TOS Review: Artistic Pursuits

In an attempt to give my children a "well-rounded" education, I am always on the lookout for teachers (or curriculums) for those subjects that I feel less than confident to teach. Art is one of those subjects that I love, but I am just not sure I could give my children a comprehensive experience on my own. Now that JC14 is in high school (gulp!), I am even more concerned with making sure he is adequately prepared for college or whatever path he decides to pursue after graduation.

We have both been pleased with our review of Artistic Pursuits, Senior High Book1, The Elements of Art and Composition. I love that this book is written to be used independently by the student, but I enjoyed doing some of the first lessons with JC. I love to sketch, but I have not made time for it on a regular basis since having children. This was a nice excuse to put pencil to paper again.

How it Works

Artistic Pursuits is written by homeschool mom, Brenda Ellis, and is available for all grade levels from preschool to the high school/adult level. The high school level that we reviewed is divided into sixteen units. Designed to be done twice a week, this one book will cover an entire school year.

Each unit is divided into four lessons. Lesson 1 focuses on Building a Visual Vocabulary. Lesson 2 covers Art Appreciation and Art History. Lesson 3 teaches Techniques. Lesson 4 focuses on Application of what has been learned in the unit. Students complete a work of art during each lesson.

A short material list is included in the beginning of the book. I purchased the first semester materials at Hobby Lobby for around $20. (Sorry, I don't remember the exact amount.)
Lesson 1 Completed Assignment

How it Worked for Us

We scheduled art classes for Tuesday and Thursday during the girls' nap time in an effort to avoid unnecessary interruptions (and so I could participate too).

JC has enjoyed the lessons, which is something I can't say for other "learn to draw" books and art curriculums that we have tried in the past. He is being challenged to improve his skills with each lesson, and he is pleased to have a completed work of art when he is done. I should also add that JC14 has taken monthly art classes from a local teacher since he was in 2nd grade. By her own admission, her goal is to instill a love of creating art in her students. She does talk to the students about art history, art concepts and particular artists, but her main goal is for the student to create something they love. So I feel that Artistic Pursuits is filling in any gaps he may have in his art education.
Lesson 3 Assignment
Our Opinion

I would be hard pressed to find anything negative to say about this curriculum. We have enjoyed it very much. As a non-consumable book, it is very affordable. There is little to no prep for the parent, so that is a bonus! The lessons are engaging and challenging. I also appreciate the fact that Mrs. Ellis takes care to teach art without including nudity. I believe this curriculum is a great choice no matter how much or how little experience your student has in art.

How You Can Get This Curriculum

All levels of Artistic Pursuits is available for purchase at the website for $42.95 each. Art supply packs may also be purchased here.

Edited to Add: If you're interested in a different grade level than what we reviewed here or if you would like to read other opinions, see what the rest of the Crew has to say HERE! :)


Disclaimer: I received the reviewed material FREE of charge in exchange for an honest review. I have not and will not receive any other compensation. All opinions stated here are my own.

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