We loooove art at our house, and here are some things we've used that we have enjoyed:
--The Abeka art series. In the lower grades it is a lot of fun, crafty stuff, so it turns people off who don't like that kind of thing, but by the 4th grade book - Art A - it is ART. It is not too expensive, maybe about $13 or so.
--Art with a Purpose. From the first grade on this is REAL ART. I will say that it is pretty advanced, so do NOT go by grade level. You can get this at a # of hs sites and the packets are about $5. I found the first and second grade packets to be just too hard for the kids you'd buy them for. The third grade packet is pretty good, and by the fourth grade it is REALLY SERIOUS art. For most kids I would not have them attempt the ones for grade 6 and 7 unless they were teens who were very interested in art and were very talented in this area.
--How Great Thou Art. This company has a whole series of things. We've used a lot of them, and I would recommend all of them except the preschool program, which you wouldn't be interested in anyway.
--Things from Rainbow Resource. Last year we used The Big Yellow Drawing Book, which is about $6 and starts out easy and gets progressively harder. This year one of the things we are using is called "Drawing Textbook," which has about 210 small pictures of items for the kids to draw, and by just concentrating on drawing ONE item/day, my kids are really improving. I would think that Rainbow Resource would have a lot of other things you might be interested in.
I would allow them to pick what they are interested in. If they aren't interested in something then don't make them do it so they don't lose a love for art. Art is all about expressing yourself so give them the materials and let them go for it. See where their interests lie and go with that.
You could start teaching them about different Art styles and let them explore them.
Whatever you do try to keep it at their level or they will lose interest REAL quick.
Check out these sites:
teach them how to use positive and negative to make art (black and white)
I used With Art in Mind by BJU press. My daughter created some pretty impressive works without a lot of hassle.
There are a lot of lessons, and each one has a key to show you how to tailor it to several different ability levels, so the students on the younger side won't be overwhelmed and the older students won't be bored.
It covers many different styles and concepts.
We loved it!
We take out various art "instruction" books from the library, plus have a few in our own book collection. Tracing from how-to-draw books is one of my 9yo's favourite pasttimes; it has also enabled her to do some amazing free drawing. Her favourite series of books is the "Draw 50...". But sometimes she'll find stuff on collage or pastels or markers or watercolours and we just go with it. She has done her own version of a couple of famous paintings, like a Monet.
In terms of supplies, we have typical set of basic watercolour paints (the school kind kids often have to buy for their supplies), plus tubes of watercolours and a palette, various brushes, oil pastels, chalk pastels, various paper pieces kept for collages, different types of markers, pencil crayons, wax crayons (some neat stuff you can do with wax crayons--they're not just for little kids!), construction paper, special paper for watercolour painting, 8x11 paper, 11x14 paper and the 'super size' paper... I've been thinking about getting some of those watercolour pencils--my mother has some and dd tried them out and loved them. Very neat effects.
Of course, there's the other component to art if you wish: art history. That can actually make for fascinating art classes if you are structured enough to follow a sequence of some kind: tie in the art history with the art production. You could have a couple of months focused just on painting, each week focusing on a different painter and trying to recreate things. Or try to recreate Da Vinci's drawings. Things like that.
Anything with Cray-Pas!
I've found my 9yo son absolutely loves Art History! I put it in with our history studies - we study famous artists and their techniques from whatever historical period we're working with. Discovering Great Artists is a wonderful book, there are also some great activity books about art history from Chicago Review Press - Leonardo DaVinci for Kids, Monet and the Impressionists for Kids, Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids, American Folk Art for Kids, etc. Your library should have copies, or be able to get them for you through Interlibrary Loan.
Amy Pak also has a great Artists unit study out, I think it should be up on Homeschool in the Woods within a week or two. It's one of the best art history units I've seen, and comes with a bunch of art project ideas :-)
Everybody loves pinatas. Have them make their own with paper mache, trimmed with crepe paper. ( Roosters make great pinatas, we also did a sheep and a cat.) Then you will be ready for the birthday parties.
The book "Discovering Great Artists" combines art appreciation and art history with hands-on art projects perfect for kids in that age range. I like to combine it with Art books from the library so the kids can see color examples of each artist's work.
The book is available many places, such as
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