The Master and His Apprentices is an art history curriculum written from a Christian perspective for high school students. After completing the course, high schoolers will earn 1 full elective credit in art history. The course begins with an introduction to art and then with The Creation then moves on Ancient Cultures, The Middle Ages, Renaissance, and finishes up with Baroque Era & Beyond. Within each era there are several different categories and topics. For instance under Ancient Cultures you will find Ancient Near East with 13 different topics such as Noah's Ark and Solomon's Temple. There are two components to the course, a textbook and a teacher's guide. The textbook has all of the reading assignments. The course has a total of 19 chapters. In the back of the student text there is an appendix with 5 different essays, period chart, complete timeline, pieces by location, terms to describe art, consulted sources, and an index. The Teacher's Guide contains a sample syllabus covering 36 weeks of work, terms to describe art, art history paper instructions, worksheets to complete after reading each chapter, tests, and answer keys. These can be purchased as a digital download or as a physical book. For review purposes we received the digital download.
The PDF download of the student text is 380 pages long. It can be viewed on a computer or tablet, or printed out, 3 hole punched and placed in a notebook. Each chapter contains several pages of text and color images of art work. The PDF teacher's guide is 116 pages long. You can choose to print the entire thing or just the necessary worksheets and pages that the student will need to fill out. It is possible to use the worksheets in the teacher's guide with multiple students by purchasing print/photocopy rights for $2 per student.
I did not want to read the text from a screen, so I printed out the first 6 chapters of the student text, 3 hole punched and placed it in a notebook. I also printed out the student worksheets to go along with these chapters. The sample syllabus in the Teacher Guide gives a pacing schedule for a weekly class. I have been reading through one chapter per week. In our state, we do not have any specific homeschool laws as far as what type of classes homeschoolers are required to take. But, we stick close to what our local public school requires and here they are required to take an art course and earn at least .5 credit. My oldest son has already fulfilled his art credit but I have another son going into 9th grade so I wanted to take a look at this course to see if it will be a good fit for him in high school. Also, I was very interested in reviewing this for myself as well. I love history and I love art so I was excited to have a chance to review an art history course.
The course was different then what I thought it would be, but it is amazing. The first thing I love about this curriculum is that it was written from a Christian point of view. It starts with the Master (God) and the beauty of creation. There is no nudity or other objectionable material. The timeline follows a creationist viewpoint. There are over 600 beautiful images included in the text. There is a variety of paintings, sculptures, architecture, and more. There is so much history included in this course, a lot more then I expected. A thorough historical background is given for each chapter along with a timeline. Each topic also has a thorough explanation of the history behind the art. For example in the Mummification/Canopic Jar topic it talks about Mummies and the Afterlife, The Muffication Process, Canopic Jars, Mummification and the Bible, and Mummification today. Throughout the pages you will see examples of mummified remains, and canopic jars. I really am amazed at how much history is included in this text.
Younger children may enjoy looking at the beautiful artwork and a brief summary of the chapter but the chapters are quite lengthy and uses advanced vocabulary. The questions/papers are written with high schoolers in mind as well. My younger children very much enjoyed looking over my shoulder at the photos, especially of Ancient Egypt which we studied recently, but as a full course it is definitely as the author recommends, for high school and beyond. You could use this course in order moving chronologically through time, or if you are studying a specific time period you can focus on that period.
I will continue to read and study The Master and His Apprentices myself because I find the information fascinating and will use this course for my high school children.
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