Jun 27, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: The Master and His Apprentices

Kaytie, my rising 10th grader, has been spending her summer free time checking out a Art History course from The Master and His Apprentices.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, is a high school level course that you can buy in either physical or digital format. We were sent the digital format to review so that is what I will be discussing in this post.

The Master and His Apprentices
We were sent a "Textbook" and a Teacher's Guide as well as a short document explaining how to download and print the books. This document also contains their copyright. In short, please do not share the books without paying for the reprint rights. These rights are only $2, which seems totally reasonable to me. The digital books are formatted to make it easy to both read off your computer or to print at home in a visually pleasing way.
The Textbook for the student is the heart of the program. This was a PDF that contains all the student needs to learn the material. The Teacher's Guide offers the extra bit needed to make the course a full one credit elective.
We found the Textbook easy to download to our computer. We did actually try to put it on our ancient old iPad, but she had difficulties getting that to work. Which actually turned out to be a good thing in the end because shortly after we started the program, the iPad stopped working altogether. I was glad it was already on a dependable computer!
The course starts at Creation and discusses God's works of art all around us. Just a quick aside, I found it interesting when they talked about how God's art is reproducible... birds have baby birds, sunsets change, trees grow, lions roar, but the art we humans create is flat and finite. I had never thought of it that way before!
Then the book covers the following:
  • Ancient Cultures
  • Classical Antiquity
  • Middle Ages
  • Renaissance
  • Baroque Era and Beyond
The Textbook, which is over 370 pages, is written directly to the student. It contains all the information needed for the course, discussing the history of art, architecture, and archaeology. This material is definitely written from a Christian worldview! It is rife with lovely color illustrations and reproductions of the art being discussed. (As visual people, this was important for us, but it is also vital to see actual art in an art history course!) 
At the end of the Textbook is a Timeline and a chart of sorts that shows where all the pieces of art can be found in the world, divided up by location. 

The Master and His Apprentices was super simple for her do each day completely independently. She easily read through the material, printed a worksheet and filled it out, and turned it into me for grading.

All of the worksheets as well as an answer key are in the Teacher's Guide. The Guide is also a PDF and contains the following: 

  • Instructions for Teachers in Classroom Settings
  • Instructions for Parents Using Material in the Home
  • Record Keeping: Attendance and Grade Sheet
  • Syllabus
  • Terms to Describe Art
  • Art History Paper Instructions
  • Weekly Discussion Question Worksheets and Exams (arranged by week)
  • Answer Key to the Discussion Questions & Exams - Including Helpful Tips and Reminders for the Instructor (arranged by week)

I mostly just used it to set her up on a schedule and then to check the answers to the questions on the worksheets. The schedule is set up for a class, but it was nice to be able to just assign her a certain amount of reading per week and then remind her to do a worksheet at the end of each reading. This information is also on the top of each worksheet, which made it easy for her to know she was printing the right one. (Or maybe it's just my kids that get easily confused when the printer is involved?)

Here is a glimpse at one of the worksheets she did.


In our opinion, this is a great program. Kaytie loves to produce art. She was hesitant, however, to take a course on the history of it! Especially since she doesn't care that much for history in the first place. But once she got involved in it, she really enjoyed it. She says:

I thought it gave me a LOT of information all at once. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it did make it hard for me to absorb the lesson easily. I wound up reading like half an assignment at a sitting. What I did enjoy was that there were a lot of pictures as visual aides because I am a visual person. I thought the worksheets were interesting because they weren't so much "show what you learned" but encouraged you to think more about the answers and to apply what you learned to your life and your worldview. That's better than the usual worksheets I'm used to.

I did not have to urge her to work on it each day and she has moved quickly through the program despite her feeling of overwhelm. Having to slow down and read each assignment in chunks is not the negative that she seems to think it is!

She will continue working through the program to earn a fun elective. If she needed an additional history credit, this would work for that as well. 

In short, we highly recommend The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective and are glad we are able to add it to our summer!

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}

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