Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Beyond the Stick Figure Art School: An Art Curriculum Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Being a musician myself, I didn't begin to appreciate the educational value of drawing and painting until my children started school.  Since that time, I grow more and more convicted that every student needs to explore all of the creating mediums and fine tune them throughout their educational years.  Like reading and writing, every grade level brings new layers of understanding and skill.  As home educators, we have a beautiful opportunity to incorporate art class - that unfortunately may be only once a week in our public school counterparts - into our students daily habits.  While there is great flexibility in homeschooling, I am subject to far more insecurities when it comes to art unless I was trained in school for it.  The trick here, I'm learning, is to find great curriculum to educate where I'm not able to.  Today we're reviewing Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses from  Beyond the Stick Figure Art School .  This art curriculum doesn't require me to have any previous skills but provides step-by-step instruction in artistic discovery. 

What We Received:

We received online access to Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses and Paint Your Family Portraits Course.  
This included 5 courses in all:
  • Complete Drawing Course
  • Pen & Ink
  • Watercolor
  • Acrylic
  • 3D Design
  • Paint Your Own Family Portraits
Each course contains multiple videos varying in length, usually included a materials video that lines out all the specific materials she uses in the course.  As the instruction requires, there are a few downloadable files to print and use. 

How It Works:

The program states that it is designed for students age 5-95 so it is suitable for anyone who can easily hold a pencil or paint brush.  There are specific materials that the instructor recommends the student to use so there may be purchases you need to make before starting. The videos are required to be viewed in order and the viewer is unable to jump around unless you mark all of the previous videos complete. The Complete Drawing Course contains the Pen & Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic, and 3D Design Bonus courses so you must go in order or take the time to click complete on each video prior to the one you want.  It was a slight inconvenience because we wanted to look at all the courses at least a little bit to give a complete review, but it didn't take very long when it was all said and done to click through. The videos are usually no longer than 10 minutes and introduce only a few steps in a larger project.  This allows the student to establish well whatever is taught before moving on.  Of course, it being a video allows for pausing at anytime necessary as well.  As specific elements are discussed, variations are encouraged so that the students feel empowered to play around with techniques.  In drawing, the students learn to draw big pictures in small sections.  Pen & Ink involves tracing and texturing.  Watercolor explores the nature of water and paint together.  Acrylics highlights paint mixing and shading. 3D Design teaches sculpting methods.

What We Thought:

The instructor, Sally is originally from England and her accent along with her motherly tone is quite enjoyable to listen to an something my kids have loved!  My 6 and 9 year old were able to follow everything pretty easily.  My oldest had in his mind that he wanted to draw people and the drawing course didn't really address that at all.  So by the end he was pretty frustrated.   However, we then tried out the Family Portrait course which was exactly what he was looking for!  My 3 year old didn't really watch any of the videos but because the big kids were drawing and painting, he dove right in. Now we've gone through a big chunk of paper that is scattered around the house drying!  

Once we were able to "complete" all of the lessons and able to move around within different courses, it proved to be a really versatile and inspiring program! Sally discusses all kinds of technique in bite-sized chunks and the reasoning surrounding each one.  By the end of each course you have something to show for it, which is confidence boosting as well as educational.  This program is versatile and definitely something you could revisit as children age to dig deeper into details or do unit studies.  

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Do you have older children? Check out the rest of the reviews through the link below and see what other aged children thought about this program.

Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course {Beyond the Stick Figure Art School}

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