I love art. I have the fondest of memories of the local art museum when I was little; visiting all the exhibits and just taking in the stories, I imagined, brought about each piece. I even took a class or two before I resigned myself to being solely an observer of fine art. Last time I drew something my son and husband teased me for weeks. However my oldest son has quite a bit of talent in this area (I am told he gets it from his dad) and so when I had the opportunity to review ArtAchieve I was so very excited! (as was my son) We received access to the full Level III bundle of lessons and it certainly was full of lots of great stuff! We were not disappointed at all. 🙂 From The Hawaiian Frog to the Chinese Horse, Kandinsky and Color Mixing – these lessons are full of so much goodness! Cross curricular connections are made and include map work, reading, writing activities and even science studies making each lesson so much more!
Each lesson begins with a warm up which gives the opportunity to study those lines and objects; do a bit of sketching and shading. From there you have two options: the first is to view a step-by-step video (this is what my son used for the lessons). There is also a powerpoint show for the student to view and work alongside. We did use the powerpoint a few times; its very helpful for certain projects. To be able to see the lines and shapes that need to be made. It is a great benefit being able to view the video and then go step by step through the slides, taking the time, to ensure lines are drawn properly. At the same time, there are rules given to the students in each lesson. Some of these rules involve things like: no talking, (this is SUCH a challenge for my son who is always making noise – a joyful noise – we say!) These rules are simply meant to help them to reply focus on the task at hand. Another rule I appreciate since my son is such a perfectionist, is that there are no mistakes, nothing is “wrong”. Whatever we create, we can recreate. However nothing should be left unfinished. This is another priceless rule within these lessons. I so appreciate these three specifically because they are key elements of our homeschool overall. There is a great value to completing tasks, being able to be still for a time, and understanding and solving problems like a bad line or a misplaced curve.
One thing I really love about this program is how full of additional resources and activities it is! Each lesson comes from a different part of the world and each one incorporates a bit of study on geography, literature, history as it relates to the piece and artist being studied. There is a supply list provided (we only had to run out for one or two items). There is also a wonderful collection of music specifically designed to inspire and encourage our artists as they work. They encourage the use of music that is quiet, consistent in volume, and has an even tempo; the music should be without vocals, since language—spoken or sung—tends to distract from the process of drawing. Musical Lines is a compilation of music which really does help the artist to peacefully compose their work. It is gentle and soothing to aid in the process of creating. And for those who struggle with the need for perfection in their work, I do believe this is almost therapeutic in how it eases any struggles along the way.
This program is amazing. And so very simple to use too! It doesn’t matter how much you struggle with art yourself, this is a wonderful way to inspire and encourage all kinds of learning in your kids. If you just aren’t sure, consider trying a couple of their free lessons (The Czech Cat was one of our favorites!). And even the lessons themselves are more than affordable for homeschool families. Check out the bundled lessons for lots of great opportunities for learning! You can purchase the lessons individually for $84 or buy them bundled and pay $63, or $5.25 per art lesson (purchases expire after one year). Regardless of your kids age or experience with art, this is sure to be a real winner. In fact there is so much that you can do with the lessons within this program you are sure to be busy creating for quite some time. We love these lessons ~~ Truly!
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