Hey homeschoolers (and non-homeschoolers, because really anyone can do this), you wanna know how to get a 9 year old boy and 13 year old boy to have fun at the Art Museum? One way is to give them this little assignment. You can chose sculpture, paintings, etc. and can actually do this at most any kind of museum except the Medieval Dog Collar Museum at Leeds Castle in Kent, England. I know, because I've been there and I really don't think you can do this assignment there.
We chose to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). And we chose to do the assignment with the 13th-17th century European Paintings. (3rd Floor Ahmanson Building)
What was that? Oh... the assignment. Right. Well you give your kid a journal, and every 3-4 lines you write a letter of the alphabet, A-Z. With each letter, you write "Item" on one line, "Artist" one the next line and "name" on the line after that. Like so...
So here are the instructions... you look through the art (paintings, sculpture, etc) and find an item that starts with one of the letters of the alphabet. PLEASE tell your kids they do not have to go in order from A-Z with this, or they will certainly go insane and bring you with them.
Example: Haven found "angels" in this painting, so he's writing under the letter "A" Item line: "angels". For the Artist line he writes the name of the artist and for the name line he writes the name of the art (painting, sculpture, etc.) he found the item in.
Here Haven found a tiny "mouse" (item) and is writing it under the letter M, along with the artist of the painting and the name of the painting.
Now I must confess when I told Haven what his assignment was, he grumbled like a... well, like a 13 year old teenage boy. But he admitted after a couple of paintings, he was actually having fun with this!
Who knew Michael the Archangel was a curly redhaired woman?
Haven shot down my suggestion to use this painting for the letter "D" for "diaper". *sigh* He is so much more mature than me.
While I hung out with Haven, Marshall took Seamus around and gave him a different assignment. He was to come up with a background story for each painting. For instance, in this painting, Seamus explains that this poor woman is stabbing herself in the boob because her pet bear named "Steve" died and she was so distraught. His words.
So there you go, homeschoolers, non-homeschoolers, parents, nannies, people-who-want-to-try-this-themselves... just one more way you can have fun at the Museum.