Friday, March 15, 2019

ARTistic Pursuits! Art of the Middle Ages (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. has been a favorite in our house for a number of years. In fact, I have had the privilege of reviewing many of their fantastic products. This time around, I got to review another great volume from K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 (spoiler alert…we checked out K-3 Vol. 3 Art of the Middle Ages).

Before I get into our experience with Vol. 3, I want to tell you about ARTistic Pursuits Inc.  Daniel and Brenda Ellis founded and developed ARTistic Pursuits back in 1999. They not only homeshooled their own children, but they are both dedicated and talented artists.  The program was developed with childhood development at its foundation. Each lesson, each project is developmentally appropriate.

The K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 include the following: 

·         Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, K-3 Vol. 1
·         Art of the Ancients, K-3 Vol. 2
·         Art of the Middle Ages, K-3 Vol. 3
·         Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance, K-3 Vol. 4
·         Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism, K-3 Vol. 5
·         Art of the Impressionists, K-3 Vol. 6
·         Art of the Modern Age, K-3 Vol. 7
·         Art in America, K-3 Vol. 8

K-3 Vol. 3 Art of the Middle Ages deals with the era from the early Migration Period to the Gothic architecture of France. Children are given a wide range of mediums to use, including colored paper, watercolor crayons, and textiles. 

There is a Blu-Ray and DVD included that contain 6 lessons. 12 additional lessons are included in the book. 

You can see that my book currently is only housing the Blu-Ray disc. The DVD is in my computer! 

The creators have made the book easy to follow and everything is laid out for optimal art instruction. 

The supply list is made up (mostly) of things you can easily find or have at home. However, there are a few things that you might need to do some searching for. Better yet, ARTistic Pursuits have organized a ready to send list for an online art supply company (with a coupon code!) just in case. I had most of what was needed in my art supplies (thanks to my artist momma), but I was overly optimistic about a few of my supplies. I'll talk more about that in a sec. 

The book also reads like a history lesson. It includes beautiful artwork and background information.

How We Used It

You might be wondering why the mother of an only teenage son is using an art curriculum intended for K-3. Oh, my friends. ARTistic Pursuits has done a super job of being not only developmentally appropriate but they also appeal to a wide range of age groups... regardless of the recommended age. I will say that there are a few products (such as the Sculpture books) that might not be as friendly to the Littles. However, I think you need to start where you are and what your needs are. 

Currently, my need is for an art book that highlights the art of the Middle Ages. We are presently studying this time period in I am (and was) thrilled to dig into it. ARTistic Pursuits recommends that one project be done a week for grades K-3. For grades 4-12, it is possible to do two projects a week. 

I am not quite sure what our pace was, but some weeks we only did one. 

I started my review process by completing one project all by myself. 

The Paper Loom Weave lesson is located on video. I LOVED having a visual demonstration. The videos all contained not only the visual lesson but a little historical background, as well. 

My crown isn't as polished as Mrs. Ellis'. But is sporting a few sparkly diamonds.

The finished projects and processes I am about to show you have no order. We decided to move around in the book a little bit so we could show you (and get a feel) of a variety of projects. 

This first project is a stained glass window using tissue paper. We read the lesson, looked up a few famous stained glass windows and made our own. 

This was a simple project with easy to find materials.

Our finished projects are supposed to be enjoyed with some light shining through.

However, we couldn't get a good picture unless they were laying flat.

 Here is a monogrammed design from Josiah. Not quite sure about the critter in the corner. 😆
 One of our favorite projects used tissue paper and watercolor crayons. Word to the wise. If you think you have watercolor crayons be sure to double check. I KNOW I have watercolor crayons somewhere, but couldn't find them when we did this project. We did this one over a couple of days so I decided I was just going to go to our local craft supply store and pick some up. They didn't have any. What I should have done was double check BEFORE we started the whole curriculum and used the coupon code provided for me.

They still turned out cute and were really fun to do.

Here is Josiah's guitar. I am not sure about the appropriateness for Middle Age history...but it looks cool.
 There was a lesson on mosaics. I was lucky and happened to have a whole bag of paper mosaic pieces in my art supplies. We started out initially by hand cutting a few interesting pieces of paper. The lessons recommends using a paper cutter so the pieces will be uniform. I second that recommendation. This project was supposed to tell a story of how the artist helped someone. Josiah has fond memories of helping his Papa in the garden at the farm over the summer. This is an ode to corn. Those of you who have worked in gardens in the summer will understand.
 This last project is incomplete. The white part is supposed to be covered with gold paint. Our gold paint was dried the project is waiting for another trip to the store. You can see where Josiah attempted to color in the gold. We weren't happy with the results so we will wait.
Of all the projects in the book, this is the one I wish we would have done before the review period was over. 

This is loom weaving with STRAWS. How fun is that! 

One of the GREAT things about ARTistic Pursuits is that the student learns real art techniques. These aren't simply cut and paste projects. I believe those have their place, but there is a purpose behind the art lessons. They not only teach history, but they also introduce students to methods artist use and have used all over the world for centuries. 

This is a product that you will need to be involved with your kiddos. There are also little handy tips for those of you who might be working with younger children. For example, in the mosaic project (which can be very time consuming) it is suggested that one-inch pieces are used for little ones. This obviously makes it easier for them to manage and will cut down on the frustration level. 

As I mentioned before, there are several books in this collection. I recently reviewed Volume 1. They make a wonderful addition to your history curriculum or can be used as a stand-alone art curriculum. 

I can't say enough good things about ARTistic Pursuits. They have produced and created terrific products time and time again. 

You can read about some of the other Volumes by clicking below. My Review Crew family has done some good work. You can also connect with ARTisitic Pursuits via the following social media outlets. 


Twitter: @ARTisticPursui1  
Instagram: @artisticpursuitsinc

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}
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