Happy Friday everyone! I am excited to be sharing a review (and a giveaway!) today of Veritas Press’ new History of Art program. If you don’t remember, when we lived in Germany I was lucky enough to be able to teach art to a group of children at the USO there. My lessons always came back to the history of art, and I am always looking to add to my stack of favorite art books.
The truth is, I’ve found the market to be lacking in materials that really make art history accessible to kids. There are some resources, but nothing I’ve found to be comprehensive enough, and easy enough to teach- until now.
History of Art is a textbook-based program, consisting of the workbook, and 32 Art History cards. This program is designed to cover 32 weeks of instruction. It is strictly focused on Western Art, and, as with many of Veritas Press’ programs, has a strong Christian influence. It is printed in full color, on high-quality paper.
Each week, you’ll focus on one card with your child. The lessons are easy to teach. There is no teachers manual, so you just work out of the workbook with your child. I found this program pretty easy to use with the entire family. I feel that the ideal age would be fifth to sixth grade, but my second and kinder both have followed along and enjoyed themselves as well.
In a week, you’ll read the history card, review the art history song and timeline, read the selection from the workbook, complete the worksheet, learn vocabulary, do art projects, learn about an “Artist of Faith,” complete a review and take a quiz. Each week doesn’t contain exactly the same amount of activities, but even in our fullest week, I’ve found this program to take about two hours to complete (sometimes more if the kids get really into their art projects).
I love that this program makes art history very accessible to kids. I also love that the movements are presented chronologically, and a timeline is included to give the kids an idea of the bigger picture. Art and history belong together- so much is in response to social or political movements, and you can see the world changing in the art. It’s really a beautiful thing, and Veritas Press has done a wonderful job of presenting it in a way that the whole family can enjoy.
I also really love that this program is EASY for me to teach. I am always short on time; I am always struggling to find time for all the things on our plate. More often than not, art has been put on the back burner in our home, despite my love for it. Bug has always had a love of art (I have taken him to so many art museums- he had no choice but to learn to love it!) but since we moved back to the states, we haven’t been to a single museum. As we have worked through this book, he remembers the projects and paintings we enjoyed together in Europe. I love watching him light up as he remembers seeing the Assyrian sculptures in the Louvre, or doing a cave painting in my art classes.
I recommend this program for just about everyone. I do hope that Veritas Press creates a second edition with non-western art, as there are beautiful Native American, Asian, African and Islamic pieces out there that kids should see and appreciate. If you are using this with your kids, you may want to take a detour here and there to see what other movements are happening around the world, or simply visit a museum during your studies to see the variety of art that exists in our world. That being said- for a western art history course, this is solid and beautiful.
This program has been such a welcome addition to my home. If you are looking for an art history program, this is the one you want to pick up. This is one of those programs that you can really dig in deep with, if you wanted to do every last suggested activity, and learn the song, and hang the timeline, and do additional reading and research, or you can take it very simply and just read, review and create. It can be adapted to many needs, to large families, to a single student, for Christian and secular homeschoolers alike.
Enter to win! Veritas Press is offering one History of Art set to one lucky reader. Enter to win using the giveaway widget below!