Updated review of DIY.org

diyWe’re down to our last few days of homeschooling for the year. The portfolios are done and we just have a few things left for the year. Since we’re winding down, there’s not much to report for a weekly wrap-up. Instead, I thought I’d update my review of DIY.org since that review was written a year-and-a-half ago, and quite a bit has happened since then on the website.

They’ve added many skills – usually one a month or so. In fact, I just counted, and they have over 100 skills! There’s quite a wide variety. For example, the featured skills for this month include actor, jewelry designer, RCer, and philosopher. There’s something for everyone. One of my favorite aspects of the website are when Mr. Curiosity asks to go on the website and look for some inspiration, if he can’t come up with a project offhand. There’s lots of inspiration.

You have the ability to follow other makers, which means you get notifications any time they post a project. Like much social media, you can make comments and favorite posts. There are several moderators to make sure the kids don’t reveal information they shouldn’t or use inappropriate language.

The parental notifications are great. I get an email any time one of my kids puts up a project, and they’ve just added the ability to monitor comments. The parents have an account, so you can see everything the kids see.

20140218-PatchesThey’ve added a market to the site, with embroidered badges, toolkits, and gear (t-shirts, hats, and the like). We’ve actually purchased some of the badges. They’re quite high quality, and bigger than you’d think, with glue on the back. Both kids even made a nine-patch quilt square to display their patches.

The app is the easiest way to get images into DIY. Even so, we’ll sometimes move projects around on the website. If you want to put multiple images into one project, you have to use the website. Sometimes I’ll remind the kids they can put projects up that don’t explicitly fit a skill, but they prefer to upload projects that will help them earn a patch. After three projects within a skill, you earn a patch that will be displayed on your dashboard. If you do six projects within a skill, you master that skill. I’m not sure that gets you anything but bragging rights. Occasionally they’ll have season specific badges (in the past Darkness Engineer at Halloween and Summerologist in the summer), but usually all the skills are available all the time.

Overall, we’re still happy with the community. If you have a budding maker in the house, you should check it out!

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