I love watching my kids when they are in the zone, full of ideas, loving what they’re doing. I can feel the energy radiating from them! They excitedly tell me all their plans, bouncing around and exclaiming “Isn’t that a great idea Mum? It’s going to be awesome!”
It’s one of the best parts of home educating. You get to be a part of this! To see what lights them up!
We have a ‘project fair’ coming up soon with our unschooling group so the girls have been busy creating things to take along and share with friends. Miss 7 in particular has been using a really cool program that I wanted to share some more about.
She just loves to figure out how things work, and make her own machines and inventions. For her project she wanted to make some simple machines, and that’s when we came across JAM.
As soon as she saw a video about what JAM was she asked if we could try it ‘pleaaassseee’. Luckily you can try for free for two weeks so the answer was of course ‘yes!’
So what is it? A library of videos with tons of projects! There are courses on a number of things my kids are interested in so I suspected it would get a lot of use.
Miss 7 started with the ‘Invent Your Own Machines’ course. The first thing she made was a robotic hand.
You pull the string to move each finger. How cool is it! She also learnt the basics of simple machines, how to use tools like a box cutter safely, common materials she might need to make her own projects, and added lots of new words to her vocabulary.
She also recently made a waving machine!
She’s so excited to take her creations to the fair and share them with her friends. And there are MANY more machines to make too like marble runs, rocket launchers, zipline movers, balloon poppers, and cookie dunkers, to name a few. So many possibilities! I love that she’s learning exactly how simple machines work and will be able to take that knowledge and apply it to her own inventions too!
Seeing her sister’s creations, Miss 9 also wanted to try JAM herself. The course on animation captured her interest and she spent so much time drawing, making notes, and coming up with ideas. In this course she is learning how to brainstorm ideas, develop characters, design worlds, create a story board, and more.
The villain of her story! She went so much more in depth than she usually would thinking about the character’s interests, hobbies, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
She also learnt how to draw her characters from different angles, and to come up with various facial expressions for them. She hasn’t finished her animation yet but I’m so excited to see how it turns out!
Both girls have also spent some time on the ‘Drawing Bootcamp’ course learning about and practicing shading, perspective, observational drawing, and using different mediums.
Here Miss 7 is experimenting with light and learning how to draw shadows.
There is so much to experiment with and it feels like we have only just scratched the surface in the two months they’ve been using JAM!
When you’ve finished a project you can also share it safely with other kids using JAM and give encouragement and feedback to others!
We are really happy with JAM and what it has to offer. Each course includes SO much and it will take the kids ages before they’re through it all, and new content is added every month! I really like that the kids can work through it at their own pace and rewatch videos as many times as they like, that the courses cover common kid interests, their speedy customer service, how easy it is to use, that you can use it on an iPad, and that they have a monthly subscription option. Also a big plus is that you can use it however you like and watch the videos in any order.
If you’d like to try JAM for yourself you can do a 14 day free trial HERE. I hope you like it too! The girls are keen to get into the cooking and science experiment courses next so that should be fun! Follow me over on Instagram to see what they get up to.