Homeschool Week 1 | August 3

Let’s take a look at our first week!

Remember, we had a last minute change in expectations? I knew we had upcoming classes, but I didn’t have them organized into our schedule. 

We’ve been using Varsity Tutors since Miyam Bialik did a neuroscience presentation for kids.

They’ve been wonderful about setting up engaging summer camps, and now they have extended classes to support the Fall semester. Typically, these classes run for a week, though some classes are spread out over a 3 week period.

If you want to check them out, please use our referral link!

Many of the classes they offer are free, with the option to pay for tutoring if your child needs more one on one support. You’ll get 3 free hours of tutoring for clicking on the link above!

Here are the classes we took the week of August 3-7

Create Your Own Storyland using Minecraft 

Myles had taken this class several times over the summer and kept signing up for more sessions.  Some were more informative than others, and some were pretty disappointing as far as any instruction went. But hey, it was an hour a day to play Minecraft! This particular week, the instructor showed what he was building, but didn’t speak or explain much. 

Earlier in the summer, Myles created “classworld”, where he would build his storyland theme: a huge farm homestead. He even made his mom a bed! Since there was little instruction, Myles continued to build on. It’s a great way to get the creativity flowing. 

Fun Fairytales Camp 

Myles had an excellent teacher for this class. She kept the kiddos engaged with a fairytale or two each day, while also explaining the ingredients to a good dramatic story. They talked about how to make an interesting character and how the character needed to have something he or she wanted more than anything else, among other elements. 

Sometimes they would watch videos of several different versions of the same story and talk about the differences in style, showing how the same characters and problems could be presented in a different way. 

They were encouraged to draw pictures of something that happened in the story. 

Each day, they took a dance break to a music video of Happy by Pharrell Williams. One day minions were dancing, another day it was 3 old ladies (this was definitely his favorite). 

If you have the opportunity to take this class, I would 1000% recommend it! I even cleared my schedule for that hour to listen in. The instructor and content were captivating!

Make your own LEGO Movie!

If I hadn’t already hit the jackpot with Minecraft and the most fun storytelling class we could find, queue the next buzz word: LEGOS

Myles got to learn how to make a stop motion video using legos. The instructor started simple with teaching them how to make their lego characters walk – they have multiple strategies for this because, of course, legos don’t have knee joints! They also learned how to use a program to make their characters appear like they’re talking, and how to make their facial expressions match. They made lego props for the setting as well. 

Myles decided he didn’t want to try to create a video. It would be a lot of work, and he wasn’t committed. He was happy to watch and learn while playing with legos. 

It was neat to go from learning about the elements of a good story to how a character might act them out. Spoiler since we’re already a few weeks ahead now: these themes keep tying in beautifully. I couldn’t have created a curriculum that picked these things apart to “teach” them better than them recurring naturally through pursuing our interests. 

Outside of classes, Myles read to me, watched the Dr Binocs show, and completed some worksheet pages he chose. 

Overall, it was a busy and fun week!

In a few days, I’ll share some words of encouragement around setting expectations.

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