Are you part of a homeschool co-op? Do you wish your co-op had more STEAM based projects the kids could work on together? Then you should host a DIY Club.
DIY.org has been a project based weekly part of our homeschool curriculum the past couple years. This year we are again hosting DIY Club with our homeschool co-op group. My son loves the projects and he will have so much more fun creating them with friends. Twice a month we meet up with the goal of earning a new skill patch. In order to earn a patch, each child has to complete 3 challenges. If we complete all three challenges at the first event, then we will review and master the skill at the next event.
How to Start a DIY Club for Homeschoolers
What is a DIY Club?
A DIY Club is a skills club for kids. Kids can go on field trips to learn from professionals, learn as homeschoolers, or teach themselves with other resources. They pick a skill they wish to learn, and complete at least three challenges to acquire the skill patch. These projects can be simple or super in depth. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
Why DIY.org is Awesome for Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers rock when it comes to projects and unit studies. DIY.org has themed skills with tons of challenges you can complete in that “theme.” It’s basically built in lesson plans. You just need to contribute the resources and creativity 😉 Plus, kids LOVE embroidered patches. And some adults do too… Yes, I’m referring to me. I love embroidered patches!
Step-by-Step to Get Started
1. Choose a Name
Name your DIY Club whatever you like. Ask the kids to share their ideas or vote for their favorite. It’s a good idea to keep the name broad to prevent skill limitations. For example “DIY Foresters” might lead members to believe they will only be working on Forestry skills. Our group name is simply our homeschool co-op acronym plus DIY Club: FAHA DIY Club.
2. Choose a Hashtag
The reason you might want a group hashtag is so your homeschoolers can easily browse and follow their fellow DIY members. Also, it works well if you share photos on social media or want to recruit members. So although the hashtag is not a necessity, it is useful. Our homeschool club’s hashtag matches our name: #FAHA_DIY.
3. Download the DIY Club Handbook
Your DIY Club Handbook download will include a handbook as well as digital versions of the patches to use with your club. When last downloaded the handbook, not all the patches were included, however most of them are there.
I like to use the digital patch images as the event image when we plan a new meeting. This helps your group see what you’re planning next. When I use the cool patches in the event, I tend to get more RSVPs than when I don’t.
4. Outline Meetings & Skill Patches
DIY.org suggests clubs meet at least once a month. You can meet as often as you like or course. Once you decided when to meet, you can begin to choose skills and challenges. Our group will be meeting twice per month with the goal of earning a patch each month.
After you’ve chosen when to meet, decide which skills you want to learn and the challenges your group will be doing to earn the patch. You can do all 3 challenges together or you can do 2 together and let the kids choose their 3rd. Make your club work with the goals of your homeschool co-op.
5. Sign Up on DIY.org
DIY.org is a website with kids’ safety in mind. Adults sign up for parent accounts first. I was asked for a credit card to verify I’m me. The website does not cost anything to use it. However, they do have a marketplace you can buy embroidered patches from to celebrate your homeschooler’s new acquired skills.
After that, your kids can create an account by using your email to verify their account.
Something I greatly appreciate is, DIY.org lets you know any time your child posts something. Emmett posted a ukulele video once while he was with his Grandpa. May dad had no clue that “DIY video” meant posting the video in the internet. The video Emmett posted was fine, but I found out about it when DIY emailed me to let me know. Then I had a talk with Emmett about asking (particularly me) when and if he can post something on the DIY site or any website. #LessonLearned
The First DIY Club Meeting
DIY Club Member Skill Patch
There are many skill patches to earn on DIY and they keep adding more. So for our first patch as a group we are going to earn our Club Member skill patch. I’ve invited our members to join us at a local park on the group’s Meetup page and created a worksheet for one of the challenges.
Challenge No. 1: Design Your Club’s Logo
For this challenge I created a worksheet of sorts so the kids can easily create their logo, add their DIY member name, and share it with our group’s hashtag. The worksheet features an empty hexagon so they can make a patch-like logo, or they can create their own from scratch on the blank side of the paper. The kids will need something under their paper so I will be putting together some upcycled cardboard clipboards. Crayons, markers, and colored pencils are also on my list of supplies to bring.
Challenge No. 2: Capture Your First Meeting
Bring your Camera! This step is important for every DIY project. You’ll need to take pictures and sometimes videos of your children’s projects so they can put them on their DIY.org profiles and earn skill patches. For this challenge I will probably take a group photo of the kids working on their first challenge.
Parent tip: candid photos are best. Especially where younger kids are concerned. Modeled photos often take the fun out of things for kids and make them irritable.
Challenge No. 3: Kids Choice
For the third challenge, have the kids will choose their own challenge from the skill patch page. They can do the challenge at your meeting or at home if they wish. When they finish their challenges they will upload their projects for approval by the DIY staff. In the comments they can include your group’s hashtag so your group can see each other’s progress.