Last semester, all three of my kids had two art classes a week, one in each co-op. While they already liked art, that ignited their interest in art even more. I’ve also come to value art in our homeschool, especially after teaching one of the art classes last semester at co-op.
ArtAchieve is the product of John Hofland, who, with his wife, homeschooled his own children. By trade, John is a middle school art and language arts teacher. He has been to more than 30 countries, and this unique experience has helped him create wonderful art lessons that bring in elements from cultures around the world.
- Simple Lines
- The Czech Cat (free lesson, suitable for all grades)
- The Hungarian Insects (suitable for grades K-4)
- The Haitian Gecko (suitable for all grades)
- The Dragonfly from Ecuador (suitable for all grades)
- The Chinese Dragon (suitable for grades 3-adult)
- The Owl from Bali (suitable for grades 2-adult)
- The Kitenge Tree Wall Hanging from Tanzania (suitable for grades 3-adult)
- The Plate from Nepal (suitable for grades 2-adult)
- Four Suns with Four Faces (suitable for grades 1-adult)
- The Sheep from Wales (suitable for ages 5-adult)
In addition to Level 1, there are four more levels.
Before you begin a lesson, you should print off the warm-up sheet for that lesson along with the drawing you will be imitating in your own work. Then, you can play the art lesson, either as a a Power Point version or as a video version. (We always used the video version and paused it when we needed to.) Early in the lesson, Hofland asks students to rub their hands together and then put their warm hands over their eyes to relax.
Our Experience Using ArtAchieve
We were able to complete about one lesson a week (except for the week we were at Vacation Bible School). As my little artists are 6, 7.5, and 12, there were some lessons that were a bit too advanced for the younger set. I’m planning on having my oldest complete those over the next few weeks.
Together, all three kids completed:
The Dragonfly from Ecuador
The Plate from Nepal
Four Suns with Four Faces (Even I had to join in on this one!)
The Sheep from Wales
The Hungarian Insects
On average, each video lesson is approximately 30 minutes long, but my kids easily took 60 to 90 minutes to complete the project by the time they did all of the coloring and embellishments.
The lessons use a variety of art supplies. For the lessons that we completed, we used oil pastels, watercolor paints, and markers.
Mr. Hofland encourages students to continue their work even if they feel like they don’t like the way it is turning out. He also encourages students to use a black sharpie pen when sketching their outlines for the pictures. (My two oldest did this, but the youngest used pencil and then sketched over it with a black sharpie.)
What We Liked about ArtAchieve
Everything! Seriously, there are so many things to love about this program!
Mr. Hofland explains how to draw the picture in a clear way; even my youngest was successful with creating the items she was to draw.
Mr. Hofland clearly outlines for parents and teachers what they should and should not say to encourage children when commenting on their art.
I love how multi-cultural the lessons are! Just in the five lessons we completed, the kids learned a little about Ecuador, Nepal, the United Kingdom, and Hungary.
Most importantly, Mr. Hofland has included information to expand the art lesson into other subjects. For instance, for the lesson “The Sheep from Wales”, additional material was included showing
- where Great Britain is located,
- the three countries on the island,
- the languages spoken there,
- a comparison of what Welsh looks like side by side with English,
- pictures of the capitol city,
- pictures inside Cardiff Castle,
- Cardiff’s famous resident, Roald Dahl, and finally
- information about sheep and wool cloth.
What We Disliked about ArtAchieve
There was nothing we disliked about ArtAchieve. In fact, after Bookworm (12) finishes using the lessons in Level 1, I plan to buy him the next level of lessons. We really enjoyed these!
The only minor tweak I would like to see is to place underneath each lesson title, the arts supplies that are needed as well as the age range for the lesson. The way it is set up now, I had to find this information by first clicking through the screens on the Power Point version of each lesson. Having it underneath each lesson title would make it much more convenient!
I love Crew review products that we love so much they become part of our regular schooling. This was one of those products!
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