Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ARTistic Pursuits - TOS Review

ARTistic Pursuits, in my opinion, is an excellent visual art curriculum for any homeschool family.  It is a far cry from the copy-cat art lessons I recall from my youth.  The "I do, We do, You do" model works well for some subjects, but in art, such a pedagogy deprives students the experience of transferring their creativity to a blank page.  Thankfully, ARTistic Pursuits, conversely, serves as a catalyst to spark, rather than stifle, young artists.

There are 10 offerings available to guide students from preschool through high school.  Each title is written directly to a student audience, so the series is 100% child-centered.  In fact, the only preparation required of teacher/mom prior to the lesson is to gather the needed materials.   

cover k31Because my three kiddos are early elementary, the best place to start seemed to be the very beginning.  Therefore, I opted to review ARTistic Pursuits, Grades K-3, Book One, An Introduction to Visual Arts.  The book's 88 pages are comprised of 32 lessons tailored to meet the needs of young artists. Each lesson portion can be completed in 5-10 minutes.  Then, typically, 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the child's attention span and level of interest, is spent completing the art project.

This particular book is divided into 3 sections:  What Artists Do, What Artists See, and Where We Find Art.  Likewise, each lesson appears in 3 distinct sections.  First, the child explores what an artist does, what an artist sees, or historical art.  Next, the student observes and dialogues in regards to a masterpiece, and finally, the child creates art.  While both famous artwork and peer artwork are highlighted in the book, I truly appreciate that there is no expectation given for what the child's artwork should look like upon completion.  There is no right or wrong - the child is simply free to create.  Growing up, I equated art with pressure, and never felt "good enough."  To the contrary, my children enjoy creating, thus, believing they are the creators of exquisite, exceptional art.  I love it!!!!

lesson one  project

All three of my children have always enjoyed crafts, but especially coloring.  They go through color books and drawing pads like crazy and can wield a marker or crayon with great precision. However, ARTistic Pursuits opened up a whole new world of media to Jeremiah, Caleb, and Rachel.  Never before had they used an ebony pencil or water color crayons, and their prior experience with oil pastels had been limited.  I'm impressed with the variety of media utilized in ARTistic Pursuits.  All of the needed materials can be found listed in the front of the book.  They can be purchased at your local arts & crafts store, or you may choose to order art supply packs from the website.      

K-3 kit 1

ARTistic Pursuits combines art appreciation with art instruction and engages even the youngest of students.  I believe, at $42.95, it is a great investment.  Non-consumable - it can be used over and over for years to come to include all the students in your household.  While we have only completed a few lessons in the book, I definitely recommend it.  We will be continuing to use this curriculum throughout the school year, and I'll invest in other titles in the future.  Don't just take my word for it.  I encourage you to read what other TOS Crewmates have to say about their experiences HERE

(Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of this product in exchange for my honest review.)

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