As a homeschool parent of high school students I am always seeking quality options for fine arts credits for our children. That’s why I was pleased to get the opportunity to review a homeschool art history curriculum called The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective created by The Master and His Apprentices.
This curriculum can be used as an art appreciation textbook for a high school elective, but it can also be used as full art history curriculum, giving your high school student a full credit on their transcript. It’s easy to use and easy to adapt to fit your student’s needs and interests.
Our family received a digital edition of The Master and His Apprentices (there is also a hardback edition available) and a digital copy of the Teacher Guide (softcover copy also available) as well as the Print/Photocopy Rights which allows me to use the material with all our children.
In our homeschool we have a daughter entering her senior year of high school, two sons getting ready for their junior and freshman years, as well as a daughter starting 7th grade. Our three high school students are working through The Master and His Apprentices in order to earn that full fine arts credit for Art History who plan to use this as a full curriculum. They are working at a rate of about a chapter a week (with our slower paced summer schedule, we’ve spent time in the first four chapters.)
The textbook is 350+ pages long and filled with high-quality, full-color photos and artwork as well as many detailed tables and graphs. From the start, your student is given an introduction to art and how it fits with creation and the world around us.
This program extensively covers all of art history, from the very beginning of creation up until the modern age. There are nineteen chapters divided into the following sections:
- The Beginning
- Ancient Cultures
- Classical Antiquity
- Middle Ages
- Baroque & Beyond
Each chapter includes an overview of a particular time period, in-depth study of the style of art created during that time period, including the artists themselves. Also included in the lessons is a peek into the culture and lifestyle of the peoples of different regions and various time periods.
Each week the student is given a reading assignment and a two-page worksheet to complete. There are four papers assigned, one per quarter, and recommended activities to help spread out the workload and research for those. Everything is laid out in a systematic fashion with the sample syllabus in the teacher guide.
Why would we want our children to study art history if they are not interested in becoming an artist or have any desire to work in a museum? As I’ve spent time reading and getting familiar with The Master and His Apprentices I am struck by how much we learn about people, cultures, history and faith just by viewing the artwork and items created in the past. These are lessons that are beneficial for all of us! In each chapter we are given a timeline of the different pieces of art mentioned, giving us a better perspective. I love the visual layout of the pages of this textbook.
We are taking a close look at so many amazing things such as Art in Creation, Mosaics from Persia, Islamic Art, the Renaissance Masters, the Architecture of Cathedrals, Stained Glass and so much more. Each person has been created in the image of God, He has created a world for us to enjoy and care for, it makes sense that we take time to learn about and appreciate the art created throughout the ages.
While I’ve been very impressed with the textbook, I am really excited about the teacher guide. It gives me everything I need for my entire immediate family. The teacher guide gives me an outline of the various course requirements as well as different time-frame suggestions to complete the course.
The Sample Syllabus provided in the Teacher Guide gave me what I needed to see how to set up my children’s course of study, making it easy to jump in and get started. Also included in the teacher guide are the chapter review worksheets and criteria for the four research papers recommended.
My children and I have each created a notebook for our art history class. I’ve printed the pages of our digital text book (and the Teacher’s Guide for me) and we add their notes, their completed worksheets and the information they are collecting for their research papers.
Because I only have a black and white laser printer, we often view the artwork from our current chapter in the pdf file on the computer – this is gives the kids easy access anytime they need it. I’d like to print (or purchase) a full-color copy because I prefer flipping through the pages rather than clicking through the computer screen. For me, this would be worth the investment.
You can visit my Review Crew Mates to read their reviews and see how their families are using this art history curriculum – just click on the image below!