What is it like to teach art from a Christian worldview perspective? Find out from Diane Spears, an artist, teacher, and theologian. With degrees in art, counseling, English, theology, and Christian education, she is more than qualified to write this curriculum! But, we, homeschooling moms, are more interested in having an art curriculum that is twaddle-free and WORKS with our children! From her years in a classroom teaching art, her assignments are easy to use for Mom and fun to do for the children.
Here is her mission statement:
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” –Psalm 119:73
Spears Art Studio MISSION STATEMENT
1. In everything recognize the hand of God and to give Him glory
2. To provide resources for the Christian educator that:
a. Help students make connections between their Creator, creativity, and personal maturity.
b. Are organized for natural learning progression;
c. Provide experiences for higher order thinking skills;
d. “Stretch” academic and manipulative skills;
e. Become acquainted with famous artists and artworks incorporated into a seasonal and/or art element/principles arrangement of art and craft production!
All products of Spears Art Studio, Inc. are dedicated to the glory of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
Diane brings the Word of God to shine its light on art. Every lesson has Scriptural principles to discuss and apply. Both curriculums introduce and thoroughly cover the principles and elements of art.
As a quick reminder…The elements of art are line, color, space, shape, form, and texture. These things can be found in all art, including music and ballet. The basic principles of art are contrast/value, emphasis/focal point, balance, unity, variety, harmony, and movement/rhythm.
Beyond teaching these basic elements and principles, children learn art skills and higher order thinking skills.
She has two separate curriculums available: Spears Art Studio K-8 Art Curriculum and Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey. From looking at both, your high school students could join art class using the K-8 curriculum and children ages 10 and up could do the high school course. I want my children to do it all! It is just wonderful. As soon as I finished looking over the high School art survey, I called my friend, Laura.
“Let’s teach art at Friday classes next year!” I chirped! “I found awesome curriculum written by an artist who loves the Lord with all her heart!”
“Okay! Let’s do it!” she enthusiastically replied!
That’s what I love about Laura—she’s up for anything as long as it sounds fun and is pleasing to the Lord! Just from the excitement in my voice, she could tell I loved this material. When she looked through it herself, she was impressed too!
Spears Art Studio K-8 Christian Art Curriculum
A seasonal approach is used to present art in a fun, flexible way for K-8 grades. I was wondering how Diane was going to do this. There is a big gap between what a five-year old and an eighth grader can do. I was so impressed with how she laid out the lessons. At the beginning she lays out a scope and sequence at each grade level for every activity. She includes theme objectives, activity objectives, art skills, art elements, art principles, and cognitive skills.
Each of the 35 weekly lessons has a theme (based on the seasons and holidays of the year). This theme is integrated with Scripture and art experiences and activities. Sometimes all ages do the same activity, but most often there are a few different activities, based on age level, for the children to do. Overwhelming for a big family? Not really, because they are all based on the same topic. The best way to explain this is to give you an example.
January week two is entitle “Trees of Righteousness” for the season of winter. The theme Scriptures are Psalm 74:17 and Matthew 11:28-29. Paintings and photographs are recommended for art appreciation discussions. All grade levels learn and draw the universal symbols for trees, review the poster “Amazing Facts about Trees and People,” learn the vocabulary words, and review the basic structure of trees for drawing. Each grade level draws barren, winter, deciduous trees, and evergreen trees.
The art activity for each grade level is slightly different. Here are the materials needed:
· White chalk
· Facial tissue
· Hair spray or fixative
· Oil pastels
· Soft drawing pencils
· Soft pastels
· White tempera
· Felt markers
· India Ink
· Water and containers
· Black Sharpies ultra fine-tip markers
· 12” x 18” light blue drawing/construction paper
· Images from “Trees of Righteousness” theme
All of the children draw several deciduous trees beginning with the letter “Y” formation on the light blue paper. They make the trees gradually thin out up to the limbs, even though its trunk gives the tree its unique character. They have to draw LOTS of branches and twigs. After they finish the trees, they paint snow on all the horizontal limbs and crooks of limbs. They paint snow on the ground, leaving some areas of blue paper to be shadows. The sky is left blue.
Now here is where there is a difference in each grade level.
K: Crayon trees; chalk snow
1st: Crayon trees; white tempera snow
2nd: Oil pastel trees; white tempera snow
3rd: Soft pastel trees; white tempera snow
4th: Graphite trees; white tempera snow
5th: Soft pastel trees; white tempera snow
6th: Black sharpie for trees; white tempera snow
7th: Vine charcoal trees; white tempera snow
8th: India ink trees; white tempera snow
Now, of course, you can have all the children use pastels or all use sharpies. Use your best judgment when using these lesson plans. But you can see how easily everything fits together. This is really set up to be like a set of unit studies because you learn about everything you are drawing or painting. What a fun time you and your children will have with Spears Art Studio!
Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey
This course is wonderful! With the same focus on Christ as the K-8 curriculum, this is truly an art survey with 36 art lessons, 75 art activities, and 36 sketchbook assignments.
The following topics are covered in this amazing course:
· Art elements: line, shape, space, color, textures, form
· Principles of design: repetition/pattern, proportion, contrast/value, emphasis/focal point, balance/symmetry/asymmetry, unity, variety, harmony, movement/force/rhythm
· Perception skills: edges, spaces, relationships, light and shadow, gestalt
· Graphic design
· Art History connections
· Contemporary art connections
· Scripture connections
· 144 visual memory exercises
· Unit tests and answer keys
Not only is this a meaty course, the color illustrations in the books are lovely. Diane is a talented and award winning artist herself. Her artwork and illustrations are pleasing to the eye and helpful in understanding the assignments.
Not being an artist myself, art curriculum tends to intimidate me. Not this course. Diane explains everything so thoroughly that I feel confident enough to teach my children art—even at a high school level!
Visit her website here: Spears Art Studio
Blessings to you and your family!