Monday, 11 July 2016

ArtAchieve - TOS Review

Art is not my strength but the girls love it. I've always struggled to come up with any lesson plans so I was very happy (and so were the girls) when the chance came up to review Entire Level ll  from ArtAchieve.
ArtAchieve is a complete homeschool art curriculum providing drawing lessons for kids (and adults), it was created by John Hofland (a veteran homeschooler) who firmly believes that anyone can learn to draw, that drawing is essential skill and that like math, that skill can be taught. Puling on his combined experiences of teaching in school, homeschooling and studying with the masters he has created a hassle free on line curriculum that does the teaching for you.

We received a years access to the Entire Level ll for review. Its so simple to use - you literally create an account and the lessons are all on line and available once you have logged in.

There are 14 lessons in level 2. You can opt to print a pdf of the lesson or watch a video (approx 25 mins) outlining it step by step. Each lesson starts with some tips on how to relax and prepare yourself mentally and physically for art - my favourite tip was when he said to paint/draw without talking to improve concentration and to see the girls take this on board while I sat enjoying the silence while they worked (Sunflower even told her sisters "please be quiet, I need to concentrate"). Next comes a  'warm up' which is a grid with some of the squares containing elements from the picture for you to copy, then it moves on to discussing different aspects of art like types of lines, motifs etc before showing you how to draw. Lessons also include elements of geography, history or literature which are a great addition (I love sneaking in extra lessons) and he even has a play list of inspirational music to help you.

The lessons are professional, engaging and memorable (I've spotted Rose using one of his relaxation techniques when her sisters were annoying her) - they are so easy to use and I was really impressed with how someone with no historical art skills (me) could even produce an amazing piece of art and enjoy doing it.

This really has been so simple to incorporate into our schedule, the girls have loved this and it has fast become a firm favourite in our house. Lilly has spent hours working on minute detail within her pictures and has adopted a couple of his techniques in her various doodles. Sunflower said that this was the best lesson of the week while Rose has requested to do more. Tulip summed it all up nicely when she said 'I never knew that art was so much fun - can you get me some more paints'

I loved the confidence it gave me to include art in our weekly schedule and I loved the impact it had on the girls. I was also impressed by how varied their work was even though they were working from the same instructions.

ArtAchieve Entire Level ll is available for $53 and there are various different options to buy (including single lessons).

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the TOS Blog


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