Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Spears Art Studio -- teaching art at home


 


I love art!  My kids are creative, but I rarely do art lessons with them.  I help them figure out how to use a new art medium or how to draw something when they ask me, but I don't do formal lessons with them.  Every year, I vow to add in art ... but never do.


 


That is why I was glad to receive a copy of Spears Art Studio to review for the TOS Homeschool Crew.  Our family received the K-8 curriculum, and I love it!  I love that there is a weekly lesson for each age, for every month of the school year.  It includes seasonal ideas, as well as more general art projects.  There are simple lessons for the elementary students, and a more in-depth art lesson for the middle school children.  The middle school students will learn several art techniques through the year, such as shading, pointillism, and layering colors.


 


For the K-8 students, I wouldn't feel it necessary to do every lesson in the curriculum.  But even if I only chose 1 or 2 lessons per month, and used it for several years, it would be a worthwhile investment at $39.95.   No more relying on myself to come up with lessons or activities, and follow through.  All that is required is to acquire the art supplies, read the lesson, and teach it!   Dr. Diane Spears has done the hard part, and has provided an easy to follow teacher's guide for the rest of us.


 


Every Christmas, we make calendars to give to our extended family.  Each calendar page includes a photo of someone in our family, and a piece of artwork from the children.  Usually I give them stacks of small sheets of paper and just tell them to draw.  Well, obviously they run out of ideas after the first 10 or so pictures.  Artist's block!!   This year, I printed ideas from our Spears Art Studio and gave them to the children.  We are working our way through the ideas, one project each day.  Making the calendar art has never been easier!  And we won't end up with 30 robot drawings from my 7 year old son, either.



Each Spears Art Studio lesson includes a list of supplies, lesson objectives, a theme Scripture, art history ideas, teacher's inspiration and preparation, instructions for the project, and directions on how to assess the artwork.  The curriculum provides a rubric to use in grading the finished art, as well.  Spears Art Studio could be used in your own homeschool, a homeschool co-op, or in a group setting where a craft is needed.  It is a versatile product.


 


Each level of Spears Art Studio is available in hard copy, or in .pdf format on a CD-Rom.  You can buy the hard copy, the CD-Rom, or both, at affordable prices.  Diane Spears even has a bundle which includes the K-8 CD ($39.95), the high school CD ($29.95), and recieves the calligraphy CD ($14.95) FREE.   Total cost for the bundle is $69.90.  $70 to cover your art curriculum for K-12th grade -- that is wonderful!! 


 


The Spears Art Studio website has free sample art lessons available at their website.  You can find them on the Curriculum Introduction page.  And while you're there, you can take a look at the literature guides she has prepared for several children's books, including Mr. Popper's Penguins.


 


I'm looking forward to using Spears Art with my children, currently K-8.   I hope to buy the high school curriculum to use with my daughters as they enter high school in the coming years, as well.  I'm thankful to find an affordable Christian curriculum that will enable me to easily teach art at home.


 


Note:  While I do love this art program, there is occasionally a problem printing some of the templates in Adobe Acrobat.  Occasionally, and randomly, a few of the images invert so they either appear black with white on it in the document, or they print out black with white outlines.  If this happens in your copy, you can email Dr. Spears  and she will email a new copy of the image back to you.  So far, only one of the images I needed did this, and it wasn't a vital part of the project, so we just skipped that one image.  On the pumpkin project I was considering doing, I just decided to use her template as a visual guide for drawing my own, instead.


 


Click the banner to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.


 


Trusting in Him,
April

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