My youngest has always struggled with his fine motor skills. As an elementary school student he received OT, which helped, but even now I still see him working really hard to do certain things when it comes to writing. He is very artistic, although not really a “color inside the lines type” and drawing and other art projects get him more excited about using some of those skills. I feel like completing art projects helps build his hand-eye coordination, and I was excited to get to check out the Entire Level 1 program from ArtAchieve for this review.
ArtAchieve offers a variety of online lessons for kids in drawing and painting. Level 1 includes 9 multicultural projects that range from coloring in designs with markers to painting with acrylics and oil pastels. What I found really unique about this program is the large amount of information included, not just about art techniques, but also about the history of the cultures studied in artistic form and the insects and animals in the projects.
For example, in the “Plate from Nepal” project, kids learn about where Nepal is located, important places in the area, and cultural information about the people there. In addition, the intro to the lesson includes links that you can use to expand on this information with stories from the region, suggestions for books to read, recipes for foods you can cook and more. I think this is a great way to introduce different cultures to your kids, and you could certainly tie the program into a geography study if you are doing one.
The projects themselves are laid out step by step in a powerpoint, and video. Printable warm-ups help your child get started on drawing the lines and curves needed in the project, then move onto choosing colors and coloring or painting. My son found them very easy to follow. He enjoyed using the powerpoints because he could go slide by slide and complete each step (he likes to follow things like this in order). Some of the projects were a little more difficult than others, and you can do them in any order you choose.
His favorites were the Plate from Nepal and the Chinese Dragon. He really enjoyed mixing the vibrant colors to make each design his own. ArtAchieve emphasizes the fact that art is individual and there is no right or wrong way to complete a project. Students are encouraged to follow the steps but also put their own spin on things by experimenting with different positions for things and creating their own unique backgrounds.
While my son’s pictures did not come out exactly like the ones in the presentation, he had a lot of fun and was proud of the final outcome. With 9 lessons, you can cover one-quarter of the year using Level I and then move on to Levels II and III if you want. For level I, the supplies needed are pretty minimal and easy to obtain. The entire level costs less than $30 and you can purchase individual lessons if want as well. We enjoyed this program a lot and still have a few projects to complete, and I think we might look into another level after. I think it’s a great addition to any homeschool, and you could also use it for summer fun.
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