The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Teen Sewing Curriculum Bundle Review by Renee Knoblauch

Learn To Sew Kids
Teri Robertson, Lyndee Lee & Carolyn Curtis

My daughter has wanted to learn how to sew for many years. However, my sewing skills amount to a few hand sewing basics skills. Teen Sewing Curriculum Bundle from Teri Robertson, Lyndee Lee & Carolyn Curtis has allowed me to help my daughter learn to sew and pick up sewing skills myself. No sewing experience is needed from the student or the parent to use this curriculum.

This is a complete curriculum. The only things needed are a sewing machine, sewing tools, supplies for the projects, a 3-ring 1-inch binder, and supplies for the binder. Teen Sewing Curriculum Bundle comes with Sewing Basics Workbook, Parent Guide, Kids Can Sew® Teen Level 1 Workbook & Pattern Pack, and Online Access Resources. This is for ages eleven and up. There is also a Girls Sewing Curriculum Bundle and a Boys Sewing Curriculum Bundle for ages six and up.

Parent Guide is used in conjunction with the Sewing Basics Workbook and the Kids Can Sew® Teen Level 1 Workbook. This will cover needed information for both workbooks. It is recommended that students work on projects once or twice a week for an hour only. Then, all the lessons and assignments can easily be picked up where they left off.

The information for creating a sewing binder is in the parent guide. The binder needs assembling before beginning lessons.  A few items needed are sheet protectors, cardstock, and a few other supplies. The binder is meant to help keep the workbooks and the patterns organized.

An access code is available in the front of the book to access the resources. The resources include PDF files to make a cover for the binder and the individual projects. A couple of videos and visual techniques are also on the site. One thing that I would like done differently with the visual techniques is the ability to have this as a printable file because I would like to have this as a resource in the binder.

All the projects for the Kids Can Sew® Teen Level 1 Workbook are included in this book.  The steps are included, and students can check off the steps once they complete them. A project preparation list is also included as well as information about the approximate time to complete each of the projects.

The Sewing Basics Workbook is a spiral-bound student workbook. The workbook is consumable and intended for one individual. The book is colorful, with illustrations throughout. You will start with this workbook first.

There are a total of ten units with one or two lessons per unit. An overview using the workbook with your student is provided in the workbook.  A complete supply list for every unit is provided for your student also.

For those who do not have their sewing machine manual, they recommend finding it online to print out and put in the binder for reference. Parents or students may need to refer to the manual with some of the lessons

There are parent tips at the top throughout the workbook and other information when needed to assist your student.

The curriculum takes students through the basics and builds upon the skills. There is a variety of activities in the workbook from finding parts on your particular sewing machine, labeling parts, checklist, videos, stitching activities, sewing safety rules, iron safety, writing down safety rules, terminology, matching games, sewing practice on paper, field trip to a fabric store, scavenger hunt, sewing symbols on patterns, hand sewing, and sewing projects. The projects include bean bags in various shapes and a notions bag in the workbook. The workbook has several activities to teach you the skills to be successful. The format is enjoyable to work through. The lessons are laid out so you can see your skills and knowledge improving throughout the workbook. When they have completed the workbook, there is a certificate to present to your student.

Kids Can Sew® Teen Level 1 Workbook & Pattern Pack is to be used after mastering the basic sewing skills. There are seven projects in this consumable workbook. This has a good mix of crafts and clothing projects. You will build upon the skills and knowledge you have learned and learn new techniques too.

The projects are laid out in step-by-step instructions. The steps are easily understood and not at all complicated. The projects include Mandy Back Pack, Notions Bag, Comfy Capri's, Chic Tie Purse, Dani Cap Sleeve Top (sleepwear), Funky Flower, and a Sunburst Clutch. At the back of the book, there is a supply list for each sewing project.  All the lists can be cut out separately to assist you when shopping for the items.

At the back of the book is a Sewing Mastery Goals worksheet. This is a comprehensive breakdown of every applicable skill taught. This can also be used for homeschooling records. It breaks it down by project, types of fabric you worked with, basic sewing skills, pattern layout skills, and goes over other skills learned throughout the program. There are also recommendations to continue with sewing skills on this sheet, and students can also record their sewing goals on it.

One provided chart has body measurement yardage, fabric types, and notions for all seven projects. It covers all body sizes from extra small to extra-large. There is also a certificate of completion to personalize.

The website offers other products, from digital downloads to complete sewing project kits.

Online Access Resources has videos, PDFs, and visuals. You will need your access code to view this area. The codes and links are found in the front of your workbook. Not every unit has online resources.  A few of the videos are winding your bobbin, threading your machine, inserting/threading your bobbin, iron safety, and a few other topics.

You will find a set of flashcards that goes over sewing terminology, materials, techniques, and other information to download and print. The cards are full-colored illustrations along with details on each card. 

Other files have sewing practice sheets with various shapes from straight lines, pivot lines, and curved lines. Again, the visual techniques are straightforward, and you do not need to guess the purpose of the picture.

My daughter has done well with the curriculum. We are doing this at a modified pace to accommodate her physical and cognitive disabilities. She assembled her binder and was ready to go quickly. I had her do shorter times, no longer than thirty minutes per lesson, to accommodate her. The curriculum is set up so that parents do not have to change the lessons to make them fit their homeschool or their child. We just stopped when we were done and picked it up where we left off. I appreciate it when I can use a curriculum and not have to reinvent the lessons. We adapted the foot petal for her to use her elbow instead, and it has worked well for her. This is giving her the ability to be more independent. By me modifying the foot pedal, it did not interfere with the lessons. We are saving up to purchasing a new sewing machine that will be easier for her to operate. We will backtrack with a few lessons so she can get familiar with it too. She has mastered sewing straight lines and back tacking. We are still working on curved lines and pivots with her. I did move ahead with her so she would not get frustrated not doing a project. She has made a few bean bags and is so delighted in herself. I share so you can see how well the lessons are laid out. I am doing this with a daughter with disabilities, and it is working exceptionally well. For a student who does not have disabilities, this will go faster. If you find you do need to go over a lesson to refresh their skills, this can be done.

I am thrilled to see a sewing curriculum work for my daughter. I honestly thought that it would never be an option for her. As a parent who lacks sewing skills, I had no problem guiding my daughter through the lessons. I have enjoyed spending the time and learning alongside my daughter. It was not an option to pay someone to teach her. I like that I can teach her sewing at her pace and in the comfort of the home.

You can easily teach sewing with Teen Sewing Curriculum Bundle to your teenager.

Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse®, September 2021