If you can squeeze in one afternoon a month for art, you can successfully use this program. No art background (or talent!) is necessary. What's more, little preparation time is required, other than to gather the art supplies needed. If you purchase the pre-assembled Art Supply Bundles, even that dwindles to almost nothing. So - not having time or talent is no longer an excuse for not incorporating art into your curriculum! And this one is very simple to use - well-organized, well-formatted, and well-done! It approaches art as a three-step process: first. students learn about the masters (art appreciation), then they become acquainted with their techniques (art technique) and finally, they apply the techniques they have learned to an art project reminiscent of the featured master's work (art application). The three steps are found in three lesson segments: a slideshow presentation that introduces the artists (narrated by you with the help of the printable PDF lesson), student packets to help students understand techniques used by the masters (also printable PDFs to download) and art activities (projects based on those techniques).
There are six tracks to the program, each of which contains 6 units. Each unit focuses on one artist (with the exception of Track A which has 1 preview lesson and 5 artist lessons). Tracks are available at three different age levels. Multi-track or age bundles of 3 tracks are also available, at a discount. These offer the best deal if you like the program and are wanting to use it with all of your children, or to study all featured artists at one age level. The program is entirely online and is accessed through the publisher's website, www.meetthemasters.com. Single tracks have a 3-year expiration date from the time of purchase and bundles have a 4-year expiration. You can go back and revisit the artists several years in a row if you wish. The only other equipment you'll need for the program are the art supplies and a computer with internet access.
Artists studied by track are:
- A: Van Gogh, Cassatt, Mondrian, Picasso, Monet.
- B: Homer, Remington, O'Keeffe, Hokusai, Matisse.
- C: Degas, Kahlo, Miro, Rembrandt, Bonheur.
- D: Lawrence, Calder, Gauguin, Lautrec, Escher.
- E: Wood, Chagall, Klee, Seurat, Ringgold.
- F: Cezanne, Da Vinci, Renoir, Rockwell, Warhol.
- G: Rousseau, Hopper, Martinez, Klimt, Michelangelo.
Each lesson begins with an introduction to the master being studied. This is essentially a slide show (under your control), but does contain several audio clips and even some audio/visual presentations. You are the narrator through much of this, and a script is provided for you along with very clear instructions about what and when to click. This presentation will take from 20-40 minutes, depending on age level.
The next step is "Learning From" which consists of several worksheets on which the student becomes acquainted with and practices a technique or characteristic of the artist's work. This takes about 20 minutes and is kind of a warm-up for the longer art project to follow. Plan on spending at least 1-2 hours on the art project itself. In this last portion of the lesson, your student will actually create a work of art similar to all or part of the master's, using the techniques he's practiced. Your participation is essential as you will be demonstrating some of this. Fortunately, step-by-step instructions take you by the hand here, along with helpful illustrations - making your job all very clear and easy to follow. Art exercises and projects for each unit vary by grade level both by concept and level of ability required.
To give you a better idea of the types of activities included, I'll refer to a sample of Track A, age 8-9 curriculum. The preview unit uses the online presentation to introduce and overview the artists and their works to be studied in the unit - with some brief information about each. The Learning Activity is on optical illusions (learning to look carefully) and the art project is creating a portfolio to keep the rest of the course's artwork in. Unit 2 focuses on Van Gogh. The presentation incudes biographical information, specific artworks, actual audio presentations quoting from some of his correspondence, and good accompanying analysis in the narrative portion. A very nice audio/visual presentation showing selected Van Gogh pieces set to Don McLean's "Vincent" is played at the end of the session. The learning exercises are about texture and have the student practice showing textures via drawing, drawing concentric broken-line circles, building texture around shapes, and creating a drawn textural composition. This is all done on PDF worksheets. The art activity focuses on "The Starry Night" which your student will try to recreate using black construction paper and oil pastels. A print of that work is included for inspiration (and reference). Other units are similarly constructed. The same presentation is used regardless of age level. You can print as many exercise worksheets as you need, making the curriculum non-consumable.
Art supply bundles are sold separately and include most of the art supplies you will need for the projects (you will still need to gather some household items, like cotton swabs or a permanent marker). We carry many of these items individually also; check our "art supplies" category if you just need a few items.
Tracks and bundles are for single family homeschool use. Public, private, charter schools and groups should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and licensing information.