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ArtAchieve Level 2 Review by Melissa Batai

John Hofland

ArtAchieve Level 2 is the second level available in John Hofland’s five levels of ArtAchieve.  The course is entirely online and can be completed at the student’s leisure though lessons expire one year after purchase.  Level 2 has 14 lessons ranging from a Mexican Mask to The Mermaid from Denver to The German Nutcracker, to name a few.  Lessons can be purchased individually at $5 each or $53 for all 14 lessons.  In addition, customers can choose to purchase bundles of 3 lessons in Level 2 for $13 each.  The lessons can be watched either as Power Point slides or as a video online, so the only other items that will need to be purchased after buying the lessons are the art supplies.  Level 2 primarily uses watercolors, markers, chalk pastels, and acrylic paints.  Level 2’s lessons are mainly for 3rd grade through adult, though about one quarter of the lessons are suitable for K-2nd grade.

This program is perfect for homeschoolers or homeschool co-ops.  Mr. Hofland and his wife homeschooled their own children, so they’re very familiar with the homeschool community.  This program would likely appeal to most types of learners.  In addition, the lessons lend themselves to a unit study approach as Mr. Hofland teaches more than just art.  Each lesson is multi-cultural; Hofland chooses an object from another country as the focus of the lesson such as The Polish Szopka in Lesson 13.  The lesson includes details such as what a Szopka is, when it’s used culturally, and other pertinent information related to Poland.  Each lesson includes this type of information, so Hofland’s art lessons can be social studies lessons, too.

My 7th grader who enjoys art tried out this program.  He was thrilled with ArtAchieve.  He appreciated that Mr. Hofland explained, step-by-step, how to draw the particular object in the lesson, but then that he encouraged individual creativity in the design of the object.  Mr. Hofland also said time and time again to try to work with any small mistakes that students make in the picture rather than getting frustrated and abandoning the entire project.  I liked that he said this because it helps eliminate some of the frustration that perfectionists can feel.  I also appreciated how thorough the lessons were.  In addition to the cultural elements, Mr. Hofland also provided a warm-up, suggested the students listen to relaxing music while working, and then taught the lesson itself.

While ArtAchieve gives a thorough list of supplies needed overall, I would have appreciated if each individual lesson within a level listed the supplies needed for that particular lesson.  I could find the information by clicking on the Power Point of the lesson and clicking through the screens until I found the supplies, but I would have preferred if that information was available perhaps under each lesson.  That would help me first choose lessons based on the supplies we already had on hand.  However, this was only a minor inconvenience.  I still whole-heartedly recommend these art lessons.  I even tried a few myself!

If you’d like to incorporate art lessons into your homeschool but don’t feel comfortable teaching them yourself, I’d highly recommend ArtAchieve.  Mr. Hofland will make your children better artists and make art enjoyable for the whole family.

-Product review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016