Friday, April 17, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits - A Review

ARTistic Pursuits Review
As a home educator for nearly 20 years now I have grown to see the importance of the arts in education very clearly.  There is nothing more inspiring than artistic expression.  Every form of art has something to offer the health of the human mind, body, and spirit.  Some of our favorite forms of artistic expression are photography, music, and drawing.  Unfortunately, somewhere along the way we had begun to neglect art studies in our homeschool.  Just about the time I was searching for something to use with our family the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits came my way.  I was thrilled!  Our family chose to review the Early Elementary K-3 Book One: An Introduction to the Visual Arts.  I think it was a great choice.  All of us have learned a little something along the way, and it has made more clear for me some areas that could benefit from a little extra attention.

ARTistic Pursuits Review

Keep in mind that I am working with PK, K, and 3rd grade levels.  This particular level of ARTistic Pursuits was a pretty good fit.  However, based on my experience with the two younger ones I am thinking they may have benefited from working through the first book, The Way They SEE It, geared toward ages 3, 4, and 5.  I am finding it a little challenging to encourage the five year old to persist with his artwork, be original, and not try to produce work as "good" as the book or myself.  (I am by no means professional, but I do have a few years on him.)  I remember my youngest of the older seven giving up on drawing, despite having a natural talent for it, because he next two older siblings were excellent artists, and he felt inferior.  This is not something I want to see repeated.  Working through this book has reminded me of the need to develop the natural abilities of each child meeting them where they are and teaching them to persist.  Art is such an nonthreatening way to develop such traits.

The other thing I love about art is how naturally it fits into all subject areas.  One can study every aspect of academics with art.  My favorites are probably history and science.  In ARTistic Pursuits we are taught about art history and art appreciation as well as creativity and technique.  The lessons we learn here can easily be integrated into every area of study.  Building a solid art foundation is an amazing thing, because it broadens our potential for exploration in other areas.  I am so glad we have this too in our homeschool.  It's just what we needed to round things out more fully.  Art is what was missing at Royal Academy, and now we have it.

When the kids and I sit down to begin a lesson each child gathers their personal tools.  ARTisitic Pursuits provides you with a list of necessary supplies for each book.  We made a special trip to gather them up.  (If I had to do it over again, I do believe I would have just purchased the corresponding supply package directly from the company.  By the time we drove to the store, searched for what we needed, and left with a few items still not crossed off our list it would have been much easier and more economical to just purchase them conveniently online through their website.)  We also purchased each child a cup style pen holder traditionally used for a desktop for them to keep their supplies.  Ours are plain black and are divided into three compartments inside.  We got them from the dollar store, and kicked off the beginning of the program with a time for each child to decorate and personalize their own container.  We created a special area on our bookshelf to keep all of our supplies together which makes art time super easy.  I always use those self-adhesive, re-positional paper tabs to keep our place in whatever book we're using.  So, we just grab our supplies and set to work.

The lessons are all planned out for you.  They're short and simple to execute with little to no real advance prep required.  For me, that is an extremely beautiful thing!  I do try to read over the lesson ahead of time, but they are short enough for me to do it right at the start of art time if I wasn't able to be that prepared.  Each lesson introduces a specific technique or aspect of art.  There is a short introduction, real art to review, complementary and thought provoking exercise, as well as time to practice the skill or technique introduced.  That's it!  Couldn't be more simple.  For us, each exercise takes about 15 minutes to complete, but it can carry on as long as the child is interested in exploring the introduced subject matter. We are sure to use ARTisitc Pursuits for many years to come as the go through high school and really beyond.  The books are written specifically with homeschoolers in mind and anyone could benefit from their instruction.  I work right alongside the children and enjoy it very much.

Don't forget to checkout ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook!

ARTistic Pursuits Review

Crew Disclaimer

1 comment:

Lisa M. (aka. Lisa @ Farm Fresh) said...

I agree that the preschool book is ideal for the 3-5 years old age group. My 4 year old tried hard to do what we did in the Book 1 like your kids and he did well. But sometimes I just had to let my 9 year old work on it by himself. Fortunately we reviewed the preschool book last year, so I can use it for my 4 year old.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...