Starting Next Week: Learning by Hand (in Charlotte’s Workshop)

Our first handicraft link-up, “Learning by Hand in Charlotte’s Workshop”, will be posted on Thursday (of course, feel free to submit posts you’ve written previously as well). And feel free to grab the shiny new button for the handicraft link-up (above, or also to the side).

Optional topic for January/February:

Why take the time to teach handicrafts to children? Why are crafts and hand-work still important in our modern, mechanized society?

What counts as a handicraft?

Per Charlotte Mason, it should be something useful, worthwhile, that a child or teen can make.

For our purposes, I am defining this broadly as working with the hands. Paper sloyd and clay modelling are wonderful and should be included, as can first aid and cooking. Charlotte mentions several things, including charity work in her programs (these are the oldest students):

Do some definite house or garden work.  Needlecraft …  [D]esign and make a garment.  Darn and mend garments from the wash each week …  Cooking … See also tests under Scouting … First Aid … Housecraft …  Make a garment for the “Save the Children Fund”

Here are some additional ideas:

  • Crochet (with a hook or with the fingers)
  • Knitting, loom knitting
  • Wood burning (older children)
  • Leather crafting or tooling
  • Wood carving
  • Felting
  • Paper sloyd
  • Clay modeling, sculpting, carving
  • Macramé
  • Carpentry, home repairs

So if your child is making (or repairing) a useful product with their hands, take a picture or write a few words (or both!) and link-up! If you can instruct others in a skill, or found a wonderful new resource, please link-up and share.

Some housekeeping and a question:

Amy at Fisher Academy graciously hosts the Charlotte Mason blog carnival. She is featuring entries from the previous month, announcing the new month’s (optional) topic, and publishing the link-up in one post. I really like this idea, because I think it will result in maximum exposure and be the most reader-friendly. So I’ll be taking this same approach.

Now for a question: what would help you the most in implementing handicrafts in your home? What is the biggest hurdle you need to overcome? Please comment and let me know what you want to see here.

1 Comment

  1. Celeste

    Yay! Looking forward to this! I love your idea of posting only once a month…so much so that I might have adopted it myself if I would have thought of it. 🙂

    I would love to see simple-but-valuable crafts that young children could actually do without too much mama-help. 😉 That is my biggest obstacle these days with handicrafts. It seems like those skills that are valuable take a lot of hands-on work for me, and those that do not also do not produce that valuable of skill or product. I think part of that is the stage of life that I am in and the age of my kids, so for now, we’ve just been moving along with our beginning sewing lessons and planning to make it more of a priority when I have slightly older kids. But if I could figure out a solution for now too, that would be great!


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