This live, online visual arts course is suited for middle school students of all art backgrounds and abilities, and incorporates only family friendly materials. A complete blend of art appreciation and fine art lessons, this course is designed around the National Visual Arts standards (part of the National Core Arts Standards), building a solid foundation for further advanced art courses in the Visual Arts.
So much more than basic art lessons, this course focuses on helping students learn to think like artists and develop basic understanding of the Elements of Art (line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space) and the Principles of Design (rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity), and how artists use both in their work. Through both studying the foundational elements of art and creating their own works of art using a variety of media and techniques, students develop their creative and expressive abilities, knowledge of art history movements, capabilities to make aesthetic judgments, and an ability to make visual connections across subject areas.
During our virtual class time, students will participate in interactive art activities and warm-ups, share and discuss their finished art projects from the previous week, reflect and respond orally to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements, and experiment with various techniques and media while following along with teacher demonstrations.
My goals for this course are the following.
- We will identify, describe, and apply the elements of art and principles of design.
- We will experience studio practices that include a variety of traditional media, techniques, and processes in two and three dimensions. (*While supply lists are given and encouraged, media substitutions are provided and always allowed, with a focus on mastering the concepts versus mastering the media.)
- We will develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary at the middle school level.
- We will discuss works of art regarding theme, genre, style, idea, and differences in media.
- We will describe how artists can show the same theme by using different media and styles as we study significant artists, styles, and movements in art history.
- We will develop and refine observational drawing skills to depict a variety of subject matter.
- We will create increasingly complex original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill, selecting specific media and processes to express moods, feelings, themes, or ideas.
- We will experience opportunities to begin understanding the constructs of art criticism.
- We will be introduced to careers in and related to visual art.
- We will develop basic creative problem-solving skills and refine craftsmanship.
- We will explore visual avenues to communicate self-expression
My teaching style is lighthearted, relational, and tailored to each group of students in my class. I keep my class atmosphere positive and encouraging – a place where all feel welcome and valued, with a focus on the joy and wonder of creating and creation, and where all artworks discussed will be kept rated PG and family-friendly.
Feedback to all students will be done in positivity, kindness, and encouragement with a focus on the art concepts being studied over talent or skill level.
Each week students will complete a sketchbook assignment and a project. We meet for LIVE one-hour classes via Zoom each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET. All course meetings are optional, though highly encouraged for class community and opportunities to engage in the lessons and ask questions. They will be recorded for scheduling convenience. This course emphasizes that art is for everyone and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority.
Weekly assignments may include:
- A weekly 60-minute live meeting
- Reading/viewing assignments from handouts or various sources
- Art journal/sketchbook prompts
- Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
Who should enroll?
Students in 6th-8th grade should enroll in this class. All artistic skill levels welcome. This class provides general visual art education and is planned to develop essential basic skills of expression and understanding in art. Students are welcome to take this course more than once.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to photograph, scan, and upload student artwork
Evaluation and Feedback
All homework will be submitted through our website on Canvas. I provide detailed feedback on all artwork, focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept/theme versus artistic skill, as well as on special projects/papers. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within one week of the assignment’s due date (expect two weeks for larger projects). Students receive all feedback well before the next art project is due so that they may steadily develop and grow in their artistic abilities while improving their work and developing their own artistic style with each assignment.
I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email with clear details and video instructions on how to navigate this course. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers, and I will respond within 24 hours to all parents’ and student questions via email or Canvas message. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.
Jack W. –
This class is amazing! I have had so much fun taking it. I loved learning about the seven elements of art. Plus, the projects are super fun. I would highly recommend this class.
Kennidy Todd –
Mrs. Morgan is a very nice teacher and she has helped me to engage in different forms of art I didn’t think I liked. Even though I joined the class half way though the year it was an easy transition and I never felt overwhelmed. I have enjoyed doing so many new art projects and I really appreciate that Mrs. Morgan has been flexible with my schedule. I would recommend this class for anyone wanting to learn the fundamental principles of art.
Clara R. –
I took this class and really enjoyed it! It was a great balance of exploring new types of art, and improving skills. Mrs. Eades is a great teacher! She’s enthusiastic, understanding, and tries to make the projects work for all the students. I found a lot of new art interests in this class, and was able to learn how to do some types of art that I had wanted to do, but wasn’t sure how to go about. I loved doing Art Explorations last year, and would definitely recommend it!
Lindy T (verified owner) –
I am the mother of a non-neurotypical young teen and she did very well in Mrs. Eades’ class. She absolutely loved it and was introduced to so many different artistic media and tools and projects — waaay more than I would ever have gotten around to sharing with her on my own. The environment in the live class was welcoming and investigative, and Mrs. Eades herself is an outstanding teacher and lovely to deal with. We communicated frequently because she was completely committed to making the class work for my daughter, and it truly did. The flexibility of project timelines combined with the different options Mrs. Eades gave for many of the assignments made this class a really good experience for us. Due to the level of assistance my child required, it was definitely a time commitment for me, but it would not necessarily be that way in another family, and one interesting side effect of my involvement is that I used watercolors alongside my daughter for the first time and totally fell in love with them and am hoping to take a local class to learn more. Homeschooling really is a blessing for the whole family!!
Sloan W –
Mrs. Eades is one of the best teachers I have ever had! She is super kind and willing to make changes to any art project that students might not have supplies for, so they are still able to do it! I really enjoyed her class this year, I don’t want it to end! I learned so much about art, and she taught me to truly appreciate art! I got to experiment with so many different art media! When I first went into this class I thought I only liked sketching, (Because that’s the only art I really did) but now that this class is ending, I know I enjoy so many other art media that I would have never tried before this class! I loved this class and would recommend it to anyone interested in art!
Naomi Van Kooten –
I am an eleven-year old girl who has been a student of Mrs. Eades for more than three years. My favorite thing about her as my art teacher is how she explains what I should be doing along the way and makes it easy for me to learn as she teaches me new ideas about art. She always has an example, so I see what the goal is, making it more objective for me to understand the process. I have had both group and private lessons, but I think I enjoy the group lessons with friends even more than the personal instruction. I would highly recommend Mrs. Eades as an art instructor because she is a super fun teacher!
Marlene Van Kooten –
Mrs. Eades has taught my daughter art lessons for several years, both private and group lessons, and Naomi keeps begging for more lessons. As a result, she has stretched Naomi’s talents by using all different types of mediums and compositions, and she has has created an amazing portfolio for Naomi. Mrs. Eades is a very fun loving, talented teacher, who is passionate about seeing her students catch her love of art. The manner in which she engages her students in an entertaining way makes art not only fun, but attainable for the student as well. I would highly recommend Mrs. Eades to any family who is wanting a teacher who truly cares about her students, and she is willing to invest in them to see them succeed in their growing talents and knowledge of art.
Emily Kastens –
Mrs. Eades is a wonderful teacher! I took her classes for about a year, and I absolutely loved it! I always looked forward to Tuesday art classes. It was always fun to see what new project we were going to do, and I loved learning to work with many different mediums – watercolor, oil pastel, even shaving cream! I would recommend Mrs. Eades classes for any aspiring artist!
C. Kastens –
Heather is a great teacher and has an amazing heart for not only children, but for everyone she crosses paths with. She taught our middle daughter art for a year and always inspired her to use her imagination and add her own flair to the project, while also giving direction and objectives. It was a great balance. She is a good listener and understands that each person is unique with special giftings. I highly recommend her as an art teacher and consider her to be one of those people we need way more of (joyful and encouraging)!
Shardelle Olson –
I am a mother of 4 children. Some are artsy, some are not. Over the years my children have been involved in a number of Heather’s art classes with many different themes from crazy art to specific drawing. Every time my children have been engaged and learn a lot about different mediums. They have participated in her classes at many different ages and she has a wonderful way of engaging them all. She has a spunky personality that makes every class delightful and entertaining and yet has patience for all levels in the class. Every child feels successful. Not only has she taught my children but she has taught at homeschool groups with older teens. The teens all loved her as a teacher as well and she created incredible artists. I would highly recommed any and all art classes that Heather teaches. She is extremely talented and knowledgable and her teacher skills are phenominal.