Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
It is rare that my children leave the house without some form of art material in hand. My oldest will likely have a career in art. He is quite brilliant (and I’m not just saying that because I am his mother). He spends hours and hours learning and practicing and creating. His sisters have followed in his steps. The most coveted items in our home are drawing notebooks and colored pencils. When the opportunity to review Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses from Beyond the Stick Figure Art School came our way, I was thrilled to take it.
The creator of Beyond the Stick Figure is Sally. She moved to the United States in her twenties. She is a homeschool mom of eight kids. She holds a degree in art and is very passionate.
The Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses includes:
- Complete Drawing Course
- Pen and Ink
- 3D Design
The way the online platform is designed is to be completed step by step. You cannot skip any steps. You must complete them one at a time. The lessons are short videos (3-8 minutes long) that encourage a hands on work. For the purposes of this review, we completed Drawing Part 1.
I once heard a speaker at a homeschool conference talking about how we learn. He was using the violin as an example. He was talking about how we often try to classify things in a grade level, but when any person begins a musical instrument (in this case violin), they start with level 1… no matter their age. I find that to be true with so many things… art included. When learning a skill, you start at the beginning. Beyond the Stick Figure Art School is designed for ages 5-95. Drawing Part 1 began very simple with learning about circles, dots, curvy lines and straight lines. Even the fifteen year old who is incredibly talented sat down and learned alongside us without complaint. He especially enjoys the dislike for math that he and instructor Sally share. He smirked on more than one occassion as she got her jabs at math in there.
Because the lessons are so short and manageable, we took one or two days a week to sit together and watch. Depending on the attention span of the kids at the moment, we watched anywhere from 2-4 videos at a time. Most of the kids were excited to watch and learn. I have one that is very concrete- loves math and science. She is not abstract in her thinking at all. She does enjoy drawing, but only within her comfort zone. There were many tears when I asked her to join us. When I asked her what she liked about the course, she said… “I like the lady’s accent… and that she tells us to click our markers closed.”
The instructor is kind and fun. She does not expect perfection from her students and often says, “Have fun with that!” Each lesson builds on the previous one with lots of time to practice and hone the skill. I have one child that likes to know where something is headed. This isn’t always the case with the Beyond the Stick Figure Courses. For example, she introduces circles, dots, and lines and has the students practice looking for and drawing these objects in the first few lessons. Eventually, they come together to draw a flower. For my child that likes to see where something is going, it is difficult to take it step by step… difficult, but good. It makes her slow down and learn to enjoy the process.
When completing the lesson in part one about primary and secondary colors, the instructor mentioned how this knowledge will come in handy in the painting course. The child pictured above was so excited to know that painting is coming!
My table is now covered with all these quarter and eighth sheets of paper. You will have to buy materials to accompany the class. For drawing, we purchased some extra printer paper and a set of Prismacolor markers. Art isn’t cheap! If you want to do it well, it is worth the investment.
The bonus courses included in our Beyond the Stick Figure Art School package include: The three courses are Pen and Ink Techniques and Complete Watercolor, Introduction to Acrylic, and Introduction to 3D Design. Once we have completed the Complete Drawing Course, parts 1-3, we will be able to access the bonus content. My son is especially looking forward to the Pen and Ink and Watercolor.
Art can be intimidating for many homeschool moms. It is often something that is put on the back burner or forgotten completely. I would really encourage you to look into the courses offered from Beyond the Stick Figure Art School. I know that at first glance, the price may seem high. Keep in mind, though, you receive a 3 part drawing course and 3 bonus courses. You can use the materials for the entire family. And… you receive a life time access. Even after completing the 196 steps, you can revisit topics again and again.
We are a very art focused family, and I am actually one of the homeschool moms who feels confident and adept at teaching art… but it is still hard for me to set aside the time and effort. Having courses like the ones from Beyond the Stick Figure are a huge help in our homeschool life.
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One Thought on “Beyond the Stick Figure- A Review”
Thank you for the review. We love to make our students happy, so here are some tweaks we have made based on recent reviews:
1. All course videos are open and do not require sequential completion–although we still recommend it.
2. We contacted Vimeo and they have improved the video experience by installing volume control and full screen options on all videos.
3. We added more options to drawing part 2 to help it move along more quickly for younger students.