Welcome to the reviews page for The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective — a ground-breaking art history curriculum for homeschool families and private Christian schools!

The textbook and teacher guide can be found through a variety of retailers, including Christianbook.com and Rainbow Resource Center.  The textbook’s very first online review came through Amazon and reads:

This book – with its numerous time lines, concise prose, and well chosen color photography – brings history alive. One cannot help but praise God and be strengthened in faith as one sees the preeminence of Christian art through the ages. Ms. Ferguson has certainly developed her own masterpiece which we highly recommend for varied levels of education and personal enrichment.  —  Kim E.

Today, some of the most in-depth reviews can be found on homeschool “mom blogs” around the web.

This is partly thanks to a homeschool crew review from The Old Schoolhouse magazine.  For these reviews, 70 homeschool families used the curriculum for approximately 6 weeks in May/June of 2018.  Although this did not provide time to complete the entire curriculum, it gave families a good overview.

As you can see below, most families had a very positive experience, and it was fun to see how they creatively incorporated the material into their family’s homeschool. 

Here is a sampling of some of their comments:

Amy M.  –  An artist herself, whose high school daughter is also a budding artist, wrote…

Whoa! I can see why it took over a decade to compile this textbook! This is the best Art History book I have ever seen! This was very much needed in circulation, it is especially needed in Christian homes.  I am an artist and an art lover so I was thinking that I would find a lot to critique here and was worried it would not cover everything.  It has exceeded my expectations and then-some!

You can read Amy’s full review at http://neededinthehome.com/the-master-and-his-apprentices-review/

Melissa W.  –  Whose 8th-grade daughter hopes to one day teach art overseas, says…

Rose told me she greatly appreciated that the focus of this has been on the Lord as Creator and the ultimate artist of our universe. This is a very unique perspective when it comes to art history where the artist is glorified above God in many cases. Even if an artist does not acknowledge his talent is from the Lord, we still know that to be true. I too appreciate how thoroughly this is covered and in a way that makes sense to her.

You can read Melissa’s full review at    http://gracefilledhomeschooling.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-master-and-his-apprentices-art.html

Brenda P.  –  A homeschool mom reading the work for her own pleasure, writes…

While I am thoroughly enjoying reading the text and learning on my own, I am also planning ahead for September when we will once again add Art Study to the kids schedule.  With all the beautiful photographs of paintings, sculptures and even architecture, plus the very well written history behind both the artist and the artwork, I know that having this textbook in my library will make teaching the kids art history easy.  It’s a product that I can see us coming back to again and again, both for the educational value as an Art History credit as my kids get older as well as for the entertainment value as just extremely interesting reading material.

You can read Brenda’s full review at http://countingpinecones.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-master-and-his-apprentices.html

Lisa M.  –  An adult reader who wrote an exceptionally detailed and thorough review, says…

Art History. This is a subject that can be rather…well scandalous when it comes to the art included in most curriculum. My mother-in-law is an art history major and she HATED that aspect of it. I don’t know about you, but as a mom, I’d really like something more, well GODLY when it comes to studying art throughout history for my children (and myself for that matter!).

You can read Lisa’s full review at  http://farmfreshadventures.blogspot.com/2018/06/master-and-his-apprentices-art-history-review.html

Jacquelin C.  –  A Homeschool mom assessing the material and its fit for her high school daughters, says…

Each week I dedicated spending 3 nights a week reading through the chapters and working on the questions so that when we start school again mid-August I will be fully prepared to hold meaty socratic discussions with both of my high schoolers. I found the comprehension questions to be just the right amount of push for an upper level high schooler. There are definitely questions that make the child think and have to give their opinion and not just rote information. After all, I am trying to raise my children to think on their own and to give their opinion when it counts. Overall, this has been a fantastic art history program! It has lived up to my standards for a rigorous yet fun course and I know that both of my girls will enjoy it come August.

You can read Jacquelin’s full review at http://www.astablebeginning.com/2018/06/the-master-and-his-apprentices-art.html

Kellyann W.  –  Writing about her daughter’s experience with the material so far, says…

Arianna has really enjoyed the reading and all of the interesting facts and information she has learned in just a few weeks. She was so amazed that sometimes she’d just start reading them aloud to her younger siblings – especially from the Creation chapter. Another plus is that the Bible, Creation, and our Creator are weaved seamlessly through the curriculum including the fact that there are no inappropriate or nudity in any of the art depicted in this book. I am looking forward to continuing using this curriculum and having this amazing resource for the future.

You can read Kellyann’s full review at  https://walkinghomesk.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-master-and-his-apprentices-new-tos.html

Laurie G.  –  A homeschool mom with a minor in Art History!  In her conclusion, she writes…

I just love the whole package, really. I have yet to see another art history textbook that rivals this in presentation, layout, and content. I love it. I hope I’m not gushing, but I am pretty excited about this course. I’m looking forward to all that we will learn as we make our way through the rest of this book. We love it, and I hope that you’ll check it out, and see if it’s the right fit for your family too.

You can read Laurie’s full review at http://lauriegauger.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-master-and-his-apprentices-crew.html

Jacqui T.  –  A homeschool mom adjusting the curriculum to best meet her 9th-grade son’s learning style, writes…

Being able to cover Art History from a Christian Perspective is such a blessing.  This is such a doable elective and a good introduction for my struggling learner who just does NOT like to read or do any schoolwork for that matter!

You can read Jacqui’s full review at  http://www.homesteadbountyblessings.com/2018/06/art-history-curriculum-review.html

Kimberly K.  –  A mom who advocates visiting art locations/museums in person (and even included some photos from her family’s journeys), says…

I would not hesitate reading this to younger children and then finding creative artwork for them to do relating to what they are studying. High school students could add in their own artwork, as well. I plan to print off the entire book for my husband to read, since he has seen so many of these artists and pieces, he will learn more than just what I have told him as we have traveled. Honestly, I really want the hardcover edition.

You can read Kimberly’s full review at  https://homeschoolallaround.com/2018/06/27/the-master-and-his-apprentices-art-history-from-a-christian-perspective-a-review/

Lynn M.  –  Who used the curriculum to supplement their Babylon-themed VBS program, writes…

I always find it most interesting when life lines up with our homeschooling.  How about you?  Does that happen very often for you?  Last week was Vacation Bible School at our church and we spent the week teaching about Babylon during the time that Daniel was being held in captivity.  […] Talk about perfect timing.  What I especially like is that an Art History course was the tool used to reinforce what is being taught at church.  […] We try to be as authentic as possible with our decorations at VBS and The Master and His Apprentices text proved to be invaluable help to us as we designed King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace.  Our replica of the Babylonian grandeur included the Ishtar Gate with animal mosaics (blue background and all) and crenellations along the tops of the towers. […] Yes, it was all built out of cardboard, but it was inspired by the examples shown in the textbook.  Fun, huh?

You can read Lynn’s full review at http://thisdayhasgreatpotential.blogspot.com/2018/06/homeschool-review-master-and-his.html

Meredith C.  –  A homeschool mom who found herself “practically jumping for joy” to find this curriculum and is already planning a co-op class based on the material, says…

Deciding to do five lessons and write my review, my plans changed when I fell in love with the textbook and read almost all of it. I’m still reading and plan on finishing it.  Why?  Wow! The Master and His Apprentice is awesome! Readable, engaging, and full of information and insight I have never heard before.  By the time I finished reading the introduction, I was already planning a homeschool co-op class using the curriculum.

You can read Meredith’s full review at https://powerlineprod.weebly.com/blog/review-of-the-master-and-his-apprentice-art-history-from-a-christian-perspective

Renita B.  –  A mom who “enjoyed it as much, if not more, than my high schoolers!” and appreciated the organized comprehensiveness of the workbook, writes…

In addition, there are worksheets with discussion style questions for each chapter, a full answer key,  and 4 exams.  To complete a full credit, you student will write 4 papers – on artists, style or specific pieces from different art periods.  The questions are more than just comprehension, they make the student really consider what they think about the artwork, and why.  This is really what we want to accomplish by teaching art history – we want them to think!

You can read Renita’s full review at http://momofmanybentzs.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-master-and-his-apprentices-art.html

Amber S.  –  A mom who is excited to find an art history book that doesn’t “make an effort to excuse or vilify the role of Christianity and deny its direct correlation in the emergence of artists, musicians, and gifted inventors throughout history” writes…

I love art. We often pour over my huge volume titled World Famous Paintings, but that isn’t really enough is it? I have neglected Art History as a full subject because there was not a volume that I thought covered the material with enough depth to engage students for the length of a complete course until the review of The Master and His Apprentices came across my desk.

You can read Amber’s full review at https://www.200fingersandtoes.com/art-history-homeschool-forget/

Erin S.  –  A homeschool mom using the material with two middle school-aged children, writes…

At this point in my life I’m pregnant and don’t like having to create my own curriculum so I really appreciate that this includes a syllabus with details on what to do each week.  I just look at it and go!  No real prep and no real effort required on my part other than making sure I also read the textbook so we can have intelligent discussions.  I think that’s our favorite part of the course is being able to discuss this together and really go deep into what was going on during these eras and how it affected the art being created.

You can read Erin’s full review at http://forhimandmyfamily.com/2018/06/christian-art-history-course.html

Martianne S.  –  A homeschool mom currently using the work as a reference for younger children, writes of its flexibility by saying…

I can definitely see how the text provides plenty of “meat” and engagement and the materials in the teacher guide provide the tools for “chewing” on the meat, learning independently with minimal planning or guidance from a parent-teacher or, if preferred, learning through dynamic parent-child or classroom discussions.  That makes The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective flexible to different homeschool styles: independent learners can use the materials as written, families and co-ops can mix and match written and oral work alongside reading and viewing the text, and those that prefer to dip into curriculum as a resource rather than a start-to-finish thing can easily do.

You can read Martianne’s full review at http://traininghappyhearts.blogspot.com/2018/06/TheMaster-and-His-Apprentices.html

Nicole H.  –  A homeschool mom using this with her advanced, but not quite high school level, daughter writes…

Miss Grace was able to handle reading the chapters with ease, as they are VERY reader friendly, and I only had to help her with the occasional word. I was so thrilled when she was looking at different artist pages (which are on a 2 page open spread, for easier learning), and said, “Wait, that is like the picture at NOMA!”, then went and pulled up our digital photo albums, to show me the painting she meant! Yes, field trips DO sink in! In fact I found her getting very in depth with each chapter, and going to pull up more information and paintings from the internet. Any text that can get my kid searching out more info, is one that I’m thrilled with!

You can read Nicole’s full review at https://blesstheirheartsmom.blogspot.com/2018/06/how-do-you-combine-art-and-world.html

Those are some great reviews.  So, is The Master and His Apprentices for everyone?

Like most things, no, this curriculum is not for everyone.

Due to a variety of factors, if you are strongly for or against any of the following, you may find other options better suited to your family’s particular needs (or supplementing or foregoing particular sections of this work).

  • If you desire nudity in art history and strongly believe that nudity is a necessary part of a well-rounded art history study, then this curriculum on its own will not fulfill your requirements as it does not include any nudity.  For example, Michelangelo’s Pieta, Seated Moses, and Rebellious Slave (each a masterpiece in their own right) are shown, rather than the more commonly recognized David sculpture.
  • If you are opposed to a Christian worldview and the use of Scripture in curricula, then you will likely find this curriculum frustrating as it is replete with scripture references and biblical principles.
  • If you have children who can’t handle textbook reading, this may not be your best option.  The author has used this material with special needs students in the past, and although it required more creativity and modification, it worked well.  Nevertheless, if you are looking for a turn-key program without reading, this textbook-based curriculum is not your best option.
  • If you disapprove of a timeline that places Adam’s death approximately 5,100 years ago and the flood approximately 4,400 years ago, based on the ages/timespans provided in Old Testament and New Testament passages, you may object to some of the dates and the overall position presented in the first few chapters (i.e., establishing God as the Master Creator, rather than evolutionary thinking.)
  • If you want to primarily focus on modern and/or contemporary art, then this curriculum is not your best option as it covers thousands of years of art history – in-depth – up to the 1700s. However, for various reasons, only a brief survey of works is included for the past 300 or so years.

Of course, the above is just a sampling of available reviews…

For a complete list of all 70 reviews from The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review team, you can visit http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/the-master-and-his-apprentices-art-history-from-a-christian-perspective-the-master-and-his-apprentices-reviews/  Please bear in mind that not all reviewers will be approaching the material from your own faith perspective.  For instance, statements like, “this section is not in line with our beliefs” may be referring to a Mormon point of view, etc.  Therefore, you may find checking the author’s bios or other website information helpful when weighing their comments.  Also, because most families did not have time to complete the program fully, and were often working in different sections, there may be some inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the info provided.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly here.

In Conclusion…

While The Master and His Apprentices is not for every homeschooled family or private school, the overall positive reception from The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew shows the enthusiasm so many students and parents have had over using the curriculum. This is further evidenced by an excerpt from the review below…

Margaret C. – Who summarized the work as “a curriculum fit for any life-long learner looking to experience the history of art in all God’s glory” says…

In The Master and His Apprentices, the perspective is huge and respectful. Adults can benefit from this for continuing education, but high school students can find this to be an incredible elective course. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for not only homeschool, but for co-ops, and private schools as well. If one could get a discussion group going, even better!

You can read Margaret’s full review at  http://creativemadnessmama.com/blog/2018/06/28/the-master-and-his-apprentices-art-history-review/

Ready to begin discovering art history from a Christian perspective?

Art History Textbook

The Master and His Apprentices Hardcover Textbook
Retail: $149.99
The Master and His Apprentices Digital Textbook
Retail: $34.99

Art History Teacher Guide

The Master and His Apprentices Softcover Teacher Guide
Retail: $24.99
The Master and His Apprentices Digital Teacher Guide
Retail: $19.99

Physical books ship FREE via Media Mail to all 50 US States, or you can choose Priority Mail for a flat $8. International buyers may purchase physical books through Christianbook.com or RainbowResource.com, as we cannot process international shipping at this time. Nevertheless, digital products are available for everyone worldwide!

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