Monday, March 11, 2013

CREW REVIEW- ARTistic Pursuits


ARTistic Pursuits is an everyday name amongst most homeschoolers.  I know why!  Their simple, but effective approach to teaching art makes it approachable to the average homeschool mom or dad. 

Let's face it, art intimidates a lot of people.  Art intimidates me!  And therefore, it is often conveniently by-passed in this family's day.  That is why I was so excited to have the opportunity to review the newest and expanded 3rd edition of ARTistic Pursuits, Elementary 4-5 Book 1, The Elements of Art and Composition.  Though written for 4th and 5th graders, we were able to use it for the 5 year old and 9th grader as well, a huge plus in my book.

PhotobucketCovering 16 Units, this book gives a good overview of not only the how to's of specific art concepts, but also exposes students to Master Works in American art.  Lessons include:
Line and Shape
Form Using Value
Local Value
The Shapes of Natural Forms
Proportion, the Face

Each unit is divided into four lessons, making it easy to break into a four day schedule.  Day one introduces the topic and encourages the student to explore that area in their own world.  The second lesson focuses on American Art appreciation, introducing a selected art piece and artist and includes details about the time period.  The third  lesson focuses on technique, the real "how to's" and the last lesson is the final project day.  The schedule can be modified to fit each family's needs: if you do art only twice a week this book will take a year to complete.

How this worked for us:
Again, the target age for this particular book is fourth and fifth grade, but we invited the siblings to join in.  Four days a week we gathered at the kitchen table to read the lesson together and then proceeded with the assigned art project for that lesson.  My favorite part became at the end of the lesson when I would have each child show what they drew and then tell us about their picture. I loved doing this as a family, but want to note that a child in 4th or 5th grade could very easily read the lessons independently if you so chose. Obviously the concepts were above the head of the 5 year old, but perfect for the intended student.

Drawing Legos- what else?!

One of the things that worked out perfectly for us is the fact that my high school freshman is currently doing an separate art appreciation class.  Several times the subject of the week in ARTistic Pursuits was an artist she had read about.  It was fun for her to be able to then put her reading knowledge to the test with actual drawing practice using the same concepts used by the artist.  I am a firm believer that anytime you can add layers to teaching-the reading and the doing-true learning takes place.  Plus, in this case, it is just more fun!

Project from Unit two

What we loved about this program:
It is user friendly! Each lesson is clearly marked and self explanatory.
It can be used for multiple ages and levels. 
It includes Art Appreciation, while showing Master Works in American Art. 
Spiral bound, quality paper and simply beautiful! Hey, it's the little details that make a difference!
Reasonably priced.
Supply lists are given.  Most supplies can be easily found at your local stores if you decide to not buy the complete art kits from ARTistic Pursuits.

Our Bottom line-
We really are enjoying this program and will continue to use it to completion.  I am now also planning to order a new level each year to use with the kids, as I have seen that when the art is planned out for me, I am more likely to insert it into my day.  I would much rather have a well laid out, easy to follow curriculum than to be trying to plan random art activities, and boring ones at that, into my childrens' day.  Call me lazy...or just call me smart!  Either way, I highly recommend ARTistic Pursuits!


CREW members reviewed a variety of levels of this program.  Click on the banner below to read more reviews!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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