Before beginning the 2011/2012 school year I spent a great deal of time researching art for my children. It is not on my list of strong subjects, thus I need something to hold my hand and help me out. I did find some things, and worked on some projects with the kids this year. Then I was given the opportunity to review HomeArtStudio‘s Third Grade DVD Curriculum Course.
From the website: Third grade students are guaranteed to have a great year of art! The theme for the year is “be creative,” and students are encouraged to express themselves creatively through their art. Students will learn the principles and elements of art, while creating 16 beautiful and fun projects. Some of the many concepts taught are light and shadow, tint and shade, overlapping, texture, and perspective. Students will also learn about art appreciation through analysis of famous pieces of artwork. Ms. Volin will introduce students to various artists from Picasso to Van Gogh and many others. Unleash your child’s creative spark!
HomeArtStudio came along at the end of our school year, giving me a chance to spend some focus time on viewing it, prepping for it, and implementing it . . . or so I thought! Let me explain. There was no need for a mass amount of time to preview and prepare for this. I popped the DVD in to watch it for myself, to check out the lessons, supplies needed, and assess how difficult I thought it was going to be to implement, etc. Part way through some of the lessons, in walk two of my children, my third grader and my six-year-old. Within minutes my six-year-old was hooked, sitting at the table waiting for me to get her started on one of the projects she had seen.
Due to the fact that I had planned better for art this year, I have most things that Lindsey Volin’s Supplies List calls for (at least something similar) right on hand, but most of the items are easy to obtain on your own or from her site.
What I love about the projects on this DVD are that they are challenging enough for my third grader, who needed little assistance after watching the video, but easy enough to walk my younger one through. She was able to pick and draw her own shapes, then I showed her what she needed to do with the ruler to make her lines. The biggest challenge was making sure she used the right color in the right spaces. We used the method of outlining a section first so she knew what color and where to color it. Thus this project was fun and engaging for both my third grader and my younger one!
On a more technical note, my husband came in while I was watching through some of the projects on the DVD and commented on how professionally done the video was. He specifically noted the great camera angles that were used to make viewing the techniques in the projects much easier for the watcher.
Some additional features beyond the DVD are:
1. You can become a member online which allows you to share your children’s work, as well as to ask questions of Lindsey Volin.
2. You can insert the disc into your computer and get all the lessons plans in pdf format.
Most often when I am reviewing a product, I like to have both pros and cons as I believe there is always something you don’t like, doesn’t work for you, or possibly needs improving. With this HomeArtStudio DVD, though, I am having trouble finding a con. As with other art programs I have seen, I think the hardest part to swallow sometimes can be the cost of better art supplies, but as an art program that is inexpensive to purchase (outside of supplies), adaptable to multiple ages, and easy to implement, HomeArtStudio is more than worth the purchase cost!
Heidi lives in upstate New York where the winters are long & cold, but where she truly appreciates the lack of extreme weather such as tsunamis and hurricanes! Her house is filled up with her loving husband of 13 years, 3 busy children, & 2 dogs (Muffin & Oscar). Homeschooling started out as a trial run with a child beginning 2nd grade, & almost 6 years later has become a lifestyle which brings great joy. You can often find her behind her camera, or working something out in Photoshop. Since beginning this homeschool journey she is learning to knit, crochet, & even to quilt! Her love of reading was passed on to her children & can be seen in the numerous book reviews she writes on her blog. You can find her blogging at Starts At Eight.