Inside: How we are lighting a new spark to our art curriculum this year.
The middle schooler is an artist. This isn’t the mom in me hoping I have a kid who is talented. This is a mom who recognizes the talents each of my kids has, and this one’s talent is art.
She is the artist in the family. Her mom has no such talents.
So, for years I have hired out weekly art lessons at a local art studio. She and her sister love Ms. Linda and are excited to go to her class each week. Sadly, our schedule doesn’t work well with Ms. Linda’s class schedule this year, and we had to drop our beloved art lessons.
I routinely add projects to our art curriculum. But, I’ve begun to realize that though these projects are fun for me and the youngest, they weren’t pushing the teen to exercise her artistic talents.
And, lately, it’s been important for her to find a way to express herself creatively. The pressure of going back to school has been hard, and she needs as many creative outlets as possible. Art has always been a way for her to deal with her emotions. It’s like therapy with a sketchbook. I get it. I may not be an artist, but I need my creative outlets as well.
Recently I read an article about art therapy, and I began to think that I should find an art program she could do from home on her schedule. And, it needed to be a challenge, or she would most definitely be bored.
We needed to add a little spark to our art curriculum, and Sparketh fit the bill.
An Overview of Sparketh Art Curriculum
So, what exactly is Sparketh?
Sparketh is an online platform that teaches creative subjects such as art, dance, music, singing and acting to kids and teens through high-quality video courses. Sparketh integrates and develops emerging technologies to create more effective learning experiences for young self-learners aged 10 – 18 years old. Each Sparketh course is taught by a Sparketh Mentor, who is an experienced creative professional who is passionate about their related subject.
How much does Sparketh cost?
For a simple monthly subscription of $25, students are allowed unrestricted access to all Sparketh courses in every subject area.
What courses does Sparketh offer?
There are many more courses offered than I want to type in this post. However, we focused on working through the Art Style Portraits Track. The courses in that track included:
- Facial Proportions
- Minimalism Portrait
- Compliment Me
- Fauvism Portrait
- Pop Art Portrait
- Basic Watercolor Techniques
- Harlem Renaissance Portrait
- Manga Character
- Abstract Expressionism Portrait
- Basic Colored Pencil Techniques
- Impressionism Portrait
- Cubism Portrait
- Surrealism Portrait
- Realism Portrait
Benefits of Sparketh Art Curriculum
Learning Basic Techniques
Even though I initially looked into Sparketh because of the teen, the youngest and I decided to try out some of the courses in the track for ourselves. We started with the facial proportions class.
I was astounded at what we learned in this course. I thought that someone without any artistic talent, like myself, would have a hard time drawing a portrait. However, the directions were thorough, and we were able to not only draw realistic-looking portraits, but the youngest entered hers in the local fair and placed third!
I was so impressed that we went through all of the courses explaining art techniques next. Just learning how to use all these art supplies we have stashed on our art shelves was well worth the cost of the subscription.
Learning Specific Styles of Portrait Art
Like I said before, the teen has an inherent talent for art. What she doesn’t have is a knowledge of the different styles of portraits and how to create them. She enjoyed learning new forms of art and spent several hours perfecting her new techniques.
What You Should Know About Sparketh Art Curriculum
Sparketh recently just updated their website and added some really cool aspects. One of these is the ability to add up to two different student users to a parent’s account. Once this is out of the beta stage, it will be a great feature in allowing students to upload their own portraits and keep up with their courses.
Designed for Older Students
Sparketh is not designed for young children. This is what I appreciated the most about this program. We specifically needed an art course that would challenge us and inspire us to up-our-game. The art instructors were not only knowledgeable, but they had the “cool factor” that appealed to the teen.
Where to Find More Information
You can find more information on Sparketh’s website, but you can also find Sparketh on the following social media channels:
What have you done to light a spark to your art curriculum?
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…
What a neat program!! I can certainly understand how art is an outlet that helps your teen deal with emotions – my teen daughter is the same; and she and I both use music as our primary creative way of coping and processing. Anyway, thanks for sharing this on the Virtual Fridge!
Ah, music is also a great creative outlet. Thanks for stopping by.
Mother of 3 says
That sounds like a great resource! I am finding it harder and harder to challenge my boys as they get older so I can see how this would come in handy. Pinned.
Thanks! Yes, the older kids are definitely harder to challenge.