Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: HiGASFY Art History Video Series

HiGASFY Art History Video Series allows you to add art education to your homeschool simply and easily. It is a subscription-based video series designed for students in grades 1-8. The letters HiGASFY stand for Have I Got a Story for you. For $15 a month your family receives access to the following art eras:
  • Renaissance
  • Baroque
  • Impressionist 
  • Post-Impressionist
The video program is lead by Mrs. Beth and her peppy side-kick Gasfy as pictured below in this screen shot I captured:

Beth is incredibly engaging and examines each of the art eras by introducing three different famous artists. Each of the four eras includes 12 videos which are each under 30 minutes in length. But I want to make sure I point out that while this IS a video series, each era also includes a "curriculum bundle." This includes 16 lesson plans to go along with the video series. Here is a snap shot of one of the lesson plans from the Renaissance era:

Let's look closer at the Renaissance lessons plans in bullet form below:

  • Lesson 1: Portfolio (no video)
  • Lesson 2: Introduction the the Renaissance
  • Lesson 3: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lesson 4: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lesson 5: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lesson 6: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lesson 7: Leonardo da Vinci
  • Lesson 8: Free Draw (no video)
  • Lesson 9: Michelangelo 
  • Lesson 10: Michelangelo 
  • Lesson 11: Michelangelo 
  • Lesson 12: Michelangelo 
  • Lesson 13: Free Draw (no video)
  • Lesson 14: Raphael
  • Lesson 15: Raphael
  • Lesson 16: Free Draw (no video)

The lesson plans include:

  • Suggested art activities
  • Vocabulary words
  • Writing assignments
  • Cross-curricular activities in Geography, History, and Science
Along with each of the lesson plans are FLASHCARDS that you can print and quiz the student on the different authors from that era. Is a screen shot of one of these below:

While I like the idea of the flashcards, to be honest, anything that requires substantial printing of color/ink is expensive for homeschool parents, so instead, I really like the PowerPoint "game" that you can download and quiz your student on different artists and their pieces. This is basically flashcards right on the computer screen.

(There is also a Biblical component that you can include if you'd like. This "allowance" means that non-Christian families can use this easily as well.)

I encourage you to download the FREE video lesson to see one for yourself by clicking here so you can see them for yourself.

We watched these with all nine of the kiddos in our homeschool. These children range in age from 5-14. I will say that I thought the videos were very well done. The only "small" complaint we had about the videos is that the character Gasfy was well-liked by the little kids. That may not seem like a "complaint"; however, here is where the complaint comes into play. The older kids found him "juvenile." However, the little kids were really too young to get much out of the videos. So the people who liked Gasfy weren't really the "right" age range. This is a very small issue, but I wanted to point it out nonetheless.

Here's how the grade-levels fall in our homeschool and how each of them did with the program:

  • 2 Kindergarteners: Loved GASFY but the program was mostly over her head. 
  • First Grader: Loved GASFY but the program was mostly over her head. 
  • Second Grader: Liked GASFY and was able to watch and get some stuff out of the program. 
  • Three Fifth Graders: Found GASFY "okay" and enjoyed the videos and got a lot out of them. 
  • 1 Seventh & 1 Eighth Grader: Found GASFY was too juvenile but enjoyed the videos and got maximum knowledge out of them. 

Here's what I do like. HiGASFY Art History Video Series an be as intensive or "hands-off" as you like. You can just let your kiddos watch the videos and leave it at that. Or you can use the lesson plans and PowerPoint/flashcards. It can easily be utilized without a lot of pre- or post-work from you the teacher.

Here's a video of my cousin, Hannah, doing the program with our nine kiddos:

And here's our dog Ritter listening to the program:

Our overall feeling about this program is that it is very well done and also VERY informative. I don't think I would want to pay $15 a month for an entire year to use this program. However, if you paid $15 for a 4 month period and spent one month on each era, I think it would be a very prudent financial decision.

You can also check out HiGASFy on:

Have I Got A Story For You Art History Video Series {HiGASFY Art History Video Series Reviews}
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