Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Artistic Pursuits-TOS Review

Don't you just love art? Does it cause you to envision fields of flowers swaying softly in the breeze while bees softly buzz from flower to flower looking for their next source of food? Do you hear the birds sweetly chirping and wind softly blowing through the trees? Do you see an artistic soul with paints and brushes in hand dressed in casual chic quietly painting the landscape? Ah, I can just see it now.

Unfortunately for me, our "art time" usually entails spilled paint, the cry of a toddler, the swaying of a young boy who never stays still and the mother, dressed in pjs at noon wondering why I even try. Yeah, that's kind of close to my reality. :)

When the opportunity to review Artistic Pursuits came about I became excited and jumped at the chance. I hoped that this curriculum, that I'd heard so much good about, could send us in the right direction and help us to find that peaceful scene described above...uh, before the reality scene.

The Product:
Artistic Pursuits doesn't need an introduction because they are highly popular to most homeschoolers. I have heard about this company for a few years now but had never had the opportunity to really take a look at their products. This review was my first opportunity.

I am reviewing the K-3rd Book 2 today but they produce books for Pre-School age on up to High Schoolers.

The K-3rd book 2's 32 projects cover the Artists and their Art and the materials introduced are: 

  • pan watercolors 
  • tempera paints 
  • oil pastels 
  • printmaking 
  • stamping 
  • paper-mache 
  • mixed media
And it covers Artists such as:
  • Cimabue
  • Rembrant
  • Michaelangelo
  • Raphael and many more

The pictures of famous works are beautifully printed in sharp color images on heavy weight paper. You can see a sample lesson here.  I appreciate how the lessons lay everything out for the teacher. You don't have to be an art major to teach from this material! But I will tell you what Artistic Pursuits is not. It is not a step by step guide to the mechanics of art; how to draw, techniques of painting or sculpting etc. I was a little surprised to find this out but once we dove in saw the beauty in the approach used here.

McMama's Opinon:
I was nervous about not having any direction to lead my girls to certain painting strokes or the abc's of drawing a face but I have come to appreciate the approach taken by Artistic Pursuits.

I am normally someone who has to have everything laid out for me word for word. I like to have complete lessons for the teacher so that I know exactly how to direct my children. This program catapulted me into a new experience.

Even Brother wanted a try at it!
After running to Michael's to purchase my supplies for the lessons my girls chose we set out on our first lesson. We gathered our supplies, a blanket and cup of water and headed outside to paint our picture. I read the story about the artist to them, explained what we were going to be doing and we began.

The girls eagerly set to work and I sat back and watched. Do you know what, they didn't need my direction, they didn't need to know what strokes to perform in order to get the perfect tree or cloud, they just painted. It was the most relaxing and rewarding lesson we have had all year. I was amazed. I honestly believe that had I been given exact steps to complete the project that the lesson would have been less enjoyable for the girls.
Biggest's painting.
This is what she was trying to paint.
The scene I described in the beginning of this review became a reality for us.

Read here a quote from their website:
"The Artistic Pursuits program presents both the expressive and the technical aspects of art in an age-appropriate manner. Children are curious and expressive from the start. We work with those interests to teach them to observe more closely. Skills develop as each child observes nature and enjoys the process of creating. Using ARTistic Pursuits, a child carries art tools to locations which both inspire and are chosen by the child. Creating truly personal work gives a child a sense of accomplishment that cannot be attained by copying from a book or watching an adult do it for him. They learn because direct observation is the best teacher when accompanied by an understanding of the foundational elements of art and compositional ideas. " (Read more here.)

Artistic Pursuits has something going here. I think that giving the background stories about the artists so that children can relate to someone who lived hundreds of years before them but whose art still lives today and basic directions for completing the art project that the children are truly using their own creativity and on the way to becoming great little artists.
This is what she was trying to paint.

Big Sis' painting.
I am highly impressed with this curriculum and think that even those who usually need complete direction will find pleasure in implementing this curriculum in their own homeschools.

The Breakdown:
  • A.P. can be used with children of all ages-Mom and Dad may even want to join in on the fun!
  • Complete art history examining the work of great artists.
  • Encourages individual creativity and is not a "how-to manual."
  • Photobucket
  • Lessons are laid out in an organized fashion so parent knows exactly what is needed to do and what the goal of the lesson is. Although the manual is written to the student my girls liked me being there with them.
  • Can be purchased using PayPal, credit card, check or money order and has a no risk satisfaction guarantee for individual orders.
  • This book currently sells for $42.95.


**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'


  1. My girls had a great time with it too! Art is not my thing... I'd rather just do simple crafts or send them outside to play in mud or with bugs...

  2. We did Junior High Book 1. We love it. bar

    I am stopping by from the Blog Walk.

    I know I am behind, but I am catching up.

    I am now following you. How was I not following you. I am now.

    Would love a follow back, if you are not following me too.

    Thanks. Have a great day.


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