Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: HiGASFY

We LOVE when we have an opportunity to review art curriculum.  My children love drawing and studying art.  But we have never really done an art history program before.  We have looked at paintings by famous artists and studied some of their history but never have gone into great detail with it.  I was very excited to have a chance to use and review a three month subscription to  HiGASFY Art History Video Series.
HiGASFY stands for Have I Got a Story For You.  This video series is geared for students in grades 1-8.  Throughout each video Ms. Beth and her animated drop of paint named Gasfy introduce your students through 4 different art periods: Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Renaissance, and Baroque.  Each period covers 3 artists.  In the Impressionist period you will study Monet, Pissaro, and Degas.  The Post-Impressionist study focuses on van Gosh, Matisse, and Picasso.  While studying the Renaissance you will learn about da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael and the Baroque period covers Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. Each period has 12 episodes that last 20-25 minutes each.  Each video is full of fun and interesting information on the featured artist and their lives told in story format.  You also learn art vocabulary and have an opportunity to view many works by the artist with explanations on the works of art.  The beginning of each video is a review and the end has a teaser for the next video.

In addition to the videos, each art period also has a curriculum bundle that is included in your subscription.  In the bundle you will find lesson plans (PDF download), flashcards you can print, and a Name That Artist assessment game/test  (uses power point software.) The lesson plans contain 16 weeks of lessons for each period.  12 of the lessons have a corresponding video.  The first lesson talks about and has the student make a portfolio and the other lessons that do not have a corresponding video have a free draw assignment.  Each of the lessons that correspond to the videos have several activities to choose from including: hands on activities,art activities, critical thinking activities, vocabulary, writing, science, history, and more. There are also crossword and word search puzzles.

Here are a few images from the Name that Artist assessment.  You first see the image and have time to guess the artist and then the answer will show up on the screen.

I have been using HiGASFY with my 8, 10, 12, and 14 year olds.  My 2 year old grandson was here when we watched a few of the videos as well and he said," It's amazing!" (one of his new favorite phrases.)  We started with the Impressionist period and have been watching 1-2 videos per week.  I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect.  Sometimes with video curriculum the videos are not great quality but the HiGASFY videos have been wonderful.  You can tell that a lot of time and effort went making the videos.  The picture and sound quality are outstanding.

We love Ms. Beth and the way she teaches.  She has a wonderful speaking voice and story telling style. Every episode is filled with interesting information and background on the artists and you learn history of things going on at the time as well.   Did you know that Monet started out drawing caricatures? I didn't. The artwork shown in the video is amazing and Ms. Beth goes into details about it such as which direction the light is coming from or pointing out things in the picture, while still making it interesting.  The teaser that ends each video makes the children eager for the next lesson.  I think I have learned more from 8 weeks of watching these videos then I did from my college art history class.

My girls were inspired by the Impressionist videos to hold their own art show featuring their own art work.  Here are a few pieces they displayed.

There is a wide age range listed on the video series, grades 1-8.  The animated drop of paint named Gasfy is cute for the younger children.  Older children may think it is childish but Gasfy is only a small part of the videos and his presence will not take away from all of the information they will learn from watching the videos and completing the activities in the curriculum bundle.   Some of the younger children may not absorb as much information as the older ones but they will still get a lot out of watching the videos, viewing the artwork, and completing the activities in the curriculum bundle if you choose to use that as well.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

No comments: