I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Let me tell you a little bit about the program- through the use of over 600 images, students get to see how art, archeology, the Bible and history evolved at the SAME time. Your student gets to see historical events unfolding, as they see how the art of people, on different parts of the world, changed. It's an amazing way of helping students see 'the big picture', and not putting art in one corner, and history in a different one. If you've taken any art history classes, then you know that the art of a people tells you SO much about their culture. How they may have gone from simple farmers, to city dwellers, to those who had the time to be able to appreciate the beauty of art and to have it in their homes. By understanding this basic concept, students can get a better of idea of the history of their world.
Take a closer look at some of the paintings and art in the book, so you have an idea just HOW striking the images are:
Miss Grace is on an accelerated home school program, as you are all aware, sowe are looking at starting some of her high school classes early, and possibly doing a 5 year plan for High School. So when I can find curriculum that can cover multiple subjects, making them interesting, I have to grab them!
History is one of the subects that Miss Grace has been dreading, as we have done such involved history classes already, she doesn't want to have to repeat everything all over! So when I heard about a new homeschool art history curriculum from The Master and His Apprentices, that could do JUST that, I knew it was for us! The program is The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective.
As you can see, the images are just STUNNING, and there are at least 2 in every open page layout. They draw your eye in and make your student WANT to read what is on the page! And this is a LARGE layout too! The textbook itself is 380 pages in a 8 1/2 x 11 format. Even after this course is over, you'll want to keep this book on your coffee table, as an amazing reference book, as you can see!
The author, Gina, pulled information from over 12 (very expensive) art books, to get the best pictures to include, that contained no nudity or other objectionable material. Which means this is a book even your youngest child can thumb though and learn from, without any worries! This book may be for your high school student, but you may find it works for your entire family home school!
*But this is more than just an ART course, it is about history and the bible too! The Master and His Apprentices begins with Creation and God (who is the Master artist), before delving into different historical periods. This was how we started ancient civilization this past year, so I was thrilled that it started from that Christian perspective as well! Other areas that are covered are:
- Ancient Cultures: Ancient Near East, Egyptian and Aegean
- Classical Antiquity: Early Greek, Etruscan and Roman
- Middle Ages: Medieval & Islamic, Early Christian & Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic
- Renaissance: Proto-Renaissance, Early Italian Renaissance, High Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance
- Baroque and Beyond: Baroque, Rococo to Today (modern art) and Global Highlights (non-Western art)
This means that your student gets a very in depth look at the different time periods, where major changes were made, and how those periods coincide with occurrences in the bible! Each chapter starts with a introduction to each period, with some background, before getting into the chapter itself. Chapter topics include all the political, social, economic, religious, geographical, scientific, and philosophical changes during the time period. It's not just memorizing dates, it's UNDERSTANDING the time period as a whole! At the end of each chapter you also get a timeline for the period, which also helps your students SEE the period and how it lines up with bible teachings:
As you can see, the timeline is broken up into 3 periods-: Biblcal, Historical and Masterpieces. This is a great way to find art related to each time period, and see how they all occurred at the same time. if you have a child also taking bible archeaology, they'll find these timelines VERY helpful as well!
Miss Grace was able to handle reading the chapters with ease, as they are VERY reader friendly, and I only had to help her with the occassional word. I was so thrilled when she was looking at different artist pages (which are on a 2 page open spread, for easier learning), and said, "Wait, that is like the picture at NOMA!", then went and pulled up our digital photo albums, to show me the painting she meant! Yes, field trips DO sink in! In fact I found her getting very in depth with each chapter, and going to pull up more information and paintings from the internet. Any text that can get my kid searching out more info, is one that I'm thrilled with!
You get some really helpful additions in the appendix too:
-A detailed index- so you can quickly find what you are looking for
- Terms to Describe Art-this one is handy to have as a resource chart page, so you can discuss different parts of each masterpiece, in proper art terms
- Complete wall-length timeline- included with both digital and print editions, this is a print it out module (link provided for phsyical texts). If your child needs to see the timeline 'at hand', this is so great to be able to do!
- Extra essays- for those seeking more information on advanced topics- if you want your student to do more than ests and exams, these essays are perfect!
-Pieces by Location guide- listing the current location of EVERY work (organized by country with many further divided by state/city). Quickly and easily identify which areas/buildings/museums will enable you to see the most art history on your next family trip. This was the COOLEST one for Miss Grace- she's already planning on what museums we need to visit on every feis (Irish Dance competition) trip we'll be taking in the next year!
When you add in all these bonuses, it's really like getting 4 different books in one, which means you are saving SO much by buying just the one book!
But you really should get the The Master and His Apprentices Teacher's Guide as well, as it is such a huge help, for making the course a full credited currciculum for your student! The Teacher's Guide is basically a student workbook, as well as teacher guide for the course. You can pull out the weekly tests (if you have the physical book), and give them to your student after each chapter:
These tests really helped me, as the teacher, ascertain that Miss Grace actually learned what she was reading about. And the the best part, is that there are enough test grades to make the course a high school level, and they help your student study, to take the exams, that are included in the teacher guide!
The exams cover 4 chapters each, and are a little more invovled, as you can see, above. But if your student was able to answer the tests with ease, then they should have no problem answering the exams, which then give you higher valued quarterly grades, for the course as well. And you can breathe a sigh of relief, as test answers are also included for easier grading! It is recommended that your high school student complete 4 of the additional essay papers as well, for the full course credit. But other than subjectve grading there, everything is provided for you, and you can't find a much easier course for independent learning/teaching!
While I've talked to you about the text, which is THE SAME in both paper and digital editions, we actually used the digital editions of both the Text and Teacher's Guide. As you saw in the beginning of this review, this curriculum comes in multiple versions as you can see from the first picture. The digital edition gives you the SAME AMAZING full color text, as the physical book, via its fixed-layout PDF format. Which means, because it is PDF, it is best viewed on a laptop or computer (you do need Adobe Reader or Digital Editions, or similar program, to open it correctly), versus a small tablet, as your student would have to be moving the page up and down constantly (though as you can see, Miss Grace likes to get up close and personal with the art pictures!). Keep in mind, each digital edition is intended to be downloaded ONCE and used by a SINGLE reader/family. But it's an amazing value!
You do get the digital version as a download, What we found helpful was to have the Text file on Miss Grace's large 17 inch laptop, and then I put the Teacher's Guide on my laptop, so I could print out what she needed, as it came up, like the tests. If your child does prefer a 'physical book', you could print it out via its “binder-ready” print layout, so you can place it into a 3-ring binder for them!
When you add up the costs for different curriculum, this is really a BARGAIN, when you consider JUST how much your child can learn! Add some more history papers, and you can get more than just the one full credit for the Art History elective, as well. Then add in the FREE shipping for physical books, and this curriculum starts to look like a really great budget helper!
And then consider that the digital text of The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective AND the digital Teacher Guide together are just a little over $50, and you realize what an AMAZING bargain this course IS. Also, reprintable worksheet and exam rights are available for only $2 for EACH additional student taking the course. So if you have 3 kids, that means $60 for 3 students for the ENTIRE course! You can't beat that cost! Look at that again, for less than the price of 2 typical art history books, you have the FULL course and tests for 3 kids! PLUS you have an AMAZING resource book, that your child can use THROUGH COLLEGE! Now that's the type of home school curriculum bargain we ALL love!
But don't jsut take MY word, and Miss Grace's, for HOW amazing this program is-check out what my fellow reviewers think, by clicking on the box below!
Be sure to follow The Master and His Apprentices on Facebook for specials, and on Pinterest for additional Christian Art and History information.
Let me tell you a little about the text author before you leave too- it's a great story!
The Master and His Apprentices was written by a homeschool graduate, who is passionate about the Word and the sharing of God’s omnificence (all-creative power). For more than 12 years, Gina Ferguson has been teaching art, English, history and the Bible to students around the world. This project began with her very first students, and it has literally taken over a decade for her to compile her best teaching, pictures and studies, to become this text! She says she used to drag all those dozens of books with her to class, in a suitcase, just so she could have the best information for her students! If you're like us, you'll think Gina is AMAZING, and that the Master has given her talent like no other!