The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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MoxieBox Art Review by Cassie Deputie(951) 821-6360
28039 Scott Road, Suite D-393
Murrieta, CA 92563
Art supplies are expensive. Knowing which tools to get and which projects to do can be confusing. Selecting an art curriculum that challenges and inspires your children can also be quite the feat. Imagine if someone else did all this work for you and your part in your child’s art instruction was to simply enjoy the study with your children! MoxieBox Art has invented “Art Lessons in a Box Delivered to Your Home” subscription. For a monthly, semester, or annual fee, you can receive a box in the mail each month that includes everything you need to make incredible works of art as well as study famous artwork or specific artists, learning the techniques those artists used, what was going on historically that inspired those artists, and witness the many different applications of different mediums, tools, and techniques that are included in each month’s theme.
The manuals that are included in these kits are spiral bound, full color, and cover a variety of study with a simple, yet extremely fun and engaging layout. Each grade level has slightly different focuses based on the skill level of the child, but they still coincide nicely. These kits also include every single thing you would need to do the project at hand. MoxieBox Art does not go small, they go big when it comes to supplies included!
We reviewed three months of the K-2nd grade level as well as the 3rd-5th grade level. We accomplished three projects in each grade level that included “Jim Dine Medley,” “Harvest Stippling,” and “Whimsical Time.” I would like to walk you through each project to give you a picture of how we used and applied these fantastic subscription boxes to our homeschool.
Our first-month box included a study on “Jim Dine Medley” in which my children learned about Jim Dine’s influence in the Pop Art movement. Looking at some examples of Dine’s style of art, my 1st grader mimicked some of his pieces using paint markers to make large paint dots on his paper. He implemented the fan brush included in the kit and using the palms of his hands made circular motions to create a landscape that was quite impressive. This project included several steps and layers of paint and different methods of using a fan brush as well as some work with charcoal and shading. This was all perfect for his level being simple enough for him to do, but still challenging in that he never used this technique before. Both him and I were pleased and impressed with his work at the end. We had so much paint and charcoal leftover that he and his younger siblings could try many more projects than just the one listed.
My 4th graders had the same study but focused on more intricate and guided practice with charcoal making soft, medium, and dark marks and had some blending exercises before starting their project. Their project was sketching and shading a charcoal paintbrush using a blending stump and kneaded eraser that had bright colors of paint flowing across their paper using the same tools my 1st grader used but in a completely different application. All three of my girls made several pages of Dine’s inspired work since the supplies in our Moxie box were so plentiful. They experimented with splattering paint to add layers and texture to their art. These were insanely impressive final products that I wish I could attach to this review for you to see for yourself!
Our second month was “Harvest Stippling” in which my 1st grader created an ear of corn with a textured background and raffia husk, and my 4th graders created several ears of corn in the same fashion. They all learned and practiced stippling at their own skill level. They learned how to make something darker or lighter by spacing the dots closer or farther apart. They gained knowledge on how to watercolor and how to use sea salt to create an old-fashioned texture to the paper they were working on. Each ear of corn had stippling details on each kernel as well as an interesting blend of colors. My kids took several weeks to complete their project from beginning to end as there was a waiting period to dry certain elements. I appreciated that these were not simple art projects that could be finished in an hour, but they took time, study, and practice. There were steps involved and our Friday afternoons were always eagerly filled with the next steps in the project. Breakfast got cleaned up very quickly on Friday mornings so that our purple MoxieBox Art projects could replace it on the dining room table. By the time we finished and took photos of our art, our third box was due to arrive!
Our third MoxieBox Art was titled “Whimsical Time” and was a study in eccentric, asymmetrical, crazy art. The key project was a whimsical clock sculpture that stood upright and had moving components. It was to be filled with texture, colors, and detailed craziness. Our kit included bright feathers, pompoms, a whole pack of brush markers, a clock kit with a battery so our artwork moved, a foam base, a pencil, wooden skewers, adhesive and mounts, and even laminate. Everything you would need to build a three-dimensional wacky clock that not only stood on its own but moved as well! The instruction manual was packed with examples of famous artwork and exercises in creative line drawing and making whimsical shapes and numbers. This was such a fun project and I saw the creative juices flowing in my children’s minds as they paged through the instruction manual. I believe this project was a sense of freedom when it comes to art that things do not need to be perfect or symmetrical. Art can be expressive according to each individual’s personality, likes and dislikes, mood, and character.
As noted above, these kits come with a tremendous amount of supplies. Enough supplies to make many, many more projects than just the instruction manual walks through. Here is an example of just how much supplies:
- Each “Jim Dine Medley” kit included three sets of charcoal pencils, one mixed media paper, kneaded erasers, three yardsticks papers, blending stumps, fan brushes, set of six paint markers, one black construction paper, and a glue stick as well as an instructional manual.
- “Harvest Stippling” was stocked with a 36-color set of watercolors, sea salt, raffia, a glue stick, a shape (or three) cut like the shape of an ear of corn, a spray bottle, an ultra-thin sharpie, a roll of painters tape, a large paintbrush, and some mixed-media paper along with an instruction guide.
- The “Whimsical Time” project came with a 9 inch round cardboard, decorations, a pencil, wooden skewers, a clock kit, and battery, a set of 12 brush markers, adhesive and mounts, mixed media paper, and laminate plus the instruction manual.
MoxieBox is impressive. It did not feel like we are doing a formal art lesson at all. It felt like we were opening a gift, and, as we worked through the project, we were playing with a new toy for the first time. Everyone was saddened when the instructions told us to let something dry because we knew we were done for the day. I had a tough time restringing myself from doing the projects for my children as I wanted to partake in the fun just as much as they did.
I would recommend these to any family, homeschooling or not, young, and old. Art is a subject that is often overlooked and underestimated but has so many applications in almost any future career or life choice you can think of. Asking loved ones for a subscription to MoxieBox Art for your child’s birthday or a holiday is the perfect gift that gives month after month. It enriches your child’s education, creativity, direction-following skills, problem-solving skills, and gives every family a fun project to take on together. And it all comes in a box to your front step! Could it be any easier?
~ Product review by Cassie Deputie, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine LLC, February 2020