Monday, July 11, 2016

ArtAchieve a TOS Crew Review

My kids enjoy hands on activities and they love it when art is part of our homeschool schedule. The last few weeks we have been using a unique homeschool art curriculum called ArtAchieve. I received the Entire Level I for my family with a 1 year access.

ArtAchieve is an online art lesson with the philosophy that anyone can learn how to create masterpieces with drawing and painting. So whether you are drawing a gecko or an insect it will look like a gecko or an insect but, you have lots of room to make it into your own unique gecko or insect.

The art lessons are pulled together with the inspiration of art around the globe. Each of the lessons is based off an original art project from jewelry to other art pieces of a particular culture. This unique mixture of art will let you explore the geography, science, history, literature, and so much more of each art creation with the Cross Curricula. A list to make a unit study out of each art lesson is provided along with many links and resources. Your student will be introduced to many techniques to finish your art project. The lessons are suggested for ages 6 and up. It is suggested you start with the simple lesson first and advance from that point.

The creator of ArtAchieve is John Hofland a former homeschool father. He has taught art and language arts in both elementary and middle school. He has done workshops for teachers at universities. 

ArtAchieve has five different levels with varying skill levels. I am going to focus only on Entire Level I which consist of the following projects:

The Czech Cat
The Hungarian Insect
The Haitian Gecko
The Dragonfly from Ecuador
The Chinese Dragon
The Owl from Bali
The Kitenge Tree Wall Hanging form Tanzania
The Plate from Nepal
Four Suns With Four Faces
The Sheep from Wales

There are also three free lessons on this level that cover Simple Lines, Shading Objects that have Corners, and Shading Objects that are Rounded.

My kids drawing of Shading Objects that are Rounded.

Each lesson begins with some information about the project you will be doing. Every lesson has a warm-up project to help you get acquainted with the lines in the project. You print out the warm-up lesson for each student.

You have two ways to do the lesson with either a Power Point Version or a Video Version. During the course of the lesson you are given a supply list of what you need to complete each lesson. You can also print out the project to have in front of you. The average video lesson is around 30 minutes. We actually preferred the Power Point Version so we could easily go at our own pace without having to pause during the video.

How did I use ArtAchieve in my Homeschool?

My 10 year old son and 13 year old daughter did this course.

Signing into the website was easy as was navigating around. We began with the free lessons with learning the basics of simple lines and shading.

I printed out the warm-up sheets prior to each lesson and would gather the supplies needed to complete the project. We typically did two lessons each week. On average we spent around an hour on each lesson with the drawing portion. Depending on what we did with the Cross Curricula activites would also add to that time frame. My kids tried both the Video lessons and the Power Point lessons. We just preferred the ease of the Power Point lessons. They recommend music in the back ground for relaxing. Both my kids preferred to work on their masterpieces without any music. Mr. Hofland recommends a hand warm-up of rubbing them together but, my kids just didn’t prefer doing this for a warm-up.

Each step directs you into completing just a few strokes and a focal point of where to start off. Both my kids liked the drawings being broken down this way. On both the Video and Power Point each new stroke is shown with a red line around the already completed strokes. My kids felt successful in their projects with the ease of the step by step of the lessons.

After you complete your drawing you are shown how to finish off your masterpiece along with showing several different finished projects other students have done.

We also worked on some of the Cross Curricula activities. On The Dragonfly from Ecuador we watch a video about Ecuador, read a poem about a Dragonfly. We also watched an intriguing video about how the wings and muscles of the dragonfly work. We learned about the life cycle and 10 amazing facts about dragonflies. We found out which dragonflies are native to Ecuador.  As you can imagine this was a big hit with my budding Entomologist.

We loved ArtAchieve and have been completely pleased with everything. We do a lot of reviews and not all of them make it into our regular schedule after a review. This will be one that we will finish and I plan on adding the other levels into our homeschool in the future.

My son wants to go back over several of the lessons so he can remember how to draw the projects without needing a step by step tutor with it. I look forward to seeing his skills improve.

I love that I don’t have to have any artistic ability for this and I don’t have to teach it!

One thing I would love added is the supply list shown on the menu of each project. It would make it that much better. Other than that this is an amazing art curriculum. It was unique with the Cross Curricula projects. I have seen art done with art history or focusing on an artist or a style but, not as a unit study format.

Don’t just take my word with how impressed I am with ArtAchieve stop by and see what other TOS Crew members are saying. Some of them reviewed different levels.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review. The projects look great! Was anxious to see how the reviewers liked this product.


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