A TOS Review :: Artistic Pursuits Elementary 4-5, Book 1

ARTistic Pursuits has been a part of our learning environment for many years. This is why I was overjoyed when Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition was offered for review. We were in midst of the second early elementary book when we made the switch.

One of the reasons we like ARTistic Pursuits is that the presentation and projects are easy to follow and are really engaging. The girls and I often have discussions about the artists that are introduced. We have come across quite a few artists that we had not heard of, but thanks to this program we have gotten a chance to “meet” them and learn more about the place in history.

Even though we have experience with ARTistic Pursuits, I learned that Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition was different from the previous books that we have used because it focuses primarily on drawing techniques including line, form, balance, and depth to name a few whereas the younger elementary books include different media.

There are 16 units in Elementary 4-5, Book 1.  All lessons are contained in a physical spiral bound book.  Each unit is divided into four sections: Building Visual Vocabulary, American Art Appreciation and History, Techniques, and Applications. Building Visual Vocabulary introduces the student to the topic in words and pictures.  American Art Appreciation and History provides examples of master works using the specific topic and also focuses on artists.  The Techniques section provides instructions to the students for how to use the materials. Application allows the student to incorporate the new techniques and use a variety of references to create the final project for the unit.  The materials used for the final project are the same ones used to complete the previous lessons.

Since this is a drawing program, we only needed Ebony pencils, a vinyl eraser, metal pencil sharpener, and a sketchpad for the projects we completed.

In our house, we do art at least three times a week because we have a daughter who loves art.

This program easily meets her needs. It provided her with just the right amount of creative time while pushing her to expand her artistic skills. I would recommend setting at least an hour aside for art time to allow your child to become fully engaged in the work.  Our other daughter isn’t as big of a fan of art, but she does enjoy history so the history component of this program makes it easier for her to engage.

By the time we reach the final project, she is usually just as into the project as the rest of us.

Before reviewing this product, I did not realize that the upper programs became more specific to a particular area of art.

This was an added bonus for me.  By having the girls focus only on drawing, they were developing a keener eye and learned to pay a little more attention to details.  They came to the realization that they needed to be more aware of their subject. This program was their first drawing class.  I am excited to see their progress and how their skill will continue to develop.


I find that doing art at home gives us the opportunity to bond over less tensed work.

It has been relaxing to focus on a subject and then see the subject appear onto a clean sheet of paper.

I complete most projects with the girls although it could be a self-directed program.

Even though this program is geared towards late elementary, our second grader enjoyed the program.  I actually don't believe that she knew it was geared towards older children. 

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ARTistic Pursuits Review

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