The art lessons for kids that you find on this award-winning website had their beginnings
- When John Hofland and his wife homeschooled their children,
- And later as John was developing a one-semester university drawing course for beginning theatrical stage design students.
Teachers at elementary and middle school levels suggested he adapt the method to fit the needs of their students. The idea made sense, especially since John had begun his teaching career as a middle school art and language arts teacher, and since he has been offering workshops for teachers throughout his career at the university. The result is ArtAchieve.
Beginning in 1986, John studied drawing and design with Josef Svoboda and other Eastern European master teachers. On several occasions, he has designed scenery and lighting for puppet theaters in Ukraine. While in Ukraine, he did extensive cultural and art research, taught workshops for elementary teachers, and presented papers at international conferences. The work of Eastern European master teachers--and the amazing success of their students--has had a strong influence on the approach you will find in these lessons.
In addition, the work abroad has given John opportunity to collect an international array of images for his art lessons. He and his family have visited over thirty countries, and each ArtAchieve lesson begins with a unique image collected during these travels. Therefore, he hopes the subjects of the lessons become a window that helps students make a visual connection between what they draw and what they study in social studies, literature, science, and other subjects.