Homeschooling can be challenging at times! Trying to figure out the best way to manage everyday life responsibilities along with your child’s education doesn’t prove to be an easy task. There’s juggling your housework, keeping up with extracurricular activities, learning to allow your child to fail, learning not to give a hoot what others think………. This list could get quite long very fast, but I assume you get the idea that keeping up with this lifestyle, can become overwhelming.
While figuring out your child’s learning style can make things easier, I believe that sparking their curiosity is the key to their success. At first, I thought this to be a daunting task. It wasn’t until a few years into homeschooling that I realized children are born with a natural love of learning. They’re born curious and with a desire to learn about the world around them. It’s up to us, as parents, to preserve this love and make sure they carry it with them well into their adulthood.
“What We Want To See Is The Child In Pursuit Of Knowledge Not Knowledge In Pursuit Of The Child” -George Bernard Shaw-
As a way to implement this into our home, I set out to place everything I thought they might find interesting in plain sight. I had craft bins filled different materials, books placed strategically around the house, A refrigerator filled with maps and Spanish words, and monthly subscription boxes coming in the mail.
Our kids loved the idea of receiving packages of their very own each month. They couldn’t wait to rip into each box to discover the months topic and get started.
After a few short months of upkeeping this learning environment for our kids, I stumbled upon something called Roadschooling. Families would sell all of their belongings to hit the road and travel full-time, teaching their children along the way. I was intrigued by this and wanted to participate myself. So, after a few discussions with Justin and a little bit of planning. We too set off on an adventure of a lifetime, that we are still on to this very day.
At the moment, however, we are in our home state visiting family and going through our belongings in storage. While going through one of our memories boxes, the kids stumbled upon an old project from TinkerCrate and insisted on having the chance to complete a crate while here.
What Is Tinker & Doodle Crate?
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Both Tinker and Doodle Crate are a couple of the many subscription boxes offered by KewiCo. If you check out their website, you’ll see that they have created crates for every age group ranging from 0-104. Each one designed to create a fun, hands-on learning experience that will encourage your child to express their creativity.
In each box, you’ll receive all of the materials necessary to complete that month’s project along with step by step directions, a learning booklet with inspiring ideas you could take further, and video tutorials.
How Much Does It Cost?
When the kids learned that there were a couple of crates on their way, they proceeded to stock the mailman until the day they arrived. The anticipation of finding out what crate they received was intense. We knew that Xavier was getting a Tinkercrate and Mackenzie a Doodle crate, but we didn’t know what project would be inside.
Up first Xavier’s Crate
Tinker Crate (Mechanical Bird)
We all thought it was rather funny that out of all the crates offered, Xavier received the Mechanical Bird. The day before receiving his crate, he had found a baby bird that couldn’t fly and had sat in the backyard for a couple of hours trying to teach the bird. He’d repeatedly hold the bird up, on his hand until it worked up the courage to try and fly off, eventually making it up to the neighbor’s tree.
Inside the Tinkercrate box, we were provided with all of the materials to create our mechanical bird, which looked similar to the one Xavier taught to fly, a copy of the Tinkerzine magazine that provided loads of information regarding aerodynamics, book recommendations and instructions on how to create an origami crane.
At first glance, this project looked to be a challenge for them to complete without my assistance, but, since the instructions given were in both written and photograph form, the kids zipped right through them.
The instructions were given in ABC format, step A’s task being to complete the birds wings. Every piece of material needed for each step was provided at the beginning of that step, allowing things to flow more easily.
Step B, building the stand, was as simple as step A. The instructions were detailed and easily understood by both of the kids. Example. From the back, slide a medium gear’s axle through the left hole in the stand piece. Then slide the small gear and two large rubber rings onto the axle. Secure with a bolt.
Once we made it to step c, completing the bird. I was impressed! Building this project was simpler than build most lego kits.
Doodle Crate (Poured Art)
As I mentioned above, each box comes with all of the supplies needed to complete that month’s project (plus a little extra). The only thing we needed to supply was a pair of scissors, water, and napkins. I also chose to supply the kids with yarn and velcro strips to turn their projects into wall art.
Before starting to art project provided the kids learned about primary colors and were encouraged to explore, by mixing the colors together on the color wheel. They were also briefly thought about color blending and which colors complemented each other.
Honestly, I don’t think this particular crate was age appropriate. Both had already learned about their primary colors years before but exploring with them again didn’t seem to bother either one of them. They actually enjoyed messing around with the paints creating different shades
Once they finished learning about the color wheel, the next step was choosing the colors they wanted to use for their poured painting and getting them mixed together and ready to pour. Mackenzie chose a couple of different shades of pink, and purple and Xavier chose not to mix his colors. He choose to use the primary colors.
Then it was time to pour the paint onto the canvas. We poured four quarter-sized paint spots onto the canvas and then proceeded to do so again using a different color.
Afterward, the kids were directed to tilt the canvas back and forth, letting the paint flow, until it reached the edge. During this process, we realized neither of them used enough paint. I suppose they could have poured more onto the canvas, but they both decided to use one of the popsicle sticks provided, to pull the paint to the edge of the canvas.
Would We Purchase Another Crate?
Absolutely! We loved completing both the Doodle and Tinkercrate. We felt as though each one was well thought out and provided easy to follow directions that managed to not only hold our kid’s attention, but spark their interest in the specific topic taught in that crate.
I only wish we were able to sign up for their monthly subscription, but since we aren’t in one place long enough to do so, we will purchase the kits periodically from their online store.
“Watch in gratitude as life unfolds before your eyes.” “Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back, and realize they were the big things.”
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