Beyond the Stick Figure is a drawing skills course for kids. The course uses an online platform and includes video’s, text instruction, and clear directions for activities and projects. This is a newly released course and is suitable for all homeschoolers (no religion included). I tested out the course with 6 kids between the ages of 8 and 16. It starts perhaps a little simple for my older artistic child, but he just added his own flair to the basic practice.
This course is created by a homeschool mom who is also an artist. She felt that there was not a good art program that was simply open-and-go for moms and focused on the techniques and foundational skills that are necessary to becoming an artist.
Sally Stansfield is the creator, she is from England, and yes I love listening to her beautiful accent in the videos. She has a degree in Art and Design from Loughborough College in England.
Sally believes every child can be an artist if they are given the correct tools. I agree with her and find that what many art curriculum’s lack is the ability to break the pieces down into digestible bits for those of us who are not born thinking like artists. She does a great job of breaking things down into understandable pieces and assigning projects that are simple enough they will not look like failed attempts. Nothing discourages a child in art faster than asking them to draw a rocking horse, with no prior instruction, and no breakdown of exactly how to do that. Whatever they draw will not look like a rocking horse and the tears will commence.
You will not come across projects like that in Beyond The Stick Figure. Every lesson is carefully planned and every skill needed is practiced. The skills gradually build upon one another and soon the child is drawing things they could not have tackled before beginning the course.
Sally also encourages children to play with the skills they are using and shows examples of projects that she made while ‘playing around’. Although this sounds simple it is a very important inclusion to the curriculum because kids will learn much more quickly when playing and having fun with their newfound skills.
The course recommends what supplies to use, but starts out pretty simple, you don’t have to rush out and buy a lot of things to get started. Just some good markers and copy paper.
All in all, I would give this program 5 out of 5 stars and will continue to use it with myself and my children. I always recommend doing art along with your kids, watching you learn and try new things encourages them to do the same. Seeing how crooked moms circle is, helps them realize that their attempts are not so bad and that drawing a perfect circle is hard stuff.