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Art House: Volume 1--Basic Shapes and Animals DVD Review by Jenny Thomas

By Amy Wilkes and Tiffany Jennings
Art House LLC
544 Euclid St.
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Even if you know nothing about art, you can teach your child to draw using the Art House DVD. Amy Wilkes and Tiffany Jennings have done an excellent job putting together a video that not only teaches basic art concepts, but entertains as well. Music and colorful images fill the time in between each teaching session. Volume 1--Basic Shapes and Animals teaches children how to draw a circle, square, triangle, and oval. Using those basic shapes, "Teacher Emily" gives step-by-step instructions for drawing five cartoon animals. You do not need extra materials to start drawing. Your child can just grab a sheet of paper and a pencil and be ready to go.

Though this Art House video was not intended for homeschoolers per se, it works extremely well in a homeschool environment. All of the learning styles are addressed in this video. The upbeat, original tunes will keep your auditory learner engaged. Visual learners will love the bright colors and enjoy finding shapes in their everyday life. Your spatial/kinesthetic learners will be encouraged to dance and move around to the music. The Art House: Volume 1 DVD runs approximately 35 minutes long, allowing you to do all the lessons in one day, or you can break them up over the course of five days. You can use this video with children ages 3 and up, but I would probably cap the age range at 8.

My 6-year-old daughter completed the DVD in one day because she loved it that much. It was so exciting for her to see the animals she was able to draw, simply by putting shapes together. We have tried other books that use this same idea, but as a visual learner, my daughter needed to watch someone else walk her through the drawing process. "Teacher Emily" was great at keeping my daughter's attention throughout the video. The fact that my daughter wanted to watch the DVD again right away tells me that it goes beyond being a simple teaching tool by capturing a child's interest and imagination.

I would definitely recommend the Art House: Volume 1 DVD to anyone who is looking for a fun way to introduce drawing to children. This award-winning product comes just as described--easy and fun!

Product review by Jenny Thompson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2010