During the last several weeks, our son has had the benefit of using and reviewing the Think Like An Architect course from Innovators Tribe. This course turned out to be so much more than we had even originally thought. And we were expecting something impressive from the time we knew that we would be reviewing this curriculum.

There are so many career options available to both boys and girls in the STEM areas.  It is hard to really know whether these career choices will be a good fit until you get elbow deep in them.  When possible our family loves to use high school elective credits to explore possible career choices for our children.  First time exploration of this after your child gets to college can be a very costly journey.

Innovators Tribe uses an online platform to host its classes.  The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review Think Like an Engineer and Think Like an Architect.  Both of these classes are excellent survey courses and can count for either a half or full credit hour elective depending on how much time your child invests in the projects.  A child with a lot of passion and interest could put in the hours to make that full credit.  These courses are designed for students in Grades 6 through 12.  Is this applicable for true high school credit?  My answer would be yes.  Keep reading along and I think you will start to see why I think so.

Thinking Like An Architect: The Course


As a parent I loved the layout of this course. The student begins with a review of different architectural styles and periods.  The first assignment had me thrilled in that my son needed to not only pick his favorite style and determine why it was his favorite, but he also had to build a PowerPoint presentation with specific requirements for the course.  He needed to have a title page, images, and a final text slide with his rationale for why he chose the period he did.  This may not seem like a big deal, but developing presentations is a skill that a lot of homeschool students do not do often enough.  This is an assumed skill when our children reach college level studies. I loved that he had to use a tool like this as part of an elective credit.

Some other topics presented before getting into the real hands-on application were an understanding of different career paths within the architecture field as well as the importance of math for this profession.  It is not all just about drawing.  Even if your child never becomes an architect, I loved that I had a solid example for my son to see “when will I ever use this in real life”.

The other topics that truly cover the majority of the course are on the tools of an architect including an architect’s scale, blueprints, and the designing of the student’s dream home using real design software that comes with the course.

The course has a thorough materials list as well as study guide pages that assist the student in taking notes as they view the videos and presentations for the class.  This was what we considered the “book learning”.  It was a truly a small fraction of the total learning experience. Most of the learning happened by doing!

Our Thoughts

As I have already mentioned, I loved that this was truly a survey course related to architecture.  My son loved that it was a lot more doing than writing.  It wasn’t about architecture – it truly was in putting your hand to the page and your fingers to the keyboard in being the architect.

The software was easy to navigate and use. We were a bit intimidated at first with the design software, but found that the instructions provided in the course really got us off to a good start.  My son ran with it from there.

Through the use of Think Like An Architect, our son has gotten a taste of what work would be like as an architect.  It has given him a lot of food for thought about whether he wants to pursue this as a career option.  For this we are thankful and is not something that a child can walk away from using just any elective course. He is enthused about finishing up his design of his dream home.  I am interested to see if he builds in space for his mom to come visit!

As always, I encourage you to check out the other reviews from families that used Think Like An Architect as well as Think Like An Engineer.  Think Like A Carpenter is in the works and will be available soon from Innovators Tribe.

Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

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A True Picture of Community

by Dawn Oaks on December 4, 2016 · 3 comments


Earlier this afternoon, a farmer from a mile down the road came up our way to share that one of his calves had gotten out.  Unless you are a farm family, you may not understand or appreciate what that may mean.  It might be a cherished pet, but more than likely it might be the money to pay an outstanding medical bill or be the very meat that will feed your family.  When a farmer hears of a cow out or some other issue on a neighboring farm, there is no need to think about what to do.  You just go help!

The boys pulled on their boots and were gone before being asked.  They spread wide knowing how to corral a calf that was enjoying it’s new found freedom.  They knew they had to act smart since this calf outweighed them and could out run them.  One can not underestimate the craftiness and danger of working with animals.

Our property was the closest so the calf was herded into a lot outside our milk parlor for holding while the owner got a trailer down to our place to load it and take it back home.

So what is the big deal?  Are we heros? NO. but that is just it.

Community is being able to understand the struggles of another and just doing what is needed to treat that neighbor as you would want to be treated yourself.

I felt compelled to sit down and write as there is so much that is being done and seen in our own nation in the name of “Community”.

There is so much that may be called Community, but is so far from it.

Community is not beating someone because they have a different skin color (and no, I don’t care what color the skin is of the attacker or the victim).

Community is not setting fire to personal property because you disagree with how someone voted.

Community is not waging war on the police officers that are just trying to enforce the laws that the American people put into place through their personal votes or those that they put into office.

Community is not forcing your own personal values on others to the point of destroying their business, places of worship, or homes.

Community is not about self worship, but putting others before yourself!

There is no greater example of this type of love than what Christ did for us in coming in flesh as we commemorate His birth at Christmas and His ultimate sacrifice and gift at Easter.

So let us not lose hope, but return to the greatest commandments given to mankind.


Let us love God first and each other more than ourselves!

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Blessings and Meanings in Names

November 7, 2016

With each pregnancy, my husband and I chose our children’s names with purpose; for us, carrying meaning was critically important.  This should be an indication of the intrigue and excitement with which I approached the opportunity to review the Name Meaning products from CrossTimber.  Our family received a free Personalized Plaque with Name Meaning and […]

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Building Foreign Language into our School Day

October 27, 2016

So many students are really resistant to fulfilling the high school graduation requirement for foreign language studies.  For this reason, I was thrilled to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew‘s review of Middlebury Interactive Language‘s Middle School Chinese I.  My hope was that in getting a jumpstart on foreign language while still in […]

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Traveling Back

October 24, 2016

Coming back to writing has been a long time in getting here.  It hasn’t been a lack of things to write about, but so many different detours and side roads in life that it has honestly left me searching. Searching for directions.  Searching for answers.  Searching to make sense of all of the thoughts and […]

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Summer Reading Adventure ~ Product Review

July 17, 2016

I would imagine by now that it is not a well hidden secret that we are a family that loves to read.  We incorporate great literature in our studies, but there are also times that we just love to snuggle up for some pleasure reading.  Our latest review is from Shiloh Run Press with their […]

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Forbrain – A New Technology for our Homeschool

July 5, 2016

From the moment I knew that our family would be reviewing the Forbrain headset from Forbrain – Sound for Life Ltd, the wheels in my brain began to really turn as to how we would push it to the limits.  The company’s website touted that it had applications for short term memory improvements, increases in […]

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When Counting Your Blessings is Hard

June 26, 2016

I was sitting in church this morning and was hit with a memory as if it was something that happened just yesterday.  In actuality, it was really 10 1/2 years ago. Our youngest had been involved in a accident that caused part of one of his fingers to be amputated.  It was a surreal moment […]

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Our Homeschool Year in Review 2015 – 2016

June 24, 2016

  The 2015-2016 school year has certainly been one of transitions and accomplishments from start to finish.  We have seen firsts and lasts.  We have cheered and cried.  And yes, we have learned some things along the way. Our school year actually kicked off with moving Rucia into her new life at college. Once we […]

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Check out Math – the LearnBop Way

June 22, 2016

We recently had an opportunity to review a new Math supplement and found ourselves questioning whether it couldn’t really be a full math curriculum.  When this opportunity first arose, I really was convinced that there are small variations, but most math programs are the same. I now stand corrected. We reviewed the LearnBop for Families […]

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