YMB #22 Picture Study for Morning Time


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is on my Homeschool Field Trip Bucket List. Yours too? I want to share the wonder and awe I felt as I looked at the larger than life paintings for the first time.

But how? I am no where near the Met. I know little to nothing about art, except that I do like to look at it. Is this enough? How do I start a picture study with my children? What are we looking for? How can I expect them to respond?

Emily Kiser to the rescue! In this episode of Your Morning Basket, Emily answers these questions and more. She gently tells us how we can add picture study to our basket in baby steps; exposure, enjoyment, and analysis.


YMB #20 Picture Study For Morning Time with Emily Kiser

[thrive_lead_lock id=’33086′]

Basket Bonus YMB 22

Click here to get the Basket Bonus for episode 22, Picture Study Narration Expectations by Emily Kiser.


Leave a Rating or Review

Thank you for your interest in leaving a rating or review for Your Morning Basket on iTunes. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
  2. Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.



  • Tasmanian says:

    Hooray! Emily Kiser and Pam Barnhill together at last!

  • Mimi Pollack says:


    I have questions for Emily. I homeschool a single child. In order to keep it more exciting, my plan is for us to do picture study together (where we both study the picture). From watching Sonya’s video on picture study from Simply Charlotte Mason, I thought I would take turns with my child, each of us narrating while the other would follow along by looking at a copy of the picture. So each of us would take turns being the teacher and the student. Now, after listening to Emily’s description of the kids taking turns within the narration, each child saying one thing and the next child adding something, I am wondering about a couple of things. 1) In that scenario, is the child whose turn it is limited to saying only one thing? 2) When doing picture study with my one child, should be both narrate in that fashion, with the picture face down, and then check our narration against the picture when we are done narrating (including any disagreements)? Thanks!

    • Emily Kiser says:

      Hi Mimi,

      Thank you for your comment! In answer to your first question, no, children aren’t limited to just “one thing.” I have sometimes had to impose a limit to one thing when doing Picture Study with a large group in a classroom setting, but after everyone has had their chance I will often open it up for further observations. I would absolutely encourage you to join your child for picture study–both of your lives will be enriched! Your second question is exactly what I would recommend: you both study the picture until you can see it in your minds’ eyes, then turn it over and narrate to one another. You can take turns starting, but I would usually encourage your child to go first and you can then add your own observations and connections after he/she is finished. Then by all means turn the picture over and look at the details the other person described that maybe didn’t stand out to you as much.


      • Mimi Pollack says:

        Thanks, that will be a nice change from what I was doing with my high schooler, which was we each took a turn doing the complete narration while the other one looked at the picture (without correcting). I think my young one will enjoy doing it together as a team. I know the richness!! We love picture studies and often the titles will take us into investigations on Google and YouTube. Simply delightful.

  • Brittany says:

    Emily, I am very new to picture study and am wondering if I should start with something basic like Rembrandt for the first artist with my 7 and 5 year olds or would it be better to choose an artist more in line with what we are studying in history (we’re going through Beautiful Feet Early American)? Which portfolio would you suggest for the first one? Thank you!

    • Emily Kiser says:

      Hi Brittany,

      Thanks for listening! I’m so glad you’re considering sharing the feast of Picture Study with your children!

      I really don’t think there is a right answer to your question. I do like to tie the artist into the time period being studied–the ideas of the age will be portrayed in the pictures and that gives a deeper idea about the era for your kids. That’s not a hard and fast rule though, especially for younger students. If you wanted to, you could pick Rembrandt or Vermeer or Velasquez (and depending on if you get up to the Revolution, your children might enjoy Gainsborough who painted a British “red coat” in his uniform after he returned from fighting in America!).

      Otherwise, I would choose one that you or your kids might have a small connection with already. Truly, whichever you choose you will development a connection with just by looking at his pictures and reading the short biography of him.

      I’m sorry I can’t be of more help–it’s like asking me to choose which of my children is my favorite. They’re *all* my favorite!!

      • Brittany says:

        Thank you so much for replying! We will be doing the Revolution pretty soon, so I think I will go with your suggestion of Gainsborough. I am ashamed to admit that we really do not have a connection with any artists so far… we’ve done a few random picture studies here and there but nothing that’s really connected with anyone in particular. I can’t wait to see which artists you come out with next!

  • >