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I’ll admit that art is a subject which I am more inclined to gloss over. I feel inadequate to guide my child through the process. And, there’s the pesky issue of the mess it can create. Yet, I want the boys to have these experiences as I believe they help to enrich their lives as well as help bolster learning overall.
Over the years, our family has been incredibly fortunate to review different level programs from ARTistic Pursuits. Last spring, it was my youngest digging through The Way They SEE It, Preschool. Several years earlier, we reviewed K-3 Book One with multiple boys doing the work as they gained an introduction to the visual arts. Between then and now, we have purchased and used parts of K-3 Book Two, 4-5 Book One, and Middle School Book One.
ARTistic Pursuits and Their Sculpture Techniques Books
Brenda Ellis is the artist behind ARTistic Pursuits. All of the books are written to blend aspects of art appreciation with learning specific techniques. While some materials may already be in your home, there is the ability to purchase everything in a kit via Dick Blick Art Supplies. (This is what we did, removing a handful of items I knew for certain were in the house.) Everything is manageable in a home environment rather than needing a set art studio.
The Model and Construct are the 2 different books covering sculpture techniques which bring 3-dimensional art into your home. For this review, my son worked on the construct book. As they progress through the book, the student will learn papermaking, papier-mâché, cardboard and wire construction techniques. The book focuses on the materials and how to work with them rather than just having an eye towards one finished project. This approach leaves the student able to explore further and create their own designs using the techniques.
Another key difference with this program is that there is not a set time for completion. The child learns at their own pace with only certain stop points mentioned in the book as they relate to materials needing time to dry. Using ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique Construct in your homeschool requires you to trust the student to set the pace and work independently.
Each Unit in the book follows a set format:
Introduction of an element of art with key terms clearly illustrated for them.
Showcase of work fitting with the unit’s focus by contemporary sculptors.
A materials page where the student is given a wealth of information including the properties of the materials being used, any tools or equipment the student will be using, and basic instructions which include safety tips.
A project page with examples of the particular element of art being used by an artist.
Create a Sculpture is when the student gets to put what they are learning into practice. They are encouraged to think ahead as to what their original artwork will be while learning more details of how to make it happen.
The unit evaluation provides time to reflect on what has been learned through the process. This graded evaluation can then be used for assigning a grade to the unit. For those using this program with a high school student, it is recommended to title the course Sculpture I on their transcript.
Our Experience with ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique Construct Book
My middle school son was intrigued over the idea of learning sculpture. However, he did not want to be working with clay as his medium. So, the Construct book was the more appealing of the two options from ARTistic Pursuits.
While working with wire was what really called to him, he initially started with the projects using cardboard paper. I will admit that I had looked at the options ahead of time and knew that this section would be a little easier for him to self-regulate compared with others where he might expect me to help him along the way.
As the summer approaches, we are planning to continue with some of the more challenge projects (e.g. with wire) as there will be pockets of time when I can dedicate time to be available to him.
Does your student enjoy studying art?
What types of art programs have you tried in your home?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.