I must say that this was one of the toughest reviews that we have been given to do. My son is not an artsy type of person, he does not enjoy drawing or even doodling. I thought maybe this would be a review that would change those things, but it did not. When he did draw he thought his drawings looked babyish and like stick figures, he was quite embarrassed by his drawings. So please as you read my review be thinking of your own child and how they may enjoy the Draw to Learn K-8 series in your homeschool. Kids and adults would be a good fit for this product.
Here is a bit of history on the Notgrass Company, they are a family owned and operated business that started back in 1999. They are meeting the needs of homeschooling families by providing Bible based curriculum that are easy to use by homeschooling parents. My favorite quote from the website is "We are proud of you for making the choice to homeschool, and we believe that you can be successful. Why are we so confident? Because we believe in God who daily provides everything we need to do what He asks us to do. You are on a wonderful adventure. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride!" This is so true and from reading their website and using their products I can tell you that the Notgrass Company truly cares about our home educating families.
The Notgrass Company website has some fun things to check out too! Besides links to all their K-high school materials, they also have a section with articles, new product news, family activities, and much more.
We used the Draw to Learn K-8 series as part of our daily devotions, I was very excited about reviewing the Notgrass Company products and using the sketch book, since we were going through a Proverbs devotional book during our family devotions time. I thought it would tie right in. It did tie in perfectly, but I had a reluctant drawer. The materials are spot on Biblically and are easy to read and understand. In the back of my mind I wish that we had also been given the Learn to Draw, I think that might have been helpful to my not artsy son. I think that if your child does NOT have perfectionist tendencies they will be happy just drawing away on the pages.
Using the Notgrass Company's Draw to Learn K-8 homeschool art curriculum I found that it helped our son to think more concretely about the Bible passages that we read in Proverbs through using his imagination in his drawings. Ray and Charlene Notgrass have done an awesome job at bringing the book of Proverbs alive through the Draw to Learn series.
Each lesson should take 45 minutes or longer. They ask that you spend time making your drawings,
add details and show the surroundings.
Notgrass Company recommends purchasing Prismacolor Thick Lead brand colored pencils by Sanford (these are a bit pricey so be sure to use a 40% off coupon from your favorite craft store :O) I have used these myself and they are wonderful, I would put the Prismacolor pencils away after each use and let the kids use the cheap-o colored pencils for other stuff. I think sometimes it makes art time fun when we as homeschool moms bring out the "special" tools of the trade.
USE A MODEL OR A PICTURE
They recommend using real objects, people and scenery to look at while drawing, instead of just your imagination. I think this was a major issue with us in my son just wanting to use his vivid imagination.
The authors tell you that you can draw "realistic" people, "cartoon style" or "stick people", this was a hard concept for my 13 year old as he was embarrassed by his drawings being so childlike.
FILL UP THE FRAME
They ask that you use the entire drawing box for your art work.
PROTECT YOUR DRAWING SURFACE
Put a piece of heavy paper behind your sketch book page so that you don't get indentations from drawing or coloring on to your next sketch page.
The authors explain that you should sketch your drawing in first, using a light hand, then darkened up the drawings as you go. My son was not much of a sketcher, he would just start drawing away.
PREPARE FOR TOMORROW
Look over the lesson for tomorrow to see if you need any props or pictures to guide you.
The authors tell you to "always keep a sense of wonder at God's amazing power."
You know I am always looking to see how one subject matter can lead into another subject? Well you have that right here with the Draw to Learn K-8 series, you can do further Bible study with older students, you can work on handwriting by copying the Bible verses each day, work on art skills which have been lacking in our homeschool, work on science as the authors explain "when you make drawings about crops, read a book about farming." As for history, geography and math by researching about weights and measures, of today and in Bible times. Creative writing can be worked on through writing stories or research papers on the materials being studied. You can also work on Notebooking and Unit Studies using the materials from the Notgrass Company. As well as character studies. So I am thinking that we are covering a wide variety of subject matter here with JUST ONE BOOK! The Draw to Learn K-8 series Proverbs book retails for just $14.95 for the physical book. The Ebook is just $9.95 and the exciting thing about the Ebook is that you OWN IT! You can make as many copies as you want for use in your household. So if you have 5 children, you do not need to buy 5 Ebooks, you can legally make copies of the Ebooks for each of your children.
Even though this review as not the best fit for our family I do hope that you will give the Notgrass Company a try, some good has come out of this TOS review for us, I see that we are lacking in the art department and need to work on that.
Click below to see what my buddies over on the TOS Review crew thought of the products that they had the privilege to review from the Notgrass Company.