I discovered a gem earlier this year, but did not get around to actually trying it out until last month: online art lessons at ourhomeschoolforum.com. The series is called “Art Through the Year”, and now in its second year, there are more than a dozen video lessons to choose from. Each lesson focuses on specific art topics such as line, shape, perspective, color, texture, etc. The lessons run through the school year, with episode one in September, and seem to be somewhat seasonal. The lessons are not cumulative though, so you can start with lesson one or jump right in at the current lesson. The two that we have tried involved multiple projects with art supplies we already had at home.
First, we tried “Line and Shape with Swans” (season 2, episode 1). The lesson invovled using washable markers to create a swan picture with a castle in the background. A wet paper towel was used to bleed the marker colors for a watercolor effect.
Next, we tried “Trees in All Seasons” (season 2, episode 2). The lesson has several projects to make, however we only had time to complete project #1 for fall and summer trees. These were fun, and added variety with using sponges to paint multicolored leaves on fall trees, and tissue paper to add texture to leaves on summer trees.
I find that in art, so many of the topics are about nature, so that it is easy to slide a science lesson in there as well. But maybe that is just the science teacher in me. I feel like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “Show me a lesson, any lesson, and I will show you how that lesson relates to science…”
We find the videos to be quickly paced, and pause the video often to catch up. Each lesson has a downloadable handout to give an overview of each project in case you do not have time to preview each video lesson. The kids really enjoy what they produce, so we will continue to include this series as a supplement, where we do not have another art lesson already scheduled in our curriculum.