We’re about a week into our new homeschool year, and my 10-year-old son is finally starting his 3D Animation online class with Youth Digital. This is his first course with Youth Digital, and I was able to buy it for my son thanks to a good deal some months ago with Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

3D Animation Online Course for Kids by Youth DigitalThis is an online, self-paced course that is made for children aged 8-14. No background in animation or any other graphics / design software is needed. For as long as your child knows how to comfortably use a computer and follow video instructions, he can take this course.

I looked into this course when it was offered by Homeschool Buyers Co-op because I read that it would teach your child to use Blender, the 3D animation software that professionals use. My son had told me as early as last year (when he was 9) that he wanted to try making Minecraft animation videos. He told me about Blender, saying that it can make really nice, detailed animation.

So, here he is now, getting his feet wet in Blender. The course has 13 modules, and as of this morning, my son has started the 2nd module. So far, it looks like he will finish 1 module per week (he does the Youth Digital online lessons about 2-3 times a week). I sit with him and listen to the video lessons that are clearly explained by this funny man named Sam (his sense of humor makes the lessons more fun and interesting for us; thanks Sam!).

I like that the video lessons are not too long (about 15 minutes each) and interact directly with my son. When Sam asks my son to do something on Blender, the video automatically pauses to give him time to do it and then switch back to the video lesson on the Youth Digital portal. There are also short reviews and quizzes in between lessons to help my son remember the commands, terminologies, etc. And I really like that one of the first lessons was called Blender Blunders, where my son learned about some of the things that can go wrong, and go very wrong, in using this sophisticated software. It helped my son feel less intimidated by Blender’s user interface (I’m still a bit intimidated but also still very much fascinated) because he was given chances to make errors and correct them. It was comforting to know that people do make mistakes on Blender and that these mistakes can be fixed or avoided with enough practice and discipline.

Here I am enjoying this new learning experience with my son. Here he is enjoying learning how to use Blender (and maybe make his own sophisticated Minecraft or other animations for his YouTube channel). I see exciting times ahead.