Updated: Mar 28, 2021
Welcome to Makeshift Homeschool!
We welcome all people for free from every country in the world! You could be from China, Brazil, Australia...you get the idea. You might be a kid, or you might be a grandparent. At Makeshift Homeschool everyone is a student and a teacher with unique gifts to share.
In this article we help you get started with three easy steps:
Step 1. Join Makeshift Homeschool
All you need to do to join MSHS is to send us your email through our website below.
Scroll down on the first page to find the "Enroll Now" section.
... and you're in!
Makeshift Homeschool has four platforms...
Slack hosts our virtual school = makeshifthomeschool.slack.com
Zoom hosts our virtual classroom ...
YouTube hosts our TV show = MSHS Live
Flutter builds our Web App = makeshifthomeschool.app
When you first join MSHS you come to the school on Slack. There are five channels in addition to the general channel as shown below:
general - Everyone associated with MSHS is in this channel. We make announcements here and provide links to virtual classrooms, where kids teach kids.
mentors - Mentors include adults and experienced students that help new students get started with MSHS. This channel is where they discuss how to inspire your kids.
parents - Parents are encouraged to talk about how MSHS can improve in this channel. Their input is critical to MSHS success.
students - Students hangout, discuss their deep interests, and share their projects here. It's a lot of fun! Parents are included as well.
team - Our team consists of paid and volunteer supporters of all ages and backgrounds. This is where we take your feedback and use it to improve MSHS.
webapp - Our WebApp is how we are trying to automate and scale parts of MSHS. We have a team of developers...many of them kids making this happen.
Next we help you navigate by pairing you with two mentors. This way young people joining don't get lost.
Step 2. Meet your mentors
Makeshift Homeschool pairs new students with two mentors. One mentor is a member of our team with at least some experience working with young people. The other mentor is a student learning to teach and lead. We encourage all of our students to become mentors, because it's a critical part of their personal development.
Mentors help new students by...
Saying "Hello" ... Introducing them to their classmates.
First virtual classroom ... Helping them join the Zoom meeting.
Know thyself... Asking them about their strengths and interests.
Explore Projects ... Showing them where they can find other students' projects.
Complete a Project ... Helping them identify and complete their first project.
We try to find mentors that share each student's interests. You can find our student and mentor profiles at the links below. Encourage your new student to check these out and find mentors that share their interests...
Mentor Page ... Everyone in our Team is also a mentor
Step 3. Build your first project
MSHS is built on what we call the Creative Learning Process. This process involves creating unique projects. Every project is different, because every student is different.
You can look up students' projects on MakeshiftHomeschool.com. We also put together a list of 10 project ideas for 2021 that might get your creative juices flowing. If you're still not sure what to do...don't worry...your mentors and classmates will help you come up with something awesome built around your natural strengths and interests.
Once you complete your first project we add you to the student page and share your project with the world. Tell your parents about it and share the link with your friends. If they like it, tell them they can join you for free! Just send them this article so they can get started!
Makeshift Homeschool Principles
Finally, we want to share a bit more detail around our approach.
Our CEO, Sumay McPhail, spent a lot of time interviewing parents and working with students to figure out how all kids can reach their potential. What she developed with help from her growing team are five principles of learning.
MSHS is built upon these principles.
Add real value to others
Iterate and improve
Are free to explore
Build on strengths, interests and passions
Teach and mentor
Here is how it works...
1. Add real value to others - Every project we do adds real value to others. Our students do real things like build apps, create recipes, write music, make games and design products. We also do a lot of writing and making movies about stuff we learn. The only requirement is that each project needs to add real value to others by helping them learn, laugh, and be inspired.
2. Iterate and improve - Students at MSHS do not receive grades. They share their creations with other students and mentors who provide feedback and encouragement. They re-create projects all the time...improving with each iteration until they have made something of real value or move on to another project. Our students learn that there is no limit to how much they can improve, and grow an awareness and openness to feedback from many people to reach their potential.
3. Are free to explore - At MSHS we open doors for young people to walk through so they can grow their natural curiosity. As students mature they learn to help mentor and teach younger students to do the same. Children want to share their discoveries and we provide a platform to do this in our virtual classrooms. This further facilitates the feedback loop that helps young people cultivate their curiosity. When kids are in the habit of exploring they become independent and self-directed in their learning process.
4. Build on strengths, interests and passions - Our students learn to cultivate their natural interests so that they can develop Specific Knowledge. The link is to an article our CEO wrote about the importance of building on your unique qualities . Kids that learn to cultivate their unique strengths, interests, and passions will not need to compete against machines automating away routine jobs or others with the same degree because they will be irreplaceable.
5. Teach and mentor - All our students are encouraged to teach each other and mentor new students. For thousands of years kids would teach each other. Oftentimes with older kids teaching the younger ones how to sew clothes, fix tools, learn to read, chop wood, and sing. At Makeshift Homeschool we have kids of all ages sharing and learning together. We believe that the best students of life learn from everything and everyone, and mentoring builds confidence and a path to leading our future.
These are the principles behind our approach ... with the mission of empowering young people to achieve their potential. You can learn more About Us on our website.
If you believe in Our Mission and want to help then please reach out.
We are hiring programmers and always welcome parents to join and share how we can improve. We interview educators and wrote a letter to the Public Education System in hopes of collaborating and learning together.
We are free...our only motivation is our mission.
CEO of Makeshift Homeschool
Background: Sumay dropped out of the Advanced Academic Program of Haycock Elementary School to dedicate herself to growing her vision for Makeshift Homeschool. She plays twelve hours a day, seven days a week...programming the Web App, mentoring students, teaching Flutter, running our YouTube channel, and working toward her mission. You can read more about Sumay on her personal blog and this article about the world's first Elementary School Dropout turned EdTech Startup CEO.