Monday, August 1, 2016

Art Anyone?- TOS ArtAchieve Review

I am not going to lie to you, art as a subject gets overlooked very often in our homeschooling day. Who has time to have fun, right?  Actually, the real excuse is I am not very creative and I am intimidated to actually try to teach my children something I feel I have no skill at.  I simply do not seem to be able to read an art instruction book and then translate that reading into valuable lessons for my kids. There, I admit it!

Thankfully, with ArtAchieve I do not have to!  We have been able to enjoy the Entire Level 1 of their VIDEO based art lessons with no stress from mom and a lot of fun for the kids!  We have even invited a young friend over to participate in several lessons!

ArtAchieve lessons come in three different levels and are inspired by art from around the world. When you purchase a level or a bundle of lessons, you have access to them for a year.  Links are included in each lesson for further learning in language arts, history, and even science if you want to expand your learning.  Each lesson has a warm up exercise, various levels, and a power point slide show of the lessons and the actual video lesson.  The power point lessons are good for those who need to take the lesson more slowly, although you can pause the video lesson at any time during the instruction.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

Lessons run about 30 minutes and begin with basic information about the subject being drawn. Materials needed are also given at this time, including simple items like white paper, sharpie pens, magic markers, pastels, and watercolors.

Lessons then begin with a relaxation exercise and a reminder of the rules of drawing.  The warm up exercises for each lesson help the child practice drawing common shapes and lines used in art.

For each level of instruction, there are a few free lessons for you to try before you commit to buying the program.  This will also help you decide which level your child is best suited for.

How we used this program-
As I mentioned before, we began using the Level 1 program with my 9 year old and his buddy.  I allowed them each to do the warm up and then watch the first part of the video.  After watching the basic instruction, they would proceed to draw the subject matter.  We then would watch the part of the video that showed possible ways to "decorate" the subject and they would then do that part.

The two goofs before lessons!

It is no surprise that my artsy 18 year old got into the action as well.  Here is her dragonfly from Lesson 5- The Dragonfly from Ecuador

Here is her second dragonfly, taking artistic liberties!  She's like that!

One of the things I love about this program, other than the fact that I am not the teacher, is that John, the instructor, encourages kids to "keep" their mistakes, hence drawing using a sharpie, and incorporate those mistakes into their project.  Just giving my child the permission to not be perfect was a God-send.  John also encourages playing quiet music while you draw, but that is one thing I could not convince the boys was a good idea.  Go figure.  Luckily, John's soft voice had a calming effect and allowed this to be a semi-quiet activity in our day. 

We have since taken a break from the program for the remainder of the summer, but look forward to beginning back soon where we left off.  I love that art just became not only easy for mom, but fun for our kids.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

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