The kids and I took off last week on a long awaited field trip. None of us have been able to stop thinking about our destination since we stumbled upon it on our Mystery Day last month.
Remember that place that I told you was going to crack our homeschool wide open? This is it.
The Bodgery is a makerspace that is just two hours from home. We've been searching for one for years, but nothing we found before was significantly closer or has the machines and tools we were looking for. The Bodgery not only had the tools we wanted to use, but was also a space we could afford and one that welcomes kids if they are supervised by a parent.
I concede that two hours is a bit far to go, especially when you consider we already have a forge, woodshop, serger, and sewing machine here on the farm. But the community built around this place really drew us in. As a homeschooling parent I want to surround my kids with a community of inspiration – not just a family. So that sealed the deal. Okay, and so did the laser cutter.
Basically, I did a time-management shell game in my head and successfully justified the distance. Honestly though, how ofter do we squander two hours on meaningless time-wasters? Also, we have logged exactly zero miles driving our kids to school in the past 14 years, so there's that.
We headed out for two days of making last Friday. My kids were so excited that they both set alarms for an unreasonable hour, then woke me with big smiling eyes and stage whispers of excitement about the days to come. We hurried through breakfast and farm chores and we were off.
We had planned on visiting for just 1 1/2 days but ended up staying for three. (This is how I roll.) Because how could we pull ourselves away? We worked on everything from handwork we had brought from home to sewn rope baskets; blacksmithing and woodworking; laser cutting and electronics repairs.
We did it all.
And then on the way home – exhausted from three long days and late nights of making – all that we could talk about what we were going to create the next time we came.
This place is a creative person's paradise. A maker's dream come true where you can work on all the projects you can imagine. It is stocked with with sewing, embroidery, and felting machines; 3-D printers and laser cutters; a complete woodshop, metalshop, and more. The kids and I were welcomed in with all the hand-holding, encouragement, and training we might need by the community of people that make this place tick.
We still need training on some of the tools, but after that they sky is the limit. For us, it also helped us create a space away from everything we normally do – from work and laundry to playing with friends and reading books. It carved out the space in our busy lives to simply lose ourselves in the making.
And we needed that. All three of us found our cups refilled and our creativity on fire after these three days surrounded by inspiring people, projects, and tools.
If you're hungry for more creating as well (with your kids or on your own) I can't encourage you enough to find a makerspace near home. This directory can help you locate one. Then get making!