I’ve been using The Way They SEE It: A Book for EVERY PARENT About the Art Children Make by Brenda Ellis with Ruby for several weeks now. As part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Review Crew, I was asked to review it and let you all know how it works, and what I – and Ruby – think of it.
The Way They SEE It is from Artistic Pursuits. It is their preschool level book. They offer books for every student, preschool through high school. From their website, the preschool level is for ages 3, 4, and 5 and offers:
- 26 Grown-Up Talks offer practical advice for parents
- 26 Picture Talks introduce works by the Masters, followed by art projects that help children gain skills in art
- 36 art projects that can be revisited repeatedly during the preschool years
First of all, Ruby LOVES art. Drawing, painting, coloring… she gets entirely enthusiastic about it. When we ran short on time one day, she begged to do two “lessons” the next day. She’s been entirely thrilled to have art as her lessons each day and won’t possibly let me “forget” to do it. We’re speeding through the book and going to have to start back at the beginning when she finishes. She’s loved every minute of it – especially those days when paint is involved.
Each lesson we’ve done begins with “Picture Talk” – a painting/drawing made by a “real” artist and discussion questions regarding the picture. The first one was flowers in a vase with bugs and shells in the picture. It was like pulling teeth. “Where’s the bug?” “Umm…” She just wanted to get to the paint. “Where’s the black shell with white spots?” “Ummm… I don’t know.”
Contrast that with a more recent lesson, weeks later. She picked it apart like a pro. She pointed out things I didn’t ask about. Progress. Dramatic progress. As a momma who is artistically challenged, this was a book I could do – easily. I was happy to find I can encourage her artistic bent without being skilled with pen/paper/paint or any other medium with which I find myself lacking the skill to produce anything of beauty.
The Way They SEE It was created to explain to the parent how their child views art – and to encourage creativity from the child.
Of course, Ruby wasn’t the only one who got in on the fun. (Pardon my giving Charlotte the muddled watercolors. I assure you, she only damaged them further.)
The Way They SEE It is offered in the Artistic Pursuits store for $47.95. An art supply pack is available for $69.00 should you desire the have all the supplies needed gathered for you. If you want to gather your own, a detailed list of materials needed and recommended brands (I was glad to see my Crayola-only crayon and paint fetish was approved by someone qualified!) is in the front of the book and required items we already had on hand for the most part. The book is comb-bound with a plastic protector over the softcover book. (Smart thinking!)
(Ruby studied pictures of nature, rubbed the bark on our maple tree, rubbed a leaf from the tree, and painted her own picture of it.)
This book has been so much fun to teach. Ruby’s enthusiasm for art has been contagious these last weeks… and we’re going to have to replace those watercolors soon. She’s painted and colored and painted and used markers and painted and painted… It’s a good thing. A very good thing.
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of these materials through the Schoolhouse 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 expressed in this review are mine and my family’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.