STUDIO K-8 CHRISTIAN ART CURRICULUM, A TEACHER'S MANUAL©
CD-Rom in PDF; full color pages in PDF booklets; $44.95;
Comprehensive and Customizable—they’re two words I used to
describe another recent item, and yet, these words summarize the
Spears Art Studio as well.
Perhaps I am more shortsighted than most homeschooling parents,
(I *am* quite new to homeschooling, after all) but researching
and purchasing an art curriculum was not high on my list of
needs or wants at home. (What was I thinking?) I consider myself
a bit on the “artistic-impaired” side, never quite feeling
competent at art. I was curious about an art curriculum when I
was offered the opportunity to use and review the Spears Art
Studio K-8 Christian Art Curriculum that is developed by artist
Diane Shields Spears, EdD.
And I am impressed!
The CD is quite comprehensive, providing support to a parent
and/or teacher so that a quality art curriculum can be delivered
to students who fit a wide range of ages and developmental
stages, and the curriculum can be used for several years to
teach students as they develop. The CD is also customizable, so
that the parent or teacher can use all of it, from the year-long
project, to the art history, to the “how-to’s”, to the
activities and assignments, or the parent/teacher may take a bit
from here and a bit from there as it fits into an existing
educational framework or into your art budget in any particular
week or month.
Anything that would save me time and research, it seems, Spears
has provided here, including supply lists; background and
supplemental resource recommendations; scripture tie-ins;
science; artwork as a writing prompt; vocabulary, art, academic
and theme objectives. Spears recommends a wide variety of
materials and media and she lists needed supplies each month so
parents and teachers can be prepared for the projects ahead.
Spears’ recommended images from your local library from the art
history section each month remind me of the importance that
Charlotte Mason placed on picture studies, and here, in one
place, Spears gives us all that we need to experience and expand
upon picture studies.
As hesitant as I’ve been to move to e-books, e-classes, and
materials on CD-Rom, I have enjoyed the ease and speed of
scrolling through the monthly table of contents to look for
activities that fit our current homeschool objectives, and
Spears has given me many ideas for broadening the scope of what
we do at home. (I have put off starting a picture study, not
quite feeling competent to begin, and now I know that I have the
resources for a meaningful picture study!) I also like the fact
that the small CD takes up less room than a bunch of books!
Working at home with a child on the autism spectrum, in addition
to gaining inspiration for picture studies, ideas for copywork
from scripture related to the art projects, I have found many
useful projects and activities that can be used as background
activities for relationship objectives. The way Spears
creatively uses what RDIers refer to as “same but different”
(variations on a theme) is very useful for us. I am always
looking for activities and projects that are appealing to all my
children as something we can do together, and this CD is packed
with those kinds of ideas. There are projects that provide fine
motor work, projects that require the coordination of two people
together (co-regulating and coordinating) some to do alone (more
of a parallel play type project).
When I think of all of the arts and crafts books I’ve purchased
over the years, not one contains all of the components that
Spears combines into this one product. Because the program is
customizable, it is very versatile. And all of the work (short
of buying the needed supplies) has been done for me. For $45,
Spears gives us a great value!
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