I wasn’t sure what Bubba would think when I accepted the review for ArtAchieve Entire Level 1. After all, the kid was such a reluctant writer and still protests when asked to draw something: “I *can’t* do it!”
Overall, I’m pleased to report that ArtAchieve was a success! Level 1 is aimed at kids 5 years old and up (but if you look at my first attempts at Level 1 projects, you’ll see I still have a lot to learn and I’m much older than 5! ha!), and Sissy (age 3) was able to participate when I sat next to her and talked her through the projects, and honestly, she produced some pretty great drawings.
You can see here Bubba’s Hungarian bug (left), mine (top) and Lucy’s. I was impressed with how well their drawings came out! And, I think an older student who wasn’t also trying to direct s three- and a five-year-old while completing the project would be able to do a much better job than I did, but it was fun to play!
Level 1 contains 12 Lessons, two of which are available for free. Once you’ve purchased a lesson or group of lessons, they are added to your account, and you access them by logging in to your account ArtAchieve. Each lesson includes a video lesson and a slideshow that cover the same material. I watched the videos, but when it came time to working through the projects with my children, I opted to click through on the slideshow instead. Because my kids are young and have very short attention spans, I thought it would benefit us to go at our own speed (of course, you could always just pause the video!). Each lesson contains a warm-up, followed by a directed drawing, and ending with finishing the project (usually by applying color somehow–most lessons in Level 1 only require simple markers, but a few do use paint and one we did uses oil pastels).
Each lesson also includes ideas for cross-curricular study. For instance, in Lesson 5, the Dragonfly from Equador, the opening slides provide information about the structure of a dragonfly and its wings. I appreciate having this information handy–I like to tell my kids that the most important part of being an artist is observing and having immediate access to color illustrations and information reinforces this.
The Dragonfly was our favorite project. Bubba was especially impressed with how the water colors didn’t stick to the pastels.
Lucy’s turned out awesomely too.
I like that the samples of the final products are beautiful and well done, but also realistic, like something an older child or adult could replicate and that a younger child could aspire to.
There were a few minor stumbling blocks we encountered. First, a few times the slideshow used green lines to show you something, but you aren’t supposed to draw the green lines–but try explaining that to an eager five-year-old! I think a child who was just a little slower in his approach would appreciate the lines.
Second, I didn’t know what Masonite was, or why I would need it to tape my watercolor, too; but we made due without.
We plan to continue to work through the remaining Level 1 lessons over the next several months. It was fun for us to all sit down and learn together.
As always, you can hop on over to the Homeschool Review Crew for more reviews!