Online art lessons for children are effective, varied and affordable
There are many reasons why it’s worth exploring online art lessons for children. The exponentially growing number of these services create such a massive pool of talent that you are sure to find an excellent teacher almost cut to measure for your kid or teen’s needs. The variety of art mediums and styles parallels the diversity of teachers. Your choices are greater than anything available locally even in large cities. The different types of online learning services will ensure that you can find a service at the right price, often much cheaper than in-class lessons.
Keep reading to find out 10 services that I recommend and what you can do to help your child expand her/his skills safely and effectively.
1 - Video-based learning
2 - One on one tutoring
3 - And something new...
Online art courses for kids and teens come in two large groups videos and tutoring. Which has the best approach for your child? We will look at that and introduce a new alternative that may just be what your child needs!
Videos based learning
Often sold as online courses, these are usually presented as bundles of videos grouped by subject. Many sites such as Udemy will include additional material like articles, exercises and even a certificate of completion. You can also find similar videos on YouTube for free but you will have to sort through varying quality videos and endure the adds. The convenience of the video package ease of access makes this an interesting choice for self motivated-teens.
The main drawback of this type of learning is that it requires a lot of effort for kids to stay focused and go through all the lessons. This often means that parents will have to be more involved to keep the child or teen on track with the series of video. It is also a passive form of learning and for kids who like to experiment and try things for themselves, this may not work out so well.
Essentially, these online resources replace the mail-in DVD courses that were popular a generation ago. Most providers will chunk the courses into smaller video segment so you can get a sense of progression.
I would advise trying one short course before signing up for large bundles or a subscription-based model like Arttutor. You will see quickly if your child has the self-motivation necessary to take on longer courses.
Here are 5 notable players in video-based art learning:
- ArtTutor Based in England, has a few hundred art classes or courses that can be accessed through a monthly or yearly subscription.
Jerryartarama offers a few dozen free videos art lessons that are a little fuzzy but hey, they’re free!
JAM: Jam obviously went for quality over quantity. You will find just a couple of bundles for drawing and one bundle for animation. They really encourage kids to experiment. This probably is the most hands-on approach or the videos-based learning.
One on One tutoring
Let’s face it (pun intended). Having a tutor or teacher face to face, or one on one over webcam, is still the best way for most kids to connect and get engaged. It is by far the most effective way to help a student with his/her particular difficulties and to find custom solutions to remove roadblocks in the learning process.
According to recent surveys, online tutoring has already become more common than face to face tutoring and the trend is not slowing down. The reduction in travel expenses and the schedule flexibility allow tutors to offer quality services at a better price. Also, since the online world has few borders, you can find tutors in countries where the cost of living and currency exchange rate allow qualified, English speaking art instructors to charge even lower prices.
Even if the cost of a one on one service is often higher than video courses, the personal attention and direction of a real person make lessons much more motivating and effective. This teacher-student relationship, especially in visual arts, has been the cornerstone of art education for centuries, and for good reasons. Art is a discipline that requires the teacher to make judgment calls on every interaction with the student. A good art teacher will correct errors gently, encourage efforts and demonstrate techniques and methods that are very specific. At the same time, the teacher has to allow experimentation and bring some level of discipline with kids and teens. This will certainly be one of the last jobs that will be taken over by robots!!
- Superprof Based in France has a truly global reach with about 3 millions teachers. Superprof doesn’t have a general “Art” category but at the time of this writing, they have 565 registered teachers who teach drawing to children and 390 who teach painting for children. This platform is really an intermediary between students (or parents) and teachers. They allow you to search and choose the tutor. After that, it’s all between the tutor and you, including payments and refunds if necessary.
- Preply has an international pool of teachers. They currently feature 32 art tutors who provide service through Skype. Cost ranges between 5$ and 38$ an hour with an average of about 25$.
UniversityTutor has close to 9000 art tutors in the United States alone! Like Superprof, UniversityTutor allows you to search and choose the tutor. They don’t get involved past that point. This huge number of art tutors, however, means that you are likely to find one close to home if you want to have a combination of online and face-to-face sessions with the same tutor.
Buddyschool: is another tutoring platform that has caters to all age groups including children. A quick search in their Art category will return dozens of tutors across North America and the rest of the world.
...And something new?
When I started ARTZOK, I wanted to offer an alternative that came close to to the usual teacher-student interactions. The frequent and quick interventions that a teacher does in art classes are very effective at helping students find their path while getting the knowledge that they need at the moment they need it.
Following this model, we created ARTZOK to offer affordable one-on-one lessons via email that art students can use whenever they need a little help with their work.
Students simply upload an image of their work in progress and the teacher responds within 24 hours, often much faster, with a positive critique and tips for improvement. The process is repeated whenever the student feels the need for support.
Parents can feel secure knowing that all interactions between tutors and minors are monitored and recorded. We are so sure of our approach that we offer free trials on practically all lessons.
So, what is the best online art lessons platform for children?
It is the one that your kid or teen is most likely to enjoy and that will keep them motivated and engaged. For some it will be brushing up on some techniques in a video course, for other it will be tutoring via webcam and for others, it will be something more flexible like ARTZOK. There are plenty of artists who are self-taught but the trial and error process is slow and frankly quite lonely. Having a teacher that can support, encourage, correct and show the way will not only speed up the learning curve but make the process more exciting and gratifying.
What do you think?