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A few years ago, we attended an “Old-Time Festival” where my kids got to experience all kinds of fun hobbies from the past. Basket weaving, soap making and needlepoint were just a few. They also learned how to cook in cast iron skillets over an open fire, learned to shoot a bow and arrow and watched them craft a raft from logs. But their absolute favorite exhibit was the whittling.
There was a man who could turn a branch into the most amazing things you ever saw. From carving his name to creating a bear, he could do it all. My kids talked about that guy for weeks until I finally ordered them their own set of whittling tools. I was certain they would love them. And they did. For about 2 minutes.
It didn’t take them long to figure out that whittling is a skill. It’s pretty hard to create a dinosaur from a chunk of wood if you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how great your tools are. So, supermom that I am, I scoured the Internet for an easy woodworking project that wouldn’t overwhelm them.
With my ninja-like Googling skills, I discovered DIY.org, and instantly fell in love.
I spent hours combing over the categories, dreaming of the things we would create together. The site was so fun, I couldn’t wait to jump in myself.
But that’s not the only reason I loved it. As a parent, I understand just how dangerous the Internet can be. Miss Manners has been begging for her own YouTube channel but I just couldn’t bring myself to allow it. DIY.org has created a safe and secure place for kids to be online. The parent dashboard allows you to view the comments your child is making, as well as receiving. Anything you consider inappropriate or mean can be reported with the click of a button. Knowing that my child’s safety is so important to DIY.org just gives them some bonus points in my book.
So how exactly can you homeschool for FREE using DIY.org?
Well, it’s simple. Homeschoolers usually need something to fill all of the extra hours in their days and what better way to do that than by learning hands-on skills they may never be interested in otherwise. With DIY.org, you kids will learn life skills (LIFE SKILLS, ya’ll! I’m all about life skills!) while having so much fun. They can complete challenges by watching a video, then demonstrating what they’ve learned in their own video. Once it’s uploaded to the site, the kid earns a patch for that project. (It’s kinda like Boy/Girl Scouts without having to ever leave your house!) Each project has several challenges and videos to make sure your child understands all aspects of the project.
For example: My daughter is currently working on her Veterinary Project. She needs to complete 3 challenges to earn a patch. There are 11 challenges for her to choose from, each varying in difficulty. Her options include:
Feed an animal
Care for an animal’s coat
Make an animal home
Care for an animal’s feet
Train an animal
Care for an animal’s teeth
Make Medication Easier
Perform animal First Aid
Educate animal owners
Make an anatomical model
Perform veterinary research
Let’s say she wants to learn to care for her animals teeth. She will click on the “How-To Videos” and choose which video to watch. There are several options, including cats, birds, guinea pigs, horses and dogs. Once she’s watched the video and completed the challenge, she will create her own video explaining what she learned and demonstrating how she applied it.
The list of skills you can learn is insane! There are 130+ badges that you can earn! Just a few skills you can learn: angler, astronomer, backyard farmer, beat-maker, bookbinder, card-boarder, cartoonist, chemist, clothing maker, entomologist, forager, game designer, geologist, historian, home builder, instrument maker, knotter, makeup artist, and so much more!
Using DIY.org, it’s simple to homeschool for free! Just pick a topic and dive in. You’ll learn things you never dreamt of and acquire skills you can use for a lifetime!
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This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s 5 Day Hopscotch. Check back daily for other great homeschool ideas!