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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Product Review: ARTistic Pursuits

ARTistic Pursuits Review
I am always looking for ways to incorporate new art lessons into our school day. I have used ARTistic Pursuits several times in the past, so I definitely said yes when I was offered the chance to again receive the product for free in exchange for an honest review on this blog.
ARTistic Pursuits Review
What I really love about products created by ARTistic Pursuits is that they combine technique and skill practice with art history. Your kids will be learning about famous works of art while sharpening their observation skills and developing their creative technique. There are several books to choose from such as a general art technique book for preschool leveled kids, all the way to middle school sketching, high school drawing, sculpting and everything in between.
ARTistic Pursuits Review
I was really excited to receive the Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition, to review. This book focuses on developing drawing skills. Drawing is  something my kids seem to do all day long. I knew it would be a hit with them. I received just the book, the materials need to be purchased separately.
The lessons are basically scripted and so easy to follow. I have absolutely zero art training, and ARTistic Pursuits has never let me down with how easy and effective it is to teach using their books. The lessons are engaging and focus on having the kids observe, verbalize observations, learn about the historical aspect through a famous artist, and then try the techniques themselves.
This program was easily adapted into our already existing homeschool schedule. Thursday and Friday afternoons became our art days. I did the book formally with the three older boys (ages 8, 10, and 12). Margaret (age 6) sat in and participated when she wanted to. I found that many of the lessons could be done independently by the boys. This was a definite bonus because many times Malcolm needed my attention and so I wasn't able to stay with them the entire time. The book recommends an hour per lesson and I found that this varied greatly depending on the lesson and the boys. Average time spent on each class was about 30 to 60 minutes.
Something I really liked about this book is that very few supplies were required to get started. Since it is at the end of our homeschooling year, funds for school stuff is at a minimum. This made this particular book more readily accessible to the kids. The supply list at the beginning of the book breaks it all down so you know exactly what you need and when. Some of the supplies (such as a drawing board) were optional and we completed the lessons find without them.
Another thing I really liked is that the kids get to choose what they want to draw. I feel this allowed them to be more active in the creative process and thus they invested more in their work.

Not sure why blogger rotated these, but you get the idea.

Although the book is intended for Grades 4-5 (ages 9 to 11), it was easily adaptable to fit our wide range of ages. Teaching this at home in a mixed-age setting definitely has it's advantages. My first grader was present and attentive for many of the lessons. After the third or fourth lesson she came to me in the dining room. "I am looking around and I can't stop seeing shapes," she exclaimed. "Shapes are everywhere and they are giving me new ideas for what to draw!"


I liked how you got to draw in every single lesson.

I think this program is pretty fun because we got to draw from our imagination and from looking.

I thought this was really fun because it helped me to draw easier.

Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition is available on the ARTistic Pursuits website for $47.95. You can also keep up with the ARTistic Pursuits community on Facebook. I have reviewed ARTistic Pursuits in the past and I encourage you to check out those reviews for The Way They See It (preschool) and Stories of Artists and Their Art (Grades K to 3). Looking for other skills or ages? Many reviewers at The Schoolhouse Review Crew got to use ARTistic Pursuits. Head over to read their reviews by clicking the banner below.

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