Last week, I announced a new learning opportunity for parents – Online Parent Camp. My first ever Online Parent Camp will be offered on October 10 – 17, 2016. So because it’s new, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What exactly is Online Parent Camp? What does parent camp look like? How do I find out more?”

Why I’m Offering Online Parent Camp

I first thought of the idea of parent camp around five years ago. In my community parent magazine, I noticed lots of ads for summer camps, especially day camps for children. Plenty of kids love to go to a specialized camp to learn about an interest such as gymnastics, art or music. I wondered if parents might also like to learn new skills in a camp-like atmosphere – fun, relaxed, playful and in a community of other parents; but like many ideas we create, we have to put them aside and focus on other things until the right time arrives. So now is the right time for me to finally offer this learning opportunity to parents! Learn More>>>

I’m super excited about offering Online Parent Camp this October. My two career loves are Positive Discipline parenting and training strategies for adult learners, so Online Parent Camp brings those two interests together in a really fun way. Online Parent Camp combines a variety of effective learning strategies for adults and the learning is all focused on an issue that is important to parents. I don’t know if you’ve heard of micro-learning, but in general micro-learning is defined as learning in short, digestible, bite-sized units. Online Parent Camp is designed to be a short learning opportunity with a tight focus. The idea of learning in small chunks is a good fit for parents with busy schedules, so that makes Online Parent Camp a very “doable” learning opportunity – a short time frame and a tight focus on an issue that is important. The first camp, coming this October will focus on tantrums and will last for eight days.

So what is the structure of Parent Camp? What exactly is the time commitment and what online learning tools will be used? I wanted to create a learning opportunity that would be totally doable for parents as far as time. So all of the learning “chunks” are in either 5-minute blocks or 35-minute blocks. Also all of the learning takes place in two different “spots” online. From all of the knowledge I’ve gained about teaching adults, I firmly believe that group learning offers much more to each individual so I wanted to offer Online Parent Camp in a community format. The two learning “spaces” for Online Parent Camp are . . .

  1. Zoom Online Meetings in real time in the Think It Through Parenting Zoom Meeting Room. (The meetings will be recorded for those who can’t make it to the live meetings.) Each Zoom online meeting will only last for 35 minutes.
  2. Private Facebook Group: As I planned Online Parent Camp, I wanted to use a tool that most parents are familiar with and that parents already are accessing on a daily or weekly basis. So for this first session of Online Parent Camp, we’ll use a private facebook group. (I may explore using a different option such as a Google+ Group in the future.) For each day of the eight day Parent Camp, I’ll post an learning task for parents that will require only 5 minutes of your time. Each learning task will ask that you type a short answer into the facebook learning group. Most of those learning tasks will help set up the learning that will take place in the Zoom online meetings and also will build on the learning that has previously happened in the Zoom online meetings. (You won’t be asked to share anything personal that you aren’t comfortable sharing.)

What’s the Exact Schedule for Online Parent Camp?Here’s the time layout for the eight days of the Tantrums session of Online Parent Camp this October:

Day 1 – Monday, October 10: 5-minute learning task (facebook learning group)
Day 2 – Tuesday, October 11: 5-minute learning task (facebook learning group) AND 35 minute live Zoom meeting
Day 3 – Wednesday, October 12: 5-minute learning task (facebook learning group) AND 35 minute live Zoom meeting
Day 4 – Thursday, October 13: 5-minute learning task (facebook learning group) AND 35 minute live Zoom meeting
Day 5 – Friday, October 14:  5-minute learning task (facebook learning group)
Day 6 – Saturday, October 15:  5-minute learning task (facebook learning group)
Day 7 – Sunday, October 16:  5-minute learning task (facebook learning group)
Day 8 – Monday, October 17: 5 minute learning task (facebook learning group) AND 35 minute live Zoom meeting

What Will the Learning Tasks and Live Zoom Meetings Look Like?

Learning Tasks: For many of the learning tasks, you’ll see that I’ve posted a video in the private facebook group. You’ll click on and watch the short video. In the videos, I’ll do a quick mini-lesson to teach you about an aspect of tantrums, and at the end I’ll ask you a question. I’ll invite you to type a short answer in the comments below the video. Everyone in the learning group will see the answers of the others and this creates a nice group learning experience. Did you know that you usually learn more in a community of learners in which people share and exchange ideas?

Live Zoom Meetings: In each 35-minute Live Zoom Meeting, you’ll get some real time teaching from me. I’ll be teaching Positive Discipline parenting activities through interaction with you and with the live group. I’ll invite everyone to attend the meeting using their cameras so we can all see each other, but I totally understand if you want to attend with your camera turned off. That’s not a problem. Both the live Zoom meetings and the facebook learning groups are designed to be a collaborative learning experience for you, but you get to choose the way that makes you feel most comfortable and get the most from Online Parent Camp. If you haven’t heard of Zoom, it’s kind of like Skype, but lots of people can be on the video call/video meeting.

A Pinterest Board: The final online tool used in Parent Camp will be a collaborative Pinterest board that will be added to each day. All group members enrolled in Parent Camp will be invited to pin reflections, articles and useful pins to the board. Anyone (the public) can follow the board and see the progress of the group. Click on the words “Follow on Pinterest” to the right of this article and at the bottom of the rectangle about Pinterest.

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