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I am *so* excited to get to share this review today. When we first started homeschooling years and years ago, I remember reading about Atelier Art on a homeschooling message board, and pouring over their website and thinking that I *really* wanted to give it a try. I’ve always heard that it’s top notch and just wonderful, but I’ll admit, the arts don’t always get the time or the budget they should in our house, so I never had the chance to try it.
Atelier Art Review
Atelier Art is a video-based art program for elementary/middle school students. There are eight levels in all, with twenty lessons per level.
For this review, I combined all my kids (ages 11, 9 and 5) on Level 3. I spoke to Atelier to get help with placement and they agreed that this program may be slightly challenging for my youngest, and maybe slightly easy for my oldest. I figured that my oldest hasn’t had that much practical art experience so it wouldn’t be a big deal for him to start on Level 3.
It turned out to be the perfect fit for them! My youngest is a girl, and is more inclined than my boys to sit still and focus on the details. She is really thriving in this level. My boys are properly challenged as well!
How it Works
Each lesson has a video component which lasts about 10 minutes. The videos are filmed in a classroom full of students, which my kids loved. They thought it was fun to see the work the other kids were doing, and it really helped my perfectionist middle son to see other kids working through the projects as well. I have been told that the online version has newer videos than the older DVD versions, and I found them to be high quality and easy to watch and enjoy.
We watched the video straight through once, and then worked on the projects while watching it (and pausing) the second time. The website also includes a downloadable teacher’s guide which also includes the lesson instructions as well as vocabulary words, art concepts for the kids to learn, a materials list, and guidelines for evaluating your student’s work. I took my files to the UPS store to be printed and bound, which cost about 10 dollars for a black and white copy.
A closer look at one of the lesson
In the first lesson, the kids took a closer look at line to create a “line creature.”
The instructor spoke about what a line is, and then had the kids use a warm-up sheet to practice creating different kinds of lines with her guidance.
She then had the kids create the outline of their line monster by placing a long string on their papers and then tracing the shape with a pencil. Once that was done, the kids went over the outline with their marking pen.
From their they imagined the form of their creature, adding elements like heads, tails, wings and legs, and divided the animal up into smaller shape sections.
Finally, they used their knowledge of different kinds of lines to fill in their animals to create fun and interesting line creatures.
I really love this program. We’ve tried a handful of DVD/video based art programs and this one is by far my favorite. I feel that Atelier Art goes above and beyond teaching art concepts within the lessons instead of simply teaching a craft and calling it a formal art class.
The teacher’s manual includes a scope and sequence – this program covers an incredible amount of ground in 20 lessons. In Level 3 the kids will learn more about line, color, shape, form, texture, pattern and space while also exploring drawing, self-expression, culture and history, artists, and various artistic media.
I found this program easy for me to use and teach. The materials list contained fairly simply things, all of which I was able to find on one visit to the store. I bought everything in advance of teaching the lessons so I would never have the excuse of “I don’t have supplies on hand” to stop me from doing lessons. This program was also low-pressure on me. Because Little Miss is so young, I did stay at the table and help facilitate the lessons, but I think I probably could have let the older boys do the lessons on their own without an issue.
I would reccomend this program for all parents looking for serious art education in an easy to use format.
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