Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Review: ARTistic Pursuits

ARTistic Pursuits makes my life as an "art class failure turned homeschooling mother", a whole lot easier! In fact, this is one of the first (only?) programs I've seen that can be completely student-directed. How's that for parent-friendly? ;o)

Our family had the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits, Grades 4-6 Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition.

This spiral-bound ray of sunshine arrived on a particularly dreary, drizzly afternoon. As I swiftly removed the manual from its packaging, I hoisted it high into the air in a gesture of honor and reverence. (Think opening scene from The Lion King.)

As my children's eyes glowed with anticipation, the "ticking" of their brains grew louder. Ah! Light bulbs locked 'n loaded! Their Daddy's fancy art supplies were quickly procured from the don't-touch-under-penalty-of-death special cabinet, and they all bolted toward the kitchen table.

With the cloud of kid-dust billowing around me, I thought smugly to myself; "This is going to be good!"

ARTistic Pursuits, Grades 4-6 Book One, is an 88-page gem of quality art instruction. Developed by homeschoolers for homeschoolers, Artistic Pursuits author Brenda Ellis combines her years of home education with her art expertise in a fun, unique way.

At the beginning of each manual, you'll find a handy Getting Started Section which provides the Table of Contents, an explanation of the program's objective(s) to parents, as well as a supply list. These supplies aren't extravagantly priced or difficult to use, and can be easily obtained through Artistic in a handy supply pack.

Each of the manual's 16 Units is five pages long, and is divided under the following objectives and topics:

  • Vocabulary and Creative Exercise (page 1): Students are introduced to the topic, and are given a "creative exploration assignment" to help guide them into making "real world connections". They're encouraged to create "a work of art from their observations and ideas."
  • American Art Appreciation and History (pages 2-3): These pages introduce students to famous artists of the past. Examples of the topic are clearly show, making the connection between the "how and the "why" seamless. Celebrated artists, their masterpieces, and information about the time in which they lived, are all provided.
  • Techniques (page 4): This is where the real fun begins! From the manual, "Students learn how to use the materials and tools of art" and then "apply that knowledge to make an original work of art."
  • Application (page 5): Ah, yes. The final project! Just as it sounds, this is where students combine everything they've learned during the course of the particular unit, to create their own topic-specific masterpieces.

Time spent on their assignments is based on a number of factors, including interest. The author suggests two classes per week, for one hour each session. However, you are encouraged to adjust your children's time as you see fit. This program will provide a full year's worth of instruction, based on the author's suggested schedule.

I must admit that on some days, we never made it to an hour. Yet there were plenty of times when I couldn't tear them away with bribes of ice cream and pony rides! (Which is so completely out of character for them...)

Each well-crafted lesson is carefully laid out, making artistically challenged parents (such as myself), virtually unnecessary for their student's success. Everything your child needs to create their own fabulous works of art is provided in a simple, step-by-step manner.

ARTistic Pursuits, Grades 4-6 Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition, is available for $42.95 from Artistic This manual is part of Artistic Pursuit's full line of outstanding art curriculum available in all grade levels (K-12). More information on these products can be found by visiting their website.

This may seem a bit pricey, especially at this point in time. However, this is a non-consumable product that can be used by all of your children over the years. I think the price balances out a bit when those factors are considered.

So, in conclusion...due to its clearly written content, no extra work for Mom, and overall "fun for kids" factor, I'm pleased to recommend ARTistic Pursuits to my fellow homeschooling Mommies.

I award this product two thumbs up! :o)

ARTistic Pursuits Inc.
10142 West 69th Ave., Arvada, CO, 80004
Phone: 303-467-0504

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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