Hi there, I’m Cat homeschooling mama and owner of LightHeart Photography. Jess has invited me to share a review of ArtVenture on the blog. I’m in my 13th year of Early Childhood teaching, and have also been homeschooling my son, JJ, for a year. He is 6.5yo, and I have a 3.5yo, Chloe, as well. JJ has weak fine motor skills due to being ambidextrous and only starting to use his right hand consistently recently, has poor concentration and focus, and lacks confidence with any sort of formal task or structured environment. I came across ArtVenture initially on Instagram and checked out Kirsty’s feed and the website, but given where JJ is at the moment I wasn’t sure how he’d respond. He has expressed desire to get better at drawing a few times so I kept the idea in the back of my mind. When we finally got around to trying it, I was blown away. Kirsty is brilliant at what she does; I am incredibly impressed.
Lessons are rated 1 to 5 according to difficulty. Given JJ’s development and Chloe’s age, we only do level 1s currently. The website is well designed and allows you to isolate levels and search with different parameters (including subject and year level), but is simple enough for my young kids to use. Lessons follow the same format with the same fun intro and Artventure logo. Kirsty says hello and explains what the lesson is going to be about, and what equipment and items are required (which are just basic art supplies most of the time making it very accessible). All lessons we’ve seen begin with a border around the page. This is actually one of my favourite things! A minor detail that makes a difference to the finished product and is a wonderful way for children to increase their awareness of the space available to them and how to fill it.
Kirsty draws step by step with brief pauses, and also has a pause icon that flashes to show the kids where she suggests they pause to draw, then press play again. This is immensely useful, and my children can do the whole thing on their own, which I can assure you is absolutely incredible! Kirsty suggests they watch the whole lesson, then restart and draw along, pausing when necessary. My two are too impatient for this now, haha, but it is ideal if your children have more patience than mine!
Kirsty provides information and tips about perspective, size, shape, and more as she draws, so that children are considering design elements as they go. She also makes colour and contrast suggestions for the painting part of the lesson. They are very much a drawing lesson, with products ending up quite similar, but sometimes my children change what they’re doing and don’t follow along exactly, which I LOVE because it shows their growing confidence in their own skills and ideas. Something else I love about ArtVenture, are the videos that aren’t lessons. There are a few videos about making mistakes, and tips for drawing different things and styles. The mistakes video was especially useful for my son. I also want to be clear ArtVenture isn’t for little kids. In fact, it’s really too hard for my 3.5yo. Kirsty suggests 5 is a good starting age, and I’d agree. I have thoroughly enjoyed the level 4 and 5 lessons myself!
So whats the verdict?
My kids love ArtVenture, and my son is not particularly into art and drawing at all. It has helped develop his skills and confidence, and he asks to do it, which is amazing for him! It’s a wonderful complement to all types of homeschool (and we’re pretty relaxed and eclectic, personally). Many of the lessons touch on other subjects, like science in the space lesson where the planets are ordered and drawn factually (size, colour suggestions, rings etc). I cannot recommend ArtVenture highly enough for homeschool use.
If you would like to try out ArtVenture, you can have full access to all the lessons with a FREE 48hr trial! And if you love ArtVenture as much as we do, use the code FIVEINTHETRIBE50 when purchasing for a 50% off lifetime license, this takes the yearly price from $79 to $39!
To see more of Cat’s Photography work visit www.lightheartphotography.com.au
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