William Wordsworth (1770–1850) was one of the most important poets of the Romantic era, and in honor of his birthday (today, 7 April), why not introduce your homeschool students to Wordsworth’s Lake District, the spectacular region of northwest England that has inspired not only poets but visual artists for two centuries.
Here’s a nice three-minute introduction to William Wordsworth and the Lake District by British writer Elizabeth Oliver:
And here are two paintings of Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District, to illustrate the beauty of the region and how painters have interpreted it.
The first is from the artist Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797):
The second, thirty years later, is by the painter John Parker (1798–1860):
These paintings suggest a long-term project you can do in your own homeschool. Pick a local place of interest — perhaps a lake, or a scenic natural area, or a local river (best of all!) — and have your students draw or photograph it over a long period of time, perhaps over all their homeschool years. Make crayon drawings, pencil drawings, watercolor paintings, photographs — all of the same site, and build up a long-term portfolio. Preserve the portfolio for posterity, and encourage other homeschoolers who come after you to continue the project into the future.
What artistic discoveries have you made in your homeschool lately?
❡ Explore more: For a brief overview of the international artistic and philosophical movement known as Romanticism turn to pages 338–339 in your recommended River Houses history encyclopedia, and to see the location and geography of the Lake District of England turn to plate 61 in your atlas (riverhouses.org/books).