Teaching art at home can be very intimidating. It is not as simple as just buying a kit at your local Target and handing it to your kids. There is some skill and it takes actual time. Drawing is a combo of natural ability, practice and know-how. ArtAchieve is a complete drawing curriculum for at home learning.
What I received:
Entire Level I
An online curriculum which is eleven art lessons taught by John Hofland, who takes you through step-by-step how to complete different art projects. Level I is a beginner level perfect for students 6+. Each lesson builds on the previous so starting with the first lesson is the recommended way to begin. One of the unique things about this program is that it doesn't require a bunch of hard to find supplies. For most lessons you just need computer access to the lesson (tables, laptop, computer, phone), paper, a permanent marker and a set of washable markers.
|Boys working on their warm-up exercise|
There are two additional levels in this program:
Entire Level II
Entire Level III
There are also some FREE sample lessons you can download to try --> Here.
Most lessons contain all of the following:
- Warm Up Exercise
- Power Point of the lesson
- Video where Mr. Hofland teaches the lesson on screen
- Printout of the lesson
There is also a lesson homepage which tells you exactly what supplies you need to complete the lesson. Sometime you might need something like watercolor paints but mostly things like markers. The home page also has suggestions for additional studies to make this a deeper study by adding geography, science, literature and writing.
How We Used This:
I have two very different age levels in my house. Naturally my laptop decided to die the day we started this program so we had to improvise on where and how we did this - I had intended for all the students (ages: 5, 14, 15 and me to sit at the kitchen table and watch together.) So we did our watching in shifts around our main desk computer. Jace and I watched first then while we completed the decorating portion of the lesson the bigger kids watched. This actually worked out very well for us.
For Jace, who is really a tad bit too young for this program at 5/kindergarten, I just let him do his own thing. He loves art and drawing plus he loves to be like the big kids. So I gave him the warmup exercises, a blank sheet to do the actual lesson and the print out to work on as well. This kept him happy because he drew what he wanted but with the printout ended up with a similar finished product.
|Jace drew his own cat |
For, me I preferred to watch the Power Point because I could move faster if I desired. However all of the kids like the videos so that is how we mostly did the lessons. To begin there are instructions telling the student the gist of the art piece that inspired the lesson. These artifacts were from all over the world which was an interesting touch.
Then there are several suggestions on how to do your art including suggested music, how to add additional study and the most important part to me - a bit on how there is no wrong way to do your art and to just enjoy yourself. (I'm paraphrasing but that is my take away.)
The lessons themselves varied in length and time they took to complete. As an adult I moved very fast but the kids took about an hour on average to work on theirs.
This was a hit with all my students. From kindergarten to high school. In fact they have asked about using it again in the fall when we start up full time school again. I really liked how easy it was to achieve great results, this made the kids feel good about what they produced. I also liked that there was enough material with the add ins that you could really make a whole unit study. I could see this being enough for at least a half credit if not more depending on the amount of lessons my high school students completed and how much more they did with the extras. For sure if we did all three levels.
The two biggest pluses for me were the supplies, which were cheap and easily found and the ability to modify. We modified for my 5 year old which made this program fun for him because we could include him. I only have one suggestion. I wish that they had set the website up a little different because you do have to look on two different pages to work on each lesson. The main lesson page for the supplies and history then the account area for the actual lessons and printouts. If that could all be in one place for each lesson it would have been a bit more convenient. That said it was not a deal breaker and we do plan on purchasing the next two levels in the future.
The CREW reviewed all three levels and by clicking on the link below you can see what others had to say and even get a peak at the different projects!
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