Art is something I have never been good at. Yes, I love looking at it. And I find it peaceful to watch others create art, but to actually do it, or therefore teach it to my kids, yeah not so peaceful. I am always on the lookout art lessons for kids that are fun. We fell in love with Level I of ArtAchieve last year, and this year we got to continue with the Entire Level II.
ArtAchieve is an online art class for kids. It is broken down into 5 different levels, each containing 10 or more lessons. These lessons include everything; besides the materials, you need to teach the lesson. Or should I say have the lessons taught for you. Each lesson page on the website includes numerous ideas to make these art lessons cross-curricular. These ideas cover the subjects such as Social Studies, Science, Writing, Literature/Geography as well as Art. This project page will also give you the list of supplies you will need and approximate class time.
I would take the information for this page and plan a week-long study on each lesson. This was easy enough to do and made a great learning experience finished up with the fun of making of the official art project at the end of the week. Our week would start with an introduction to the topic at hand. We would watch the introduction on the video or read through it on the Power Point version and get an idea of what we were going to be learning.
We would take the Cross-Curricular Connections given to use and use a few of them. Whether we were learning about the geography of the area that the project originated from or reading some books from that area/era, it was fun to learn more. This gave us a whole new feeling and meaning to our finished projects at the end of the week.
The beginning of each Power Point lesson gives you a list of goals that can be fulfilled for The National Standards for Arts Education: National Standards for Visual Art. While I am not worried about this myself, if you wanted to know, it is there for you. After this, you see the original piece of art that you will be basing your art from, along with the history of it. There is a quick review of some basic art knowledge that you learn as you go. And then you relax before you draw.
My kids thought it was funny to relax before we began, but I noticed this helped to draw their attention and focus to what they were doing. The next tip on the Power Point was to play some quiet music. This should be music without words to help you stay calm and focused on your work. This is when you complete the warm-up. Finally, we get a list of rules for drawing. These six rules, were a homerun for our house! Every problem that I have had when helping my kids learn art was included in these six rules. Hearing someone else tell them this, the kids took a step back and listened.
The video format had a similar start up. They talked about the relaxation and music to use for each lesson. They also included the rules in the video. No talking was the number one rule! The only thing I did not see in the video that I did see on the Power Point version was the standards that were met in this art lesson.
We loved working through the lesson step by step and having a finished product that was wall worthy! Most of the children preferred the Power Point version, where they didn't have to push the pause button as they were perfecting their lines. We would be able to work through it at our pace and have no worry of feeling rushed. While the video lessons were great, my kids strive too much for perfect and don't like moving at someone else's pace when drawing. I loved having two options and being able to use what we needed instead of being stuck with just one choice.
Our overall impression of ArtAchieve is that we love it! The kids love that they can pick which way they want to do the lessons and I love that I don't have to be the teacher, just the supervisor. ArtAchieve offers great art classes for kids and it takes the stress off of me!