Last weekend I attended the first ever Canadian Online Homeschool Conference. It was awesome, overwhelming, and so very helpful in all aspects of my life. You can still buy the $97 all access pass to the 13 hours of sessions. Don’t be frightened by the “overwhelming”; keep in mind this is still my first year of homeschooling so I was inundated by so many great ideas that I had to sit down and think, “What did I learn at this conference that I can implement this week.” My answer – saying yes more.
I’m not 100% sure which session was about saying yes more. My brain was mush to start the conference off. I want to say it was in the session about unschooling but don’t quote me. Either way, the one thing I knew I could do right away was start saying “yes” more to what my son asks. I’ll admit, the control freak in me thought, “How will we ever get anything done?” But I tried it. To my astonishment it was AMAZING!
First thing I said yes to was reading more “Story of the World”. B is really enjoying this book. He wants to read it every day. Thankfully we have access to Homeschool with Minecraft’s study on Story of the World which includes reading comprehension questions, videos and a suggested Minecraft build so it’s more than just reading the book (although there’s nothing wrong with that). We will now be reading this book daily as requested by B who now claims to “love social studies”. So much for the kid who claimed to hate school but still enjoy anything and everything to do with science.
The second thing I said yes to was creating Minecraft videos. For a little background, we started homeschooling in June and I plan to homeschool year round. This gives us the freedom to take one day off school each week. I’ve secretly declared this “unschooling” day and presented options for field trips or other outings. Early December I had surgery so our unschooling day just meant a day off and B played Minecraft or watched YouTube videos on Minecraft the entire day while I rested. This week, B said he wanted to create YouTube videos on Minecraft. I said yes.
Now the social media loving girl in me kicked in with a very critical questions, “What will your Minecraft YouTube videos be about?” B didn’t really know. I suggested he create “how to” videos because whenever he asked me to look up how to do something in Minecraft we didn’t find many videos. Secretly, I was thinking these would also be shorter and easier to produce videos until we got the hang of things.
B also had the idea of creating “daddy and son” playing Minecraft. Again, I said yes. B emailed his dad to ask if he’d be apart of the video. They’re currently hashing out a day and time. This then led to “uncle/nephew” video. Again, I said yes and told B that daddy would have his uncle’s email address. B emailed his dad to get the email address then emailed his uncle and they are now hashing out a time/place. In the meantime, B also built a trap for his dad in Minecraft in anticipation of their “battle”.
What did we learn?
Well, I learned B likes learning about ancient times. He may hate reading but he rather read Story of the World together than any other book/article I have tried so far. I’ll run with it. We have three more volumes to get through after this one. Then we can look at what time period or country to focus on for more in depth social studies lessons.
B learned the usefulness of social networking. I asked Facebook friends how to capture video of B playing Minecraft and three people recommended the same program. We downloaded it. Tried to use it. The quality was NOT good. Then we turned to YouTube. We watched a YouTube video on recommended settings and now have some video captured of B playing Minecraft. I also asked about video editing programs on Facebook (this time in a closed group for kids who create YouTube videos) and received recommendations. I still need to download it and figure it out to teach it to B but that’s next week. Rome wasn’t built in a day – neither was learning to create YouTube videos.
After we’ve edited our video and have it ready to post, we will be learning about social media marketing. B is a bit obsessed with YouTube subscriber numbers at the moment. I plan to teach him the very basics of how to grow his subscribers through other social media channels. My colleague, Social Media Sean, and I will manage B’s Twitter and Facebook page (because B is far too young to have access to these sites) while B learns to write posts promoting his videos. B will see how we “retweet”, “repost” and do our magic behind the scenes to grow his subscribers.
I love saying yes
I have to admit, despite the fact that YouTube is one social media platform I really don’t know how to create content for, I am excited to go down this road with B. I’m even more excited about being able to teach B about my “other” job. Homeschooling has become my priority but I still love helping build communities and brands through social media. I would be SO lonely in my homeschool journey without social media! And really, I can declare this path with B as “professional development” because both B and I will have the skills to assist my clients in creating YouTube content in the future. I will even pass on Minecraft loving clients to B.