Friday, April 17, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits - An Art Homeschool Curriculum

     When I first received my curriculum handbook from ARTistic Pursuits in the mail, Marley saw it and was excited to get started on it.  I explained to her that we were going to be able to do some more art projects together.  My girl is quite an artist.  She loves drawing, coloring, painting, cutting, gluing, creating, anything where she is visualizing and using her hands.  Ever since she started holding a crayon, I could tell art was going to be a significant part of her education.  She shows passion and focus during all her art projects.  Therefore, I am dedicated to finding quality resources for art study to apply to our homeschool curriculum.

     We received the preschool edition of the series called "The Way They See It."  This book can be purchased for $47.95, which I think is very reasonable for the content that is provided.  It indicates it is targeted to ages 3,4, and 5.  My daughter is almost 5, so it was easy to apply to her activities.  I also have a younger daughter who will be 3 in October, and a baby boy who will be in preschool in a couple years.  So, one great thing about this handbook, is that it can be reused for several years for multiple children.
     This book is the perfect aid in integrating art into your daily homeschool lessons.  I love that the book starts off by giving you a very basic foundation on art study and exploration of art supplies.  You are briefed on the principles of art and conceptual elements of art projects.  The book also lets you know which art supplies you will be needing.  The layout and specific instructions were a dream come true for an organized perfectionist like myself!
     The book contains around 25 lessons or projects.  There are some lessons that ask the child to examine a work of art and point out certain aspects of it.  The children are taught to notice colors, shapes, ideas, and feelings.  I loved this part.  It is very easy to sit down and look at a picture and ask questions about it.  This got Marley using her own imagination to explore the artwork, and we had some pleasant mother daughter conversations in doing so.
    Some other lessons were specific assignments. For example, the book instructed us to go outside and look at the sky and observe it.  Marley was then supposed to go inside and paint a picture of what she saw in the sky.  Again, an easy project and it made me feel like we were experiencing a very artistic part of painting.  I had Marley lay on the grass and look at the sky.  Then I told her to close her eyes and hear the sounds that were happening outside, like the wind and the leaves and the birds.
     After a couple minutes, we went inside and I instructed her to draw what she saw and what she visualized in her mind.  So I was able to modify the directions a little bit to our preferences.
        Marley had a blast doing the art projects provided in the handbook.  I really loved this handbook/curriculum because it allowed me to develop a stronger understanding of art education.  Now I can apply that knowledge as an educator to future art project we do that aren't necessarily outlined in the book.  I also thought the authors of the book and curriculum seemed to be experts in art and art education.  I would definitely invest in higher levels of this curriculum.  It was simple, original, and very knowledgable.

ARTistic Pursuits Review
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