As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion. This week I will post one review and host a giveaway each day. Please read this review and make sure to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.
I co-owned a small business painting wall murals for five years and taught art for four at a cottage school for homeschoolers. Needless to say, art instruction is near and dear to my heart. For that reason, I was really looking forward to reviewing the K-8 Christian Art Curriculum CD Rom from Spears Art Studio.
In addition to their K-8 Program, Spears Art Studio also offers Christian Art Curriculum for high school, Calligraphy workbooks, and literature guides. All of their curriculum supports the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stages of classical education.
As a busy homeschool mom art seems to be a subject that is often pushed to the side even in our house. Nevertheless, I feel there is true value in including art in our homeschools. Read what Diane Spears has to say in her article, Art is Good for my Brain?
"Our modern world of intense and rapid visual stimuli has programmed a great number of children to be primarily visual learners. Therefore we must have an abundance of visual aids with studies. There should also be the opportunities to interpret studies and to make them visually concrete in art. All curriculum materials should be rich with visual aids and suggestions for extending the learning visually. Students who are missing information about design, color, depth perception, how to cut straight, how to think the quickest, most economical solution, etc., will not progress to their potential. All the fine arts provide experiences that assist in the development of manual skills,problem solving, critical thinking skills, and perceptual awareness. They provide an atmosphere for applying new learning without the fear of making mistakes.
The fine arts are also a vehicle for introducing, developing, and reinforcing students to the important values of life. Students learn patience, perseverance, appreciation for varied expression, aesthetic awareness, respect for materials, and academic information. All of these help establish a foundation for personal goals, because they are learning a great deal more than just information. The arts are an opportunity to reach students who are otherwise unresponsive and unconvinced that a particular study is relevant to their own lives."
Click here to read the rest of this article.
Realizing the importance of art in education is just the first step. I'm often approached by moms who want to teach their children art but tell me they "just can't" because "they can't even draw a stick figure". Well, from a woman who learned how to draw and paint from her best friend while they were painting on other people's walls...I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN LEARN ART, TOO! And Spears Art is your new best friend!
My absolute favorite part about the K-8 Christian Art Curriculum CD-Rom is that for only $39.95 (shipping included) you will get EIGHT YEARS OF ART CURRICULUM! The curriculum is divided into months with seasonal themes. The themes stay the same regardless of grade, but each grade level has different art projects. So this means if you have a Kindergartner, 4th grader, and 6th grader your children will all learn the same theme but can each do their own age appropriate project.
During the course of using this program students will learn to recognize the basic elements of art and the basic principles of art. Each week's lessons also offer Theme Scriptures and study suggestions for Teacher Inspiration which goes along with the Spears mission statement to "help students make connections between the Creator, creativity, and personal maturity". You will also find art history and vocab suggestions with each lessons.
The program uses a wide variety of mediums, but not surprisingly most of the projects our family have completed are more of the "crafty" type since they are still so young (all 2nd grade and under). Instead of doing a different project with each child when we did our art lessons, I opted to choose one project in the general age range of all of them so that we were all doing the same project. You can scroll down to the previous post or click here to see some the Spears Art projects we have completed. The kids love, love, LOVE doing their art lessons!
Truly, the only downside of this program is when I first opened the lessons and began reading through them, there just seemed to be... so... much (because there is). It was a little overwhelming. But I found that when I just took it lesson by lesson, it really was easy to use. As with every curriculum we use in our homeschool, I have taken the liberty to skip over projects that wouldn't work for us right now and use the ones that do.
I highly recommend the K-8 Christian Art Curriculum from Spears Art as a wonderful art program and a tremendous value. You can find out more details about all of their programs as well as look at sample lessons on their website.
Today's Giveaway: Diane Spears as so generously donated the Beginning Calligraphy Workbook for Grades 5 through Adult on CD Rom!
-easy directions to follow
-tracing pages for each uppercase letter, lowercase letter, and numeral
-tracing pages for passages
To enter, please leave a comment in the comment section of this post MAKING SURE to include some way for me to contact you if you win (blog address or email). It's that simple!
If you'd like extra entries, just grab the 7 Reviews/7 Giveaways button (see my sidebar) and paste it on the sidebar of your blog. I will give you 2 extra entries into EACH of the 7 giveaways for doing so.
You have until Wednesday, December 17th at 8pm(EST) to enter. I will randomly draw a winner for each of the 7 giveaways at that time and then post and contact the winners. The winners will have 48 hours to contact me back with their mailing information before I draw a new winner.
If you'd like to see more reviews of Spears Art, head on over to the TOS Blog. See you tomorrow!