When it comes to the subject of art, the homeschooling parents I've talked with seem to fall into one of two camps. The first group either loves, loves, loves art, and goes all out in providing a wide variety of art materials, trips to museums, and so on for their students.
The second camp is made up of the *ahem*, artistically challenged. They may feel that they don't know what they're doing, or even where to begin in presenting an art lesson.
Now, I'm speaking in generalities of course, and I also realize that there are plenty of folks who fall somewhere in between the two categories I've presented; I myself am one such person.
I love art. Spending an afternoon at the art museum just feeds my soul. In fact, and this may sound silly, but simply walking through the art store for an hour or two has a similiar effect on me. I can't explain it, perhaps it's the possibilities that the oil pastels, paints, brushes, etc. represent.
That said, I often find myself at a loss at where to begin when it comes to teaching this subject. And then along came a most delightful art curriculum - Artistic Pursuits.
This is what I've been looking for all this time. An introduction to a variety of art mediums and techniques, an introduction to art history, all geared towards the age of my daughters, and therefore easy to understand.
Upon opening this wonderfully thick, spiral bound book, is a handy list of the necessary art materials. So helpful!
The book we're using (Book 1, for K-3rd grade) is divided into three sections:
*WHAT ARTISTS DO
*WHAT ARTISTS SEE
*WHERE WE FIND ART
It is suggested by the author/teacher to have plenty of interesting objects to observe and sketch - goldfish, shells, bowls of fruit, small caged animals, and/or just going outside. And being a homeschooling family lends itself to a myriad of interesting possibilities in this regard, as we're not limited to the classroom! Just sayin'.
Let me show you what a typical lesson looks like. It begins with an overview of the topic, which might be what it means for an artist to compose a picture, or how nature inspires him/her.
Next is a simple exercise for the student to do, maybe a discussion or a walk outside. After that, it's time to take a close look at the featured painting or other work of art from the lesson and talk about it, the colors, subjects, perhaps some of the artists background.
Now the best part of all...let's create our own work of art! Each lesson features a particular art medium, and after a brief explanation of its purpose and how to use it, we get to try it for ourselves :)
I"m not exaggerating in the least when I say that from the first project, the whole family was hooked. *I* had been excited from the moment that I opened the book and saw the depth of the lessons, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how my ladies took to it all, art history included.
Of course, their favorite part is the hands on drawing, painting, creating aspect, and we did MANY pictures for each assignment. Especially when the medium is watercolor crayons. They are wildly popular in this house now.
I suppose that I'm stating the obvious when I say that we love this curriculum. It's the whole package in one easy, simple to teach, format. I would recommend Artistic Pursuits to anyone and everyone looking for a good at home art program.
You can read what my crewmates had to say about this and the other books in this series here...
Book one - Grades K-3 $42.95