Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TOS Review: Artistic Pursuits

It can be challenging when homeschooling to teach subjects that you are not very good at. When faced with that challenge, you really need a curriculum that is fun for the children and does not require a lot of knowledge, skill, or preparation from the parent. I am not at all talented in Art and although I think that it is very important to include in your homeschool, I have not done a very good job of that because I am terrible at it and none of the books we have purchased so far has worked out for us. We were given the opportunity to use and review Artistic Pursuits Senior High Book One The Elements of Art and Composition and I just have to come right out and say.....We LOVE this Art Program!


Artistic Pursuits was developed by Dan and Brenda Ellis, working artists and homeschooling parents. They designed their books so they are written to the student and allow parents and teachers to give children a quality Art education even if they themselves have no artistic background. They believe, "every child can enjoy the concepts of art and enjoy the process of putting ideas and visual images on paper. We're committed to the goal of helping children become visually aware of the wonderful world we live in, and be able to work in creative ways within that world." Their programs express the technical and expressive aspects of art in an age appropriate manner offering the right information at the right time. They do not expect children to draw like adults but instead value what children are able to produce by observing the world around them, viewing great artwork, and through demonstrating techniques.

There are things that you will not find in their books. Artistic Pursuits does not have children do formal exercises that does not connect to real world examples (like drawing whole pages of straight lines, cones etc.) Their books are not set up like a step by step, copy the page, how to draw curriculum. Children do not work in tiny square boxes, but instead have a full page sketch pad to work on.

Artistic Pursuits carries books from pre-K all the way through High School. Each book costs $42.95 and they are non-consumable so you can use them again and again. The books are paperback and spiral bound. To see the different books they offer for each age group click here. For convenience, they also carry Art Supply Packs for each book and also are affiliated with two different discount art supply stores that carry all of the supplies for each book. Click here to see information on art supplies.

Chelsea is in the 9th grade and when she completes her book Senior High Book One The Elements of Art and Composition she will earn a full credit for High School. She does 2 classes a week and each class takes her about 45 min-an hour to complete. The book contains 64 lessons which the students explore the Elements of Art: space, line, texture, shape, form, and value through European Art.

Chelsea's Drawing

What I really like about this program is that the text is written for the student. It is very well laid out and easy to read and understand. She can just pick up her book and work independently at her own pace. The only thing I have to do is look at the finished project and tell her how great she did! They even include the course credit information and an Evaluation Sheet for determining a number and letter grade. The book does not teach just techniques, but instead each unit covers: Vocabulary, Art Appreciation, Art History, and Techniques. Then the students do a final project for the unit using what they have learned. Students are allowed to be creative when drawing, they are not expected to copy or reproduce an exact model in the book. Another great feature is that they show other students artwork throughout the book. Most children are not as skilled as professional artists and may be discouraged when their artwork does not look as "good" as professionals. By adding in the student art gallery, it shows students what others their age are creating and brings it back down to their level. It also was very convenient for me to order my supplies through their affiliate link Blick Art Supplies. We live over an hour from any art supply store and all I had to do was click on the book I had and it showed all of the supplies. I had them in my hands within a week.

If Art is missing from your homeschool because you feel you are not qualified to teach it or are intimidated, or you just have not found a program you or your children really like, I would definitely recommend Artistic Pursuits. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed with the book we got to review I am buying a book to use with the boys next school year. They also offer a money back guarantee if you wish to return your books within 30 days in unused condition. With Artistic Pursuits there are no more excuses as to why I can't teach Art.

To see what other crew members are saying click here.

I received a complimentary copy of Senior High Book One The Elements of Art and composition for the purpose of writung a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.

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