Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Beyond the Stick Figure (A Homeschool Review Crew 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.

When it comes to art, I have two kids who couldn't be further from each other on the spectrum. My youngest loves art and spends most of her free time drawing her sketches on paper or making  animations on her tablet.  On the other hand, my son never enjoyed doing anything artistic.  The only picture I have that he's ever done was of a creeper from Minecraft and that was with tons of coaching on my part just to get that.  This is why usually, when you see an art instruction review on this blog, it's almost always featuring Ashleigh and her work.

When members of the crew were given the opportunity to review the Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses from Beyond the Stick Figure Art School, I saw an opportunity to get Garrett doing his own artwork.

The video based course is taught by Sally Stansfield, a native of England who followed her dream and attended Loughborough College of Art and Design in England where she obtained her degree in art.  A wife and homeschool mom to eight children, she felt that art could be taught incrementally in a step by step manner like any other school subject. She saw first hand how traditional teaching methods for this subject can be detrimental. Now, she wants to share her passion with children young and old to ignite their own love of creating art.

Using the Curriculum

The very first video was entitled "Just for Mom" and I found this video perfect for setting the tone for the class.  Basically, it's a video telling moms to allow the child to do their own work the way they want to do it and not the way you the parent or anyone else wants to do.  Instead of correction, allow the child to explore their own creative nature.  I thought this was an excellent message to start the course with.

The course is broken up into various sections, with each section having a number of video lessons.  For example, the Drawing course is divided into three sections, each containing anywhere from 5 to 33 video lessons for that section.  We were given access to the Complete Drawing course as well as the Pen & Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic, and 3D design lessons as the bonus courses.  Also included was a second course entitled Paint Your Own Family Portraits.

Since I wanted to use this curriculum with Garrett, we started from the very beginning of the course.  I want to reiterate that I was doing this curriculum with a kid who hates drawing.  While the course is called Beyond The Stick Figure, my kids hates even drawing stick figures and will do them as the peak of his effort when asked to do any sort of illustration. Even when the drawing subject is something that Garrett enjoys, such as Minecraft, he does only the most minimal of work.  So we opted to start with Drawing Part 1.

For the portion of the course we were able to use during the review period, we needed a pack of Prismacolor markers, white printer paper and a Strathmore brand sketch pad.   As the course progresses thru the different mediums, the student will need other materials, such as watercolor and acrylic paint and terracotta air dry clay.  The drawing course does have printable workbooks for the course that can be printed out as well. 

The course starts extremely basic.  Students learn to draw straight lines, curved lines, dots and circles. Then they learn how to put these different style of lines together to begin actually creating artwork.   They also learn concepts such as color theory along the way.  Each part is broken down into daily lessons that feature a video of the instructor presenting instructions for the student, which they can follow along with on their own.  Once the assignment for the day is complete, the student can mark it as complete.  When they long in the next day, the next lesson will be waiting where they can easily pick right back up at.

I wasn't entirely sure how Garrett would do with this program.  Turns out, he has enjoyed it.  I don't overload him with it, so he does his lessons three days a week on M-W-F and I only require him to complete one lesson each day so it keeps things very manageable for him.  He watches a lesson, then he grabs his markers and his sketchbook and he gets to work.

To say that I'm impressed with this art curriculum would be an understatement and I'll be interested to see how Garrett's skills in his art studies improves as he progresses through the upcoming lessons.  But the fact that he's drawing flowers and abstract art after years of crying over being forced to even just draw a stick figure for assignments is a positive improvement in my book.  It will also be interesting to see how he takes to doing watercolors later down the road.

For more information about the Beyond the Stick Figure Art School, visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media sites:

Members of the review crew have been usingBeyond the Stick Figure Art School with family members of all ages, including themselves.  Be sure to click the banner below and read their reviews.

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

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