The fine arts (art, music, theater) is something this homeschool mama’s heart craves. Yet, it can be easy to overlook it in favor of those core subjects most schools highlight as important.
Whenever we have the chance to include something from this arena because I have a product or service to review, I am always left wondering why I do not purposefully keep these studies in our home.
Knowing this is a big reason why I raised my hand high to have the opportunity to review HiGASFY.
About HiGASFY: Art History for Kids
What do you get when you merge storytelling with the study of great artists for kids?
This strange-sounding name stands for Have I Got a Story for You.
Your guide through the program is Mrs. Beth, a veteran art teacher from Texas. Her sidekick is a green paint drop called Gasfy. Her target audience for these studies is kids in grades 1 – 8. The approach she uses combines a love of art and history gained both as a teacher and flight attendant.
This program has two main components: a video series of presentations and a printable curriculum for the parent/teacher to use.
For the review, we were given access to the subscription-based product. The price point depends upon the total number of students. Alternatively, you can purchase on DVD or flash drive for unlimited access.
Students are encouraged to create a journal to keep their completed work from their studies. The company sells a branded one, or students can find a sketchbook of their own. “Name that Artist” posters are also available for purchase.
The Video Component of HiGASFY
Each 20 to 30-minute video includes:
a brief introduction to catch the student’s attention,
some review of what has been learned thus far,
and then new information presented through storytelling.
In Mrs. Beth’s studio, you can get a hint of the artist being studied as well as specific artwork by looking at the walls.
A printable pdf file for each time period studied is available.
Each time period has a total of 16 lessons to complete with 3 different artists studied. 12 of those lessons include a video. Associated art activities for each lesson are anticipated to take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. The last lesson is a PowerPoint Assessment game.
An additional tool available are flashcards of the artworks studied with the name of the piece and artist on the back. You can print them on cardstock and laminate for durability.
Time Periods Available for Study with Associate Artists
Renaissance (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael)
Baroque (Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer)
Impressionist (Monet, Pissaro, and Degas)
Post-Impressionist (van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso)
Each lesson’s activities include aspects across the different subject areas.
Discussion questions not only assess what they recall from the video but ask them to express opinions. Suggested writing prompts and research opportunities are available for older students to dig deeper. And, hands-on learning through arts is included as well. Some of those activities are found on the HiGASFY Pinterest boards.
Check Out a Sample Video from HiGASFY
Our Thoughts on this Art History for Kids Curriculum
Love, love, love.
Okay, my son is a little less enthusiastic about it. Although, I think it may be that he’s outgrowing a love of animated characters. HiGASFY is a cute character, but for my son, it does not add the same value some families might find in this approach.
However, he is learning and retaining many details which have been shared through Ms. Beth’s storytelling. He has shared some of those tidbits with friends, too.
For this review period, we have been working through the Renaissance. What has been nice is that some aspects of this study are familiar to my son while others are not.
The only slip-up we’ve had is that we watched the first video for Michaelangelo as a free episode to evaluate the program. This caused a bit of timeline confusion for my son.
From the curriculum, I use the discussion questions with him for each lesson. For some of the lessons, we have dabbled with other components.
While we are not quite finished with the Renaissance, I know we’ll keep moving through other time periods. It is through these kinds of studies that an appreciation of art can form.
Besides, I want to revisit the New Orleans Museum of Art this winter. And see if he has a better appreciation of impressionist and post-impressionist works of art.
Example of Sharing Stories Learned
J recently spent the night at his best friend’s house. He spied a reproduction of The Last Supper on their wall and started commenting upon it.
About how the original painting now has the section missing.
Specifically, the section below the table where Jesus’ feet should have been.
Where monks had elected to cut and insert a door.
This was a bit of information those present for this conversation had not known. Yet, we learned about it in a HiGASFY video.
His willingness to engage in discussion over what he’s learned with other adults is a direct result of the power of storytelling. It is through those stories that memories are solidified and then able to be communicated to others.
Final Takeaway on this Art History for Kids Program
If you are looking for a way to easily bring art history into your homeschool, this is a great option. The video segments are engaging, yet short enough to keep attention. And the curriculum guide offers many opportunities to delve deeper into art studies.
I strongly recommend watching the videos and engaging in the activities with your child. You may learn some interesting facts along the way.
Is art history for kids something you consider when homeschooling?
Would a program like this one work for your family?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the HIGASFY 2019 review post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this book.