Homeschooling allows lots of fine arts incorporation. Finding an engaging and fun art curriculum is very important to me. I think the fine arts, including art, music, poetry and even creating masterpieces in the kitchen are part of a great education. Artistic Pursuits was very gracious in sending us a copy of their preschool curriculum, The Way They SEE It, to use and to review. With Mr. T’s Apraxia, he has some global dyspraxia and fine motor skill issues. We have been working very hard in OT to overcome these challenges and using art at home has helped him improve so much! Here are a few of the projects we have done so far.
We use regular sized crayons to help develop the fine motor control needed for writing and holding writing instruments correctly. Our OT mentioned the importance of this at one of our very first visits, and Mr. T does seem to have a better control over the smaller crayons. If your little one is struggling with the larger ones, you might give the regular sized crayons a try! There are lots of helpful illustrations to show your artist how to hold their crayons, too!
One of my favorite things about the lesson book is the beautiful vibrantly colored illustrations. And the step by step parent talk it gives you to use with your child. The bulk of the lesson is actually geared toward you, the parent, and encourages you to help your child learn and enjoy the process rather than the final product. Mr. T is definitely into the process. He could care less about the end result most of the time, but that come later. Preschoolers are still very much little scientists exploring their environment and learning how things work! This curriculum encourages them to explore the materials and how they work.
After we looked over the pictures together before each project, I was surprised at how engaged Mr. T was with the pictures and the questions. Brenda has done an incredible job of choosing delightful pieces of art that are relevant to such a young group of children. He loved the colors and would spend between one and 3 minutes just gazing at the picture depending on which piece of artwork it was.
Here he is practicing his grasp and imitating the illustration in the book. Having diagrams to show him was very helpful! The entire first skills section at the front of the book is filled with tips for helping your preschooler learn how to use art tools correctly. It’s great for pre-writing skills, too!
At the end of lesson one, this was his finished piece. He was very happy with it, and so was I! We have a lot of varied art supplies. I love to stock up at the back to school sales in the fall, but Artistic Pursuits even has a package deal for all the supplies you need for this curriculum! How easy is that?!?
The confidence and pride Mr. T is enjoying the more we get into this curriculum is just delightful for me to watch. He gets so excited now when we get out our Artistic Pursuits book.
I love how much he gets into the finger painting. The sensory experience this gives to preschoolers is awesome. It really fits in well with our Montessori learning style.
I hope to continue with Artistic Pursuits K-3 Curriculum, though it will be interesting to see how I manage 2 young ones doing art together but having different lessons. Mr. F is already trying to get in on the fun! I would highly recommend this curriculum to any homeschool family! It is simple and easy, even for non artistic moms. Each lesson teaches both the child and parent a new way of seeing the world around them. It is truly unique and wonderful!
The technical specs: Recommended for ages 3,4 and 5
Do you wish you could look inside your child’s mind to see what is behind the artwork your preschooler just handed to you? This book shows caring adults the stages of artistic development that children go through and discusses how to nurture awareness of the world and bring it to life in a child. It offers information on the first steps your three, four, or five-year-old will take when pursuing creativity as it is expressed through art. Used regularly, this book will expand the scope and vision of what is possible for young artists. Twenty-six art appreciation lessons feature Master works by artists as diverse as Hokusai, Hicks, and O’O’Keeffe. Each lesson is followed by a project, giving preschoolers an early experience with the processes of making art. The First Skills section offers practical advice on correct handling of scissors, drawing tools, adhesives and paint with ten additional project ideas.
This is not a coloring or activity book. It begins at the true beginning of any artistic production; seeing. As children become aware of the world in which they live, they will create original works of art in the way they see it. Each lesson begins with information for the parent on the nature of children’s artistic development that will help in understanding their art. Parents learn methods of teaching using real world examples that work with the purposes children have for making art. This book will suggest ways to turn art times into real educational experiences, resulting in enthusiastic artists who are ready to learn more, see more, and create more art.
*We were given a copy of The Way They SEE It to review. No other compensation was received. The opinions here are honest and based solely on our experience with this product. You can see our disclosure page for more information.*