At a very young age I knew my son, Jonathan, was interested in drawing. He would draw on anything we gave him. Thankfully he contained it to the mediums appropriate for drawing.
As we began homeschooling I just let him draw whatever he wanted. I never had a curriculum, nor could I find one that I liked enough to get him. I wanted something to help enhance the natural talent that God gave him. But I also wanted something to educate him in art.
Enter the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits: Elementary 4-5 Book 1. ARTistic Pursuits was developed and written by Brenda Ellis and Daniel D. Ellis. They created this curriculum because they believe that children can understand the concepts of art and put them into practice. To read more about the philosophy of ARTistic Pursuits click here.
In going through this curriculum, I felt that they really encouraged kids to think outside the box. So much so that my son (who is kind of used to being told what to do) had a slight difficulty in the very beginning. But as he read and I encouraged him, he was able to grasp the concepts that were being taught in the curriculum.
Jonathan and I would take 2 (sometimes 3) days a week to work on art. He often begged to do it daily but I really needed to keep him on track to not rush through things. He got so excited about art. I think for a time before this he was getting rather bored with just drawing without direction. But now with a guide at his fingertips he started to enjoy it again.
We sat and read the lessons together and also enjoyed the American Artwork that was introduced in each lesson. Sometimes we would move on to the activity, but sometimes I would have him research the artist studied and tell me about his life, some other paintings he did and basically give me an oral report. I like to see that he is learning about artists as well as techniques. Together we would spend 15-30 minutes and then I would let him work on his own for 30-45 minutes (or longer if he needed to).
I loved how after a couple of lessons he really began to broaden his perspective on things to draw. He began this course drawing the same things over and over but toward the end of the review period he really opened up. He even went to my refrigerator to get some vegetables to practice drawing. That was a first! I was SO excited to see him do that. It really made me glad to see him change what he was concentrating on for drawing.
ARTistic Pursuits teaches focus. Focusing on a certain aspect of drawing to really hone in on that skill. I think that was one of the things that impressed me. They didn't just say to draw an apple. They have you looking at all aspects. Outline, shadowing and detail to name a few.
Overall, I am really pleased with ARTistic Pursuits. I feel that my son does well with a lesson and then hands on application. I also love the incorporation of American Art! Definitely something I had been wanting to do and now I have the best of both worlds.
ARTistic Pursuits has curriculum from Preschool through Highschool. From being able to use the 4-5 Book 1 with Jonathan, I definitely like what I see and feel that it is going to be in my family for quite some time. I am already planning to get the books for my younger children.
Something to note: You do want to make sure you have the supplies listed. I did go purchase some things for Jonathan as we didn't have certain types of erasers or pencils. But these can be easily found on amazon.com or at your craft store.
To purchase ARTistic Pursuits 4-5 book 1 click here. It is $47.95 and for ages 9+.