Art is one of those subject areas I really struggle with incorporating into our homeschool routine. When I found out I had the opportunity to review K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 homeschool art curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. I was super excited! We had some familiarity with ARTistic Pursuits from years ago when I purchased volume 1 for my now teenage children to use. They have since revamped the entire program.
The ARTistic Pursuits K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 program is a complete 4 year homeschool art program designed to be completed one volume each semester with one lesson scheduled per week. Volume 1 is meant to be the first book completed, teaching art appreciation, beginning art techniques, and vocabulary. The following 7 volumes each focus on a specific historical period and complement your history studies. These last 7 volumes can be completed in any order to coincide with your study. Each volume focuses on specific techniques and art common to that time period. The complete program includes:
- Vol. 1 Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary
- Vol. 2 Art of the Ancients
- Vol. 3 Art of the Middle Ages
- Vol. 4 Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance
- Vol. 5 Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism
- Vol. 6 Art of the Impressionists
- Vol. 7 Art of the Modern Age
- Vol. 8 Art in America
The new volumes are meant to replace the previous 2013 versions and include a DVD/Blu-ray component with video lessons. This addition makes it so much easier for a parent who is less “artistically inclined” to provide her children with proper homeschool art instruction. Yes, I am speaking here from experience! The video lessons made a HUGE difference for us this time around.
We were given K-3 Volume 2 – Art of the Ancients for review. This volume covers ancient art history, from art found in caves to the classical art of the Roman Empire. We chose to jump in to the middle and complete the lessons related to Ancient Greece, since that was the time period we were studying.
For each volume, a list of art mediums and supplies is included. There are volume specific packages available from the vendor’s website or you can purchase them individually yourself. Luckily, we already had most of what was required to complete the lessons. Because I have a very artistically talented teenager, he completed the lessons along with us, just for fun and also because the lessons complemented our history studies which we complete together.
The techniques focused on throughout the Art of the Ancients lessons center around the use of soft pastels and air dry clay, with a bit of watercolor crayon thrown in. There are 18 lessons in total, with six of those including video instruction. The lessons take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or so to complete (not including drying time for clay creations). If you have a child that is especially fond of Art, you can easily have them do more than one finished product per lesson.
Here are a few photos of some of our completed pieces…
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed completing the lessons. My children loved dragging out our rarely used art supplies and getting to explore the different mediums. I often plan to complete arts & crafts projects on a regular basis in our homeschool, but find that those are often the first things thrown aside when things don’t go according to my plan. After seeing how much fun my kids had completing these pieces, I realized I need to make sure that Art is a priority in our course of study.
As a parent, I found that they were able to work through the lessons pretty independently, as long as I had everything set up and ready to roll for them. That was something I did not expect and was a definite bonus. My only wish is that there were video lessons for every lesson, because they really were so helpful. Also, I found some of the lessons to be a bit much for my kindergartener to complete on his own. The clay projects especially required a lot of help from someone with stronger hands. If I had to do those lessons over again, I would have given him a softer clay or playdoh to work with. The curriculum itself is wonderful, educationally valuable, fun, and easy to use. I highly recommend K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits Inc.!
Make sure you head on over to the TOS Homeschool Review Crew Blog to read more reviews on this and the other levels available!