JUNE 23, 2017
A Homeschool.com Product Review – Eyeball It!™
Eyeball It!™ provides a series of studio art projects (painting, drawing, sculpture, collage) for elementary school-age children to do at home with a parent or other interested adult (the projects give parents/adults the opportunity to generate art experiences themselves without having to be artists!). The project directions are written to give children structure, technical help, and new ideas. Each project requires several work sessions, providing roughly a month’s worth of activity. Projects include: Buildings Mural, Relief Collage, Sculpture with Found Materials (Junk!), Imagination Painting and Clay Sculpture.
What I like about Eyeball It™!
- I LOVE that the projects provide a month or so of activity! I’ve never come across this before. I’m used to quick/one afternoon projects. I really like the longer duration. The projects are integrated, and build upon one another, and really, make the parent’s job easier (not always having to look for the next thing to do). Sessions may be 5-75 minutes depending on the child’s own creative process and open time.
- The program offers wonderful directions, including
- Eyeball It™! comes with a recommended list of art materials and a suggested supplier (more on this below).
- Clear directions regarding when parental help is needed and what needs to be done. For the adults, roughly an hour is required to start each major project. After that, adults just need to give gentle guidance when useful to help the child focus on moving through the stages of the project and completing it.
- Short videos demonstrating techniques such as cutting, erasing, painting, etc. Don’t skip these technique videos – they’re gems! I learned so much from the painting video!
- I like the STEAM emphasis. The Sculpture project helps teach gravity, weight, balance and more.
- Eyeball It!™ encourages children to think three-dimensionally, to convert three dimensions to two on their own, to experiment/solve artistic and practical problems, and to develop mental “muscle tone” and flexibility. Not only do concepts fit into STEAM curriculum, they’re designed to overlap with geography, sports and other subjects, too.
- There are also read-along and video components to the lessons – good for various types of learners.
- I like the helpful hints, for instance – “Watercolors look like they’re dry fairly quickly; but in fact, the paper has to shrink back to size as it dries. That takes longer. If your piece is super crinkled when it’s dry, you can cover it with wax paper (from the grocery store) and weight it down on a hard, flat surface overnight. That usually flattens work out.”
- I also appreciate the info regarding different art materials – info a non-artist/parent wouldn’t necessarily know, such as – “The newer non-toxic wax crayons do not seem to resist watercolor paints as well as oil pastels unless you color very heavily. However, the beeswax crayons by Faber-Castell work quite well for that.”
- The program’s schedule is highly flexible – something homeschoolers appreciate.
- The program can be adapted for use by groups – so it works for a homeschool co-op – even if the co-op doesn’t have an artistic parent in the mix.
- The Eyeball It! program itself is free – again something homeschoolers truly appreciate! The website offers an optional Materials Kit through a cooperating art supplier: $86 for 1 child, $100 for 2 children, but you can also purchase materials independently. I like having the choice.
- An unexpected plus – and one you might not think about, Eyeball It! fosters conversation between parents/adults and children about each project’s content. (See the Testimonials section for comments from a parent who was a teacher.)
Just FYI – when you click on a folder to download a project, you will be asked to enter some basic and general information (but not personal information). You will also be required to check that you understand and accept two statements – one about the Eyeball It™! copyrighted material and the second about general safety – you know, scissors can be dangerous! J
Want to learn more about the artist behind Eyeball It™! Visit http://www.ellenpriest.com/. I love her Jazz series!