The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Simply Draw with Bob Parsons Review by Dawn Oaks

Self published by author
Bob Parsons

Simply Draw with Bob Parsons is a wonderful self-paced art curriculum. The primary focus of the program is on 3D pencil sketches with a secondary emphasis on cartooning. For this reason, it is very popular with both the preteen and teen audiences.

The study focuses on the artistic skills of drawing three dimensional items with incorporation of shading, shadowing, and texture. A review of recommended posture and specific terminology of the trade are provided. Each of the lessons has a DVD instructional segment with close-up camera footage of Mr. Parsons drawing the skills in the lesson while narrating important tips. He is a very personable individual that makes listening to his narrative easy and comfortable.

In the corresponding binder, there are instruction sheets for each lesson with an adjacent practice page. This allows the student to easily reference the step by step instructions while trying it on their own. All of the pages in the binder are printed on heavy cardstock making an appropriate medium for drawing and erasures without affecting the quality of the end product.

As a mom with little artistic experience and talent, the instructional DVD was key to the curriculums use and success. I would not have purchased this without these instructional segments. The beauty is that they can be replayed over and over again until the student feels that they've "got it". There is such an appeal of the videos that many times I find myself sitting down and doodling right along with my kids. It is really that simple. Overall, I found that my kids had a much better understanding of space, distance, and perspective that I am sure they will benefit from as they approach three dimensional objects in geometry. The DVD is easy to navigate through the menu system, but must be played on a computer. We did find that it didn't work on our family's DVD player hooked to our TV.

Outside of the cost of the program, there are little other financial commitments in successfully completing Simply Draw with Bob Parsons. The practice sheets are included. It really comes down to pencils, erasers, and black felt tip pen.

In the copyright information for the course, Mr. Parsons states that the materials are not reproducible. Homeschool groups are welcome to contact him for special permission to reproduce the materials for a nominal fee.

All in all, this homeschool mom gives Simply Draw with Bob Parsons a big thumbs up. It is the ideal way to feed a child's love for drawing, earn some elective credits on a high school transcript, and have fun all at the same time.

Product review by Dawn Oaks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2011