Tuesday, September 24, 2019

HiGASFY Art History (A Homeschool Crew Review)

This past summer,  we attended a local homeschool convention down in Los Angeles and while browsing the vendor hall, an art vendor caught our eye.  Well, most honestly, it caught my youngest eye.  The vendor was for an art history curriculum and their display showed a video sample of their lessons.  What caught Ashleigh's eye was that the video showed a rat, so of course, we had to go over and check it out.   We struck up a conversation with the owner, Mrs. Beth and her and Ashleigh had a nice discussion about rats, art history, an animated drop of paint and a new art curriculum -HiGASFY Art History Video Series - which stood for "Have I got a story for you".
I found the concept of HiGASFY very intriguing  and had already considered signing up after returning from the convention when we were offered a three month subscription to the HiGASFY Art History Video Series for review with the Crew.  The art series introduces students grades 1st thru 8th grade to four different periods of art history: the Renaissance series that features artists daVinci, Raphael and Michelangelo,  the Baroque period which showcases Caravaggio,  Rembrandt and Vermeer,  the Impressionist period highlighting the works of Monet, Pissaro and Degas and finally the Post-Impressionist period which introduces students to Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse.   Each of these series contains 12 video lessons that introduce the students to the artists, their work, and interesting information in regards to the time period of that time. 

Each series consists of four parts.  The first part is a downloadable PDF curriculum guide that contain the required work for each of the 16 lessons of each series.  This curriculum guide neatly lays out which video the student should watch for that week, states the objective for the lesson, introduces vocabulary they should become familiar with, offers art projects related to the lesson and even offers critical thinking questions writing assignments suggestions, as well as geography and science projects that can be used to create a well rounded study unit.

The second component of the curriculum is the videos.. These are taught my Mrs Beth and and animated paint drop named Gasfy  (She always welcomes him with "Hi Gasfy" - get it?).  The videos are extremely well done, with Mrs Beth and Gasfy carrying on a conversation about art history and inviting the viewer to be part of the discussion.   Talking to Mrs Beth in person, it was evident that she really enjoyed being able to share art history with students, and his passion shines in the videos.  No expense was spared and the end product is professional quality videos that are both very educational and very entertaining.

GASFY receives a gift from Mrs Beth while learning about the Mona Lisa

The next component of the HiGASFY Art History Video Series is the flashcards.  These are video representations of the artwork that the students again have been introduced to.  When printed out, the name of the art piece as well as the artist is printed on the back. These can be printed out, laminated  and used throughout the course of the lessons to help reinforce the pieces studied.  Each piece of art the student has been introduced during the series is included.

The final part of the curriculum component is the "Name the Artist" slideshow game.    Upon completion of the series, the student will have been introduced to multiple pieces of artwork (the Renaissance series includes 42 pieces of art, for example).  Students can start the slideshow and will be presented with one of the pieces of art that they should by this time be familiar with, allowing them to identify the name of the piece and the artist.  Hitting the spacebar will allow them to see if they were correct.

How We Used It

We decided to start our art lesson study with the Renaissance series.. just because it's the very first of in the timeline of art history and of course, Ashleigh wanted to see the rat. Mine you, the rat is only featured in one episode in discussion about the Bubonic plague.  However, Ashleigh had to grab her rat Possum to cuddle with during the video lesson.  LOL

We found the videos to be extremely educational as well as entertaining.  Mrs Beth and GASFY present the material in a very upbeat way, really pulling Ashleigh (and myself to be honest) into the lesson.  Each video is roughly 14-20 minutes in length.  

After watching the videos, we would pick one of the art projects of Ashleigh to work on.   The first lesson, Ashleigh was asked to make a portfolio to keep her work in.   She really enjoyed decorating the outside of her portfolio to make it her own and has made sure all her work was put into it since. 

Ashleigh's Portfolio Decorations (She's not thrilled I disturbed her to take the picture.. lol)
 One of the very first lessons we did asked for Ashleigh to draw a picture using perspective.  The activity specifically mentioned a knight riding a horse away from a castle, so that's what Ashleigh decided to do.

In another lesson, we learned how Leonardo da Vinci was an apprentice to Andrea del Verrocchio and how he had completed one of Verrocchio's works.    Following the video, Ashleigh was asked to being a picture and to ask someone else to finish it.  She asked me to be the one to finish it - I am not artistically inclined haha     She drew the body and told me it was a dog so I finished the head.  Luckily, this is the only piece of my own artwork that will be shown here -  much like Verrocchio, I do believe I will never paint draw again. 

In another assignment, in discussion about da Vinci's sketches, Ash was asked to pick one of his sketches to imitate.  She opted to copy da Vinci's bear,

And on a final assignment in regards to da Vinci, she decided to do her own interpretation of the Mona Lisa. Ashleigh has been working on various computer animations/graphics lately, so this time she opted to draw on her tablet.  She even included the veil (which I had never noticed prior to the video).. While it won't hang in the Louvre anytime soon, I think she did a great job. 

We have really been enjoying the HiGASFY curriculum.  I like that while it does allow her to show her artistic side, the main focus is appreciation of the masters.  The constantly exposure to great artwork and the artists behind them in a way that Ashleigh will remember it will hopefully last a lifetime.

#hsreviews #art #arthistory #education #arteducation #renaissance #baroque #impressionist #postimpressionist #famousartist #davinci #michelangelo #rembrandt #monet #degas #vangogh #matisse #picasso #gasfy #artteacher

To find more information about HiGASFY Art History Video Series, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find more information on the followings social media platforms:

Our family has been using the Renaissance portion of the HiGASFY Art History curriculum but with four different historical periods to explore, you might want to click the banner below to see what period other members of the Crew used during this review period. 

Have I Got A Story For You Art History Video Series {HiGASFY Art History Video Series Reviews}

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...