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Drawing with Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too

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The definitive guide to encouraging drawing and creativity, for parents and teachers alike Mona Brookes's clear and practical approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages and beginning adults. Her unique drawing program has created a revolution in the field of education and a sense of delight and pride among the thousands of students who ha The definitive guide to encouraging drawing and creativity, for parents and teachers alike Mona Brookes's clear and practical approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages and beginning adults. Her unique drawing program has created a revolution in the field of education and a sense of delight and pride among the thousands of students who have learned to draw through her Monart Method. This revised and expanded edition includes: - Information on multiple intelligence and the seven ways to learn - An inspirational chapter on helping children with learning differences - An integrated-studies chapter with projects geared for reading, math, science, ESL, multicultural studies, and environmental awareness - A sixteen-page color insert and hundreds of sample illustrations This invaluable teaching tool not only guides readers through the basics, but also gives important advice on creating a nurturing environment in which self-expression and creativity can flourish. Both practical and enlightening, Drawing With Children inspires educators and parents to bring out the artist in each of us.


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The definitive guide to encouraging drawing and creativity, for parents and teachers alike Mona Brookes's clear and practical approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages and beginning adults. Her unique drawing program has created a revolution in the field of education and a sense of delight and pride among the thousands of students who ha The definitive guide to encouraging drawing and creativity, for parents and teachers alike Mona Brookes's clear and practical approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages and beginning adults. Her unique drawing program has created a revolution in the field of education and a sense of delight and pride among the thousands of students who have learned to draw through her Monart Method. This revised and expanded edition includes: - Information on multiple intelligence and the seven ways to learn - An inspirational chapter on helping children with learning differences - An integrated-studies chapter with projects geared for reading, math, science, ESL, multicultural studies, and environmental awareness - A sixteen-page color insert and hundreds of sample illustrations This invaluable teaching tool not only guides readers through the basics, but also gives important advice on creating a nurturing environment in which self-expression and creativity can flourish. Both practical and enlightening, Drawing With Children inspires educators and parents to bring out the artist in each of us.

30 review for Drawing with Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Whenever I had an art or science class with students (as young as 6-years) where drawing was necessary, I used the ideas from this book. Although we would all follow the steps required using the 5 "families" of shape and line, each child had their own unique version of the subject. What's more important, these children were very pleased with their results! I highly recommend this resource for teaching drawing for all ages! Whenever I had an art or science class with students (as young as 6-years) where drawing was necessary, I used the ideas from this book. Although we would all follow the steps required using the 5 "families" of shape and line, each child had their own unique version of the subject. What's more important, these children were very pleased with their results! I highly recommend this resource for teaching drawing for all ages!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Last year when a friend came to visit she showed me her travel/food journal and I was so impressed with the beautiful and personal sketches she had drawn on each page. More than anything, I’d like to have a journal like hers, but I’ve always been a terrible artist. The premise of this book is that with the right instruction anyone can learn to draw. We take piano lessons to learn piano, dance lesson to learn to dance, and the author argues we should be teaching everyone how to draw, especially f Last year when a friend came to visit she showed me her travel/food journal and I was so impressed with the beautiful and personal sketches she had drawn on each page. More than anything, I’d like to have a journal like hers, but I’ve always been a terrible artist. The premise of this book is that with the right instruction anyone can learn to draw. We take piano lessons to learn piano, dance lesson to learn to dance, and the author argues we should be teaching everyone how to draw, especially from a young age. The alphabet of shape that she introduces completely blew my mind and makes drawing feel more manageable. Interestingly, she also cites studies that show that drawing what you’re learning about, especially in science, can deeper and improve your understanding of the concepts. There are five long lessons that can be taught to anyone four years old or older. I’ll update my rating after a few months of working on the book with Scott and seeing how helpful the lessons really are.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jason Pym

    You can find a detailed review of the book here. A couple things to say quickly: It is a rough guide, an overview, with the key ideas and problem solving suggestions. It is not a detailed lesson plan, so there's still a lot of work for you to do after reading. Having said that, it appears to be outstanding. I'll be teaching this course next semester, and if it works the way Brookes says it does this book gets five stars, no question. Lastly, there's a chapter at the back on teaching special needs You can find a detailed review of the book here. A couple things to say quickly: It is a rough guide, an overview, with the key ideas and problem solving suggestions. It is not a detailed lesson plan, so there's still a lot of work for you to do after reading. Having said that, it appears to be outstanding. I'll be teaching this course next semester, and if it works the way Brookes says it does this book gets five stars, no question. Lastly, there's a chapter at the back on teaching special needs kids, with a series of problems you might face and how to solve them. This comes out of Brookes many years experience in this area, and on the face of it this looks really, really useful if you're involved in art therapy or teaching art to at risk children.

  4. 5 out of 5

    di

    For what this book is, it is the best. (I had a hard time rating it as a 5, simply because it wasn't necessarily a gripping page-turner.) But it was a fabulous how-to book, & another one that has me so excited for homeschooling! When I found out that my sister had successfully used it (in homeschooling) with her children, it sealed the deal for me. Might I add that her children have won state-level honors in art year after year, & her oldest even won the National Reflections Contest. (She won th For what this book is, it is the best. (I had a hard time rating it as a 5, simply because it wasn't necessarily a gripping page-turner.) But it was a fabulous how-to book, & another one that has me so excited for homeschooling! When I found out that my sister had successfully used it (in homeschooling) with her children, it sealed the deal for me. Might I add that her children have won state-level honors in art year after year, & her oldest even won the National Reflections Contest. (She won the grand prize across the country!) I believe everything Brookes says in this book about art & children. Can't wait to start!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Carter

    Used parts of this book a lot with art classes I've taught. Used parts of this book a lot with art classes I've taught.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason Randall

    My personal rating system is as follows. 3 stars means I liked the book but probably wouldn't read it again. 4 stars means I liked the book and will probably read it again. It was difficult to rate this book 4 stars... maybe because after the first read-through, it's going to be "read again" as a research book, as needed and only the parts needed (not cover-to-cover). This isn't your typical drawing book where you follow step-by-step instructions on how to create a picture identical to the one in My personal rating system is as follows. 3 stars means I liked the book but probably wouldn't read it again. 4 stars means I liked the book and will probably read it again. It was difficult to rate this book 4 stars... maybe because after the first read-through, it's going to be "read again" as a research book, as needed and only the parts needed (not cover-to-cover). This isn't your typical drawing book where you follow step-by-step instructions on how to create a picture identical to the one in the book. It's for any person interested in starting to draw no matter the age. It covers creating the environment for a good drawing experience... eliminating noise pollution in the room or area, relaxing the eyes and shoulders, etc. It also goes into depth on which words to apply when working with people while they're drawing in order to support improvement and yet avoid unnecessary negativity. The lessons are embedded in the text. I would almost say a read-through, cover-to-cover is required before you actually start to do the lessons. In this way, the writer did a great job explaining the motive for drawing and redefined a successful experience. It's less about what the finished product looks like and more about techniques used to get there. The writer shows many examples from children of multiple ages as well as adults who have a broad range of "abilities". You can see how one still life model can lead to many different interpretations... with none of them being "wrong". Final sections in the book covered topics of working with people who have special needs as well as using art to teach multiple other educational subjects... yes even math. I just finished reading the book and plan on going back to the beginning to work on the lessons... both for myself and my children.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Clark

    I have one child that will happily draw and paint all day, and another that is paralyzed by a blank page and often frustrated with what ends up there. So, while I think this book, and its exercises, are dry and dull as dust- I can see their use. No, it will not transform you into an amazing artist- but it will give you an understanding of where to start, and some kids need that kind of explicit direction. I do wish it had a better outline of lesson plans, what exactly to do next. But a second re I have one child that will happily draw and paint all day, and another that is paralyzed by a blank page and often frustrated with what ends up there. So, while I think this book, and its exercises, are dry and dull as dust- I can see their use. No, it will not transform you into an amazing artist- but it will give you an understanding of where to start, and some kids need that kind of explicit direction. I do wish it had a better outline of lesson plans, what exactly to do next. But a second reading with notepaper on hand (and a copier for the excersizes, there needs to be a workbook) was enough to outline a lesson sequence through the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I wasn't able to finish with the book before returning it. However, what I was able to experiment with was really excellent. My six year old daughter and I worked with several of the beginning exercises and we really enjoyed ourselves. The instructions for the lessons were pretty easy to follow and we saw some immediate results. This book is written for educators and parents. As a parent I just skimmed through sections that were really geared more toward educators. I would love to see a more con I wasn't able to finish with the book before returning it. However, what I was able to experiment with was really excellent. My six year old daughter and I worked with several of the beginning exercises and we really enjoyed ourselves. The instructions for the lessons were pretty easy to follow and we saw some immediate results. This book is written for educators and parents. As a parent I just skimmed through sections that were really geared more toward educators. I would love to see a more concise version for use with parents and children and home educators.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    I really like this book, and ended up buying it. I have dropped our art curriculum and will be using the lessons in this book to teach my kids the fundamentals of drawing. It just makes sense how it is taught. Along side this book, we will be studying famous artists of all kinds, painters, sculptors, architects, etc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Goff

    A perfect book for teaching an adult how to teach a child to draw. Absolutely awesome.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Lucas

    Excellent fundamentals for drawing for beginners such as myself who lack confidence. While the book is entitled Drawing with Children. I am an adult and I derived a great deal of benefit from the instruction on these pages. This book was recommended on an on-line drawing course with Sketchbook Skool. It is excellent and has provided much inspiration for me to be more creative and to try to improve my drawing and painting. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who might be interested in l Excellent fundamentals for drawing for beginners such as myself who lack confidence. While the book is entitled Drawing with Children. I am an adult and I derived a great deal of benefit from the instruction on these pages. This book was recommended on an on-line drawing course with Sketchbook Skool. It is excellent and has provided much inspiration for me to be more creative and to try to improve my drawing and painting. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who might be interested in learning about art and learning to draw. Fantastic.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    Very helpful, practical introduction to the basics of drawing. I'm teaching my children from this, and loving it. At first, I thought that there were too few lessons in the book, but I'm beginning to think that it was a wise step for the author to keep things simple. There are so many possibilities to explore. Very helpful, practical introduction to the basics of drawing. I'm teaching my children from this, and loving it. At first, I thought that there were too few lessons in the book, but I'm beginning to think that it was a wise step for the author to keep things simple. There are so many possibilities to explore.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Straight forward explanation of teaching children to draw. I actually found the appendices about art education for students with learning disabilities absolutely fascinating. (Using drawing to teach MATH for kids diagnosed with dysgraphia? Who knew!) I ordered a bunch of markers and am excited to learn this along with my kids but we’ve yet to see how it actually works out for us in real life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Notes to self for when I forget why I liked/didn't like this book: good tips and warm up exercises for class, but I'm not so sold on her insistence to begin a drawing with tiny details rather than the larger overall structure since that could easily lead to proportion issues. Overall, it's a good resource and I'm glad I read it. Notes to self for when I forget why I liked/didn't like this book: good tips and warm up exercises for class, but I'm not so sold on her insistence to begin a drawing with tiny details rather than the larger overall structure since that could easily lead to proportion issues. Overall, it's a good resource and I'm glad I read it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Great directions, step by step, to approach teaching children to draw.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Excellent. Good resource for homeschooling.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    S1V1L1

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    We enjoyed this for multiple ages and abilities .

  19. 5 out of 5

    Myfanwy Johnston

    Thorough.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julia Williamson

    I am teaching myself to draw. This book is a great help learning some basics.

  21. 4 out of 5

    rebecca

    I think Mona Brooke (Brookes) was a forerunner in the field of robotic psychiatry or robotic psychology

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anne Camille

    Interesting, easy to follow instructions. I've read through the entire book as Brookes suggests and am now returning to do the exercises. Even before I did the first few assignments, I found myself looking at things differently in order to draw them, following Brookes' approach. I'm not a home-schooler and won't be drawing with children, but as an adult wishing to expand drawing abilities, I like this book. By starting with very basic concepts (after destroying some long-standing misconceptions Interesting, easy to follow instructions. I've read through the entire book as Brookes suggests and am now returning to do the exercises. Even before I did the first few assignments, I found myself looking at things differently in order to draw them, following Brookes' approach. I'm not a home-schooler and won't be drawing with children, but as an adult wishing to expand drawing abilities, I like this book. By starting with very basic concepts (after destroying some long-standing misconceptions about children & adults learning to draw), Brookes provides a very accessible approach to the beginner - one that I haven't seen in other "beginner" art books. I wondered at first about reading the entire book before doing the exercises, but the assignments build upon the previous and reading the entire work gives you insight into the big picture. I think this would be especially useful if you were going to use this book to teach children to draw. I didn't find the last chapters on learning styles & disabilities to be either interesting or helpful. Sort of read like an add-on at the request of an editor to make the book more sellable for certain markets. If one is using this book to homeschool your child and if a learning disability is an issue (or even just suspected) this book isn't going to provide you with enough information to help your child. The information is outdated and too generic to be of much use other than anecdotal info on how children with certain diagnosis thrived with Brookes method of teaching art. So, unless this is really important to you, skip the last 10 or so pages.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    I loved using this book with my art students. It begins by helping the child to see, really see, the simple in the intricate. For example, looking at the front cover of the book, Mona Brooks would recommend that you don't get flustered because "it looks to complicated;" rather take one small bit at a time- draw just the eye of the toucan first, then add just the curve shape of the head, etc. until the student has drawn the entire picture by breaking it down into "not scary" chunks. I read through I loved using this book with my art students. It begins by helping the child to see, really see, the simple in the intricate. For example, looking at the front cover of the book, Mona Brooks would recommend that you don't get flustered because "it looks to complicated;" rather take one small bit at a time- draw just the eye of the toucan first, then add just the curve shape of the head, etc. until the student has drawn the entire picture by breaking it down into "not scary" chunks. I read through the whole book and thoroughly highlighted the book because it is not lined out like, "today do this." There are a lot of helpful work pages that I printed off so each student could work from their own station on the assignment. It is a very helpful method for looking at and then tackling art. This book is geared toward elementary through 6 or 7th grade. After that, get her next one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I bought Artistic Pursuits for art this year, but then I heard so many good things about this I couldn't resist. So now we'll start here, then do Artistic Pursuits when we're done. We've only done a couple of lessons, but the kids have responded surprisingly well, and I'm really excited to use this. I wish that we had done this before I started teaching handwriting to H, because even after the short time we've used this I is already writing better. Having not had an art class since 5th grade, I I bought Artistic Pursuits for art this year, but then I heard so many good things about this I couldn't resist. So now we'll start here, then do Artistic Pursuits when we're done. We've only done a couple of lessons, but the kids have responded surprisingly well, and I'm really excited to use this. I wish that we had done this before I started teaching handwriting to H, because even after the short time we've used this I is already writing better. Having not had an art class since 5th grade, I can only say even I feel like I can teach from this book, which is really saying something. I'm only holding off on giving it a 5 until I've used it a bit longer!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    funny, I'm not sure why I was drawn (heh heh) to this book, which I think I bought in my college bookstore my first year of college. it didn't have a lot of relevance to my life at the time. later I told my daughter, and maybe showed her, one lesson in the book - it was showing a picture of a table and instructed you to draw what you *actually* see when you look at the table from your perspective, and not what you know a table to look like. my daughter credits this moment as a seminal one in her funny, I'm not sure why I was drawn (heh heh) to this book, which I think I bought in my college bookstore my first year of college. it didn't have a lot of relevance to my life at the time. later I told my daughter, and maybe showed her, one lesson in the book - it was showing a picture of a table and instructed you to draw what you *actually* see when you look at the table from your perspective, and not what you know a table to look like. my daughter credits this moment as a seminal one in her artistic development (she's now 16 and planning to go to art school). so I guess on some level I knew it would be important one day.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This book has basically 5 very detailed lessons. After I went through them with my kids ages 5-6 we started drawing animals photographed in DK science books. Their ability to draw improved visibly and they produced some fantastic artwork unhindered by a sense of self consciousness that is common in older children. (It's a little bit harder to draw things out of our earth science textbook, so now we have moved on to other kinds of art) This book has basically 5 very detailed lessons. After I went through them with my kids ages 5-6 we started drawing animals photographed in DK science books. Their ability to draw improved visibly and they produced some fantastic artwork unhindered by a sense of self consciousness that is common in older children. (It's a little bit harder to draw things out of our earth science textbook, so now we have moved on to other kinds of art)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robin E.

    I want to love this book, I really do. The idea of teaching children a handful of lines to draw and then showing them how those different lines can be all connected to create such amazing and detailed pictures is really appealing. Sadly, this books is heavy on the philosophy and light on the day to day how-to. I have tried to implement it with my children three or four times over the last decade, and it always falls short because I never know what to do next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mandabplus3

    So far this is exactly what I was looking for. Too often early childhood teachers think teaching children how to draw stifles their creativity. I always thought that not teaching them was holding back their potential. Turns out Mona agrees. teaching children to see shapes in everyday objects and teaching them how to represent these shapes on the page. We have started using the ideas already and I am Looking forward to the rest of the book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I borrowed this book from the library but decided I didn't have time to read it until but my five year old picked it up and loved the illustrations and insisted we work from it, so I read (most of) it and it's great! I wouldn't say it's a lesson by lesson program but a good reference guide with a few lesson ideas for children and beginner adults (like me) that can be used repeatedly. Definitely a book I'll put on my to-buy list. I borrowed this book from the library but decided I didn't have time to read it until but my five year old picked it up and loved the illustrations and insisted we work from it, so I read (most of) it and it's great! I wouldn't say it's a lesson by lesson program but a good reference guide with a few lesson ideas for children and beginner adults (like me) that can be used repeatedly. Definitely a book I'll put on my to-buy list.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maren

    Rebecca and I sat down for an hour today for our first drawing lesson. Our first activity was mostly to play with our new markers. Rebecca loved it. She insisted on adding hearts to everything. I think this book will help her also to listen very carefully to instructions. Hopefully we'll both be drawing beautifully by the end of the summer! Rebecca and I sat down for an hour today for our first drawing lesson. Our first activity was mostly to play with our new markers. Rebecca loved it. She insisted on adding hearts to everything. I think this book will help her also to listen very carefully to instructions. Hopefully we'll both be drawing beautifully by the end of the summer!

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