A maker is a person who uses their hands to make things. In education, you might hear terms like "hands-on" or "experience-based" to describe these activities. We've got some popular terms in unschooling, too, but I like to keep it simple and just talk about what we're making, doing, watching—things that happen in a rich, active life—and make sure that the kids have what they need to make and do.
Maker projects are do-it-yourself and active. Watching and waiting can be part of an active project, when you (i.e., the learner) are doing the watching and waiting. Although, watching someone else do something could be a first step toward a do-it-yourself solo or collaborative project.
"Hacker Scouts" groups are beginning to pop up. These are groups of makers, typically children, who are learning to tinker, build, invent, create, etc. Skills categories may include domestic activities, traditional crafts like weaving and cooking, scientific experiments and creation of tools, art, naturalist, video gaming, technological...
5 Steps to Becoming a Maker
- Explore potential projects - DIY.org, Instructables.com, Hack N Mod, Youtube.
- Share what you've made - Join an online maker/hacker community and post your projects (DIY.org highly recommended).
- Build your tool set - What might you need to fit your interests?
- Create a maker backpack for projects on the go.
- Start a maker club - This is one of the maker skills on DIY.org, an online maker community for kids.
Recordkeeping note to homeschoolers: After beginning to use DIY.org with my kids, I realized that it would make a convenient online portfolio of their projects to present at annual homeschool testing time.