Take Time for Art: Middle Ages Art Curriculum Review

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A few years ago, I was at our state homeschool convention and came across the Take Time for Art booth.  I learned they made art kits for different historical periods with accompanying art history and instructional videos for each kit.  I KNEW the Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece kits would be perfect in a year when my boys and I started world history!!  So the next year, I went back and purchased them.  And we loved them!  Sometimes, the entire family would work on the projects on the weekends.  They definitely did not feel like “school”.

Paper Mache Egyptian Mummy Masks

This year, I was given an opportunity to review their NEW Middle Ages Art Curriculum for free.  I jumped at the chance because it lined up perfectly with our history curriculum this year and we had enjoyed their other art kits so much the prior year.

Pinnable cover for blog post showing two boys holding medieval shields and the words Take Time for Art: Middle Ages Art Curriculum Review

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The Take Time for Art Middle Ages Art Curriculum includes six different projects plus a color wheel project!  There are 4 hours of art history and instructional videos.  Needless, to say this kit has lasted us a couple months.  We have worked on it one or two afternoons a week for about four weeks and have one project left.

What We Love About the Middle Ages Art Curriculum

The Middle Ages Art History Videos

My boys LOVE the art history videos!  They tell history in a way that is appropriate for elementary school children, but that older children (and adults!) will enjoy, too.  These very professional videos start with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain.  They continue with Attila the Hun, Constantinople, and Justinian and then cover the rise of Islam.  Charles the Hammer, Charlemagne, the Vikings, Castles, and Feudalism are covered in subsequent videos.  All of these subjects mirrored what we had already learned in our Story of the World curriculum, and now the boys had full color visuals to put with the information!  Finally, the Crusades, Magna Carta and the plague are covered and Romanesque and Gothic architecture is shown and discussed.

Almost Everything is Included!

Almost everything you will need to make the projects is included in the kit.  I hate running errands and looking for lots of little things.  Thankfully, with these kits, I did not have to do that!  You will need to supply a few things like glue and a list is provided so you can make sure you have everything ahead of time.  (Don’t be like me and wait until you start the projects to read what else you might need…sigh!)

Helpful Instructional Videos

The instructional videos are so helpful!  Ms. Mayes, who was a homeschool mom and professional art teacher, demonstrates each project in detail. My oldest loves to watch the videos and work through the projects himself.  So, much more than if mom were helping him through the project (eyeroll)!  He likes that he can stop the videos and re-watch parts if needed and never feels rushed or anxious.  My youngest son likes to have someone help explain each step so we just let his big brother start the projects and then we stay a step or two behind working together.

Boy watching instructional art video and painting an illuminated letter

Encouragement to Individualize the Projects

Ms. Mayes gives specific instructions, templates and models to make simple and more complex versions of each project so children can work at a level that is comfortable to them.  But, she also encourages children to make their creations their own, which my boys love!  It has been great for my oldest who tends to be a perfectionist and gets anxious when he feels what he is doing doesn’t measure up to the ideal.  He has been very relaxed creating his projects and gives each one his own spin.  In other words, he incorporates hockey into almost every project-ha!

The Projects in the Middle Ages Art Curriculum

Anglo-Saxon Jewelry Project

The boys enjoyed making different patterns in the metal foil for this project as it was not a material they had worked with much in the past.  And they both actually wore their brooch for a little bit in case you are wondering if boys will want to make jewelry!

pin made by etching metal foil with a green glass bead in the middle

Byzantine Mosaic Project

The boys love learning about the Hagia Sophia and really enjoyed the video about it and making a mosaic themselves.  The example in the instructional video shows a mosaic with a cross, but of course, my oldest had to turn his into a hockey goal.

Marshmallow Catapult Project

Catapults are always a fun project and the boys enjoyed having a different version to make.  It was a short enough project that we actually finished the next project as well in the same day!

Catapult made from craft sticks, rubberbands, and a spoon.

Illuminated Letter Manuscript Project

The subject of illuminated manuscripts is so intriguing and my oldest enjoyed using the shimmery gold paint to make his letter.

A large red L framed with a rectangle of gold paint and then a patterned frame.

Medieval Shield Project

Both boys were super excited about this project and wanted to use the shields in “battle” afterward.  Once again, we have a hockey theme on one of them!  Note, be careful encouraging your children to use a generous amount of glue!  They do not need this encouragement and will take it much too far.  Ha!  (Note: they are attempting to appear to be fierce knights in the picture below.)

Two boys holding medieval shields

Gothic Stained Glass Project

The stained “glass” window project was definitely another favorite with us.  And the great thing about this project is my oldest took the time to make multiple “windows” to put in his frame, perfecting his technique each time.  Seeing his improvement from one attempt to the next really boosted his confidence!

Boy looking at sketch of stained glass window for art project.

Finished stained glass window.

 

This art curriculum can definitely be an investment for a homeschooling family, but we have enjoyed them immensely and will be purchasing future kits!  And, if you sign-up first for their newsletters, you will get a DISCOUNT of 20% on the kits!!

What else we are using in our homeschool this year:

Cover for blog post with title 2nd Grade Curriculum and pictures of a vareity of curriculaPinnable cover for blog post 5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

 

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