Frida Kahlo: a homeschool project

It’s been awhile since my first update about the transition to work from home and learning from home. I truly thought being home meant I would have more time for hobbies and time to write. So far that hasn’t been the case. While I do get to enjoy my coffee on the porch each morning, and haven’t worn work pants in over a month, work isn’t slow and is just as stressful as it is in the office. Learning from home is 100% on my plate as I’ve found our district was wildly unprepared for this new arraignment. Luckily, I did sense that might be the case and ordered extensive scholastic workbooks for the girls before the rush. I’ve also been making up my own curriculum, which has been fun.

My hope with our project-based learning approach is that I can incorporate reading, writing, art, and social studies all in one project since we have limited days to devote to it. Our Frida Kahlo project has been one of mine, and the girls, favorites.

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter in the early to mid 1900s with an amazing life story of struggle and success. She contracted Polio as a child and suffered a horrible bus accident as a teenager. Both occurrences left her bedridden for long periods of time. During her time in bed after the bus accident her parents rigged up an easel over her bed so she could continue her art. Frida often focused on self-portraits that included depictions her animals and her suffering. She married a famous muralist but sought fame herself. She was inspiring as a human, artist, and female activist.

We began our study of her by reading two books. The first was a young adult chapter book about her life. We used our reading time each night to work through the book. Frida lived in many different places in her life; Mexico, San Franscisco, New York, and Paris. Each time we read about a new location we would google maps and talk about the different cultures a little bit. This book included timelines of her life in each chapter while turned out to be the girl’s favorite part. They learned about how to read years and the sequence of events. This book also included a quiz at the end which was great.

We YouTubed the Frida Kahlo movie and watched parts of her life that way. To my horror but not my surprise, Maddie was particularly interested about Frida’s bus accident. She was fascinated by the rod that impaled her and we talked in more depth about it than I was comfortable with. But, she was also fascinated with the art that Frida later made to depict it so I’ll consider it a win still.

The last book we read was a picture book about Frida and her animals. We read this and talked about how her pets helped and inspired her and then talked about the role our pets play in our family. The girls then took a picture of themselves with their favorite pet and used that picture to paint their own self-portraits.

Here’s the original picture and their interpretations of that picture. Maddie made sure her face with a little sad the way Frida’s was.

Maddie + Savannah

We finished this project up about 2 weeks ago but the girls still bring Frida up. Luckily, Maddie isn’t asking about the injuries anymore.

If you are at homeschooling now and want to try this project, here’s what you’ll need:

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

The Story of Frida Kahlo: A Biography Book for New Readers (The Story Of: A Biography Series for New Readers)

8 x 10 Inch Canvas

Paints and paint brushes

Online Frida Kahlo resources:

Frida Kahlo Foundation (the best place to find her paintings

A Mysterious Story of Frida Kahlo

Draw My Life – Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo: The woman behind the legend