Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TOS Review - Artistic Pursuits

What is Artistic Pursuits?
Artistic Pursuits ( is a company that opens an entire world of art from preschool age children to young adults. Their method of teaching art allows the child to use their surroundings as a way of expressing themselves through their artwork. Their lessons encourage the child to use their imagination and not only mimic others around them.

There is a total of 10 books in this curriculum set.

The Way They SEE It: A Book for Every Parent About the Art Children Make

This book is dedicated to preschool ages 3, 4 and 5. This first book not only offers 36 art projects for the child to engage their imagination into, but it also offers the parent information on how a child's creativity works.

Early Elementary K-3 Book One: An Introduction to the Visual Arts 
Early Elementary K-3 Book Two: Stories of Artists and Their Art
Early Elementary K-3 Book Three: Modern Painting and Sculpture

These 3 books are dedicated to kindergarten to grade 3. These books can be conducted with very little preparation from the parent. Art history, different aspects of composition, full color artwork from the Masters and 36 projects are included.

Elementary 4-5 Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition
Elementary 4-5 Book Two: Color And Composition

Middle School 6-8 Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition
Middle School 6-8 Book Two: Color and Composition

High School 9-12 Book One: The Elements of Art and Composition
High School 9-12 Book Two: Color and Composition

 There are 2 books dedicated to grades 4-5, 2 books for middle school ages and 2 books have been prepared for high school aged students. At each level, book 1 of the set provides a review of drawing, the elements of art and composition. Book 2 of each set offers a review of color theory and composition. Each of these books are written specifically to the student and are done independently. There are 68 lessons in each book.  

Each book is listed for $47.95.
What We Received and How We Used It:
My oldest son Kollin is that kid who will sit at the table for hours and hours drawing and coloring. Or the kid who begs to get out the playdough. He has always been creative, used his imagintion and has always love to create things. When I saw this curriculum, I jumped on it. I tied this in with our weekly curriculum for some of January and into February. There were some days we stayed inside for the project and other afternoons we went outside.
One of the first lessons in the book describes composition and how artists are not only people who paint and draw; they are dancers, writers, singers and even tuba players. Kollin had a fun time thinking on and naming different types of artists. I could see the lightbulb come on when he realized even his favorite singer TobyMac is an artist. Oh, I love to see that lightbulb :)

We reviewed each lesson for about 10 minutes prior to the actual art project. Both Kollin and Kolt were eager to use their new art supplies, so about 10 minutes or so is all I could get in for the informative part of the lesson. Once we talked a little, we looked at the piece of art work given in the lesson. I think this was Kollin and Kolt's least favorite part. The pictures of course are from the Masters and not always so appealing to a 4 and 6 year old. Trying to make them and keep them interested in the older pieces was a bit of a challenge, but it was accomplished nonetheless. Once we started the actual art project portion, they were good to go. I gave them instructions, showed them the examples given from other children their age and left the room for a little while. I gave them about 20 minutes to complete their project. Kollin was more articulate with his piece and took much longer than Kolt. Each lesson carried out the same, they were each very proud of their pieces at the end of the project.

My Opinion:

Overall, I have really enjoyed doing this curriculum with Kollin and Kolt. The postitive aspects for me were definitely being able to teach my children about art itself. Up until now, they have never seen pieces from the Masters or been taught about the different aspects of art. I believe it has opened up a new world other than drawing stick figures and Lightening McQueen over and over and over again. Not that those drawings aren't very, very precious to me - but Artistic Pursuits allows them to think outside the box. It allows them to notice the world around them - those little pink flowers in the bushes, or the neighbor's red car. It has given them the opportunity to really look around and see their world, then to use their imagination and put their images onto paper.

The only downfall, in my opinion, was the expense of the art supplies. I was given the heads up before asking to be a part of this curriculum, but I had no idea it would be as expensive as it was. We are a very frugal family, my reciept at the local craft store was about 65.00 - and that was quite expensive for us.

Important Links:
Early Elementary K-3 Book One: An Introduction to the Visual Arts

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

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