Tudor years through the Elizabethan and Victorian ages. These are all printed on a sturdy, glossy stock so they are quite durable. This is a big benefit for those of us with boys!

Within the study guide there is a biography of the artist as well as details about the painting itself. There is also a section for further study which contains questions to help encourage our children to learn even more! Some of these are simple, some are quite complex.  Every one of them is sure to make learning about the period of history a lot more interesting.

My oldest son studied one picture each week although some of them held his interest more intensely and so would be kept for study longer. I love that this is one of those resources that has so much flexibility in how it is used. Since my oldest loves to draw and really enjoys history, he benefitted quite a bit from this.

He especially enjoyed studying the clothing, especially the men’s clothing, from this time period.  He was confounded by how many wives Henry VIII had and really dug into finding out as much as he could about him and a number of other men and women that were featured in this study. We have even seen a renewed interest in nature and nature journaling thanks to one of the paintings included in this study. And the song “Duncan Gray” is now frequently sung in our house because how fun is it to sing “Ha, ha, the wooing o't.”

It is recommended that you study one painting at a time, whether per week or month, along with the Living History Readers. We did not receive these ourselves but do plan to obtain a copy of them in the near future so that we can continue to enjoy this study. This really is such a fun way to study history, while also enjoying some lovely pieces of artwork. And it is just so amazing how many things you can learn and explore as you observe each work.

-Product review by Jennifer King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2018