Art is something we are very familiar with in our homeschool, when the option came up to review this product, we jumped at the chance.
The See The Light Art Series provides 4 lessons with Pat Knepley [master artist] as the instructor, a bit of art history and a Bible verse/tie in, along with just enough "how to" steps, so one can learn how to draw. Best yet, each lesson is about 15 or so minutes, keeping the student's mind focused at the task at hand..
We were able to view the first of the nine part series. It begins with very basic instruction on beginning drawing/art skills. Each DVD advances the student through a series of steps to help build their technique repertoire, and of course so they can create their own masterpieces there after. I particularly liked the fourth lesson focusing on the issue of how the student should draw what they see, not what they know. I find that to be one of the more challenging hurdles for the children (mine and the ones I teach in our co-op) to get over. I was pleased when the lesson brought to focus the reasoning behind such a statement, then quickly showed them how to do just that. Because my kids have had a lot of basic instruction regarding drawing, the first few lessons only served as refreshers for them, but we all walked away with some snippets of useful info, and that deserves to be noted. I found this to be a fun, gentle approach for elementary-aged students which, for a limited time, you can get the first DVD for free as well.
[I also was able to view the clips DVD, showing snippets from many of the other lessons-and from the look of things, it appears they follow the same layout and general instruction plan as the first DVD. Because I was only able to see one ninth of the program, I can only make an educated guess about the over all program itself-so please keep that in mind here.]
Pros:I really like the short lessons. Kids usually are mentally checked out (OK, adults too) after about 10-20 minutes, so this fits that attention span issue nicely.
The instruction only touches on the focused technique for that lesson.
Bible verse or subject matter from Bible brought into each lesson.
Instruction actually teaches something useful (this is important, since I have come across way too many programs that leave you scratching your head, and your art skills no better than when you started it).
Cheerful and engaging art instructor-way to go Mrs. Pat.
Supplies are readily available in most folks' homes, or are inexpensive to purchase.
Was only able to view one part of it-so I cannot give a complete review on the entire program, only the first DVD.
Cannot purchase the DVDs individually (now yes, it is an entire program that is sequential but due to my older child having had lots of experience in art, there were only a couple she would like to view-so being able to purchase those, would have been nice). [**I noticed that I can search for individual ones and add them to the cart, but we were told that they will no longer offer the ability to buy as such. So if you see a DVD that you'd really like, I suggest you purchase now, while you still can. I truly hope the option to purchase individually will remain-if you cannot search and find it-then assume it is no longer available.]
Overall cost would prohibit me from buying the entire program-as I honestly do not budget that much for the art in our home [that sounds like I don't think art is important-au contraire! Actually it is very important-we simply must find our materials and supplies for a lot less due to our meager curriculum budget].
[**Now if you consider that it is an entire year's worth of art instruction, the price doesn't seem quite so bad. And you have the option of doing the monthly online classes, so it is doable. I prefer the DVD version myself, so this is something you will have to consider for your own family and your curriculum budget.]
I feel that this could be a great program for those who have little or no art ability in them, or are timid when it comes to teaching it to their children (since Mrs. Pat does the work for you and you just learn along with your children); and for those who are looking for a program to enhance and further their children's current art skills and techniques. Being Bible based is always a good thing, as the Lord is the ultimate artist in the universe with a lot to say about it in his Word-thankfully, See the Light continually brings that into focus as well. So if art is "not your thing" or you want sequential lessons that teach (for real) then this program could be a blessing indeed.
You will need to collect a few goodies to do these lessons-therefore, the lady on the run is noted.
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See the Light Homepage
($14.99 value for the DVD I reviewed)
$99.99 for the one year set
Monthly online instruction for $10 per month
Ages: First thru about 6th but those with no previous art lessons could also benefit
You can request a free DVD of the Vol. I for a limited time-check it out for yourself!
*Don't forget to read up on what my TOS mates had to say about this and many other fine homeschool products, over on our TOS Review Crew homepage.
***Legacy for God Publishing/See the Light provided me with a free copy of the See the Light Art Series-Vol. I, so that I could view and use it with my children. I did not receive any financial compensation for this or for my honest opinion of this product.