Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Spears Art Studio Inc.

K-8 Christian Art Curriculum

I will admit.......I have been sitting on this one. Now, I really wish that I hadn't!

I am not an artsy person. Hated art class, art appreciation, art museums....everything to do with art. My idea of "art class" is to hand the boys colored pencils and a how-to-draw book and hope all goes well with them. I know it isn't right, but that is how it goes.

****Before you decide that I am a rough heathen of the worst order, I love to sing, play flute, and create using fabric and yarn. I love to sew and knit and frequently "play" with patterns. I cannot, however, paint, draw or sculpt. It always ends badly.****

Diane Spears led me through understanding why, as a Christian, we should study and produce art. She encourages me to "relate art, its appreciation and skills to my relationship to God and His Word." I hadn't ever thought of art as a ministering tool, but she encourages me to see the hearts of my children through the art they create.

Diane has created a completely comprehensive teacher's manual. She explains everything, giving a lot more information than the student needs just for the benefit of the teacher. All the art terms are defined and she includes a complete scope and sequence for K-8. Each month has a theme and the projects revolve around that theme (included a theme scripture for each month). The projects increase in difficulty and understanding so the curriculum can be used every year K-8 without the student repeating a project. She uses materials that are readily available to limited budgets. Basic art supplies (good paper, crayons, colored pencils) will accomodate most projects.

I was relieved to see that she included evaluation criteria and tools. Not only do I evaluate the student's work, but the students are encouraged to evaluate their own work (at grade 8) and the class is encouraged to critique the work of others. Diana includes resources and guidelines for doing this as well.

Art history assignments are woven into the themes. Diane encourages the use of art available at the library or on internet. The assignments have a certain piece listed, but others may be substituted if necessary. Recipes for baker's clay, glue glaze and other "art supplies" are included in the manuel.

The lessons revolve around a calendar school year (Sept. - May) but don't necessarily need to be used that way. Diane allows for major holidays and the art opportunities that are presented at that time.

I previewed the lessons for December and January. In December all students are instructed in making an advent calendar. Weekly lessons include creating a picture of mother and child, lessons in learning about lines, patterns and color (stained glass for older grades) and ornament and gift projects. I really wish that I would have previewed this before now! We are going to start working on some of these before Christmas.

The theme in January is snow. Each grade will produce different pictures folowing different technique and style guidelines. Students are instructed in how to draw winter trees and also in how to use shape and color. Grade 8 uses a paper quilt square to do this. I can even do that!!!! Different painting techniques are also explored.

This curriculum is very thorough and complete. I am actually excited to begin an art program here in our home. The amazing thing is that all of this instruction is contained on a CD-rom disk. Isn't that amazing!!!!!

Diane also offers high school curriculum and supplies on her website. The cost of the K-8 CD-rom is $39.95 shipping included. The curriculum is also available in hard copy.

Feel free to check out the free samples available at her website as well.

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