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!

Art Achieve Level V Review by Kelly Burgess

John Hofland

Art Achieve offers five difficulty levels of art lessons, and those lessons can be purchased individually, in bundles, or an entire level at once. The total number of lessons varies by level, and Level V includes a total of nine instructional projects: Diocletian’s Palace in Croatia, The Carpathian Church: Painting in the Style of Van Gogh, The English Opinicus, Grandma Moses and the Queen Anne House, The Lion Collage from Kenya, The Ancient Greek Trireme, The California Almond Orchard, The Whidby Island Lighthouse with Clouds, and The Lion Print from China. As you can see, there is quite a variety of art styles included in one level. Level V is intended for students in grades seven and up who have mastered the skills taught in previous levels.

The site provides a comprehensive list of art supplies needed to complete each project listed with each project’s instructions. In addition, there’s also a master list of supplies needed, broken out by level for your convenience. Links to the suggested materials are also included to help you locate the supplies at mass retailers such as Walmart, so it’s easy to locate whatever you might need to purchase. I feel like the supplies include a pretty basic array, so it doesn’t take a huge investment to be able to complete the projects in the level. It really makes this program very doable for a larger number of families in my opinion.

Two methods of instruction are provided for each project, depending on the student’s preferred method. Those include a slideshow of step-by-step instructions in Powerpoint or a video presentation. My daughter has used three other levels of this program previously, and she has always preferred the slideshow so she can take her time and advance just when she is ready to move on. Although she skipped level IV, she is at the end of 8th grade and has had a lot of art experience, so she felt confident that she could move on to this level. She was not disappointed! 

She was excited to dive into these lessons. At this level, each project can take several hours to complete, or they can be broken up into stages over the course of a couple of days. For instance, you could do the drawing stage the first day and then apply the paint or pastels the following day. She told me that there were definitely a lot more steps involved in the lessons for this level, but she enjoyed them immensely. The assignments had her using a variety of art mediums, including chalk pastels, oil pastels, paint, markers, colored pencils, and water-based printing ink.  We are ready for our summer to begin, so I know she will continue to work through these lessons during that time. There is plenty to keep her occupied for weeks to come!

I must say that I was impressed with how her completed projects turned out. It reminded me of how some art programs tout being able to make an artist out of anyone of any age. My daughter is definitely talented, but even knowing that, I was really pleased with the beauty and uniqueness of these projects! They are definitely worthy of framing and placing on the walls, which we’ve done with many of the projects from the earlier levels of this program and will definitely do with these, as well!

This program is easy to use and follow, and it’s always a pleasure for my daughter to work on the lessons online. When she logs into our account, she can go right to our current list of lessons and dive right into whatever suits her fancy. We love this program and will continue to use it until we’ve exhausted the remaining lessons! I would certainly recommend it for the budding artist in your family! I think a bundle of lessons would make a great gift or summer activity, as well.

-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018