All have been wonderful.
I don't even know where to begin in telling you what I like about these courses, so let me give you a short list, and then I can expand on some of them.
- Video lessons (or PowerPoint), so I don't have to do the teaching.
- Most of the supplies are inexpensive. Copy paper, sharpies, and colored markers are enough to do a big percentage of the projects, especially for Levels I and II.
- John (the instructor) is wonderful at encouraging the students to make decisions, to work with their mistakes, and to not be comparing their work to others.
- The folk art aspect brings in some fabulous opportunities for learning about other countries, cultures, and many other cross-curricular activities.
One child wanted to really go for a background, another liked it without any background at all.
The toes on the cat are interesting. There was a sample given, but in the video, John makes his toes go a different way. It's one of many places where you get the subtle message that "messing up" is okay.
This lesson is available for free if you register for an account.
There are also activities including a link to a video about Ecuador, music from Ecuador, a lesson on geographical aspect, and a page showing dragonflies and damselflies that are native to Ecuador.
Each warmup is unique to the piece being worked on, so the students get some practice with the basic shapes and lines of this specific work.
Thomas came up me and told me that if I was using this photo, I needed to include this:
"In this program, they highly encourage you to not just redo your work, but to use what marks you made and do something with it. Instead of it being a mistake and me throwing away the art piece, he encourages me to work with the lines I have and still end up with a completed piece of art."
Thomas messed up one of his body circles, so it was too skinny, and he really hated it. Eventually, he realized that he could make that circle more circular, and then put a stripe down the other body segments.
We watched the rest of the video at this point, through the watercolor painting, so that we all knew where we were going with the entire project.
I didn't get a photo of him with the oil pastels, but I was able to snap this, right as he was about to start on the next step, which is the watercolors.
The video explained that if he wanted things to be white, he would need to do a white oil pastel in that space, as the oil will resist the watercolor.
This was his final result. There was an optional step to add glitter glaze, and Thomas hasn't yet decided if he wants to do that or not.
I think it looks really great, and he ended up liking the end result.
Then we were able to dig into some of the other suggested activities, like learning more about dragonflies and listening to a poem about dragonflies.
We've done a whole lot of different projects, including working on some with a group of friends. Yes, that is a total of ten kids, ages 3 to 15, all drawing fish.
We plan to continue through all of the lessons for Levels I-III, and then we are planning to purchase Level IV (and Level V eventually as well).
When you purchase either an individual lesson, or a bundle of lessons, you have access to that lesson for a year.
Go check out what other Crew Members thought! As for my household, we love this program and are so grateful we had the chance to use it!