Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Artistic Pursuits Review

As a parent and especially a homeschooling parent, I find great joy in seeing the creativity in my children become unleashed. Recently we were able to try the Artistic Pursuits curriculum for K-3 An Introduction to the Visual Arts. As soon as we received it in the mail my son got out his art supply kit and couldn't wait for me to start going through the projects with him.

The Artistic Pursuits curriculum is nicely done with art history, instruction, supply lists, even down to the questions asked with each project. I have to admit that while the questions were not hard, I wondered in my mind if my son would catch on to the details they were trying to get noticed. He answered every question quickly with ease giving me more of a confidence with each page as we used it. I was impressed to be able to help teach such a great program and also learn to look at art with a new eye.

The lessons are not long and drawn out, they seem to be the perfect amount of instruction, technique and examples. I think what makes Artistic Pursuits so appealing for a child is seeing the professional artistic examples and on the next page seeing drawings and artwork done from someone from their age group. I feel that it brings more confidence out in their attempts at their own creations. My son was often the type that didn't think he was good enough compared to someone else. Instead, he does art daily since using Artistic Pursuits and has told everyone he wants to be an artist! He practices daily and draws covers of books along with numerous other inspirations.

In Book One the lessons are divided into three sections as follows:

•What Artists Do: Ten lessons cover activities artists engage in when making art such as imagining and observing. Children explore drawing and painting techniques, gaining experience in pencil, color, and brush work.
•What Artists See: Seven lessons cover the elements that artists use in 2-dimesional and 3-dimensional works such as shape, form, and color. Children explore collage, paper works, and color mixing. Children gain experience in handling scissors, glue, and paper forms.
•Exploring Ancient Art: Fifteen lessons cover ancient art from the cave paintings of France to book illumination of the 13th century. Children see that art is more than just a picture on a wall. Cultures used it in different ways and for different purposes. Lessons expand the child's ideas of what art is and where we find it. Children explore mural, pottery, low-relief, paper art, bookbinding, mosaic techniques and more.

Would I recommend Artistic Pursuits? ABSOLUTELY!! I am thrilled with the excitement my son shows with art and creative works now!

Artistic Pursuits is available at their website: They offer curriculum for preschool through high school. The book we reviewed sells for $42.95. If you are looking for an engaging, visual way to teach art, I believe this is a one stop shop! It is interesting for my children, but also likewise for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed the book and the lessons and taking art further than the basics that I could think of on my own.

Albert Einstein said, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." I believe Brenda Ellis matching this quote with her curriculum and amazing ways of connecting with the students and parents alike.

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for my thorough use and honest review of them. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.