The Way They See It ~ Preschool Art with ARTistic Pursuits {Review}

ARTistic Pursuits Review

I love the heart of ARTistic Pursuits and their focus on helping children see art through awareness of the world around them in The Way They See It (Preschool). The title of the book is appropriately titled in that the book shows you how we, as adults, can nurture this awareness.

Written for ages 3-5, The Way They See It requires children to makes sense of the world around them by thinking, seeing, smelling, feeling, and drawing conclusions on their own about what they sense, and then talking about it. In other words, art in this book focuses on the process of the art, not the end result.

This is first evidenced by picture study and narration - a classic Charlotte Mason approach to gentle learning. The child studies a picture and makes sense of the art by answering questions.

"The artist made a picture of bright and colorful flowers. Find a flower that is yellow. A little bug crawls out of one of the flowers. Where is it?"

I added a butterfly and a little bug to the picture so that he could explore the connection between real objects and objects in pictures, as instructed in the lesson. Then he colored a picture of what he saw. I am instructed to help him hold his crayon correctly and to model art by making art beside him. Amazing how much more motivated he was having someone color next to him! He was not motivated at all to make art until he saw it being done. And then he copied the same picture.

And so the lessons go. First a "Grown Up Talk," then a "Picture Talk" and then a "Project."

The Grown Up Talk is just that - a message to the grown ups teaching their little ones. These messages guide us as parents to nurture our children through the process of making art, making sure we let our children think for themselves, and see art through their eyes, and not our own, and guiding them through the process.

Projects range from scribbles, to making marks (we used pudding), playing with different materials (like playdough, fingerpaint, and more), learning about colors and identifying them, and even getting out in nature to visit a stream, listening to the sounds we hear in the woods and in music, going to a park or playing in the backyard and then making a picture of the places we have seen and heard.

I love that this art book encourages natural learning and developing a child's curiosity. So much of this I naturally do, but it is neat to see it in an art book, and one that is full of helpful tips. I'm not very artsy at all, but I can help my child learn to love and appreciate art through the world around him with the help of this book. 

The book contains 26 lessons in Section One. Section Two consists of "First Skills" - activities to strengthen cutting skills, drawing skills, holding art together with adhesives, and more. 

Supplies required for this book:
  • Drawing Paper Pad, 9"x12"
  • Construction Paper, assorted colors
  • Fiskars Scissors, blunt tip
  • Elmer's Glue All, 1.25 oz.
  • Crayola 5 Brush Assortment
  • Finger Paint Paper, 16"x12"
  • Watercolor paper Pad 9"x12"
  • Mr. Sketch Scent Markers
  • Crayola Crayon, set of 96
  • Crayola Washable Watercolors Jumbo, set of 4
  • A large roll of white or brown shipping paper and additional household items are needed.
Playdough is also required, but a recipe is included for a homemade version. 

Most of these are inexpensive art materials and serve many purposes in the home preschool.  Bo especially loves his BIG box of Crayola crayons, as he has never had a box so big and with so many colors! He also loves his Mr. Sketch markers. (He has been using those for a couple years, but many were lost so he was so happy to see a brand new box.)

He loved the freedom to do art and the gentle guidance, but to be honest, he mostly liked just getting to "play" with the materials! 

The Way They See It has encouraged me, as a non-artsy homeschool mom, to nurture my child in this area, and I recommend it for anyone who needs guidance on how to encourage their little ones to love and appreciate art or just wants some creative ideas to do art with their children.

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1 comment

  1. We just loved the preschool book last year. Like Bo, Justin just adored "playing" with everything. But he was very careful in all his actual creations. And yes, Justin was ecstatic to have a big box "all for myself!" which of course he had to share with...mommy. ;)