fine art and private & home school K-12th grades Christian art curriculum
supporting the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stages of Classical education

What educators are saying about

Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey© student manual and CD


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Teach your children art from a Biblical worldview (perspective).

During the Fall of 2008,, an on line magazine for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, organized the Homeschool Crew made up of 116 homeschool families. This group was given the opportunity to Review many products and then write reviews for their blogs. Spears Art Studio was privileged to be part of this list of products for review.
The first complete example is from a previous review by The TOS Review Comittee who received the hard copy. The rest are excerpts from longer reviews about Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey© written by some of these home educators. All Homeschool Crew received the curriculum on CD-Rom in PDF. You may read the complete reviews by these writers at their links and by many more reviewers than space here could allow at
THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE HOMESCHOOL CREW FOR YOUR WONDERFUL REVIEWS! Permission to reprint excerpts given by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and the TOS Homeschool Crew. The following blog reviews were written from the fall of 2008 to the summer of 2009. Since that time, many links have been either moved to another location on their blog site, or have been removed. Several links are still in the listed location as of the fall of 2011. There are fewer high school survey reviews than the K-8, because there were fewer homeschools that requested the CD for review.

Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey is a full-year program made up of 36 lessons. The lessons cover art elements, principles of design, perception skills, drawing, painting, sculpture, fiber, printmaking and graphic design. More than 140 visual memory exercises are included in the lessons, which are divided into seven units: (1) Line & Shape, (2) Shape & Space, (3) Space & Volume, (4) Color, (5) Color & Texture, (6) Form, and (7) Printing Process and Graphic Design. The Appendix includes a Student Evaluation, a complete list of supplies, a Brush Chart, a Question-and-Answer section, a Glossary, National Visual Art Standards, and an About the Artist section. All included materials come in a three-ring binder, with unit tests and answer keys at the back of the book, safety taped closed for easy removal. The entire binder totals 167 pages, with 177 black-and-white illustrations and an additional 51 color illustrations.

The Introduction is a "must read." It gives instructions on how to receive course credit if desired, how to evaluate your work, and how to personalize your program. It also explains how art relates to other academic subjects and how art promotes creative thinking, problem solving, and discernment. Consistent connections are made to Christianity and our individual need to search out the truth in God's Word.

Each lesson includes a Scripture for the student to copy into his journal, vocabulary words to be looked up in the appendix and included in the journal, and a brief comment on art history with some instruction for research at the local library. Next comes an actual sketchbook assignment and Visual Memory Exercises before moving onto detailed instructions for the more specific assignment of the lesson. Biblical truths to Christianity are included throughout the lessons, including Greek language references and a consistent focus on God as the author of all things beautiful.

The author stresses the importance of performing the lessons in order and the sections within the lessons in order and we found this very well planned. The author also requests that you read each Lesson completely before actually beginning the work, which we found to be helpful. We chose to spread each lesson over a full week. We chose to do this at the start of the week before moving on to our usual library day on Wednesday. By reading the entire lesson beforehand, we could determine how much work we would complete at the library--sometimes just the art history research but sometimes the sketchbook and Visual Memory exercises as well. We closed the week by completing the actual Activity portion of the lesson, usually reserving Thursday and Friday for this work before reviewing everything on Saturday.

My daughter's enjoyment of this program was rivaled only by my own enthusiasm. The smooth transitions from one activity to the next and the progressive manner of learning were evidences of a well-planned curriculum. We could not have asked for more ties to Christianity and references to the Creator. These references were not overbearing but were seamlessly made and, in my opinion, Spirit-led. We definitely found this to be a wonderful program.

Some families may find the additional expense for supplies to be a deterrent. Art is simply not an inexpensive endeavor, particularly at the high school level. However, I hope families will consider the supplies essential to the learning program, as they should be, and purchase them as required. The expenses are actually very reasonable for the broad range of art education within the Survey.

Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey is a fantastic program, particularly because it does have a Christian worldview and stresses the value of art in the eyes of our Creator. Our family found it immensely enjoyable, and I hope to obtain the versions for our younger students as well. The author permits photocopying within your school, so this product can be used over the years for several students, which increases its value. Students will enjoy looking through their portfolio and seeing the progress they made over time. The world today needs Godly artists who are working from a Christian worldview and producing quality images and tasteful presentations. Our family will follow the lead of the Spears Art Studio and encourage our children to pursue art from a fully Christian perspective.

Heidi M. wrote:
With permission from Diane, I also got a copy of the High School curriculum and had one of my co-op members (and business partner) use it with her high school aged son. Here is her review:
Homeschooling, high school, art, non-creative teens, and a parent/teacher who lacks the drive to teach something substantial enough yet needs to get the art credit honestly can cause a lot of trouble! ....Finally, there is something that is going to work for us...[and] be the answer to our credit on the transcripts this year....To understand how good this program is, you need to understand Jacob. Tell me what to do, keep the same format, declare the purpose, motivate me, challenge me, don't confuse me with unimportant details, give me something that translates into purposeful adult activity. This is Jacob....Visual memory excercises are given in every lesson. Jacob struggled with this at first, but he is finding that the assignments are strengthening his memory. To be able to tie in art to such a practical life skill is wonderful....This program comes with high approval from me. As for Jacob, this is the first school subject of the day by choice. Anyone with teen boys should try this....Kudos to Diane Spears for making a very thorough, easy to follow program that will translate over into adulthood. Everything that is taught has value, and because it is grounded with a Christian worldview, it gives art meaning. This program met a need for my family, and it will certainly do well in the homeschool community.
Misty wrote (part of the review):
Spears Art Studio was a great surprise to me as part of the TOS Review Crew! For years I've looked for something simple to use and yet in-depth; something that gave me ideas of activities to do with the children and also covered various artists and art styles; something that didn't cost an arm and a leg or require a degree in art to teach . . .Here it is! ...I think this is one of my favorite curriculum finds this year!
Bethany L. wrote:
Are you looking for a COMPLETE, COMPREHENSIVE, CHRISTIAN, CLASSICAL art curriculum that will last your child(ren) all the way from kindergarten through eighth grade or that will fulfill a complete fine arts credit for your high schooler? Then look no further than the Spears Art Studio curricula.
Tammy L. wrote:
If you are looking for a curriculum to teach your children art from a Biblical World View, you need look no further. This one's gold.....This course is so much more than art for the student, the Scripture and themes that run through it are an awesome spiritual teaching tool as well....I LOVE THIS ART CURRICULUM. I am no longer overwhelmed by the thought of teaching art, and Genius is thrilled to be doing it! I feel confident that the work is up to the standards that are expected, and with a Christian emphasis and focus, it is even better.
Kim K. wrote:
For someone wanting a comprehensive, biblically based art program, this one ranks well at the top!
Sheri H. wrote:
The high school level program is more than just a simple lesson. The student is asked to keep a journal to write their verses in, to sketch frequently, and to keep track of their progress by taking tests. This is a full art curriculum which you can give your student a high school credit for. Even if your child is not "artsie" or shows little interest in it, I believe this would be an excellent elective for them to take. Art is not just doodling on paper, or creating some huge masterpiece. It is about stretching your ability to notice the details sprinkled everywhere. The Lord has splashed this world with such vivid colors, amazing angles and shapes and magnificent beauty that everyone should learn to train their mind and eyes to notice it. After all, it is very hard to deny His presence when you really take in the glory that surrounds us. The Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey is a great place to begin your student's study of the arts.
Shannon R wrote:
Well, Diane at Spears Art has created a very logically laid out CHRISTIAN art program. This is almost like an art's amazing!
Chris G. wrote:
...the Absolute BEST Art Program you can imagine!...This program completely exceeds all expectations of anything I had ever hoped of getting my hands on to help me nurture my budding artists' creative abilities and appreciation for our Creator's autograph on everything that He made....This is a true art program in every sense of the word, addressing art elements, art principles, design elements, and more, all centered around God as the Creator of it all.
Tina B. wrote:
Because it is so detailed, you will never need another art program, in my opinion. It is VERY thorough.

Heather R. wrote:
This is a very well thought out program. It includes Visual memory exercises that are an outstanding tool for sharpening observational skills needed for sketching and still life drawing. Her look and look away approach really requires the students ability to truly see the object being drawn. I love this feature!
Diane H. wrote:
The reason I like this program is that I don't have to try to figure out what to do for art. The work is done for me. We have Scripture, vocabulary words, and activities all planned out for us.
Crystal W. wrote:
WOW! I love this art curriculum....I never have to worry one more minute about my inability in teaching art, because God sent Diane Spears into our home. In my mind, this program has been a ministry to our family. Art always came last or not at all due to my insecurities. Never again!
Regenia S. wrote:
Frustration has ended with the discovery of Spears Art Studio High School Art Survey©....I had Samantha, a talented dancer and singer, but self-proclaimed non-artist of the visual arts test drive the curriculum. Surprisingly, despite her resistance to learning to draw, she gave it rave reviews....I found it to be a very user-friendly curriculum....My daughter is excited to incorporate this art curriculum into her future studies, and I am thrilled to have it available to us. I think Sammi summarized our family's experience with Spears Art Studio best by saying, "This curriculum could help anyone interested in an art education. It is for the beginning student or someone who already has a passion for art. It will help everyone with the basics of art in order for them to pursue whatever media they want to study in the future."
Diane A. wrote:
Personally, I'm just thrilled to have something so clearly laid out and easy to follow so I can actually "teach" a subject I know NOTHING about....I really can't say too many nice things about this curriculum. I find it to be thorough, easy to use and inexpensive (not considering the cost of art materials themselves.)...from an email.... I think the best feature is that it is so well rounded and gives you a great full credit experience without the cost of art classes.
Renee N. wrote:
...each lesson covers more than just art. The objectives, vocabulary, and Scripture are preparatory to the meat of the lesson, while the art history, visual memory exercises and activities are the main learning avenues of the lesson....My daughter, April, is thoroughly enjoying the art lessons. She wants to do nothing else during the day. She says the lessons are easy for her to understand, and they take her step-by-step through the process....I'm happy to have an art program that points to God's creation and gives Scripture with each lesson.

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