As homeschooling parents, incorporating art into our children’s education is very important. My husband comes from a family of artists and I’ve mentioned before that Miss Universe is an art major in college.
As important as art is to us, my husband and I are not artists. We have no art training and aside from the basic arts & crafts type stuff we’re clueless. We can appreciate a good piece of art but when it comes to teaching art, well, we need some help.
See the Light Art Projects are designed for people like us, those who want to teach art but don’t necessarily have the background to do so. There are currently 9 Art Projects DVD lessons to chose from. The kids and I reviewed “Sunflowers in the Style of Van Gogh”. I picked Van Gogh because we’re already familiar with his more popular works.
I find that when my children learn about the life of an artist they are more apt to be interested in the art work. The Sunflowers DVD does go into a bit of Van Gogh’s background, but it’s quite glossed over and mostly deals with his religious life. That was ok for my younger children but my older teens really wanted to know more about his life and this DVD inspired them to do some research and read books that explored other areas of his life.
Each of the 4 lessons included in the Sunflowers DVD were solid. The lessons and art techniques are explained in every day language. The video and audio quality is superb.
I love how Pat Knepley, the master artist & teacher, gets things started right away and doesn’t talk down to the viewers. She continues through the project as if she was doing it on her own, allowing the viewers to pause the program when needed. Additionally, each lesson is no more than 30 minutes. Speaking as the parent of several kids with attention issues, this is the most valuable part of the whole curriculum.
What I like about this product:
The speed of the project is perfect for kids who are ready to get started right away.
The quality of the DVD and the lessons is better than anything I’ve previously seen.
What I LOVE about this product:
You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive art supplies to work with this curriculum. We were able to complete the project without buying any supplies.
One tip – We found that the oil pastels we had, the kinda that look like crayons and come in large art sets, did not perform very well when it came to layering colors. If you are buying oil pastels for the project I would skip over the cheapest sets and buy the next highest quality. I also suggest getting a large selection of colors, the largest you can find in your price range that are still good quality. We had two sets of 24 colors but didn’t have all of the colors called for in the lesson so we made do with other colors. Specifically, we didn’t have the brown or mossy green colors called for, and our white was of such a quality that we couldn’t layer it over darker colors.
What I’m not crazy about:
I love the idea of art lessons on DVD but I think they are a little expensive at $14.99 for one 4-lesson project, but they are cheaper than actual in-person art lessons. For $99.99 you can buy the entire box set, which will provide you with enough credit hours to claim a half-credit elective on a high school transcript, or add in some field trips and extras to earn a whole credit*
These lessons are extremely religious, specifically Christian. If you are not of the same belief and usually edit your resources, note that you will not be able to do that with these lessons.
(*a word about credit hours – each state, college, and organization has a different idea of what a credit hour actually is. Please go by the requirements of your state or the institution of higher learning that your child would like to attend to avoid confusion.)
Cost: $14.99 & up
Ages: Recommended for ages 10 & up
But don’t take my word for it! Check out reviews of this and other great Art Projects DVDs at Mosaic Reviews
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.