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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TOS Review Artistic Pursuits

I love Art.  I love to gaze upon it, ponder it, soak it in, and just generally enjoy it.  Having to teach art is another story.

I have not artistic talent in my body.  None at all.  Well, that's not totally true I guess. I can sing, dance, and act but I CAN NOT DRAW.  I am okay at smiley faces and very simple stick figures but that's about it.  I have these wonderful visions in my mind of what I would like to dray, it just never comes out on paper the way I see it in my mind.

So, to teach art to my kiddos is very daunting.  We have tried several things including having them just look at a famous piece of art and then recreate it.  That works fine but it doesn't really teach them how to draw.  As you can imagine with five girls in the house, we do a lot of coloring and drawing so when Artistic Pursuits came up for review with The TOS Crew, I begged to be on the list.  Our oldest has talent for drawing and surprises me often by what she draws.  I was mainly thinking of her when I asked to review it, but my 9 yo is asking to do it next year.  And after the 6yo heard that she wants to do it also!  I think I will have the 6yo wait a while for this book, though.  ;-)

Artistic Pursuits is a great art program.  It is easy to implement and easy to use.  I am impressed at how well this program teaches the how-to's of art as well as giving the students a feeling of accomplishment without overwhelming them with technical speak.

From the website:

The ARTistic Pursuits approach to teaching art is a welcome departure from typical art instruction books. This award winning homeschool art program meets the specific needs of homeschoolers at home. A variety of fun art lessons teach both the expressive and technical aspects of art while allowing children to make choices about what and how they will draw, paint, and sculpt.


At Artistic Pursuits Inc., we believe every child can understand the concepts of art and enjoy the process of putting ideas and visual images on paper. We're committed to the goal of helping children become visually aware of the wonderful world we live in, and be able to work in creative ways within this world. We offer parents and teachers a simple way to give children a quality art education that will prepare them to meet creative challenges in their future endeavors. 

How Artistic Pursuits teaches art:

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. Children examine and explore these key ideas by seeing them in their own world, in art works by the masters, through pages demonstrating techniques, and through art of their own and of others. Childhood development studies were foundational to the layout of the program. ARTistic Pursuits lessons offer children the right kinds of information at the right time. We expect a child to be a child and we value what they produce from their own hands. Projects do not try to force young children to draw like adults. Our projects do not require patience and discipline on the part of the child, which leads to frustration. Children don't need patience when their own interests and motivations are guiding them.

For more information on Artistic Pursuits, look at this page and you can see the components of each lesson.  There is also a FAQ page that can answer your questions.  To see their list of products, head to this page.

We received Junior High Book 1 and we just love it!  This book sells for $42.95 and is totally worth it. 

In this book, my 13yo learned to feel confident learning and trying new concepts.    It was fun to see her try new things and I just might be tempted to try it out myself!

One of her lessons had her working with drawing the eye to the center of the page or into the drawing rather than sending the eye out away from the drawing.  It was a somewhat hard concept to understand at first since we didn't necessarily see anything wrong with the example, but the more we looked at it and the more we re-read the information...we got it.

Then, she had to draw it. 

That was easier said than done to begin with.  At first, she was hesitant to try but when she finally started, it went really well.  At least I think it did.  See what you think:

I think that is pretty good! 

I am so looking forward to using this curriculum more as well as maybe getting the books for the younger girls.  There are books for ages/grades Preschool all the way up through high school.  I am just so impressed with how easily they teach the students how to draw.  As well as Art History, Art Appreciation, Vocabulary, Cultures, and Artists.  This is such a well-rounded and well done curriculum that I would recommend it without reservation.

If you want to see what books are available from Artistic Pursuits, head over to this page.  You will see a description of each and then be able to choose the appropriate book for your student.   If you want to see what other Crew members though of the books they received, head over to The Crew blog and check them out.


**I received the Junior High Book 1 from Artistic Pursuits through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FFH One Silent Night Review

And it just so happens that the new FFH One Silent Night was just the kind of Christmas music that I love.  It is a wonderful mix of traditional Christmas music with original renditions of some of my favorite music.

This review is late.  :(  I found a few that slipped under my
radar so I will be catching them up in the next few days.

This Christmas album is one that you will want to pick up.  One silent Night is a great album.  I love Christmas music but I don't like it when they completely change the traditional songs into something unrecognizable.  It bothers me.  My hubby likes it being that he's a musician, but it frustrates me.  But that is just me.

This is one that we will listen to repeatedly throughout the Christmas season and probably the rest of the year as well.

Check out these links and see what I'm talking about for yourself.

'One Silent Night' (released 10/18)


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