Art lessons can be expensive or hard to fit into your busy homeschool schedule. Most kids love doing art projects and they are a fantastic way to round out academics so the question is how to fit them in successfully. What if there was a way to have simple and short art lessons right from home?
Disclosure: We received a Sparketh membership for review purposes and were compensated for our time. I was not required to post a positive review. As always, opinions are my own and we promote products that our family finds valuable and believe are an asset to the homeschool community we serve.
Sparketh Online Art Lessons for Kids
Sparketh is geared for kids 8 and up according to their site. Mr. T (7) loves art and does great with most of the beginner projects. Mr. F (almost 5) does well on them, too. So depending on your child’s interest and ability, there are projects for almost everyone! You can get a free 1 month trial when you sign up here.
Sparketh has 5 different types of activities:
- Technical – these teach terms and methods of how to do a specific task like shading or creating a 3D object.
- Activity – These are the activities that use the techniques. The boys enjoyed these most since they were actually creating.
- Challenge – These are cool ways to get your artist to think outside the box.
Each lesson is broken down into short video steps. You can complete as many or few at a time as you like. While we’ve been on break, the boys have preferred to do an entire lesson at a time. I am planning on including one project per week as part of our morning time art now that we are back “in session”.
Homeschool Art Lessons
Part of what makes Sparketh so great is that there are so many tutorials for him to choose from and they are pretty much hands-off for me.
I gather our supplies (Mr. F can’t be trusted with access to art supplies, we’re still looking for a primer to successfully cover up Sharpie on our almost-white walls) and set them on the table. Log in to Sparketh, let Mr. T choose his project, hit play and that’s it.
Seriously. Each video segment is between 2 and 20 minutes depending on the project. Perfect for short attention spans of younger students and active learners, and awesome for a short bit of art during Morning Time.
The projects we’ve done so far are simple and cute. They are projects that build artistic confidence and develop technique even in students who aren’t a fan of “practicing” the actual technique. That is something that is lacking in a lot of other art curriculums, or the reverse is the issue and they teach all technique and no projects. Sparketh balances both with fun instructors, short steps to the lessons, and a variety of mediums.
Using good art products is a must when you have artistic children. I do let the boys use my good graphite pencils and my Prismacolor colored pencils. Yes, they are great products (but not superior) and not so expensive that I cringe. I have found that with all the art and mixed mediums the boys like to try, simple mixed media paper suits our basic needs well. We do keep a few canvases on hand for when Mr. T wants to make a gift or for when I find time to paint.
Good supplies are important in preventing extra frustration. Cheap pencils, paper, and paint can lead to a very distressed artist and that is never a good thing.
Having art lessons in small bites allows even the youngest pupil to focus and produce a work they are proud of. This is one of my favorite parts about how Sparketh has structured their programs.
If you have a child who marches to their own drum even in art, this is also a great course. Mr. T likes to do things his way and art is no exception. He loves bright and bold colors and is hard pressed to create soothing watercolor pictures. With Sparketh being online and the instructors encouraging students to be creative, he didn’t feel any pressure to “match” what the instructor was doing. Win-win!
The only drawback to the short video lessons is that they do move quickly. Younger students might get frustrated the first few times till they get better at the rewind and pause buttons. Once they get that figured out it’s easy going. Mr. F really focuses on doing whatever step correctly (read: he’s very persnickety) so he can take a few minutes longer than Mr. T.
Having multiple mediums like paint, pencils, and markers to explore is a valuable tool in learning different art techniques and that different projects require different skill sets. For a strong-willed child, this is a lesson that moves beyond art. Just ask Mr. T.
You can also find Sparketh online: