The definition of the word art is not a simple one. You can not have writing, architecture, magazine ads, television commercials, photographs, paintings, drawings or conversations with out it being a form of art. Indeed, because of its broad definition it can make deciding what you want to learn during art  time an overwhelming decision.

To begin with you must consider the following SHORT list of things before purchasing art curriculum/books. What goal do you hope to reach through art? Seriously, thing about it.

  1. Do you want an art book that teaches basic drawing (like in Drawing Textbook by Bruce McIntyre), different art forms (sculpting, crafts, scrapbooking) , use of different media (pencil, crayon, paint, etc), or just an overall introduction to all of it.
  2. How much money are you willing to spend for art supplies? Paint, brushes, clay, and other media can get quite costly especially if you are purchasing supplies for more than one student. (If there is a Hobby Lobby in your area they have great sales on art supplies in their weekly sale bill from time to time.)
  3. Do you want to employ technical drawing (like blueprints)
  4. Do you want your art to include history (like in Artistic Pursuits) plus all other media styles such as writing?
  5. Do you want it to inspire creativity and freethinking?
  6. How much time are you willing to spend? Obviously, things like painting and pottery take significantly longer than drawing with pencils and crayons.

Knowing what you want to do during art can greatly reduce the probability of picking a curriculum, workbook, or project that can become tedious. For example, this year I blindly purchased the Lamb’s Book of Art I. It had some great reviews and I looked through the sample pages online (which is not always a fair representation of a book) . At first we were more than excited and learned some good things but we were disenchanted with the latter half of the book when it began teaching forms of poetry and asking the children to write creative essays. Poetry and writing are definitely forms of art but not ones that I want to explore during our art time. What started as a fun experience turned to disappointment because we were not learning how to draw or paint.This could have been avoided if I had realized all that the word “art” could mean. Art is vast  rewarding subject and in the future I will more carefully weigh the methods I want to employ in teaching art to my children.

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.  ~Leonardo da Vinci