You may remember that some time back, we reviewed an elementary level of curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits with our son Issac. We were recently blessed to be able to review Middle School 6-8, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition with our daughter Rachelle. She’s the art buff in the family, so we were very excited for this opportunity! She loves to draw and paint, and was a bit jealous that Issac got to try this out before she did. This book is recommended for grades 6-8, or ages 11+.
There are 68 lessons and more than 170 illustrations throughout this book. I like that it’s comb-bound, so you can lay it flat! Early on in the book is a list of the supplies that are needed, and they are broken down into 2 semesters for you. Students will use both pencil and ink There are 16 units in total, and some of the lessons include space, line, texture, shape, form, symmetry and asymmetry, depth, perspective, and proportion. There are more, but I think you get the idea here. There are 4 lessons per unit, and each lesson is explored in a different way: visual vocabulary, art appreciation and history, technique, and application. This will help to strengthen their observation skills. By working 2 lessons per week as the book recommends, you would have 36 weeks of work, which would be enough for a full school year. Each lesson takes roughly an hour to complete. During the review period Rach worked 3 lessons per week, but we are planning to go down to 2 unless she just chooses to work at a faster pace. Homeschooling is flexible like that.
In Middle School 6-8, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition students will learn to observe the world around them, what to look for, and to focus on 1 art element at a time while blocking other elements out. Student will be making 2 different types of drawings: quick sketches and a finished drawing. Rach has never really been a sketcher, so at first this was something she struggled with, because she wanted to feel like her drawings were always perfect. Of course, with a sketch, they aren’t, and I had to remind her of that. Each unit features one famous work of art, so it’s really neat to be able see them and learn more about art this way. In the back of the book is an evaluation sheet that can be used to obtain a number or letter grade. I’m pretty against giving bad grades in art, because everyone has their own level of creativity, and everyone doesn’t draw everything the same way.
I was looking through Rach’s drawing pad and thought I would share my favorite sketch that she’s done so far.
As I said earlier, Rach used her ARTistic Pursuits book 3 days per week. There was really no work for me at all other than buying her art supplies. I just tell her to start her art work, and she gets her book and goes straight to work without complaint. That impresses me immensely. I love that my daughter has school work that she actually enjoys doing. She likely won’t finish before the school year is up, so we’ll save the rest for the next school year.
I’m so impressed with Middle School 6-8, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition, because the lessons are very in-depth, but not overwhelmingly so. I love that students are improving skills that they already possess, all while learning new skills, and building creativity. This has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool, and I also love that I can pass it down to the boys, since the books aren’t consumable.
Be sure to also read reviews from my fellow Crew Mates! There were different products reviewed besides what we received. Thanks for stopping by!