Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Insight Technical Education: Advanced Complete-A-Sketch


Insight Technical Education specializes in self-directed materials that teach technical and practical skills. They offer training in subjects such as Technical Art, Drafting, Accounting, and Graphic Design. It states on their web site that these materials were created to teach their children. I'm always a fan of parents using their skills and knowledge to teach their own and then sharing that with the homeschool community!

Advanced Complete-A-Sketch is the last in their Complete-A-Sketch series and can be a good bridge between their other Complete-A-Sketch programs and their Practical Drafting program. The Complete-A-Sketch products teach children the skill of technical art, or "drawing what they see". This is a very practical art and a practical skill to possess.

Advanced Complete-A-Sketch is designed for Middle School and up and contains orthographic and isometric sketching, multi view sketching, and 3D paper models to build. Advanced is the correct term for this, as these are not simple sketching or paper model projects. You will need a couple of simple drafting tools for the sketching, such as a straight edge and a french curve or flexible curve.

It is available on CD ROM only and you have the ability to print and use as many copies as you like for your personal use. There is a brief explanation of each concept and then a number of sketches for you to practice that concept. The completed sketch is in the upper left hand corner and the body of the page contains short lines to help you in drawing what you see. At the end of the book, there is graph paper to print out and try your hand at sketching these on your own.

The 3D paper models are pretty cool. You can build a house, a castle, a tank, an oil rig, a bridge, a catamaran, and an airplane (one that looks like an actual airplane). Plus you have access to more 3D models in the Bonus materials section, including the Sydney Opera House. I'm not very technically minded but even I was excited by the 3D models. I want to build a tank when I have some spare time. Oh wait, this is supposed to be for my kids. Sh.

Advanced Complete-A-Sketch sells for $28. You can check out sample pages on their web site. You receive 37 sketch projects, 8 3D models, and 25 bonus projects. There are also helpful links that will direct you in learning even more. Technical anything is not in my area of expertise, but if you have a child interested in drafting, realistic sketching or building 3D models, this seems to be a good product.

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