Thursday, March 7, 2013

Artistic Pursuits- TOS Review

Artistic Pursuits, THE Curriculum for Creativity, has been around the homeschool block since for over a decade. Because we do a lot of art in our little corner of the world, including my teaching it for co-op, I was eager to see what the revised edition of Artistic Pursuits High School had to offer. While Artistic Pursuits offers curriculum for pre-school through High School, we reviewed the High School 9-12, newly revised workbook. The cost is $47. 95 and you'll need to plan on purchasing any art supplies you don't have on hand.
The manual is comb-bound, which means it lays flat, which is a bonus if your student is using the book as a reference while they are creating art. It is a 92 page workbook that covers 16 units with full color illustrations, art reproductions and excellent graphics. Each unit is divided in to 4 lessons that includes:
1) Building a visual vocabulary- for instance, space, line, texture, shape, form, value, composition, etc.
2) Art Apprecitation and Art History- the topic of the unit is discussed using the work of a master artist
3) Techniques- students apply the techniques using materials and tools to create an original work of art.
4) Application- Students do a final project incorporating the new techniques using a variety of references.
You can purchase an Art Supply Kit from Artistic Pursuits, but you might be surprised at how much of the materials you have on hand. There is a handy, "Getting Started Page" that lists the art supplies you'll need by semester, a Scheduling section, a page on "What Students Want to Know", the lessons, a grading rubric, a bibliography and a section on "course credits."

from the lesson on texture
The program is designed to be used as 2 classes of 2 hours per week, for a full high school credit, if desired.
from the lesson on perspective
Like I've said, we've done, and do, a lot of art in our homeschool world. We have the advantage of having lessons from a professional artist and art teacher (we LOVE YOU, Mz. Z!) along with 2 friends who are artists extraordinaire in their own right (we love you both, Ana and Jannell!), along with moi (closet arteest and art/craft supply fanatic). While the kids have access to art, and artists, they are always eager for more. So we were really looking forward to this curriculum.
from the lesson on space
Pros imho:
I love the lay-out. It is professional, clean and organized.
I love the start of each lesson with vocabulary- I only wish that there had been a glossary included.
I loved the art appreciation lessons- terrific! and the pictures included were crisp and lovely.  I wish they would expand this to it's own separate book and then make one for each history cycle!

Cons, imho:
My 12th grader had done most of the assignments in the book- some of them multiple times already. He was really bummed when the book arrived, he'd spent some time perusing it and discovered that there probably wasn't much new included for him. That being said, he did disappear with the book on his own a few times, honed some techniques and read all of the art appreciation/history sections.
At times it seemed like the lessons were rather disjoint. In other words the assignment didn't always fit with the lesson. This left us a bit baffled because the rest of the program boasted such excellent organization.

Overall,  there is a lot packed into this very accessible and exceptionally affordable program. If you are not motivated, or don't have access to a good quality art program, Artistic Pursuits is the place to start. An excellent program for co-ops and classroom teachers as well- simple, affordable, accessible.

Content- very good
Organization - very good
Presentation - excellent

We used the 3rd edition High School book 1., appropriate for art experienced older elementary students (Flower, 5th grade, did several of the lessons) through high school. The Book cost $47.95. - See more at Artistic Pursuits 
Check out what the rest of the Crew thinks about Artistic Pursuits!

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your review. Sounds great! Do you know how many books there are for high school? said...

2 I believe- this one and one on painting- which looks like a blast, btw!