It’s time for homeschool art curriculum!
ARTistic Pursuits Inc. sent us some of their Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 homeschool art curriculum to review! We’ve been using Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, but there are four total books available in the series.
All four books available in the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series:
Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary (the one we have and are reviewing)
Art of the Ancients
Art of the Middle Ages
Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance
If you’re interested in the other books, you can find other Schoolhouse Review Crew reviews for those.
We chose to try Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary because my two younger daughters fit nicely in the age range. They were just finishing up Kindergarten and second grade.
This is a picture of the real-life hardcover book:
These are the DVDs that come inside the hardcover book:
The printing, binding, and quality of the DVD are professional and very well done. I think that’s worth mentioning because with an art book it’s really nice to have the colors pop and the art examples clearly show brush strokes and texture. This book does that very well and the quality is great.
The idea with this set is to do one lesson per week. You might not finish a lesson in one day. You definitely could repeat it and go back to it. There are 18 project examples, 12 lessons in the book, and 6 video lessons. We got through a little more than a lesson per week. Children are not supposed to copy exactly what is being done on the DVD – instead the child is supposed to find something from their environment and apply the concepts to that. This is an explanation from the book:
It’s teaching children to look and observe rather than just copy, I think.
My middle child is my most enthusiastic artist. This is her all set up with a variety of tools. We started with the watercolor crayon lessons but she wasn’t willing to follow all the rules about what tools she was supposed to use. In the spirit of letting things go and encouraging creativity, I let her use what she preferred. She switched around a lot. However, her drawings/paintings came out best when she used the tools that were suggested. In this picture she is using the mini-Rubik’s-cube and she’s supposed to copy it. You can see some of her prior attempts if you look to her side. All observe the variety of art tools that she’s got strewn around her and you’ll get an idea of the switching that went on. She really likes art, so we’ve got many art supplies that I’ve collected over the years. If I were just starting with this I think I’d just buy what is used in the book and try to introduce one at a time. The cat is out of the bag on this one for my kids, though.
My 8-year-old was thrown by the directions NOT to exactly copy the video, but instead to find her own real-life subject to copy. She eventually found some things, but it was very hard for her and she didn’t make a lot of progress with that during the review period. I think she’s too used to watching a video and following along trying to copy exactly. She started to get used to the idea as time went by. She didn’t produce anything she was happy with from the first few lessons. We snuggled up with the book together and I read through more lessons through the weeks and she kept going. Then, we got to something that she hadn’t done lessons in before and didn’t have preconceived notions about, which was using construction paper to make a picture. She watched that lesson and loved it. I think she made about ten pictures from that lesson, but here are her two favorites (the ones she deemed were worthy of putting on the wall):
This was far beyond what my 6 year old could follow, and I dropped it with her for the most part. Her attention span is just too short for the video lessons. She did enjoy looking through the book with us and doing her own thing along with her sister, so if you’ve got a preschooler who wants to tag along but can’t do the lessons, I think it would work out. She might be ready for it in another six months and I’ll revisit it with her.
Remember how I said there were four books available that were being reviewed? Here is the link to find out more: