Anyone can teach their children how to draw a stick figure, but to get beyond the stick figure you’ll need this fantastic, multi-layered online art curriculum called Beyond The Stick Figure Art School. This program is accessible online and offers an impressive array of various art courses, such as drawing, pen and ink, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, and 3D designing with modeling clay. This is a great way for the whole family to do family art activities when you need lots of fun projects to do together!
Beyond the Stick Figure Art School has courses jam-packed for all family members and their ages with units to organize the learning process, and each unit is packed with many lessons. The school makes sure that no stick figure is left behind by providing step by step instructions with video lessons, printable worksheets, and text lessons for every exercise.
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About Beyond the Stick Figure Art School: Homeschool Art Curriculum
The creator of Beyond the Stick Figure Art School is Sally, a native England homeschool mom with an art degree that she has obviously put to good use. She applied her skills to create this work of art school in order for all families to see how easy it can be to create different forms of art activity if you follow her step-by-step guidance.
This art curriculum has quite the list of courses:
- Drawing – 55 total lessons
- Pen & Ink – 15 total lessons
- Watercolor Paint – 52 total lessons
- Acrylic Pant – 24 total lessons
- 3D Design Model Clay – 30 total lessons
Each course is organized by units and each unit includes multiple lessons. The lesson instruction obtains a great introduction of a short video how-to lesson from Sally as well as its own lesson printable for the student to create on.
How To Use Beyond the Stick Figure Online Lessons
After you sign up you will be emailed instructions to verify your email. Once you do that, you will be directed to a screen where you put your login information that you created when you purchased the online curriculum.
After logging in, you will come to the home screen. This is an overview of all the courses you currently have with Beyond the Stick Figure Art School. Clicking on your course will redirect you to the dashboard with all of your units and lessons organized neatly. Expand each course to view each individual lesson.
Each course also comes with a Materials list. A Materials tab is located on the very top of all of your courses that includes all the materials you will need for all the course. And a Materials lesson is at the beginning of each course to let you know which materials are needed for that particular course. Kids of all ages can do any of these courses depending on their skill level, but it starts with the very basics with shapes and then progresses.
Since I know little to nothing about premium art supplies, I found the Materials information extremely helpful. I was able to order the suggested drawing pads, markers, and other supplies needed, knowing exactly what to get. You have other supplies needed laying around the house probably though, like old egg carton, rubber stamp, pipe cleaners construction paper, and other family fun craft activities stuff!!
Sally makes it possible to do easy art projects and simple lessons and easy steps to understand why we want specific premium supplies. She also offers helpful tips on how to best care for these art supplies to make them last a long time. I appreciated that as well; my kids were able to listen to her tips and know how to care for their items, which was an awsome way to do family art activities together!
Once you click into a lesson, you will see the entire lesson’s instruction. For example, a video will be there waiting on you to for this particular lesson, along with any printable worksheets to download and print that will coincide with that particular lesson. Any text for the lesson will also be on this same screen.
The video lesson will walk you through in step by step fashion on your art lesson for the day. You can pause the video to do each step, then unpause to listen to her next set of directions. Each video is relatively short, usually less than ten minutes.
How We Used This Online Art Curriculum
We received the homeschool art curriculum in order to use it and then write up an honest review about it. We found that using this particular art curriculum in our homeschool on a three-day a week schedule was ideal for our family. However, by following that schedule it will take us a fairly long while to go through each lesson and each unit for each art course!
How School Is Setup
Because of the nature of the program, students are unable to jump ahead or bounce around to other online art lessons for homeschoolers if they haven’t finished any earlier ones yet. This means, while we enjoyed learning through the Drawing course, we could not move forward to any of the other courses until the Drawing course was complete.
I would have preferred to have this capability set up for us. We would have really liked to have done different courses each week, perhaps focusing on Drawing one week, then on Pen & Ink the next week, then on Watercolors one week, Acrylics one week, and finally 3D Design one week.
But since we couldn’t go into any of these amazing courses until we completed all the units and courses for Drawing, we could not experience the additional art courses. This bummed us out because, as I mentioned, we would have loved to have done each kind of art class on different weeks for our family art activities.
With that said, there is a way around this. You can click on each lesson and mark each lesson complete. This means that for the very first course, Drawing, you would need to mark it complete 52 times before you can finally enter the Pen & Ink course. If you want the last course, 3D Design, you would need to click through every single course and every single lesson within every unit, marking it complete, before you can finally enter the 3D Design course.
Although this was an option for us, we did not spend time marking and completing every lesson just to jump to the next art course. Besides, doing so would make us lose track of where we really left off in previous courses! (And my kids had a lot of great ideas with different color painting a super fun way with tissue paper and tempera paint!!)
So, honestly, that was the biggest dislike I found about this program – the set up of the flow. And unfortunately, this dislike turned me off of really enjoying the course to its maximum potential. It didn’t create a huge difficult time for me though, but I know what to expect the next time we go through the motions with my younger kids.
It would not be fair to my readers to omit this part of the curriculum. Although it’s just one thing, since I did find the entire art curriculum charming and wonderfully made, it prevented my young children and I from doing watercolor with watercolor paper and crayons, pen and ink, acrylic, and 3D design.
I do have hunch as to why Sally created this art curriculum set up like that.
All the way back into Lesson 1 of Unit 1 of the very first art course, Drawing, she really explains the basics of drawing to the students, such as lines and circles. I believe that, although each course is separated into its own section, she wants all students to complete each course in order before moving on to the next type of art course.
If this is the case, now, it does make sense to me to set it up this way. Even so, I would have liked a small blurb at least explaining that that is the intention and set up of this particular homeschool art curriculum.
Materials We Bought
You’re going to need supplies for any art homeschool curriculum, right? Yes. If you don’t have any art supplies at home, you’re going to need to purchase some. Because we go through a lot of supplies being a homeschool family (who is active in hands-on projects and art) I decided to try out the more premium markers to see if they last longer than the regular ones we’re used to using.
I purchased Strathmore Drawing Pad for both kiddos and each child also got their own set of Prismacolor markers. Because of this art school, I personally was introduced to more legit art supplies and Sally carefully explained in a video why I would want to get these slightly-more expensive premium markers, which I greatly appreciated.
That’s all we bought, for now: markers and drawing pads. I did not purchase all of the recommended supplies because I really just wanted to see if we could do the lessons with just those items. And so far, yes!
Should we need additional art supplies for the other online art classes for homeschoolers, then I will purchase, if necessary, those supplies. We do have some watercolor and acrylic paint already, but I doubt those are Sally’s recommended materials for each class.
So when the time comes to look into purchasing those items, we’ll do that! To save money (homeschool and school supplies can be quite expensive), we’re just going to purchase supplies as needed as we go through each course.
Did we like it?
We definitely did! My kids wanted to do more than the online art lessons I scheduled for them. In fact, if I had allowed them to do art whenever they wanted, they probably would have made it all way through to at least the middle of the Watercolor class!
Though both my older children love hands-on things to do, my daughter, especially, loves arts and crafts. She would pause the video and follow the directions, then unpause and listen to the next set of directions. She learned a lot through Sally’s explanations of not only how to do something but also why do it that way. This type of teaching style really helped Zoey understand art precision on a deeper level.
Using the drawing pads and premium markers made the kids feel super important. I noticed that they took the homeschool art class more seriously because they had really nice art supplies.
Another touch of love about this is that it’s mama-hands off! I’m not the one teaching art – Sally is! I can’t even draw a perfect shape of anything – not a circle, not a square, geez not even a straight line most of the times. So I was very happy that all I needed to do was make sure the kids and the iPad or laptop was ready, and push play! This made my homeschool mom life a little easier.
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Family Art Activities with Beyond the Stick Figure Homeschool Art Curriculum Review
Overall, we really enjoyed Beyond the Stick Figure Art School. We are so eager to do the other online art classes for homeschoolers as well, and for me personally, I’m looking forward to the 3D Design homeschool art class using clay!
We are going to continue using this art curriculum until we are totally done. The instructions in each lesson are spot-on and exactly how we need it in order to learn art the correct way. I especially liked how the very first lesson begins with the basics of art, and then each subsequent lesson builds on from the previous lesson.
This helps ensure that the foundation is there and understood as the kids go through all the lessons one at a time. In this sense, I am okay with not being able to skip classes.
If you need an art curriculum for your homeschool with tons of different options you don’t see in many other art curriculums, then check out Beyond The Stick Figure! This art curriculum grows with your child from stick figures to masterpieces!
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