Sunday, April 19, 2015

ARTistic Pursuits {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

When I was working on my bachelor's degree in graphic design, I found that one of my favorite classes was art history and appreciation. It became one of the subjects I wanted each of my children to learn, as well. ARTistic Pursuits does an excellent job in fulfilling that quest. The past few weeks, Little Bit has been using ARTistic Pursuits Elementary 4-5, Book Two Color and Composition.

You may remember that my daughter reviewed the Senior High Book 1, The Elements of Art and Composition, and that Botanist Boy reviewed Middle School 6-8 Book 1, The Elements of Art and Composition, previously. This time I was looking forward to Little Bit having a turn.

We went with color and composition this time, since we already have two levels of  the elements and composition, which Little Bit can use later.

ARTistic Pursuits believes every child can understand art concepts. Each book presents both expressive and technical aspects of art, and is written in a conversational tone to the child. All grade levels are covered, grades PreK through high school.

The Elementary 4-5, Book Two Color and Composition contains sixteen units; each unit is divided in to 4 lessons: Vocabulary and Creative Exercise; Art Appreciation and Art History; Techniques; and Application. Each lesson is short, only one or two pages. And each lesson provides an exercise to do. The color wheel is introduced, and expanded upon. So the student is learning to mix colors, using the medium of watercolor pencils and water.

Some of the artists your student will learn about are: Albert Bierstadt, William Penhallow Henderson, Maurice Prendergast, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, to name just a few.
We received the instruction book. Normally we have the necessary art supplies on hand, but I had the book shipped to us at my folks while we were there...and didn't have art supplies along. So we made a trip to the craft store to make our purchases. You can see the table of contents and supply list here.

I like how clear and concise the lessons are written. I think they explain things well. But Little Bit struggles with receptive-expressive language disorder, and it seems like the lessons just went "right over his head."

For example, one lesson he was to draw a landscape. Well, this is what he put on paper instead.
He was fascinated with the little pond out behind my brother's "vacation house" (in which we stayed while visiting my folks' in Florida). Ask him how many frogs there were living in it, and he'd tell you there were seven, plus one gold fish. So, of course he had to draw and paint some of the frogs (well, frog faces anyway).
Another lesson, he was to pick something from his room of which to make a painting, using only one color, and demonstrate making hard and soft edges.
We read aloud daily in our home school, or listen to audio books. Currently we are going through Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, listening to audio. One of his art lessons was to illustrate a scene from a book we are currently reading. After trying to make sure he understood what he was supposed to do, I sent him on his way. Well, instead of illustrating a scene from the book, his illustration was a book. #becauseLittleBit (sigh)
Ah, well, he puts forth effort. Kind of just merrily goes along, doing his own thing. But I hope the information is sinking in at least a little.
We've worked through an average of three or four lessons a week. To finish out the school year, or the book, we may just slow down to one or two lessons a week.

I appreciate how each unit incorporates art appreciation, art history, art vocabulary, and technique. While I think this level, or the concepts, may just be a bit over my son's comprehension level, I think the typical fourth or fifth grader will do just fine with this.

Connect with ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook.

Be sure to check out the other reviews by my Crew mates, to learn about all of the levels; then you will be able to determine which level will best suit your child.
ARTistic Pursuits Review

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