Five Ways to Homeschool with Handicrafts
Homeschooling with handicrafts has received recent hype with the popular rise of the Charlotte Mason teaching method among the homeschooling community. Although the Charlotte Mason method is not new, some homeschoolers are just now being introduced to this relaxed approach. Every new homeschooling parent hears the advice that you do not need to recreate the traditional school classroom in the home to effectively homeschool, but at times old habits die hard. If that is how you received your education, it is tempting to create a classroom filled with desks, a blackboard, and an American flag where kids are placed on a strict schedule. So many of us do it (myself included) only to quickly realize that not only is it not necessary, but education comes in so many forms—outside of the classroom. Remembering back to our days in public school we know this to be true, but it still can be hard to wrap our minds around. At times we would leave the classroom to go to music class or gym or art class or even to have a field day. Field trips off of school grounds were not unheard of, and teachers would occasionally take us outside if there happened to be a special event such as a solar eclipse. Our school teachers would think outside of the box at times, so why can’t we? The good news is, we can! And, we can do so even more so than our teachers ever did because we have the freedom to make more decisions when it comes to our children’s education. An excellent way to do this is to introduce handicrafts to our homeschool routine. Here are five ways to homeschool with handicrafts with any homeschooling routine, Charlotte Mason-style included.
1) Add a Monthly Handicraft Activity for Your Child to Work On
Pick a craft that your child can work on throughout the month. Think about your child’s interests and abilities and find something that he can work on while you are teaching other siblings or making dinner. Crystal art is an excellent activity that can be worked on over a long period of time that has a beautiful result. For tweens, finger knitting is a huge hit. My daughter just taught her friend how to finger knit in less than an hour. They had so much fun hanging out, finger knitting, and using their creations to entertain our kittens! For teens, local craft stores often have quality kits for those interested in leather working, bead making, or other handicrafts. If the goal is to teach a lifelong skill, choose handicrafts that are not only fun but also useful in the long run.
2) Add a Weekly Handicraft Activity to Your History Lessons
History is an excellent way to ease into handicrafts in your homeschool. While studying Native Americans, work on a simple basket weaving craft. If studying about the Vikings, you can create your own Viking coins.
3) Have a Book on Hand with a Variety of Handicrafts for Your Child to Work On
My son has a book filled with handicrafts that he can work on when his traditional work is complete for the day. Some days I won’t see him for hours, and he will come back with a leather hat that he created or a puzzle that he made on his scroll saw. If your child begins to show interest in woodworking, metal working, or other hands-on activities, consider investing Christmas money into these pursuits.
4) Add in Sewing as a School Subject
For the child who wants to learn to sew but is not motivated to work on it on her own, add sewing into her schedule. I have sewing as a class for my daughter to work on three days a week. I provide her with a pattern that is self-explanatory that I will work through with her. The project could take a week or two. We started simple with pillows and have advanced to a stuffed bunny and now a stuffed angel. My daughter knows the basics of sewing, but as the year progresses, I add in more difficult projects to help push and motivate her to improve her skills with my assistance.
5) Create a YouTube Playlist of Handicrafts for Your Child to Work Through
You know what your child is capable of creating. After assessing your child’s skill set, look up a variety of YouTube videos of handicrafts that your child could easily work through. The more your child does it, the more apt they will be to seeking out creative ways to spend their free time. Sometimes they just need a push in the right direction.