Bookworm has reached that point where he’s just not that interested in school. (I’ve heard from many homeschool moms that this is a common occurrence among middle school boys.) His favorite mantra is, “But really, when will I use this in real life?”
So, I’m always excited when I find a curriculum that interests him and piques his curiosity. That is just what happened with a course we recently reviewed, Thinking Like an Architect by Innovators Tribe.
About Innovators Tribe
Innovators Tribe has the tagline, “Igniting Innovation – Uniting Young Innovators”, which gives you a good idea of the company’s focus. Innovators Tribe identified a hole in the homeschooling market; there were very few courses available to teach Technology and Engineering Education (TEE), so they developed two courses, Thinking Like an Architect and Thinking Like an Engineer, specifically to address this.
About Thinking Like an Architect
This course has about 35 hours of work and can count as 1/4 credit hour of an elective course for high school. It is a great way to bring STEM experience to your middle school or high school. (This course is designed for kids in grades 6-12.) The course has a clear outline, and it’s easy to chart your progress.
This course has two major components. The course itself, which is a self-paced, online course, and the 3D software for students to design their own dream house. Once enrolled in the course, students must send proof that they homeschool so they can get the 3D software for free. (We received ours in just a few days after submitting our proof of homeschooling.)
Thinking Like an Architect also has a guided worksheet that students can fill out as they complete the course. The video presentations are generally short enough to go through in one sitting. There are also outside links that you can use. Bookworm and I completely went down the rabbit hole with this when we followed one of the links and watched a 60 minute video on the Florence Cathedral in Italy.
How We Used Thinking Like an Architect
When Bookworm worked on the course, I sat right beside him, learning about architecture.
During the time we reviewed this course, Bookworm produced two Power Point slides. One was focused on a particular architectural style, and the other one was on a particular architect. Students are encouraged to upload their Power Point presentations to the class forum to share with other students.
Our Thoughts on Thinking Like an Architect
Bookworm loved that the lessons were given in short increments and that there were lots of interactive links. He thought the Power Point assignments were a nice way to sum up what was learned. However, he thought those assignments should required a bit more research. Since this class is developed for 6th – 12th graders, we’d like to see graduated difficulty on the assignments, with the high school students doing a bit more difficult work and more intense research assignments.
Much to Bookworm’s relief, the teacher was engaging and not boring. Having said that, he often appeared in just a small box in the upper right screen. I would have liked to have him fill more of the screen when he is teaching.
We did have difficulty trying to upload Bookworm’s Power Point presentations to the forum because there wasn’t a place where we could add a link and there weren’t instructions. In the end, after spending about 30 minutes trying to figure it out, we decided not to upload his presentations.
Overall, this was a fun elective course, and Bookworm plans to continue with it after the review. I’ll add more assignments and research to it so he can reach the 60 hours required to earn a 1/2 high school credit.
If you’re interested in Thinking Like and Architect or Thinking Like an Engineer, they are currently offering a sale–35% off–that ends on November 11, 2017.
I was one of 75 people to review either Thinking Like an Architect or Thinking Like an Engineer. To read more reviews, click on the icon below: