Thursday, December 1, 2011

TOS Review - Artistic Pursuits

I first discovered the Artistic Pursuits art curriculum at a homeschool convention last Spring.  I almost bought it to use this school year, but I had already gotten a few other things (read: spent my allotted budget), so I hesitated and then didn't end up ordering it. When I found out that they would be one of the vendors on the list to review, I was bananas excited! I could have possibly done some shameless begging to be on the list, but we won't talk about that.  Bygones.  Regardless, I am glad I was chosen because I was not disappointed.

Artistic Pursuits offer 10 different curriculum levels spanning from PreK to High School and they also offer a corresponding art pack available for each one except the PreK level.  We were chosen to review the K-3 Book 2.  Here is a description of it from the Artistic Pursuits website:
This book is sure to delight young children as they make connections with artists from the past. It focuses on the lives of artists who left the world with a vision that has awed and inspired others for generations. Using colorful illustrations and works by the artists, this book tells the stories of artists from the 13th century late Gothic period to the academy artists of the 18th century. Children explore painting in watercolor, tempera, oil pastels, printmaking, sculpture with paper mache, and mixed media.

My musings:
Watercolor painting of our house
I have given birth to quite a little artist.  I try to do a lot of art projects within our week because 1. it is a definite strength for her,  2. there is much less resistance to completing the task and 3. she loves to do it.   Artistic Pursuits is proving to be a great match for us.  Each lesson has the same layout:  information about the artist of the particular period you are learning about (our book goes from the Gothic period into the 18th century) told in story format and then an activity that demonstrates a technique or materials that are similar to what the artist used.  According to their site, " A complete study of art should include the subject matter shown on each shelf in this illustration. The K-3 program covers the elements of art and compositional ideas suited to the age within the context of art history. Techniques are shown as new materials are introduced. In this way even the youngest students experience a complete study of art. Grades 4-12 get a complete, in-depth study of the elements of art and composition based on a variety of applications. Each application offers a different way of thinking about the topic, helping to expand awareness of the visual world." Here is a link to their philosophy and approach for teaching art.

While there is very little teacher preparation required for the program, unless you buy the art pack that corresponds to your book, you have to get your art supplies ready for the activity.  We are pretty well stocked in art supplies, so we had everything needed to complete the projects (or close enough) that we did.  If I invest in other books, however, I would make it easier on myself (I am a selfish being.) definitely purchase the art pack.  I have a feeling that their supplies might be a higher quality than some of what we have and higher quality art supplies produce nicer products.  Just a fact.  Plus, you get a tote bag.  I love tote bags.

Julianna's musings:
**This is a new feature of my reviews.  I thought it might be interesting to get a 6 year old's perspective on the products since she is the one also using it.  I will, however, maintain my editing rights.**

"I think that the program was fun!  I think it was awesome! Today my Mom twisted out my top tooth."
Short and sweet...and completely off topic at the end.  See?  Editing will be needed.  

If you are considering an art program for your homeschool, give Artistic Pursuits a look.  Each book is $42.95 and the art packs range from $45 - $92.  You can order from their site, by phone or by mail and they offer a 30 day money back (minus shipping) guarantee.     

*Disclaimer:  As a member of TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a copy of Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book 2 in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was given."


Moni-Q said...

I can't wait to try the program myself! Excellent review. You are so much fun to read!

Tiff said...

I was JUST reading something about this curriculum right before I opened your blog. I'm not even kidding. Too ironic. I guess that means I need to put this on my list for next year?? lol!

Jessica said...

I *almost* did Artistic Pursuits this year but changed my mind at the last minute. Kicking myself. Will have to try it soon!

Kimberly said...

We also tried it out for a review. It was a definite hit at our house.