Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ArtAchieve - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Review Crew

In late May I learned I would be receiving ArtAchieve to review.

We received a full year's access to ArtAchieve Entire Level III for our family.

There are so many ways I could begin discussing this product. In thinking about how to start last night, I decided I want to list the projects included in Level III.  So here's a list of Level III projects:

Lesson 1: The Hawaiian Frog

Lesson 2: The African Crowned Crane

Lesson 3: The Chinese Horse: Drawing the Horse’s Head

Lesson 4: The Face From The Gambia

Lesson 5: The Pacific Northwest Totem Pole

Lesson 6: The Eastern European Firebird

Lesson 7: The Wood Carving from Kenya

Lesson 8: Kandinsky and Color Mixing

Lesson 9: The Nine-Banded Armadillo

Lesson 10: The Russian Matryoshka

Lesson 11: The Canada Goose

Lesson 12: Da Vinci’s Clock

If you were using this for your school year you might choose to do two projects some months, one project in some months, to spread the lessons out over a ten-month school year. There are six levels, and they can be used by a wide range of student ages. You can have all your students working on the same level each year or have different levels to use with different students. Or, if you have an older student like I do, you might start the school year with one level, complete that level in one semester, and use the next level for the next semester. If you wish, you can also just pay for the individual lesson(s) you want instead of using the entire level. There are also free lessons available on the website. Some of the free lessons on shading look like lessons my oldest received in art when in college!

I love the cultural diversity I see in Level III's lessons - Hawaiian, African, Chinese, Gambian, native American, Kenyan... You can read the above list. Great variety. And the 12th lesson... I love Da Vinci!

As the teacher opens a lesson, there is a menu that drops down. The lessons include:
  • Lesson Warm Up;
  • Powerpoint presentation;
  • Video Lesson;
  • and a project printout.
The project warm up gives a print out that breaks the art project down into six segments. The student gets a chance to practice the lines and angles that will be used when he starts the project drawing. 

The video lesson is very student-friendly. I did use the pause button liberally. The power point presentation is also excellent. For several lessons I looked at both. My son, though, just likes videos, although the (fun) sound effects aren't his style. I ultimately decided I like the videos best, personally. The presentation is broken into what you'll learn, what you'll do, what you'll need, what to do, etc. It is very well done.

The lessons in Level III also encourage use of a wide variety of mixed art mediums. Projects are planned for use of oil pastels, acrylic paint, pencil, colored pencil, magic marker, foil-glue-shoe polish, gel pens, water color and layered cardboard.

Lessons begin with warm up, music and mental settling.
There is a button on the menu bar for "Supplies" with a drop-down menu where you can purchase music to listen to while working. Lessons teach background of the art project and style, and sometimes geography and things about the region. The instructor walks the student through drawing the subject,

and then painting the drawing.

Lessons conclude with reflection about the project.

Initially I thought I would pick my favorite project to begin, but in the end we just started with Lesson 1 and worked through lessons in order. Since we've only had the material about six weeks, we haven't done all the lessons. I've looked through them (quickly), though, and have my favorites. I'm looking forward to the armadillo!

What you experience as you work your way through a lesson is that this program is giving you the opportunity to do unit studies, not just study art. For example, lets consider Lesson 1, the Hawaiian Frog. At the beginning of the lesson you are shown a cement garden statue/fountain of a large frog.

You have the opportunity to teach your student about Hawaii (Geography) and frogs (Science).

Ask them to write a report if you want documentation. You can also introduce spelling words. Listen to music while you work and you are covering music. You might not count it, but determining picture placement and the "Rule of 3's" with oil pastels and you are using Math.

As for Art instruction, the student is walked through preparation,

"Rules for Drawing",

the initial drawing, 

determining background behind the drawing, and various ways to finish the drawings (each drawing teaches different mediums and techniques).

In summary, Art Achieve is an amazing product. I've been really impressed with it and I encourage you to take a look at it and give it a try. You can start with some of the free lessons!

Other members of the Review Crew also reviewed this product. To see other product reviews, please click the button below.
Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review

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1 comment :

  1. Amazing projects!! I think my daughter would love this program - if only we could find the time . . . Thanks for sharing your review on the Virtual Fridge