Have you heard of Jam? We recently discovered their online Drawing Bootcamp for kids ages 9-14. M loves to draw and I had been looking for a fun online course for her that she could work on independently. I initially was drawn to Jam because M loves art, so I expected it to be a great intro class for our first time doing an online course.
Jam is pretty awesome because they allow you to make sure their program is a great fit for you before there are any commitments. All of their classes offer a free 2-week trial where you have full access to the entire program. We joined and have been trying out two weeks in Drawing Bootcamp
I wanted to give a review after just two weeks to show you what our experience has been during the trial period. In short, we are loving the program so far and after only two weeks in, it is clear that we haven't even scratched the surface to all that this program offers. We are excited to continue on with a membership and I can't wait to see what M will be able to draw and create in the months to come!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure for details. I was offered the drawing bootcamp course s in exchange for this review. However, all thoughts are my own. Additionally, I always only recommend something that I personally love.
What Kids Learn with Jam's Drawing Bootcamp:
There is no wrong way to do art
The instructors make very clear at the beginning of the lessons that creating art can go as far as your imagination. There is no step by step instructions in Jam. Instead, they give idea prompts to promote individual creativity and self-exploration. This is what M says she loves most. She is allowed to draw what comes to her mind and really challenge herself to be as creative as possible knowing that there is no wrong result. Along the way, the kids get to see examples from the instructors and also look at other kids artwork. There are several short video demonstrations from the instructors that are helpful as well.
There are lots of ways to create art
Art can be created in so many ways and one thing this course does nicely is it exposes kids to the idea to try many different approaches. On the first day, M tried drawing a monster on big paper and small. She tried ink, pencil, paint, and colored pencil. She was instructed to experiment with different thicknesses of paper and really discover the results of using different materials. I think this was an important takeaway. This was just an additional way to reinforce the idea that you can not do art wrong. I hope M will continue to explore this idea even further as she continues on in the course. I envision this just being a starting point for her and with time, she will branch out and discover her own ways, her own mediums, her own favorite approaches, all while continuing to experiment.
Their drawing is only limited by their own imagination
In the monsters segment of the course, the instructors gave idea prompts (assignments) of ways to draw monsters. Some of the prompts were:
- Draw a monster in fancy clothes
- Draw a monster on their day off
- Draw a monster in your favorite place
- And more…
As M was working on the monster unit, one of the assignments was to create a scene where the monsters were doing something. As a homeschool mom, I am always looking for opportunities to dive deeper into something and really take our learning to the next level. And, this was it for us. So we rummaged through some old picture books to learn about illustration and what illustrators do. When that wasn't enough, we went to the library and found lots of styles of illustrations that M connected to. I always find amazing inspiration looking at others art and that's what these books did for her. I loved that we were able to tie that into this course and I love that the course opened other learning opportunities up for us.
How it Works
The course is divided into packs (think of a pack of cards). Each pack has a theme and each pack has several segments (cards) within it.
Examples of cards within the packs:
- One card might be about backgrounds and how to add interest to your drawings
- A few different cards with different assignments related to the overall theme.
- A card with a demonstration video on a drawing technique that would enhance your artwork.
- And more…
Why Jam is Different
One of the best things that Jam is doing (besides the drawing program itself) is that they have a platform to allow kids to be inspired by, learn from, and be motivated by other kids. Kids have the ability to post photos of their artwork and get feedback and advice from other kids (and instructors) in the program.
This has been such an exciting part of the process for M. She has loved to interact with other kids by “liking” their drawings and writing nice comments about their work. In turn, she earns enough “points” to be able to upload her artwork and get similar feedback. The whole process has been very fun for her.
Since M is only 9 and hasn't entered the world of social media for herself, this is her very first time on a platform that allows for this kind of online social interaction. I love that this experience is uplifting and encouraging. I do not have to worry about a “thumbs down” since it doesn't exist here. There is a whole team dedicated to Jam's online safety and I love as a parent I can gently expose M to this world in a way that gives her true benefit.
We are excited to continue on with this course and can't wait to see where the next few months take M's drawing skills and confidence. Have you tied Jam?
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