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Monday, June 11

Art of the Ancients {Review}

If you've followed this blog for more than a few days, then you know these kids are all about some ancient history!  We have ancient history Legos, and all of our literature and geography courses are centered on ancient history....heck, we even did a science course that focused on it!  So when ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. released their new Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray curriculum, including the Art of the Ancients art course, they were super excited!

Granted, this is a course designed for kindergarten through 3rd graders, and they are a little bit older than that, but they still enjoyed it.  The course comes in a slim hardcover book, with two DVDs (one regular and one blu-ray), that fits perfectly on any shelf and looks very nice.  It focuses on the art of the cultures that grew up along the Mediterranean.  There's even a note inside about this, with a nod toward other ancient cultures that were not included simply due to keeping it a short and simple book for younger students.
If you'd like to see more about this course, peek inside the book further, or see clips of the video lessons, check out the video review!

The course begins with the cave drawings of France and winds through ancient Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire.  It includes art history, geographical history, and art instruction.  There are eighteen lessons in total - twelve in the text, and six on the video disc.  One thing that I really appreciate about this course, from a mom's organizational perspective, is that the discs are stored right inside the book.  I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a course book only to find that I'd misplaced the discs...
The materials used in the lessons are often simple, everyday materials that you'll have in your home.  There are also basic art supplies that most homeschools are stocked with, including crayons, pastels, clay, colored pencils, and colored paper.  A few lessons call for specific supplies, such as a clay wire cutter, but we simply used a knife and washed it well.
In the lesson about Egyptian murals, we learned about ancient Egyptian culture, the pyramids, and the murals inside of the pyramids.  Taking the lead from the example in the book, everyone created a 'modern day mural,' focusing on the everyday things that each does.  One of them is fishing, chicken-wrangling, doing schoolwork, and walking around.  Another is taking a boat ride (apparently, his dream day), while the last is completing schoolwork, biking, reading with her brother, and playing outside.
The video lessons are quite simple to follow.  Like the book, they open with a lesson about the world around us and how this particular art lesson relates to that.  Then they go through the art project step by step, with natural breaks in it for the video to be paused while your student completes that step.  Finally, they do a quick review of every step in the project.  In this video lesson, we created Roman mosaics -- one is an airplane and one is a parrot.

While I feel that this course was too young for my children - and it SHOULD be - they are in middle school and above, I also feel that it's just right for the intended audience, and could even be used with preschoolers.  It will get children excited about history, while incorporating hands-on fun!

See what others are saying about ARTistic Pursuits,Inc. at the Homeschool Review Crew!
Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}
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