Saturday, March 7, 2009

Artistic Pursuits

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.

You've seen the above paragraph at the top of all of my reviews and in that paragraph I promise to give you my honest opinion. I mean that. So at the risk of giving you yet another glowing review, I have to shoot it straight with you...I am loving Artistic Pursuits.

Artistic Pursuits offers three books for grades K-3, two books for grades 4-6, two books for grades 7-8, and two books for grades 9-12. I received the Grade K-3 Book 2 titled Stories of Artists and Their Art.

What I like most about this program is that it is not just an art instruction program, but also an art history program. Each lesson gives a brief summary of an artist in storybook fashion. The artists were chosen from "major periods of art from the 13th century late Gothic period to the academy artists of the 18th century". Also included within the books are full-color examples of the artist's works for the students to observe. That's hunting through questionable art books or Internet sites...the art is already pictured in the book.

Once you have studied the artist, your students can complete an art project in the style of the artist. Most projects are simple, (but of course fun!), and introduce your student to wide variety of medium and style. Projects include work with watercolors, oil pastels, papier-mache, tempera paints, and more. This isn't a problem for us because we have quite a bit of art supplies around our house. But it could be quite pricey to purchase all of these supplies if you don't already have them handy. Artistic Pursuits does offer discounted bundles of art supplies to go along with each book through Mister Art Discount Art and Craft Supplies. The art supply bundle that coincides with Stories of Artists and Their Art is $61.

There are 32 lessons in Stories of Artists and Their Art and artists studied include da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Durer, Rembrandt, and Millet. Projects include making watercolor calender pages, scratch art, sculpting a puppet, and drawing people. Each book offered by Artistic Pursuits for K-3 is $42.95 and can be purchased through their website. This is probably going to seem a bit steep to some of you, but as far as quality art curriculum go its comparatively priced. Also many art curriculum only offer a collection of art projects and or/instruction, so the inclusion of an art history program is a big bonus!

Check out more reviews at the TOS Crew Blog.

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