A Brief History of Parts and Crafts
Originally founded as a summer camp focused on making, building, taking things apart, programming, art, science, and boffer-swording, we started a homeschool resource center in 2012 that is Not a School, despite some kids coming all 5 days. Until this March, we ran M-F, serving about 50 kids in various capacities as a school-replacement, a place for socialization to supplement their other homeschooling activities, one-on-one tutoring, small group classes, or just a place to play with all of the wacky stuff in our building. Kids help determine the classes and schedule with huge brainstorms 4x/year. Since going online, we have tried to maintain the "flavor" of Parts & Crafts, having a daily morning meeting where we give our pitches for our projects & classes, offering lots of interesting stuff with interesting people, that the kids then opt into. We publish our weekly schedule on Sunday & kids can also decide on the fly what they want to do.
We primarily work with curious and quirky kids aged 7-13, who are super interested in things that are off the beaten path. Now that we're online, we can expand those ages for online learning, as long as the kids are able to do the activity. Some of our projects & classes require kids to be able to read and write, like for Scratch, Java Processing, Mock Trial, etc., but many others don't (drawing, paper weaving, rope-making, plastic jug pigs) and some require parent involvement at some point, especially cooking classes (even if it's just acquiring the ingredients). We often get kids on the Autism spectrum, although we are not a therapeutic program, and because of our main rule of "Be Excellent to Each Other" those kids can thrive socially in a way they often can't in mainstream schools.