Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Artistic Pursuits TOS Review

Artistic Pursuits

Art Curriculum and Instruction Books for Preschool through High School
$42.95 per book

Art supplies for each book are also available in kit
Prices vary per kit

One of the subjects or activities which is often pushed to the side in our homeschool endeavors is art.My children enjoy it, but it just seems that it is the easiest subject to move off the schedule when we face a time crunch.Thus my children were thrilled when we had the opportunity to review a volume of Artistic Pursuits art curriculum.

We had the opportunity to use and review the Grade K-3 Book 3 Modern Painting and Sculpture.This volume focuses on Impressionist Artists, several other modern art movements and three dimensional art techniques. There are 32 two to three page lessons. Among the impressionists artists you'll find studies of Monet, Pissarro,Cassatt, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh.Modern art topics include cubism, Expressionism, and Abstract art as well as artists such as Calder and Mondrian. There are several lessons about current forms of artistic expression such as land art, sculpture and computer art.

Lessons in Artistic Pursuits contain one or two pages presenting an artist and talking about their style of art.One or more of the works is featured in full color and discussed.The artists are discussed in their historical and cultural contexts. Following this discussion there are several questions directed to the student which are designed to help them think about the picture they are seeing. The next page is a project for the student to do.All of these are hands on creative works.There are painting projects, sculpture projects, paper crafts, as well as other media such as soap.The painting projects teach various styles and techniques. Sculpture projects use materials such as pipe cleaners, foil, or clay.Several projects combine multiple materials.

While the majority of the book is written to the student, the parent or teacher will also find useful articles about teaching art and history and contemporary art.

Rounding out the book is an extensive bibliography and book/multimedia resource list.You will also find book suggestions throughout the main text.

Our experience with Artistic Pursuits

I am totally impressed with this Art curriculum. I love having all the information in one reference book.I could share information about the artist and then just flip the page and be ready for my children to create a piece of art.This way they can have art appreciation and a hands on experience with one coordinated resource. Also nice about Artistic Pursuits is the spiral binding and clear plastic cover.This allows the book to open and lay flat as well as protect the paper cover.

In addition to the books being written directly to the student in a conversational tone, another big plus for me was the ease of teacher preparation. All I needed to do was read through the 2-3 pages and gather the art supplies. I was able to read the text in no more than 10 minutes and gather all needed supplies in just a few minutes more than it took me to read. The gathering time would have been shortened if I could keep all our art supplies in one place.

Speaking of supplies, there is a fairly hefty list needed to complete all the projects in the book. While most of them are not expensive by themselves, if purchasing them all at the same time they could add up. However, you probably have some of them at home already.While you could just read the text of the book, the child would be missing out on a lot of the fun without the opportunity to make their own masterpieces.

Artistic Pursuits also encourages students to think about art in new ways, not just something hanging on a wall or sitting on a pedestal in a cold museum.Throughout the lessons the student is challenged to see things they encounter daily as art as well as the reality that not everyone likes every piece of art they encounter. While the child is taught to appreciate art and view it from different perspectives, they are also reminded in several lessons that art in a museum is not something they are allowed to touch.

The projects in the book are well thought out and very appropriate for the artist or concept taught.The majority of them could be used as gifts from the young artist to loved ones. As with any art endeavor the quality of the finished project depends on the skill of the artist as well as time and thought put into the project, but the ideas are high quality.

I also appreciate the mix of 2D and 3D artists and projects in the book. This helps teach or reinforce the idea that art is not just flat or drawing and painting.

My 7 year old son is thrilled with the book. He said his favorite part was all the ideas for things to make. While he is within the age range for this book he found the questions asking about things in the paintings to be easy and boring. He is looking forward to learning about more artists and trying his hand at more projects. The pictures featured here are some of his work from the books lessons.

My 10 year old daughter also used the book. While the text was way below her level I think she enjoyed hearing the art history and making the projects as well.I will feature her projects in a separate post as her age and abilities are beyond what would be expected of a student in the target age range.I had her do additional reading about the artists to round out the curriculum for her level.

One problem I experienced was not being able to find many of the resources sited at my library, even though they are a large suburban system.

After using this level of Artistic Pursuits I would not hesitate to purchase additional volumes of Artistic Pursuits if finances were not an issue.

Other TOS Crew members had the opportunity to review other volumes and levels of the Artistic Pursuits program.You can see what they had to say at the Crew Blog.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to enable me to write this review. I have not been compensated in any other manner and all opinions expressed here are totally my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment