Art is not a particular strong suit of mine. I have very little background other than what we did in elementary school and a single painting class in college. Art history might as well be a foreign language. So how do I encourage our son to pursue his budding artistic talents? Well, try out a bunch of curriculum options until something sticks… and one has: Artistic Pursuits.
A number of other options fell by the wayside for a myriad of reasons. Some were all about following directions and making a product. That seemed more like crafts then the more free form art our son thrives on. Another curriculum was much more technical then a six year old could handle and did not give a good age appropriate example for each project. Yet another had wonderful projects but they were way too long for a young child’s attention span.
Artistic Pursuits hit the sweet spot for us. Here is why:
1) The lessons are short, 10-30 minutes, and scalable for a five year old up to a beginning parent level.
2) The list of supplies for each lesson and the book is all you need. No other preparation is necessary.
3) Concepts and techniques in art are interspersed and are well illustrated using copies of masterpieces. I now look at art in such a different light!
4) Lessons vary in their use of medium so little people don’t get bored using a pencil for a month.
5) We can use the written portion of our lesson as our son’s read-a-loud for the day. If you don’t have a precocious reader a parent or older sibling may need to read it to a younger artist.
6) All projects are very open ended and focus more on the artistic process and technique then the end product.
The supplies needed are fairly simple and could be found at a local arts and crafts shop. I chose to buy both the curriculum and a set of all necessary supplies from an education supply company, Rainbow Resource. I highly recommend trying this program if you have a budding artist in your family.