Review: ArtAchieve Entire Level I

product image_zpsabnfluqg (1)One of the glorious things about homeschooling is that we have more time for things like art and music.  My experience as a public school teacher showed me that most children only get about 40-50 minutes PERHAPS once a week dedicated to subjects like these.  That wouldn’t be enough for my drawing/art loving children.  However, planning and organizing art lessons on my own can be a bit of a hassle.  That is where programs like ArtAchieve come in.  Recently my family had the opportunity to review the Entire Level I.  Let me tell you about our experiences.

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What Exactly Is ArtAchieve?

ArtAchieve was created by a creative and artistic homeschooling father.  John Hofland has created a program with five levels and several lessons in each level. You can purchase entire levels or individual lessons separately.

The lessons are presented in a video format with Mr. Hofland demonstrating the artistic concept of the lesson.  The lessons can be watched multiple times of course.  My children like to rewind and replay small segments at a time as they try to replicate the teacher’s techniques.

This program incorporates more than simple art technique into the lessons.  Mr. Hofland encompasses art from a variety of cultures into his lessons which adds another layer of learning to the experience.

In Level one your children will create the following art pieces:

  • The Czech Cat
  • The Hungarian Insects
  • The Haitian Gecko
  • The Dragonfly from Ecuador
  • The Chinese Dragon
  • The Owl from Bali
  • The Kitenge Tree Wall Hanging from Tanzania
  • The Plate from Napal
  • Four Suns with Four Faces
  • The Sheep from Wales

Lessons begin with the following choices:

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The Power point portion is fantastic.  This is where they children pick up the background and cultural information about the art creation they are about to learn to create. Here are just a few examples of the slides for the Haitian Gecko Drawing.

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Also included are directions for a the student to complete a warm up for the project.  You can download and print out the necessary copy pages.

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There are so many cross-curriculum an cultural studies that you can complete with this curriculum.  Many activities in many subject areas are provided for you:

  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Writing
  • Literature
  • Music
  • and more

You can see below in my screen shot how the video lessons are displayed.  You can make them full screen.

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How We Used ArtAchieve
CSH_0450We began with the first lesson, which is available for free here. That lesson is all about drawing a Czech Cat. We did a little googling on information about the Czech republic.  We also borrowed the musical production of Cats from the library.

That’s generally been the format for us for all of the lessons.  A little googling, a little library research, a fun activity.. but mostly the art.  My children just love the art!

When it came to the art lesson my children are pretty independent with art activities.  I made sure they went through the power point slides and I sat and watched the videos as they drew but I generally let them take the lead.
CSH_0449My boys prefer to leap around so they’ve completed the lessons out of order.  Which with this program works perfectly.  They are very enthusiastic about the art lessons themselves.  So they go ahead and complete lessons when Mom isn’t paying attention.  I’m great with that.  This is a great use of time for them.
CSH_0448As I’ve tried to bring the cross cultural elements into the learning they’ve been glad to repeat lessons for me, usually with renewed enthusiasm and they have acquired some cultural background information from me along the way.CSH_0447

What We Think

Over all my boys love it.  They love anything they can do mostly independently and they love art.  They think the lessons are clear cut and easily understandable.  They enjoy the projects for the most part.  In the beginning they needed to adjust to Mr. Hofland’s low key and calm style.  While I appreciated that right from the beginning they found him to be a bit… “boring” as they said.  They are used to other art sites that are bit more upbeat and exciting.  Over time though I think the calm style drew them in.  They sort of became mesmerized by it.

CSH_0446I of course deeply appreciate the cross-subject learning opportunities. That is a gem in this program.

I’d absolutely recommend this program to anyone who wants to bring some cultural artistic art into their children’s education.

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
 

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