Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Typing Coach (Homeschool Review Crew)



Do you remember taking typing in High School? I do. My teacher was a very proper lady who went around adjusting the curve of one’s fingers and posture. We learned on REAL typewriter’s with a bottle of whiteout by our sides (though accuracy was encouraged above all things!). Things have changed. However, the need to learn to type has not.  Part of Josiah’s summer rotation is going to be a typing course. I have been reviewing The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The The Typing Coach.
The Typing Coach
This course teaches basic typing skills. It is completely self-paced and systematic.


The suggested pace for the lesson is contingent on the student. I decided I wanted Josiah to move through the Slower Paced Lessons. You cannot move one in the lessons with any errors and I didn’t want him to get discouraged. Each lesson begins with an audio lesson and a printed page for practice. You are allowed to use any word processing software for practice. Once the student feels as if he or she has mastered the lesson, she can take a test. As the student is learning to type without looking at the keyboard or monitor the percentage of accuracy and efficiency is higher in the long run.  In fact, using the backspace and delete keys is forbidden!


It is not uncommon for kids of this generation to be familiar with a keyboard of some sort. Most have been texting or pecking out emails from an early age. I was especially pleased to see those lessons that I learned in my High School Typing course all those years ago emphasized with this course. Posture! Posture! Posture! And because Josiah is a first rate 2 finger typist, it was a little harder for him to break that bad habit.
The Typing Coach
The Slower Paced Lessons takes a bit more time with the core lessons. I found this to be a better fit for Josiah.  He needs more time and more reinforcement. As he wishes to be more proficient in typing he hasn’t fussed too much!  I also have a confession. I haven’t had him take any of the proficiency tests yet (with the exception of the practice tests) but I can show you how it all works and WHY it is working.

This is a screen shot of the Posture Lesson page. There are a variety of videos to watch and audio lessons to listen to. The video of the cute kid practicing good posture was really helpful. Josiah does better when he can see what he should be doing.
The next lesson is the Home Row. Everything the student needs to know is in that audio lesson. There are tips, instruction and encouragement. I did listen to the audio lesson beforehand so I could answer any questions Josiah might have or know when he was slacking off. For example, there does come a time when he had to cover the monitor to see if what he was typing was correct.

 Along with the audio and video lessons (where applicable) there is a Student Packet and a Learning Checks Packet to print out. Neither will empty your ink cartridge.    
After the student has completed the lesson without ANY errors it's time to move on to the Testing Center. This is the deal. They can't move on until they score 100% on the test. At least, they are encouraged not to move on. The goal here is accuracy..not speed. This is why I felt the Slower Paced Lessons would be better for us.


After the student masters a lesson, he or she simply moves on to the next lesson.

Here are a few things you might want to know.

1. I read this in one of the "helps." One parent started covering up all the practice lines above and below the one currently being practiced on. For those of you who have kiddos who struggle with dyslexia (as Josiah does) this is a BIG help!

2. Make sure you overemphasize to your student the need to check the CAPS key and finger placement. This will help frustration levels.

3. You can use any word processing program. We have Microsoft Word.

4. There are Typing Tickets and an incentive chart to help motivate good work. Josiah is having fun trying to increase his speed and accuracy.

5. You will need audio, a way to print off the Student Packets and a good internet connection. You don't have to Microsoft Word. Some are using Google Docs or Notepad.

This is program is a keeper! I have found it easy to follow and I love that it puts the emphasis on all the right things like accuracy and professionalism.

You can check out Typing Coach via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below for more reviews!

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/thetypingcoach    Tag:@thetypingcoach 

  

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Thin Stix (Kwik Stix) Homeschool Review Crew


It’s no secret.  I love art supplies! This might have something to do that my momma is an artist and I have never had a single moment in my life where there hasn’t been a paint brush, colored pencil or blow dryer (if you happen to be doing watercolor) stashed away somewhere. That is why I was so EXCITED to get to review Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc.



If you aren’t familiar with Kwix Stix let me fill you in. They are solid tempera paint sticks that dry in 90 seconds. They also don’t make a huge mess. And if you have ever painted with children you know what I’m talking about. This means there are no paint brushes, nasty water cups or smocks to deal with.

I’ve had plenty of experience with the Kwik Stix and have found them to be so much fun to work with! You can use them on any kind of paper, cardboard, wood or canvas.

The Thin Stix were created to use with projects that required finer detail. I received a 6pk of Classic Colors. One of my favorite pastimes is to doodle in a journal. I find it peaceful and I can spend time with my boys while they are watching some kind of sporting event on television.

I use a variety of mediums in my journal. Colored pencils, gel pens, gel crayons, etc. I wanted to see if the Thin Stix would be something I could add to my collection.
The journal I use is a simple lined journal I purchased at my local superstore. I am not a stranger to using Kwix Stix and have used the originals (in addition to some extra pretty metallic and neons) for art projects for homeschool and parties.
I am well aware that they are excellent for making posters, creating wrapping paper, painting on wood and much more! I have used them on regular paper, but I wanted also to see if they managed the thin paper of my journal.

This first project has some finer detail that didn't handle the Kwik Stix as well. They are thinner than the original Stix, but not quite thin enough, as say a colored pencil or  marker. However, you can see that the colors (though smudgy) are brilliant.



This project didn't require as much finer detail. The vivid color leant itself to the cartoon quality of my project. I did, however, have a harder time blending the colors.

This project is going to eventually be some sort of background, but I wanted you to see the thickness of the Thin Stix. What I LOVE about these is that they completely cover. I didn't have to draw my line but once. The color is thick and has great coverage.




For this project I struggled most with the flower. The tips aren't fine enough color detail, BUT you can write over the Kwix Stix paint with a permanent marker for lines and detail. Some products don't allow you to do that. I did find with this project that I could add some interest by layering the yellow over the green to change the color tone a bit.


 So here are my thoughts in a nutshell.

I was hoping that the Thin Stix would be a bit thinner. I do a lot of drawings with fine detail and I don't think I was able show my best. HOWEVER, the con(s) absolutely are silenced back into the art closet of shame. I LOVE, LOVE how brilliant the colors are. Kwik Stix have an extra super silky texture and they are extremely fun to use. They color a larger space without the hassle of a marker. In fact, I didn't get a picture, but I created a sign for a project that simply says "cute." It took me half the time and I was pleased as punch at the results.

Another BIG deal is that Kwik Stix only take 90 seconds to dry. You heard that! 90 seconds! Think about all the little wooden birdhouses you could paint this summer.

My plans involve my great collection of Kwix Stix and canvas bags at our annual Cousin Camp this summer.  There is NO mess! There won't be hours of trying to resurrect dried out acrylic paint. They will fit nicely in a box and we won't have to spend hours trying to scrub paint out of clothing.

Another benefit for me is that the Thin Stix are easily portable. I like to take my journal on trips so I can doodle on the road. These easily fit in my art box. They add another fun tool for me to use.


Thin Stix Kwik Stix is fun, fun! Go check them out!

You can connect with The Pencil Grip, Inc. via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner for more reviews.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/thepencilgrip/     Tag: @thepencilgrip    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/thepencilgrip     Tag:@thepencilgrip    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KwikStixPaint/boards/  Tag:@KwikStixPaint/boards   






No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, May 19, 2017

Captain Absolutely (Homeschool Review Crew)


I have a confession to make. I didn’t actually do a lot of prep work for this review. When we received Captain Absolutely from Focus On The Family in the mail, I handed it over to Josiah.

There were a few things that compelled me to beg ask to be on this review.
First, the main character’s real name is Josiah. I know! My Josiah is 15 and for a few years he went through a real struggle with his name. He would only answer to Starkiller or Joe (true story). Now he’s at peace about it and actually introduces himself as “Josiah.”

I’d say that’s progress.




And then the Captain Absolutely character comes from the Adventures in Odyssey. We have LOVED Adventures in Odyssey for years. Another reason (and a biggie) is that Josiah is dyslexic. He is doing really good, but I seldom can hand him a book and say “read this” without some hesitation on his part.

The comic book format was PERFECT for my guy.



So let’s talk about Captain Absolutely. He was a mild mannered young man (named Josiah King) who becomes his superhero counterpart via a radioactive explosion and a room filled with banned books that happen to be Bibles.

His nemesis is Dr. Relative. There are equally creepy villains along the way to battle and we learn what the Bible has to say about real truth and how to live it in a sin filled world.

Before I give you Josiah’s opinion (which he was excited to give) let me tell you about what I thought. The comic book is really well made. The pictures are colorful and engaging. It is not a wimpy comic, but a good, substantial book that will appeal to moms and kiddos alike.

I think the age level for this product will depend on your kiddo. I certainly recommend it for elementary and up. It is not so babyish that it won’t appeal to older kids who enjoy comics. There is certainly plenty of action scenes and tension.



For my part, I LOVE that there is a whole lot of Scripture and discussion concerning things we face in today’s society.

In the back of the book there is a section called Big Questions.


From….Why should you clean up your own messes? To…. Are you willing to suffer for God?

And one of my favorites…Why do Christians care about hygiene and appearance?

Preach, Captain Absolutely.


There are even page numbers directing you to the portion of the comic book that deals with each issue. There is also a section that outlines each character. And we loved the part that talks about the real King Josiah in the Bible.

Here are Josiah’s thoughts.

“I really liked this comic. I like that the main superhero’s name is Josiah. He helps to teach us about God’s Word and what is right and wrong. I hope they make more of them.”

This one is a winner!
You can connect with Focus on the Family via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below for more reviews.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AIOFanPage/    Tag: @AIOFanPage


  • Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FocusFamily    Tag:@FocusFamily
  • Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/focusfamily/       Tag: @focusfamily/
  • Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/focusonthefamily/      Tag: @focusonthefamily
  • Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+focusonthefamily
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FocusOnTheFamilyUSA


  • Captain Absolutely {Focus On The Family Review}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    Sicky and Paper Flowers (pics of our Mother's Day tables)

    Good morning! Or is it good afternoon where you are?

    I have a very sad tale to tell.

    I have STREP THROAT! That's right. You might just back away from your computer screen. I also am blessed to have a secondary infection (sinus).

    Yay! You know how much fun all of this is.

    The kicker is that I was sick for daayyys before I actually went into the doctor.

    I was in the middle of one of those "it will pass if I give it a few days."

    Yup. I'm one of those.

    I blame my momma. She has been suffering with a dislocated rib for no telling how long. Sherry Lou! You know what I mean....

    I am on antibiotics, but still feeling like I've been knocked around. Last night I had the weirdest dream. I had a dream that there were 3 HUGE penguins in our backyard.

    I feel eeked out. Have you ever just felt eeked out? Even my eyelashes are sick and tired.

    Today I want to share a few pics from our Mother's Day event we had at our church. There are a few things  you need to know.

    I was deep in the grasps of undiagnosed strep throat so I didn't get all the pictures I wanted to take. In fact, I took like 2 or 3 on the actual day and I used someone else's camera to take them. AND I couldn't even think straight enough to figure out how to turn the camera on. So the pictures I'm about to show you are from the day before...just after we had decorated.

    I can't even believe I exposed all of those sweet ladies to strep throat. Because I had all of the other symptoms of a sinus infection (or at least an upper respiratory infection) I never dreamed I was contagious like that. I literally felt so bad, but didn't feel like I could do anything but soldier forward.

    We ladies aren't really good about setting boundaries for ourselves, are we?

    Our event was called the "All Daughters Salad Luncheon." Someone in our church years ago had the thoughtfulness to declare the Mother's Day event to be for All Daughters...since everyone can be called a daughter. This way, those who are childless or who have lost their mothers don't feel isolated and alone.

    I understand. I was that childless woman for many years.

    Anyhoo. I just want to show you the pics I took.

    Our event was called "What's in Your Wordrobe?"

    I made a bunch of these huge paper flowers. I had the best time making them!


    We attached all the flowers to this arbor a talented carpenter in our church made for a wedding we had at the church early in the year. I purchased the dress form from Amazon and she is now going to sit in my bedroom. I had been looking for one so it worked out!


    For the tables we used white paper tablecloths and pink and purple plastic table covers that were used the week before for a precious ladies 89th birthday party! The purse gift bags I found at Dollar Tree and all the cups and saucers are mine. Yes. They are mine. I see where you are going with this.


     We used doilies from my paper doily stash (from my party bucket) to make an easy runner. We set the table with these pretty teal plates and polka dotted napkins. We also included the invitation card for the event and added a scripture card they could take home as a memento.


    The theme for the event was inspired by a devotion that my friend and fellow event planner was reading. She handed me this quote and we used it to create our party around.


    This is a portion of the room. You can see a dress hanging towards the back. We styled a couple of outfits and hung them on the wall (complete with shoes and jewelry). We also had a table set up of extra hats the ladies could wear if they wished. I also meant to take a picture of the goody bags we sent everybody home with.


    I still might do a follow up post on how we did everything, but right now my brain is mush and I think I see penguins in the backyard. As it is I am going to have go back through all the blog posts and reviews I've done in the past week or so and edit them. No telling what I've been saying.

    Have a beautiful weekend!



    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    Homeschool Rescue (Homeschool Review Crew)




    We started homeschooling Josiah his 1st grade year. Now that he’s almost a sophomore in High School I have a few years of homeschooling experience under my belt. That being said, there are days that I need inspiration, encouragement and maybe a different point of view. I just had a chance to review Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity.  I think it’s just what I needed at this stage of my homeschool game.




    Homeschool Rescue is an online course created especially for homeschooling parents. It comes from the wonderful Heather Aliano from Only Passionate Curiosity.  Presently, there are 5 modules available. Each of those modules contain 3 to 5 lessons each. There are some extras involved; an invitation to a Facebook support group, Student Accountability Pack, and a variety of planners.

    Within each lesson there are homework sheets to print out and links to helpful resources.




    First things first. This is an easy to navigate website. Clean, well-laid out, and just plain helpful.

    I really can’t go into all the wonderful things that you will find with Homeschool Rescue. I do want to show you just a few things I found super handy and really spoke to me.

    Personally, I found Module 2 to be among my favorites. It's where I'm living. The very first lesson was "Just Say No." I don't know if anyone else struggles with this, but I have a hard time setting boundaries. It seems as if everybody (and I mean everybody) wants a block of time and thinks because we homeschool that I'm available!
    And because I don't want to disappoint anyone and I want to be a servant...You understand how this is.

    Shew. Glad to get that off my chest.
    Below is a screenshot from Lesson 1 of Module 2. Every lesson is set up the same way. The large box on the left is the video/lesson portion.


    Here is a larger shot of the right side bar. This tells you how long the video is and gives you the opportunity to download the components of the lesson.
    The homework portions of the lessons were surprisingly practical.  I say surprisingly because Heather really talks us through what we need to be looking for or accomplishing within the lesson.

    For example, I found the Homework assignment in Module 3 to be right what I needed. We had to keep record of our day. What was it that really kept me from achieving what I wanted to get done?

    I had a few surprises (surely I didn't spend so much time doing that?) and then a few more that I knew were issues.

    Beke. Put down the book. You can wait to finish until after supper.

    You do know I'm talking about me and not Josiah.

    Another Lesson in Module 5 kept me busy taking notes! This one was all about Teenagers.

    Below is a screenshot of all the resources and goodies available for us with this lesson.

    There was such great wisdom in this lesson. It was one of the longer ones, but it was well worth the 30 minutes! 

    There are so many things I don't feel ready for while I parent my teen. Many topics in the lesson were things my husband and I have recently discussed and fretted about.

    Mostly, we were encouraged to "don't stress the small stuff!"

    I can't recommend this course enough. I listened while piddling at my desk or doing a chore or another activities. I found Homeschool Rescue to be an encouraging dose of "let's do this!"

    It gave me practical ways to accomplish those things that I have let go or just encountered at this stage of my homeschool journey. This is one worth taking a look at!

    You can connect with Only Passionate via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner to read more reviews!




    Homeschool Rescue {Only Passionate Curiosity Reviews}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Algebra for Breakfast (Homeschool Review Crew)


    Math was never my favorite subject in school. Back in the dark ages, I headed into High School with nominal exposure to algebra. You can imagine that I didn’t have very much success when I jumped right into Algebra I. It took me until college to realize that I did have some sort of aptitude for the subject and all was not lost. I really feel strongly about preparing kids to succeed. When I had the chance to review Algebra for Breakfast for math enrichment I jumped on it!
     photo afb logo with bob_zpsgpgch87d.png


    Algebra for Breakfast was created by teacher, Bob Hazen. It is an online math enrichment program that introduces algebraic concepts to grades 3-6.



    Algebra for Breakfast uses the following components.

    Online Videos – These are short videos of Mr. Bob teaching the lesson.



    Physical Tools – Algebra for Breakfast uses manipulative blocks, math dice and a skip counting CD.



    Printable Worksheets – some of these are simply extra practice, while others might be games to print and play.

    It teaches things like...

    • Countability
    • Single Variable Expressions
    • Known vs Unknown Values
    • The Meaning of Variables


    Plus, much, much more!

    I had access to 3rd/4th Grade level for this review, but there is a 5th/6th grade level, as well.

    For my review, I received six months of online access and the Skip Count songs. The blocks and math dice are available for purchase and there are a few options available for the subscription.  






    Currently there are over 40 lessons available, with a possibility of more for the whole course. This is a program that one wants to use incrementally. As we know, math concepts build upon themselves.



    Josiah struggles with math. He has something called dyscalculia. I wanted to see if something like Algebra for Breakfast could be something that would be of help to him. For one, I mentioned above that math manipulatives are used. Josiah does so much better when he can have a hands on experience with whatever he is learning.



    The video lessons are not very long. I felt that they were a perfect length to keep my “wandering-mind” boy on task. Mr. Bob does a great job in explaining the some of the more trickier aspects of algebra. In fact, I could have used Mr. Bob back in my pre-algebra days!


    I also felt that the program was easy to navigate. The lessons are divided up into sections. Once you log in you can click the appropriate button and it will take you to a video (maybe more) in addition to a printable worksheet. I was especially pleased to see that they don’t require a lot of writing. There is also a Parent’s Corner which provide the answer key for the worksheets.



    Another BIG plus is that it can be used as a supplemental with any math curriculum. Obviously it is intended to mostly used by elementary aged kiddos, but it fits nicely within any curriculum and won’t cause any confusion. I would just be sure that the level you use is the level of math your child is currently going through.

    This will be a program we will continue to use. I can already see a light bulb come on in Josiah head. In fact, the skip counting songs are worth their weight in GOLD where he is concerned.

    Check it out! You can connect with Algebra for Breakfast via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below for more reviews. Some members of the Crew reviewed the 5th/6th grade option.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlgebraForBreakfast/



    Bob Hazen's Algebra Lessons {Algebra for Breakfast Reviews}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    Driving at last!

    Hi, friends!

    I feel like my next announcement should come with a drum roll or something.



    I am FINALLY  a legal driver in the state of Indiana.

    Woo Woo!

    If you follow my blog you might have read this sad, sad tale of what happens when a girl born outside the country (and not at a military base), moves to a new state and promptly loses all of her identification.

    It's tragic, my friends.

    BUT...6 days before the deadline, I took the last piece of documentation down to the BMV.

    Last week (or was it the week before?) I went there 4 times in a 3 hour period...only to be sent away every single time.

    It's a long and hairy story and not worth the telling, but I can't express to you how relieved I am to have the whole mess behind me.

    You want to know my first act as a legal driver? I went down to the library and got a library card.

    If you know me you know that me without the library is like peanut butter without jelly. Peas without carrots and Ben without Jerry.

    It just doesn't work.

    When I asked the librarian how many books one could check out she told me that I can check out 100 books at a time.

    Yipppeee!

    Then she said, "But I'm sure you don't want to check out 100 books."

    Oh...little does she know.

    Anyhoo.

    This week I'm up to my eyeballs in preparation for our "All Daughters Luncheon" at church on Saturday. AND I'm working on a writing assignment. AND somewhere in all the mess we are homeschooling.

    Just thought I would pop in and share my wonderful news!



    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    The Secret Bridge ~ Lamplighter Publishing (Homeschool Review Crew)


    It’s no secret that my favorite pastime is reading. I adore books! What’s even better is when a good book is sent to me to review. This time around I got to read The Secret Bridge by Amy LeFeuvre from Lamplighter Publishing.






    Before I get into the book itself, I want to tell you a little about Lamplighter Publishing. They publish rare books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The books are edited to include Scripture reference footnotes. They are rich and upright novels that emphasis positive role models and Christian principles. Lamplighter's goal is to develop "Christlike character one story at a time."



    The Secret Bridge by Amy LeFeuvre was published in 1899. I am such a huge fan of classic literature, but had never heard of Amy LeFeuvre before reading The Secret Bridge. I am glad Lamplighter Publishing helped me remedy that.  The book is intended for ages 12-adult.

    A young woman, Bridget Channing comes home to England after her father’s death. She has lived her entire life in India so she is actually returning to an unfamiliar place. Bridget has had an unconventional upbringing, but is relying on the goodness of her uncle. He has invited her to make her home with him, even though she has never met him.

    On the ship over, she meets a young gentleman, Godfrey Bullingham, who is entranced by her innocence and sweet ways. He comes to her rescue when she discovers that her circumstances have changed and she does not, indeed, have a home to go to.

    Godfrey makes an unusual proposition. He offers to make Bridget his wife. He can provide her with comfort, a place to live and security. His only stipulation is that he asks her to promise him that she will keep their relationship a secret. Godfrey is a seaman and has to return to his Navy post, but he takes her to his “home town” and sets her up in a cottage with a friendly couple to look after her. His wish is that he hopes that Bridget will meet his mother and they will develop a relationship of friendship. He worries that his mother’s reaction to his sudden marriage will be one of outrage. After all, Bridget is a young woman without friends, connections or fortune.

    Bridget also meets another local family, the Fitzroys, and discovers that Godfrey’s family, the Bullingham’s and the Fitzroy’s have had an acrimonious relationship for years.  Bridget delicately balances her relationship with both families, but feels guilty for concealing her identity from her husband’s family.

    I am not going to go any further with my disclosures because there is a twist in the story that one  must read for his or herself.

    Throughout the story, Bridget desires to know and trust God. 

    I personally have to say that this will not be a story that appeals to all audiences. The language and morals of the day might be unfamiliar to some in our modern society.  There are no steamy, love scenes, no filthy language or violence.

    Just a story of a girl finding God and true love. And a little more!

    I will admit that the day I received it I sat down to read a little bit and found myself staying up into the night to finish the book. I had to know what happened next!

    Also, I find these classic books worth the read. They are food and nourishment for the soul and brain!

    Another little note. The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous. It would make a perfect keepsake gift.  It is a beauty!

    Go check it out!
    You can connect with Lamplighter Publishing via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner for more reviews!




    The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    ArtAchieve (Level IV)...Homeschool Review Crew




    Are you neglecting “Art” in your homeschool? Or do you secretly love doodling around and would love art lessons, but feel that you just don’t have the time? Last year, we were fortunate to review a series of lessons from ArtAchieve. This fantastic program allows the user to take first rate art lessons right from home. This time around I (me, myself and I) got to review the Entire Level IV series of lessons.



    So why did I want to leave Josiah out of this review and tackle it all by myself? I blame it on my artist momma, but there is nothing more relaxing than “doing art” on a quiet afternoon with a cup of tea by my side. I knew that ArtAchieve would be thorough and forgiving (all at the same time!). The lessons themselves are intended for ages 10 through adult. If you or your kiddos have no experience with art lessons (or you need refreshers) it is suggested that you begin with Level I.

    Just in case you didn’t read last year’s review (which you really should) I need to tell you that ArtAchieve is an online program that not only teaches art technique, but integrates many other subjects…the whole lessons manages to become a ‘round the world experience!”

    Our instructor, John Hofland, does an excellent job. The lessons are easy to follow and his very patient and encouraging with his instruction.
    The ArtAchieve site also contains lots of helpful teacher tips and suggestions on evaluating a student's work. In fact, every lessons begins with a list of rules...the chief among them being that "there are no mistakes. If you draw a line you don't like, draw another line you do like."

    This series of lessons (Level IV) contains 10 lessons.

    The lessons are all set up the same. We are given a bit of the history of the inspiration of the piece we are going to create. We are encouraged to relax with an exercise (I'm thinking about instituting this practice once an hour every day) and we are given a link to peaceful music to listen to.
    Each lesson also contains an absolute fabulous list of Cross Curricular Connections for every subject matter. For example, the lesson I'm about to share with you (Lesson I) has links for listening to Ukrainian Folk Music and links to learn more about camouflaged animals.

    I am going to take you through the very first lesson I did..which also happens to be Lesson I. It is called The Ukrainian Face With Hidden Surprises.

    Every lesson has a drop down menu that give you links for a couple of things.


    You can see that the lesson itself comes in two different formats, either a PowerPoint Version or a Video Version.


    The PowerPoint version is handy if you wish to simply download the lesson and go through it slide by slide.

    The warm-up download is simply a exercise in drawing some of the elements that will be used in the lesson. The printout of the drawing is for reference (it also comes in a PDF download), and is black and white. I did use the printout when Josiah and I went through Level I. He is dysgraphic and I let him trace using the printout.


    My personal preference for the lesson format is the video. I like to see other people doing what I want to do and the video is just superb.


    I had such an enjoyable time...just me and John, a cup of tea and some art supplies.

    I absolutely loved working on this project. It's not perfect, but I felt like it was something I could tackle.


    This is such a terrific art curriculum. I do have a few suggestions if you are thinking about going through it yourself or with your kiddos.

    There is a list of art supplies you will need with handy links. I like looking at what I need to "look for" so that list was helpful for me. There wasn't anything majorly expensive. I am pretty well stocked (thanks to my artist momma), but I did need to make sure I had enough watercolor paper for all the projects.

    I suggest taking your time. We are given ample opportunity in the videos to press pause and complete a series of strokes, etc. I didn't feel rushed. I felt like that whole notion of loving to do art because you "just love to do it" was really stressed with this series. We are not encouraged to be perfect...just love what we do.

    The site is a treasure trove of fantastic Cross Curricular Connections ideas. I can see this being added to any study of geography, history and more! 

    There are five FREE lessons available at this time. I suggest going through those to 'whet your whistle."

    I had so much fun with this product. And if you think you might enjoy your own private art lessons from the comfort of your own home (with a cup of tea) ArtAchieve is the place you need to be!

    You can connect with ArtAchieve via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews. Other members of the Crew reviewed this Level, as well as Levels 1-3.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Artachieve   @ArtAchieve
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnahofland   @johnahofland
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArtAchieve   @ArtAchieve
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/artachieve   artachieve
    Google+: https://plus.google.com/+JohnHoflandartachieve   ArtAchieve



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