I’ll admit I have a hard time getting motivated to do arts and crafts with my kids. I don’t like the mess. I don’t like the preparations and set up required. And I certainly don’t like the clean up afterwards. However…my kids love art. It’s their favorite subject. So, when given the opportunity to review The Way They SEE It by ARTistic Pursuits, we signed up. It forced me to get my hands and house dirty for the sake of my kids. And I’m glad I did.
ARTistic Pursuits is an art curriculum geared towards use in the home, perfect for homeschools. The Way They SEE It is a thick softcover preschool art project book, geared towards children ages 3-5. I used this book with my daughter who falls right in that age range.
There is a wide variety of projects included in this book, a total of twenty-six. My daughter had fun getting creative with crayons, paints, finger paints, Play-Doh, scissors, and much more. A materials list is provided at the front of the book. If you’re like me, you may already have most of the supplies required, like Crayola washable markers, construction paper, drawing paper, and Elmer’s glue.
Each lesson has a grown-up talk page, a picture talk page, and a directional project page. The grown-up talk pages are so helpful. This page is for the parent or teacher. It helps adults to understand their child’s art, discover how they learn, what to expect from your time together, and how to teach your child in the best way possible.
Next, the picture talk page usually features a professional work of art and contains questions to discuss with your child about the painting or featured piece. The questions are simple, yet thought provoking. My daughter enjoyed finding the answers to the questions as well as making some of her own discoveries.
Lastly, the project page gives specific instructions and direction for your project. Sometimes a recipe or two will be featured, like a finger paint or homemade play dough recipe.
Thoughts and Usage
We loved the variety of projects featured in this book. One day we would be making puppets out of string, buttons, and fabric, and the next a self-portrait. Sometimes we went outdoors to draw from nature. No matter what the day’s project was, my daughter was never bored and always begged to do more.
I usually spent about a half an hour with my daughter for each lesson. She often worked on her own after I had given her direction and gotten her started. Sometimes after she had been given instructions she would tell me, “I can’t.” I discovered she’s a cute little perfectionist. But she just needed some extra encouragement and praise to get her confidence back again. She likes to be neat, too. She likes having a paper towel nearby to wipe away any stray globs of glue.
I appreciated the fact that this book didn’t stay on one technique or media for very long. By exposing my daughter to all the different projects, she got to experience many new things. She was also able to discover what kinds of media she liked to work with best. She loved the variety but she has a special adoration for – paint!
I also liked that the lessons and projects are self-explanatory and easy to teach, not requiring any preparation work on my part. Just open and go! So easy and inviting.
Overall, my daughter and I really enjoyed this art curriculum. I think it helped my daughter go beyond her comfort zone, explore new techniques, and grow her abilities. And we had fun doing it together!
I would definitely recommend this curriculum to a friend. I think it’s a super easy way to incorporate more art into your homeschool.