Homeschool Workshop in Chester

Abigayle filmming Amitai

I just completed co-teaching a filmmaking workshop in Chester with Sonia Arora who connected us to a group of homeschool kids who she had met while filmming her own short documentary on the subject of homeschooling.

We offered the class for 4 weeks (2-hr sessions) with a group of 7 students ages 8-13. The class took a different format than previous MIM workshops. We allowed the students to take the cameras home with them between classes so that they could document themselves in their home environments.

We allowed them to chose their own topic, but encouraged them to create a personal piece that reflected their interests. We required that the videos stay under 2 minutes.

The eagerness and curiosity of this group of students made the workshops very lively and exciting but also a bit more challenging to focus. There is something fresh and spontaneous about the writing, for example that often happens on the first day, that is difficult to recreate later in the process. Particularly because this group does not have a shared message or perspective that they want to communicate (a few of them were interested in creating pieces that countered the stereotypical ideas of homeschoolers),
but most of them just wanted to express something unique about their interests as kids.

If we were to do this again, I think we would focus on the narrative story first and then build the images from there.

Check out the Map around Chester (west of Philadelphia) to catch a glimpse of these diverse personalities.

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