Spears Art Studio has produced a wonderful art curriculum for K-8 students. The author is Dr. Diane S. Spears, an artist who also has an Ed.D. in Christian Education. The curriculum was specifically developed to teach children art from a Biblical World View. It is available on a convenient CD-ROM. The CD contains
- 35 weekly themes
- 269 art activities
- 137 patterns and display posters
- Scriptural connections
- art history connections
There is an incredible amount of material packed on this CD! It has 9 school years worth of lessons. The curriculum is organized by the months of the traditional school year, September-May. Many of the projects are seasonal. Each week there is a single theme for all the levels, but different projects for each level, K-8. In some weeks, multiple grades have the same project, but most of the time there are different projects for each grade.
This chart shows each of the weekly themes for the entire curriculum. From the chart, you can see that the year begins with Noah and the Ark of God. This is a year-long bulletin board project that demonstrates in real time the amount of time Noah and the animals were in the ark, how long the rain lasted, how long it took for the water to recede, etc. This project is for all levels and is started in the first week of the school year. There are references in subsequent weeks to move the animals, add rain, etc. Completing this project would help children to more fully grasp the magnitude of the flood and the impact it had on the passengers in the ark.
For each week, there is a teacher’s theme page that contains the theme, objective, scripture, recommended art history images, and a teacher inspiration section.
This is the theme page for December Week 1. As you can see, the theme for this week is The Name of Jesus. In addition to the theme page, there is one page for each grade level showing its project for the week. For example, below is the page for the 1st grade project.
On the project page there are sections for objectives, scriptures, vocabulary, teacher prep, and materials. Along with this, there is a motivation and focus section with ideas for teaching the students, as well as sections for instructions, and an example of a completed project. For comparison, the following is the project page for 8th grade.
Also included on the CD are materials lists, tips for teaching many different art skills, as well as essays about art and its value in education, and teaching art from a Biblical worldview.
My family has had the opportunity to try out the K-8 Christian Art Curriculum for a couple of months. I have found the curriculum to be logically organized and thorough. There is a great variety in the types of projects, ranging from drawing to weaving. I appreciate the way the projects are tied to the central theme for the week, though some weeks have a more obvious connection to the theme than others. I also like the art appreciation connections. That is something I would be completely incapable of planning myself since I know next to nothing about art history.
I think that the design of the curriculum as it is written is more suited to classroom of students of close ages, rather than the wider age range that is more typically found in homeschools. However, it could be easily adapted to use at home. When testing the product I had each of my children do a different project each week, so that we could see a greater number of projects in a short time. If I weren’t preparing for a review, I would try to pick projects that were at the middle of the age range of the students and have everyone work on the same project, or for a wider age range pick at most two projects at a time.
The following samples are from October Week 2 – Color Studies Part 2.
This is the K project done by my formerly very unartistic 6-1/2 year old son.
This is the 2nd grade project drawn by my 8-1/2 year old daughter. She chose to do the 2nd grade instead of the 3rd grade project because she liked it better.
I think that the variety of projects is evident by the samples that I have shown. It would not be repetitive or boring to use this curriculum for many years in a row, because, though the themes are repeated, the projects are widely varied, both within each week and throughout the year. The curriculum is a great value for only $39.95 (including shipping). Also available are a High School Art Curriculum and a Beginning Calligraphy course. They are available for purchase at www.spearsartstudio.com . To read more reviews of Spears Art Studio go to the Homeschool Crew Blog.