Tuesday, December 9, 2008

7 Reviews/7 Giveaways- Day 2

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!

I am so totally jealous of the lucky winner of today's giveaway because I have always wanted to learn the art of calligraphy! This CD ROM includes:

-easy directions to follow
-tracing pages for each uppercase letter, lowercase letter, and numeral
-tracing pages for passages
-62 pages

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!

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  1. WOW ~ this looks like a fantastic curriculum and with a great affordable price as well. It seems that all too often art curriculum costs a small fortune! Thanks for the review!
    My email is pfleiderer6@yahoo.com

  2. Calligraphy! Awesome! I enjoyed the K-8 Art program as well!! Thanks for having this great giveaway on your blog!

  3. I love art and have tried to incorporate it into our homeschool, though I'm very challenged in this area. You're right, though, even adults can learn and it blesses us as well as the children. Just think of how old Grandma Moses was when she started her art career.

    (check out my blog)

  4. I have never heard of this Curriculum before. It sounds very interesting and very fun. Loved reading your review


  5. This curriculum sounds great. One that all ages can use together would be a bonus. Thanks for the giveaway. jonesfamily@ecr.net

  6. This sounds like fun - and something I can do with my 3! Art is not always something I can get done with a 5th grader, 4th grader and Pre-K'er all at once, but this sounds like just what I need! COOL!


  7. This does look great (and affordable, thankfully). My middle daughter really has an interest in art, but I feel so inept. This might be doable. I will definitely check it more closely. Thanks for the review!


  8. This sounds really cool. I especially like that it could be used for multiple children of different ages.


  9. I really like the price and the fact that it covers such a wide age range is a huge bonus. It's not just finding the time and dealing with art "mess" that makes it difficult for me to incorporate art into my homeschool. My biggest prohibitor is the expense of having to purchase all the supplies. I've done it before and end up with a huge pile in the basement of a leftover hodge podge of stuff! The art crafts you did are so cute, though. I especially liked the Thanksgiving plates.
    I just started using Stebbing's "I Can Do All Things". So far the kids and I love it. The kids enjoy what they are learning and I enjoy only having to purchase markers, paints, and colored pencils! I realize art goes way beyond just those mediums but again, that's what causes art to take a back seat in my house.
    Thanks for sharing about this art resource. I would definitely consider it sometime in the future.

  10. A a mother to some budding artists, I'm excited about this curriculum.


  11. This curriculum looks great!

  12. This looks like a great deal - and I know my kids will love it. Thanks for a great review!

  13. Both of the children I have @ home would appreciate this material. Both love to draw. My older one would benefit from the calligraphy lesson; and I could share it with others. Thanks for the link. God bless you. Danine @

  14. WOW! All of my 4 children LOVE art, and I've been perplexed about which art curricula to purchase! This is a wonderful give away. Thank you for doing this.

  15. Thanks for the review. I'd love to learn and teach calligraphy. Deanna


  16. This curriculum sounds great and todays prize would be such a blessing. My 6th grader had dysgraphia so the level would probably be close, the content (from your review) good and the project would hold his interest. Thank you so much for hosting this review and give-away!

  17. http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/yabby/
    forgot to add contact info :)

  18. Thanks for a very thorough review.



  19. Painting Wall Murals, Wow! That sounds so neat! I have been wondering if I should branch out to something like that--besides Homeschooling my four children, I am a face painter. Which is amazing considering my high school art instruction consisted of learning the color wheel and drawing still-lifes. (public school)

    Your review was incredibly insightful and I'm seriously considering buying the curriculum, even though I just stopped by to check out your contest! I am very creative, but I need an idea to start me off--your previous blog post with pictures was exciting to me to see--I could do those! :)

    Thank you for your reviews, I'll be referring to them from time to time in the future.

    Merry Christmas!

  20. I wish I could get my kids to do art. One son has real potential. But, The other son takes to doing the art projects more.

    I will contemplate this curriculum.

  21. This sounds like an awesome art program! Who knows maybe I'll win...

  22. What a great looking art curriculum.

  23. This art curriculum looks wonderful!!!
    I hope I am given the opportunity to use it!!!! :)

    Thanks for doing this giveaway!


  24. Great review! How did you negotiate all these great giveaways!

  25. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful program. Maybe I'll ask for this for Christmas? I love the projects that your children did! The button is still on my blog :)


  26. This looks terrific! As the mom of an artistic child, I'd love to check this out!


  27. Neat! Thanks! I would love to learn to be able to write like that.



  28. This looks great, and I like the price! I'll definately have to show it to my husband!


  29. Thanks for offering this great art curriculum as a giveaway! My son is an avid artist and he is constantly creating. I can see that he would absolutely love this. :-)
    My email is: runcoo@yahoo.com

  30. this curriculum sounds and looks great...I have added it to my list for next year...I love that I can teach the same lesson and have all of my kiddo's do a project at their level.
    Carol Jo

  31. Art is something that I have aways struggled with!!! Something that my eldest excels at, but feel my weakness is holding her back! So this curriculum sounds great for me to look at in a lot more detail, I love the idea of the one price for 8 years worth - definitely makes it more manageable and cost effective! Thanks for such an indepth and positive review!

    swiftclan5 at yahoo dot co dot uk

  32. What this is such a great program. I am going to look into getting it for my daughter. I have been looking for a good art program. I 'm glad that others think the arts are as important as I do.
    Thanks for all your work!

  33. This looks great! We too are always looking for an easier way to incorporate good art lessons into our school week. Thanks for the opportunity to give it a whirl.

  34. I love this idea! I think art gets pushed aside at everyone's house, but I think my daughter would really enjoy this. Tami

  35. NEAT! I used to do calligraphy.

  36. I've always wanted to learn calligraphy, please enter me :)


    SeekingHim @ gmail dot com

  37. this looks super great! I would love this.

  38. My oldest has enjoyed italics handwriting, but is looking forward to learning the art of calligraphy. I know she would love and use this prize!


  39. This is a cool one too!


  40. enter me in the contest

  41. enjoying our reviews !! Thanks for the time it takes to write all these up it is appreciated and the give aways are just awesome.
    Tina B

  42. I hope I'm not one of those who you are missing an email or blog of.
    I'm not an experienced blogger so I thought it gives my email if I'm signed in?
    But I don't know.
    THis is new to me.
    I'm more just a lurker than one to comment.

    I hope when people randomly win that you are able to find them. Some of us have a lot of learning to do with computers.

    THanks for the great give away that lured us in.


  43. I have always wanted to learn how to do calligraphy.

  44. I put your button on my blog.

  45. What a wonderful art curiculum and a calligraphy CD to boot! My Dd5 loves art, crafts, painting - whatever she can do when it comes to crafting and these CD seems to perfectly fit into our lives, since her desire to do those things is so strong right now. Hoping I winn the calligraphy too, but the art thing is a definite must have for my house!

    jade_star2@yahoo.com Lynette

  46. This looks really awesome! All wrapped up into one for all of my children! Thank you!


  47. Please enter me for this one. I have your button on my sidebar also.

  48. My kids love to do art. This would be great. Please enter me.



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