ARTistic Pursuits Review

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I have always heard great things about Artistic Pursuits Inc., but had never gotten around to trying out the curriculum. When I learned that I had the chance to review one of their books, I decided to give ARTistic Pursuits, Elementary 4-5 Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition a try with my 5th and 3rd graders. We've been rather haphazard with our art instruction, jumping between video tutorials, books, picture study, and free creativity.
My 3rd grade daughter is pretty motivated when it comes to art, and learns well on her own from books. But getting my 5th grade son to draw? It's like pulling teeth! He was NOT pleased to be asked to begin a new art curriculum, and ARTistic Pursuits is definitely stretching him in good ways.

The book we used consists of sixteen units, with four lessons per unit (including a final project for each unit). This is the first book in the 4th & 5th grade curriculum, and focuses on black and white drawing techniques, with color and composition entering in the next level of the curriculum.

It definitely broke both children out of their comfort zones and forced them to really think about how they use their pencils when they draw! I'm looking forward to exploring further lessons with them, as I can already see that their skills are improving with this curriculum. I appreciate that it's not just a book of art projects, most of which will have the exact same finished product. It goes far beyond elementary art projects, exploring real drawing skills and encouraging creativity and skill building.

Students develop a more advanced art vocabulary, and also participate in picture study during each unit, learning about American artists in this particular book. The color reproductions are high quality, and are accompanied by brief artist biographies and historical background information. I can't believe we never tried these books before!! I had balked at the price, but considering these are non-consumable resources, they can be used with multiple children over the years, so you're investing in a comprehensive art education when you purchase Artistic Pursuits Inc. products.

On the Artistic Pursuits Inc. website, you can purchase different books as well as bundles of the art supplies that are recommended for each book. While we were able to use supplies we already own, I know that later in the book we would need to buy extra supplies, since we don't have scratch-art paper on hand, for example.

This has been such a positive experience for us that I'm strongly considering buying the earlier books in the series to work on with my rising kindergartner and second grade students, since I think they would all really enjoy working through these lessons together. One of those children has always loved art, and will draw for hours, but the others are much more hesitant and need more encouragement and formal instruction. And with picture study built right in, I wouldn't need to buy separate materials for that!

Interested in trying these lessons for free? They have a video course online this summer! And you can find K-3 lessons online right here.

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Learn more about ARTistic Pursuits from the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew!

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