The importance of working with our hands is a subject Sonya revisits in the most recent blog post. Admittedly, I struggle with 1 of my students concerning this topic. I’m still chewing on Sonya’s words and know that this is an area that we home educators seem to be hit or miss on. I’d love to discuss and brainstorm ideas together.
Sonya mentions creating a plan for your student. What do they need to know before they leave our homes? Have you created a plan for your children? If so, how did it benefit them? If not, what might a plan for your student(s) look like?
Sonya linked to an article that discusses how working with our hands makes us happier. Have you seen or experienced increased happiness and contentment in your home and children when they are working with their hands?
What handi-craft project or life-skill project are your children going to work on this week?CrystalNParticipant
Loved this article. I too am ruminating on this. Other than Legos my kids do not do much with their hands. This is a real challenge for me as I am pretty much anti-crafty, I have no creative skills whatsoever. My daughter does make doll clothes and we haved dabbled in crochet. It has been an “extra”, but now I am changing my perspective. I think I will try the SCM papercraft dvd. We have the crochet and like it, but havent gotten far. My oldest ds is 15 and itching to drive so I have been keeping a list of the car maintenance skills he must learn before he can get his permit. (He has no interest in car maintenance so making it a permit requirement is the only way to motivate him). I am looking forward to seeing what ideas others have to get handicraft skills into the routine. Maybe devoting a whole school day to various handicrafts would be fun. Maybe on a nice rainy day. I realize it may not be very CM to spend a straight 6 hours on just handicrafts, but maybe a day off regular subjects would be fun and inspire them to carry projects over into their free time. My kids would be thrilled to get out of math and writing for the day!ErinDParticipant
It makes a huge difference in my home. I have two, soon to be three, teen boys and they must work with their hands and do physical things, otherwise they are bored and restless (actually my husband is the same). So it doesn’t just have to be handicrafts, it’s things like doing chores, shoveling snow, playing sports, baking, playing an instrument, drawing, refilling bird feeders outside, building/fixing things in the shop with dad, etc.
Some down time is good, but it can’t be all day, because they all go nuts.
I don’t really have a formal plan, but I intend to teach them all to cook, clean the house (including bathrooms) and do laundry before they leave home.
I loved today’s SCM blog post! I had previously read the article about med students but the other article linked was new to me. I now see so much more value in handiwork.
My son played with legos, drew, whittled, dabbled in wood burning, fished, hunted, cooked, did chores, helped his father redo our kitchen, build a shed, and many more things of that nature.
My daughter cooks, paints, draws, knits, crochets, does chores, gardens, crafts, etc.
I cook, do chores, decorate, garden a bit, and crochet. I am way behind my kids when it comes to handicrafts. I used to scrapbook but gave that up about the time I started homeschooling. I need to spend more time on this area for myself.
I recently read another article (someone linked on the Ambleside Online forum) about having hobbies and working on them just for the sake of the hobby itself and the blessing that comes with pursuing a hobby, not for the end result. The article bemoans the fact that, in this Instagram world, the focus of our hobbies has become the product produced or the photo opportunity to be had, instead of the joy that comes from simply spending time on a hobby. I’ll see if I can find it and link it for those who might be interested.
I am newly inspired to pursue some new hobbies and to spend more time on the hobbies I already have!
Thanks for the great blog post Sonya! And thanks for bringing it up for discussion, Tamara!
Here’s a link to the article I mentioned.
I’ve had a long held secret that I’ll go ahead and share here. I’ll admit that I’ve kept it a secret because I’m concerned others will think it’s “laziness.” We randomly take a day off to simply do some odds and ends around the house and create. The days that the kids wake up and sit down at the table to begin school only to be surprised by “create with our hands” day breathes fresh life into our home!
My oldest son (newly 14) has recently taken an interest in learning car maintenance with my husband. There are other areas that I want to work harder with him though. I still haven’t taught him how to thread a needle, sew a button on, or hem a pair of pants. Then there is general home maintenance. I’m blessed to be married to a man that is quite the handi-man. I’d like for my son…no all my children… to learn those basic skills.
Creating with my hands is my “therapy.” At least that is what I tell my husband. Truthfully, it is a large part of my “Mother Culture” if you will. I do find myself happy and content when I’ve had some time to create beauty with my hands, whether it is a quilt for the newest baby in church, socks that will warm my husband’s feet during the winter, newly spun yarn, etc. My 13 yr old daughter is finding the same to be true for her.
I’ve never been diligent in encouraging my oldest son to work with his hands. He’d rather grab a book. I’m definitely going to run with Sonya’s suggestion to use index cards. 🙂
I can’t wait to read the article you shared. Thank you for doing so!
This is an area we need to work on. I have a 15 yo, who has a learning disability and is working well below what is considered grade level. I have focused on the book learning, but have not given her a wide range of opportunities for working with her hands. I am reading “Mother Culture” and while I have only a little over three years to homeschool anymore, I need to hear these things. My daughter is not ‘mature’ for 15 in certain ways, so she will benefit from some of the same things an 11 or 12 yo would. I received the download from SCM for Productive Afternoons and the more than 200 ideas list. I am going to make a list of things for my daughter to choose from, so she can’t say that she “has nothing to do”. She is a typical teenager, who wants to be on screens, which is limited, but idle time is just as bad. A list will give her the responsibility of using her time wisely. It will be good for me too:)
I’d love to know what some of the items you put on your daughters lists are and how it goes! Keep us posted. 🙂
I’m going to work on that now:)BeckyParticipant
I need a list for boys! The ages are 19, 17, 14. I have a girl age 12. The 19 year old is on his phone way too much. I know he’s 19… but ! The 17 ds is a computer whiz but I feel he needs to do other things too. The 17 &14 year old boys do take turns doing the dishes & sweeping the floors each day. They 14 year old takes out the garbage. DS 19 has a part time job. But I was wishing for ideas that they can do. There are just too many hours filled with various screen activities. 🙁 We have no garage, no basement so no place to invest in woodworking type tools or projects, no place to work on vehicles and their father never learned those things either.
Here is the link to download for free the list of 200+ ideas for productive afternoons. I just made a list last evening. It’s not necessarily all working with the hands, but ideas to keep the kids doing something worthwhile.
My list does not have a lot of outdoor activities right now because of the winter weather here in central PA. But, that WILL change once the weather gets warmer. While I was looking over the 200+ list, it actually helped me think of a couple of other things that were not on the list.
My daughter likes making things, but the problem is that I don’t have the supplies to do a lot of those things she would enjoy. So, I will need to accumulate some things for certain projects. Another problem for us is that we don’t live very close to bigger cities where most museums, zoos, etc. would be. So, we are limited in that area, unless we want to drive a distance and spend a lot of money. I can not be doing activities often that are going to be a significant cost. So, these things are going to take some creativity on my part, which I am lacking. But, this list is a great help to get ideas.Karen SmithModerator
Becky, check out Hal and Melanie Young’s Raising Real Men site for crafting kits for boys. They have a variety of kits including leather crafting, chain mail, furniture making, wood carving, and wood burning. You can buy the kits individually or sign up for their monthly subscription.BeckyParticipant
Thank you! I’ll check it out!
Tamara-I am newly inspired to pursue handicrafts as my own therapy and part of my mother culture. Like your son, I tend to lean more toward reading books instead. My son was the opposite! He would way rather work with his hands than read a book. As I mentioned before he enjoyed whittling and wood burning, among other things.
Another good idea for boys is learning to tie flies for fly fishing if they are into that sort of thing. It may feel more manly to those who view knitting or crocheting as a feminine past time. I completely disagree with that thought but I know many young men might feel that way.
I would love to learn to quilt by hand. I think an actual quilt might be beyond me, especially if done by hand! However, making quilted pillow covers and quilt squares to frame or quilted placemats, etc. sounds doable.
Sonya’s blog post along with the articles mentioned and this thread, have given me the push I needed in this area. I’ve asked my daughter to give me some art lessons and we are planning the first lesson for this weekend.
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