Homeschool Art for Your Young Art Lover: A Review of Sparketh

I’m not an art person, ya’ll. I took art appreciation in college, and that’s about the extent of it. We didn’t really have an art teacher at the small school where I went to elementary and high school, and when I did attempt any of the art or craft projects that my teachers gave us, I usually gave up in frustration because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Despite the lack of any art knowledge on my part, though, I’ve tried to make art accessible to my kids. I know they won’t all love it, but I at least have wanted them to have more opportunity to enjoy it than I had.

And… as a result, I do happen to have one child who really does love art. She started high school this year, and, as we began to look for high school electives for her, she knew she wanted to include art as at least one of these. We found a few free art sites, but we didn’t really find anything we loved until I had the opportunity to try out an art lesson subscription site. Now she’s thoroughly enjoying using this site, and I’m counting it as one of her art electives.

Sparketh art lessons for teens
Disclosure: We received a free subscription to the site and compensation for this post. All opinions are always my own.

We were given a subscription to Sparketh. Rachel began with the Art Style Portraits Track. She’s completed that one and is now moving on to use other lessons available on the site. Our review is focused primarily on Sparketh- Art Style Portraits, but she’s also really enjoying the other lessons and tracks that she’s using.

Sparketh: Art Lessons for Kids and Teens

Sparketh is a subscription site that offers art lessons for kids and teens. I didn’t see an age recommendation on the site, but based on the lessons that Rachel has used, I think it would be appropriate for upper elementary and up. If you have  younger children that are really into art, you could watch the lessons with them to help explain anything that needed more in-depth explanation.
There are 111 courses currently available on the site. You can search courses by type, by skill level, by materials used, and by a few other search filters. The courses are grouped together in tracks. Each track has differing numbers of courses. And within each course are a number of video lessons. Although we were focused on the Art Style Portraits Track for the review period, we were impressed with the number of courses available and their variety.
When you select a track, you’ll be able to see the courses that are in that track. As you look at each course individually, you can see how many lessons are in the course as well as tips and materials needed for the course. To start learning, students “Join” the course. Then they can begin watching the videos. They’ll mark each lesson complete as they go through the course. And, of course, they’ll be creating artwork as they proceed.
Sparketh art lessons for kids

Drawing Portraits with Sparketh

The Art Style Portraits Track has a total of fourteen courses. The course difficulties range from beginner to advanced. Most of the courses focus on the different elements of portrait drawing. But there are also a few that deal specifically with art techniques like color blending or colored pencil techniques.
Rachel loved the program so much that she worked on completing a course everyday. As you join the course, you can see the approximate amount of time that it will take to complete it. The length of the courses in this track ranged from sixteen minutes to over an hour. Students don’t have to complete the course all at one time. Because lessons are marked as completed, they can come back to the course and easily pick up where they left off. 
After students complete the course, there is the option to upload their work. On the home page of the site, you can see examples of student work from many different courses.
Sparketh homeschool art lessons

Why You Should Try Sparketh for Yourself

Rachel has loved Sparketh, and it’s been a great option for a mom like me who doesn’t “do art.” There are several reasons you should give Sparketh a try.

It’s easy.

The course descriptions tell what materials are going to be needed, so we were able to collect those up front and prepare. Most of the materials were easy to get, and I didn’t have to spend a fortune on art supplies. The video teachers are easy to understand and follow too. 

Students can use the program independently.

As the kids have moved into high school, I’ve really tried to give them independence and make them responsible for completing their own work. Sparketh fits right into this plan because it’s simple for Rachel to start each day and to complete the courses on her own. The program is really intuitive and easy for the kids to work through.

There are so, so many courses available in one program.

Although we’ve been focusing on the Art Style Portraits Track and the course in it, there are other tracks and many other courses available. This means that whatever style of art your kids prefer, there’s likely to be courses that they will enjoy.
Sparketh drawing portraits lessons
You can learn more about Sparketh and all the courses available here, and you can see the Art Style Portraits Track here. If you have a student who is interested in art, give it a try. I’m so glad we’ve had the opportunity to use it!

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