Art appreciation and art history are subjects I’ve been meaning to integrate into our homeschool for some time. But, I hadn’t yet found a resource I was excited about. So, I was eager to review Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1) from Techie Homeschool Mom.
What Is Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1)?
I received access to an online course. It’s hosted in Teachable, which is an easy to use online course system. I’ve personally taken tons of courses on this platform, but hadn’t yet used it for a homeschool course with my kids.
There were many links throughout each lesson, taking you to different sites across the web. Occasionally I ran across a broken link, but there was a place for recording broken links within the course. Some required you to really scour the site looking for the correct project or document. There were directions, but a direct link would have been appreciated.
Additionally, there are hands on art projects sprinkled throughout each unit. These require some art supplies. Most we already had on hand, and we made some substitutions for other projects. Here’s a shot of the lesson that details the supplies you need.
Creating Your Own Art Gallery
A big chunk of this course involves creating your own online art gallery with a site called eMaze. There was a video tutorial at the beginning, and each unit had a specific presentation for you to copy and update.
This was meant to be a place for your family to house your notes and projects from the course. It was a great idea!
Unfortunately, when I first reviewing the course, this site was having some major security issues and my computer wouldn’t open the link. After a couple of weeks, I was able to log in and create an account, but I was really cautious about it.
I really struggled to use eMaze. It seemed very clunky and not very user friendly.
So, I decided not to use this portion of the course. It wasn’t worth the struggle. Instead, I had the kids take notes offline, and not scan their artwork in.
How Did We Use This Course?
I really appreciated how this course tied together many wonderful resources about famous artists. We would log in one day each week, and study someone new.
There were online videos, pictures of their creations, and plenty of notes for each artist.
Here is a PDF download for one of the artists, Cezanne. This was fun for me, because he is an artist I wasn’t familiar with.
I love how this combines specific drawing techniques with information about the artist. There was a ton of information for us to study.
As a part of each unit, we brought out the art supplies and tried our hand at the art. Here’s one of my kiddos fruit that they practiced drawing for the unit on Cezanne.
What We Thought of This Product
There is a ton of valuable information in this online course. The author wove together some great resources, and my kids learned a lot about the famous artist we studied so far.
The platform is easy to use, and visually pleasing. There were some fun projects to give kids a chance to practice what they learned about. There were several key art periods and styles covered.
I didn’t like the eMaze aspect, just because of the problems that site was having. I wish there was an “in-house” art gallery component.
There were prompts for each lesson to add a comment answering a question. I know this was to add a sense of community, but I opted not to have my kids leave comments. Instead, I just had them orally answer the question. I think most of my kids are still a little young for participation in a comment forum such as this. After scrolling through some of the comments, I realized they were just student comments or family comments. It would have been nice if the teacher had responded to the comments. I was hoping to see that mutual interaction, since the comments were turned on.
The good thing about homeschooling is that you don’t have to do everything “as it’s written.” I decided not to do some aspects of this course and find a way to make it a great fit. Don’t ever feel locked into doing something a specific way if it’s not right for your family.
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