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How Great Thou Art Review by The Suarez FamilyBarry Stebbing
How Great Thou Art
"Talk about high quality, high interest, high fun!"
"...your child is actually having fun while they are becoming more refined."
Art. That is a major word in our family. You see, besides being the co-publisher of a homeschool magazine, my husband is a sculptor who has won various bronze sculpture commissions, including a monument project for a major university in California. Our children love art. Isn't it true that most kids do? One thing I remember about public school was art class. I hated it. It was only 30 minutes long and just as I was getting into it, a bell would ring and I would file out the door with my little comrades like a sheep to its next exercise. Boring. So, as a result of this (and also because I lack talent, seriously), I never really liked art. My husband laughs now, because he remembers that when we first married 13 years ago, he asked me if I liked art and my reply was, "No, I hate art". He wanted to visit galleries and museums. I wanted instead to go to amusement parks and bookstores. As Paul's sculpting ability became more and more recognized, it was I who did the marketing. Because of this, I was forced to go to silly unveilings and ghastly, uppity parties put on by 'famous artists' who would try and give me their creations.
Boy have things changed! The spoiled bride of 13 years ago (hey, I was 20! -- and bratty) began to see that the world is beautiful with art. As Paul's works began to sell, I met fabulous people and got to travel a little. I started seeing art in a new light.
One day (this was two years ago), I got a crazy idea. My sister and I both homeschool our children (I have four and she has five). I was at her house one day and saw a lot of art prints laying around. She and her daughter had been studying the great works. I was really embarrassed. I knew NOTHING. This little 10-year-old knew art and I was an art agent who couldn't tell a Van Gogh from a Picasso!
So sometimes I get crazy ideas. I decided right then and there that not only was I going to learn as much as possible about the history of art, but additionally, I was going to teach a class (a one year course!) to area homeschoolers in our surrounding cities.
My husband thought I was bonkers (even though secretly he was thrilled that I was finally showing some interest in art!) and my sister smiled politely and said, 'go for it'. My kids were excited because they love art, but they looked at me skeptically because they know me.
I was not to be deterred. I immediately hit the library and the Internet, as well as Borders Bookstore for some great art books. I studied for about five months straight (many hours per day) diligently memorizing and furiously taking notes. Soon, a curriculum emerged. I made a curriculum! I knew art! My husband could not believe it.
My class was packed out and highly successful for the full year. As soon as it ended our sign up sheet immediately filled for next year. I had set out to learn and teach art history and did it!
The curriculum I designed was kind of goofy. I knew my stuff and taught the children well (they all got their own manual -- approximately 200 + pages -- printed out on my dusty printer). It has no color. It has some grammar problems. One of my students was always pointing out the funky little errors. Even with that it was a great, fun class. BUT, I know what I wish I would have had, had I known about it: HOW GREAT THOU ART! This curriculum is great. My own four children recently received several of their work texts. Talk about high quality, high interest, and high fun! This company has it all. Man, I wish I had known about them. I would rather have purchased many of my personal study resources from them. They constantly work with kids, frequently conducting workshops all over the country. They know art and they know kids! We were especially impressed with How Great Thou Art's color, art print postcards. My husband, too, being an artist greatly appreciated these prints. How Great Thou Art has much to offer for homeschoolers and their prices are right. They offer programs for all ages. My kids are learning so much from the programs they received. And they are not limited to a 30-minute time constraint!
Publisher's note: Be sure to look for an upcoming TOS contest sponsored by How Great Thou Art. Someone will win a whole box full of incredible products. In addition, look for an article in our Fine Arts & Music column by Barry Stebbing, maker of How Great Thou Art curricula, which is scheduled for a future issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.