Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TOS Review: ARTistic Pursuits

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I often hear parents talk about the idea of homeschooling and wondering how they'll ever be able to teach their children math or science when they get older. I think I've got math down, and I'm not too worried about science. What I never thought I'd be able to teach was art. Crafts, maybe. Art, not so much. Thank goodness that I've found a wonderful art program so that my poor children will not grow up art-deprived.

Recently, Addison was given the opportunity to use part of ARTistic Pursuits Junior High Art Program.  Book One of this level covers the elements of art and composition. It is primarily a drawing program. They also offer a second book for Junior High students that covers color theory and composition.

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As I read through this book, I was very, very impressed! This isn't just a "how to draw" book. This is real art instruction. The lessons cover such topics as space, line, form, balance, perspective, proportion and more. Furthermore, the student learns art appreciation and art history along with art skills.

I'm particularly pleased to see the wide variety of artwork that is presented as examples. I've never been exposed to much artwork other than the Western classical painters. This curriculum includes artwork from all over the world and from many different time periods. There are several Japanese paintings, Chinese paper cuttings, an Aboriginal tree bark painting, and South African baskets used as examples.

The book also includes lots of examples of student work. As a homeschool student, Addison often compares her art projects to famous masterpieces. It's encouraging to see the Student Galleries containing works done by other students.

Addison is really enjoying getting to use these materials. She's seen significant improvement in her drawing abilities just in the past month or so that she's been working through the book. She credits ARTistic pursuits with teaching her to add details and texture to her drawings. She also learned how to look closely at what she wants to draw instead of just trying to draw something that she imagines in her head. I'm quite impressed with the drawings that she's been doing, and I talked her into letting me show off one of them.


All of the ARTistic Pursuits books are written for the student, not the teacher. Addison appreciates this because she doesn't have to wait until I carve out time in my schedule to help her through the lesson and then get her started on a project.

The Junior High ARTistic Pursuits book includes 16 units with 4 lessons each. If we continue to do art lessons twice a week, then we will have enough art instruction for an entire year. The book itself costs $42.95, and we needed to purchase a sketch pad, some art pencils, and a few other materials in order to do the projects.

ARTistic Pursuits offers curriculum for students of all ages -- preschool through Senior High. Sixty other crew members have also been using various levels of ARTistic Pursuits materials over the past few months. You can find all the reviews on The Old Schoolhouse Crew blog.

I received a copy of Artistic Pursuits' Junior High Book 1 for free as a member of the 2010 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the book and how it worked for my homeschool family.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm.. I might need to pull this out again. I made my older kids work through it for about three weeks when I reviewed it, but eventually they got frustrated when it got harder. I think they might be ready for it now. Plus, I have the K-3 book that might work well for Caleb and Anna. Gotta go find those. I loved Addison's purse drawing.

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