We love Art in our house and are constantly doing art activities. I have looked at the ARTistic Pursuits curriculum several times since we started homeschooling and I always held off because it just wasn't in our budget. I was very excited when I found out I was going to be able to review one of the ARTistic Pursuits books. We were given Early Elementary Grades K-3, Book 3- Modern Painting and Sculpture. It contains thirty-six lessons that include a reading section that gives a pretty extensive lesson on whichever art technique you are learning followed by one to three art projects to go along with the lesson. This particular book covers basic art skills, sculpture, painting techniques, famous artists, abstract, art history, etc. You need several art supplies to use this curriculum and if you are art fanatics like us you probably have most of them on hand. If you don't then on their website you can buy coordinating Art Supply Packs. We liked the curriculum but I wasn't as impressed as I expected. ARTistic Pursuits comes with what in my opinion is a pretty steep price tag. Each book is $47.95, and the art supply packs vary in price..the kit that goes with the book we were using is $89. They do not require you to purchase the art supplies via their website, you are welcome to get them elsewhere...that is a plus as most companies require you to get everything from them. For me the book quality just wasn't equivalent to the price. The pages are printed on heavy paper with pretty colors, and it has a thin plastic cover on the front and the back, the binding is the wide plastic spiral binding that breaks pretty easily. If Art isn't you strong point then this book is a good find for you because it takes you step by step through each project including pictures and gives you the specific materials needed.
Our first few lessons consisted of using paper and gouache paints (opaque watercolors) and brushes. Then we moved onto some clay activities and other sculpture techniques. Our favorite activity was probably carving our own sculpture out of plaster. One huge plus about this book well okay two huge pluses are; 1. You don't have to to do all the lessons in order. If your kids get bored or don't love one technique you can jump around to another one, 2. It is non-consumable which means you can use for however many kids you want as many times as you want. We try really hard to only use homeschool curriculum that allows us that freedom and ARTistic Pursuits definitely does. When you homeschool and have four soon to be five kids, getting the most out of a purchase is pretty high on your priority list. They also offer lesson books from the Pre-K range all the way through high school and even a series of books on sculpting so if you like their program you never need to change.
If the price tag isn't an issue for you and you are looking for a complete art program or if you are an art enthusiast like me just looking for something to enrich your current art plan then I think you will enjoy this book. More importantly my kids enjoyed ARTistic Pursuits which at the end of the day is a big MUST in our house:-)
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