A New Direction

I’m glad to be back on the blogosphere after so long away.

2016 marks my fifth year blogging at www.woodshopcowboy.com.  I am happy to announce some changes in direction:

 

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Boom, Boom, Boom. Essential Question: Can I make a catapult shoot a ping pong ball thirty feet? And use it in zombie self defense?

1) A shift in local focus.  From 2008 to 2016 I resided in Houston, TX.  This spring, my wife took a new job in Northern VA. This shift has coincided and necessitated a decision to step away (for a year) the in-a-school maker-ed classroom.  I will still teach, just to smaller and handsomer audiences (my two sons).  Expect articles describing the local Maker and woodworking scenes.

2) A shift in content and frequency.  More projects, less curriculum.  As an active educator, I found that as my responsibilities in the daily classroom increased, my frequency decreased and my length increased.  I’m hoping to reverse this trend.  This Week In The Classroom will be retired as a regular feature until future notice.  I’ll still blog kid-centered projects, but my audience will be more parental-focused and less teacher-oriented.

3) A shift into advocacy.  In the past two years, my professional career as a Maker Education teacher in a special needs school has taken off.  This site has been a huge part of my success in that arena.  I hope to continue my unique mix of advocacy and play to this blog.

4) A year-end goal.  Writing a book.

Making A Maker: Skills & Projects for Kids (and their Parents!) to Master 

Many parents ask me “how can I help foster this thing called Making at home?” And while there are plenty of project books and kid books out there, very few books help coach parents to create fun, creative environments for their kids and help them teach simple skills, like sawing a board, to a young person.  This book approaches Maker projects in a developmental context, linking individual projects to Maker skills to children’s developmental levels and teaching standards for home-school environments.   For parents with young people that are ahead of the curve, you can jump in anywhere and build skills.  For parents with kids that need more hands-on stuff and extra developmental time, you can slow down and explore.  If you have a kid that loves art, but you want to sneak in science and math…oh, I’ve got that too!

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5) Increased social media presence.   Expect more updates on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Updates on projects, ideas, and stories which catch my eye.

 Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  To support for this site, please like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  If you are interested in making and education, why not check out Work Notes, a semi-curated set of articles from the web, published every week?