ARTistic Pursuits generously sent me their The Way They See It (Preschool) edition for review.
Age Range: 3-5
When we first started using this product I just opened up the first page and jumped right in. There are plenty of parental instructions (and introductions) to help you confidently move forward easily. A nice supply list is in the beginning to help you get started and we actually had most of the stuff on on hand already.
I had my little guy join me at the table and we looked at the first masterpiece. On the page was a beautiful famous work of art. You have your child look at the picture and then discuss it. Everything is laid out for you on the page including specific questions to ask. At three this activity was a little over his head but I actually didn't mind that one bit. While I think this activity was a tiny bit over his head, I took it for an introduction to beautiful art. He was able to answer the questions easily even at three.
Next we flipped the page and did the first activity which was coloring. The main focus was to learn how to hold the crayon properly. Jace did just scribble but I wasn't expecting more than that. The point was that he was learning to move his hands and hold the crayon in a way to eventually produce a real picture.
|coloring the sky|
The next few lessons were similar. Look at a picture, talk about it and re-create your own.
We did coloring, finger painting and watercolor paintings in the first few sections. Finger-painting was a lot of fun because he didn't really like getting his hands messy! However once we got into it he really ended up enjoying the project!
Then I decided to take a different approach. I knew our scheduled review time was coming to an end and I wanted to look through the book for things I knew would appeal specifically to my little guy. Play-doh and scissors are the two things I knew he would really enjoy. So I skipped ahead in the book. That is the beauty of a curriculum like this. You can go page by page or skip around either way works wonderfully!
Each lesson takes as little or as long as your child is interested. Ours averaged from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. The lessons and activities were extremely easy to implement. The parent sections gave plenty of tips and encouragement as well.
My overall thoughts:
I love this program. I think you need to keep your child's age, skills and abilities in mind when tackling something like art. For me my expectations were to just introduce the subject and have fun. If you are expecting that your child will come away creating masterpieces this isn't the curriculum for you! Another thing I took into consideration is the age range. My child at three is and on the beginning end of this book's age range. Which means that I could revisit this curriculum three times completely and see three different results as he grows. This is EXACTLY what I intend to do. I figure at three he might not remember the artist names that we looked at but by introducing it again and again over the next 3 years he just might remember the famous painting and who created it. (You can also go back and redo activities that you've done prior, like finger-paint again or watercolor again. The learning keeps going even though you worked on that skill in the book). He might not of created flowers or clouds but by five he probably will be able to produce those objects.
This book is packed with information. It is practical and easy to implement. The advice mixed in is calming which appealed to my nervousness with the subject. They tell you not to worry about scribbles!! I honestly have not one criticism or suggestion! It was clear and easy to use. I just loved everything about ARTistic Pursuits!