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    The Non-crafty Mom’s Guide to Handicrafts

    February 16, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    So I’ve never been particularly strong at handicrafts, and some years I’ve been a downright Failure (yes, with a capital F). Part of it is because I don’t really know how to do anything. I know a couple crochet stitches (or whatever they are called), but I would never say that I know how to crochet. I do make dinner, so that’s something. I decorate cakes, and I have been thinking about having the children help with that more often, but the reality is that if we could separate handicrafts from sugar highs, that would be best.

    And I can only teach knot tying for so long, which is why it was nice to transition into ornament making for the holidays.

    But it’s been a dud ever since.

    The Non-crafty Mom's Guide to Handicrafts

    The question for us non-crafty types is always: what to do? (Followed shortly by where to buy supplies and how to teach it when you don’t know what you’re doing.)

    Before I tell you what I’m doing now, I will tell you what we’ve done before. We’ve done nothing (and we’re always successful with that plan thankyouverymuch). We’ve used only cooking (admirable, successful, but not enough, I don’t think). We’ve depended on others (which has been sometimes great and sometimes resulted in piles of unfinished projects). And, of course, the there was the aforementioned knot tying.

    None of these has resulted in the consistency nor the variety that I think Charlotte Mason was offering to her students.

    Towards a Philosophy of Handicrafts

    As someone who isn’t really crafty — who doesn’t spend much time doing those sorts of things (and doesn’t want to) — I found I needed a guiding philosophy, something to help me make decisions about this part of the curriculum. This quote from Charlotte Mason has helped me with what this year is going to look like for us:

    The points to be borne in mind in children’s handicrafts are: (a) that they should not be employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper mats, and the like; (b) that they should be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do; (c) that slipshod work should not be allowed; (d) and that, therefore, the children’s work should be kept well within their compass.

    Home Education, p. 315

    So I started to think. Perhaps her first point is most appealing to me: these crafts should be useful. I shouldn’t need to worry about nick-nacks building up and cluttering my house all over because these are things that we should like having in our environment.

    What else? Well, I shouldn’t ask them to do things they aren’t able to do. I should be able to teach them slowly and carefully — so no rushing, and using incremental steps as necessary. I should expect them and help them to do a good job — an honestly good job.

    This is the what and how we’re looking for: children’s handicraft projects produce something useful and beautiful as they are taught well and executed well.

    What I’ve decided is that, for the non-crafty mom, looking at real events on the calendar, and real needs in everyday life, and choosing handicrafts fitting for those events and needs is the best way to tackle handicrafts.

    So let me explain.

    Step 1: Explore the Calendar

    Start with birthdays. Think of how many cards you give or send each year. Homemade cards are an easy thing to do and they’d work for everyone. Also, how many people could you make gifts for?

    Think about holidays. We always do ornament making for Christmas. It’s our tradition, and I know a lot of you have the same tradition. What about other holidays? Could placecards be made for special family meals? What about special decorations, such as centerpieces, wreaths, garlands, and more?

    Holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are usually good opportunities for making things. Each year has its own special occasions — monumental birthdays or anniversaries, graduations, etc. Try to see these things as opportunities for your children.

    Step 2: Examine Needs and Wants

    And think about needs. I’ve redone a lot of furniture over the years. My older children are now old enough to help with that. Sanding, primering, painting, and finishing — all are great handicraft skills that result in beautiful, useful things for our house.

    What about that blank wall in that one room? You keep meaning to do something with it. Is there something that could be made with your own hands, with which your children could help?

    There are also daily needs and wants. Centerpieces for the dinner table come to mind. I’m sure there are a million possibilities that would come over the years.

    Step 3: Set up a Pinterest System

    Pinterest is a wonderful gift to those of us who don’t know how to do things, and don’t even have ideas about what things could be done in the first place. Pinterest is a treasure trove! It’s a place you can find ideas and directions. What’s not to love?

    Don’t see Pinterest as a place that puts pressure on you to have a perfect life. No. See it as a place that can teach you the things you need to know in order to offer this type of education to your children.

    Now that you have explored your calendar and examined your needs and wants, you can figure out a Pinterest system.

    I’ve chosen to have

    • A board for almost every room in my house. Yes, even the bathroom. I get on Pinterest once or twice a week and pin whatever ideas I come across. I don’t worry about doing it all. I just store it up so that I can find it later when I need it.
    • A board for DIY Christmas ornament ideas, because this is a project we do every year.
    • A board for cake ideas, because making birthday cakes is my one and only crafty talent.
    • A general board for handicraft ideas.
    • Boards for special projects I do off and on, such as refurbishing furniture.

    The important thing is to create a system that works for you — a system you can actually use. One other suggestion I have is to go through and delete projects after you do them (unless it’s an ongoing thing you need tips for) so that you don’t have to wade through old things to find new possibilities. I try to do this with our Christmas ornaments — go through and delete the ones we did so that they don’t clutter up the possibilities for the future.

    Also, delete projects as you rule them out. If the directions seem too complicated, or I decide I don’t like the project after all, or they require special pricey tools we don’t own, I delete them. It’s one thing to keep a project on the list because my children need to grow into it. It’s another thing to keep a project on the list that I know we’ll never do — that’s just clutter.

    Step 4: Make Decisions

    What are you actually going to do this year? Remember, Pinterest is for ongoing brainstorming and tip gathering. It’s gives you options to choose from. It is not the same as having a plan.

    For me, I’ve decided that homemade birthday cards are going to be a priority this year. My children make them anyhow, but they have been making them in the same, simple style for years. Why not help them improve and make truly lovely cards? Or interesting cards?

    I think we’re going to start with these hand-stitched cards. We can also make some for special anniversaries.

    Another thing I’ve decided is that we need to come up with a Mother’s Day craft for some of the women in our lives. Making decisions in this area means I need to choose a craft (maybe these felt coffee sleeves?) and decide who the recipients are.

    Step 5: Schedule It

    At our house, Enrichment Friday is a great time to throw in a project like this. Last week, we made Valentine chocolate heart shortbread cookies, for example.

    What you are really scheduling is time for direct instruction. Many children will be comfortable continuing a project on their own once they know what they are doing. But they first need to be taught the skills or techniques necessary for success. That is what we’re putting on the calendar.

    So, to use the cards example, I need to have all the supplies necessary for making cards, and I need to teach them how to make them. Likely, I need to walk them through making one or two. But after that, they may very well be able to continue making them on their own time, the older ones might be able to improvise their own cards using the skills and techniques they’ve learned.

    In my experience, unscheduled things don’t usually happen. They remain unchecked items on a vague to-do list. This is especially true when we’re talking about things that aren’t our favorite or we don’t feel very good at.

    So. Put it on the calendar. For me, this means that I need to put a couple things on the calendar. First, I need to schedule the actual day and block of time that I’m going to give the instruction. But I also need to schedule a time to go procure all of the supplies we need. Sometimes, I have also needed to schedule a time for me to practice on my own so that I can better instruct my children. It usually depends upon how complicated the project is.

    Step 6: Do It

    This tends to be my answer for a lot of things I don’t want to do, but know I should. All of the steps before this are leading up to the moment when we take the plunge and actually act upon our plans.

    I’m not going to say you’ll ever be a crafty mom. I am still not a crafty mom. I don’t think I ever will be. And that doesn’t matter, I don’t think. The point is that I think Charlotte Mason was right that it is good for children, on so many levels, to produce things with their own hands that they can truly be proud of. As their mother, then, it is my job to make it happen.

    At some point, we simply have to do it.

    And the truth is, I’m always glad we did.

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  • Reply MotherOf4Girls February 23, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    The part I struggle with is the “usefulness” handicrafts. I don’t like knick knacks, decorations (unless its occasional like birthday’s or holidays), murals. We of course do these sort of handicraft projects, but my heart’s not in it. We also have learned to make candles, smoked home cured bacon, our own cheese curds, and preserves. The kids love making cards so I should explore this art more with them esp. calligraphy. They also love decorating cakes. This is one area that I applaud since its edible and therefore short term. My oldest is learning to quilt with her grandma which is very useful, and other needlework skills is great to learn and can be very useful. I don’t know how, and I’ve tried, but I simply not equipped in this area. Give me a spreadsheet though! lol. We don’t have a woodshop or garage. It rains 8 months of the year here (Pacific Northwest Coast) so a dry ventilated space is needed for woodworking. And that brings me to my question. What about modern handicraft skills? Like creating a webpage, not so much the setup, but the artistic design and layout, sales and wordsmith as well. Can anyone think of any modern handicraft skills we could use too? I’d love some ideas. Thanks!

  • Reply Southern Cross Pottery | Ceramic Filters June 7, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing this useful guide. I have always thought that handicrafts need mastery, but it’s great to know that there are simpler ways to learn it. I’ll share these with other non-crafty moms. 🙂

  • Reply On Handicrafts, Work, & Unity - Expanding Wisdom May 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    […] The first problem that comes up is that the children love the lists I make and want to do everything on it, but as they begin, the messes begin, and then so do the frustrations. There seems to be a breakdown in how they envision it in their minds and what they actually have the skill and knowledge to do. Brandy Vencel expresses it well in her article ‘The Non-Crafty Mom’s Guide to Handicrafts‘. […]

  • Reply The Handicraft that Got My Kids Excited about Books | Following Footprints April 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    […] are a good idea, I’m not all that great at doing handicrafts with my kids.  (I found this blog post recently and am newly inspired in this area, […]

  • Reply Lynn Ashburn March 15, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Thank you for making me feel normal. Crafts are such a struggle for me! I so appreciate this!❤️❤️

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 15, 2015 at 6:58 am

      My pleasure! In a Pinterest world, it’s easy to feel like you are the only one who doesn’t know how to do this stuff. 🙂

  • Reply Kate March 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I tried the stitched cards with my kids today, and I was so pleased with how it went. They were so much more invested and focused than they usually are when they just dash a card off without thinking. Thanks for your thoughts on handicrafts–it helped me clarify my goals with handicrafts, and the cards were a perfect next step.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 7, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Aren’t they fun? We did some more yesterday, too. So glad it helped. 🙂

  • Reply Sherry February 21, 2015 at 11:21 am

    One other question–have you tried making soap with your goat milk? Would you consider that a handicraft? I hope to give it a try this year.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

      I would TOTALLY consider that a handicraft! I have never tried because I use my excess milk to supply families whose babies and children cannot tolerate cow milk. I have purchased goat milk soap before, though, and it was truly wonderful and gentle on dry skin.

  • Reply Sherry February 21, 2015 at 10:37 am

    This year I am trying getting other people involved in our handicrafts, which is helpful since I don’t know how to do much of anything except for papercrafts. I chose a handicraft for each month of the year, and chose people that I will ask to teach us that skill for one month. We are learning knitting now, which a dear friend is teaching. I realize we won’t know how to knit after one month, but it will get us started. What I am asking potential teachers is that we could meet once per week for one month–just four lessons so it isn’t overwhelming for anyone. Besides, the people generally love doing the craft they’re good at. Besides knitting, we are looking forward to leathercraft, woodworking, and papermaking in the near future. I have other ideas I’d like to learn on my handicraft Pinterest board at

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 21, 2015 at 11:28 am

      I think that sounds like such a wonderful way to do it, Sherry! And it reminds me of the idea of cultivating those “first born affiinities” — all of those basic skills and interests might grow when they are older, even in a way that doesn’t require your involvement. I’m going to go follow you on Pinterest. 🙂

  • Reply silvia February 19, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    How different we are. I don’t care for steps 4 or 6, and handicrafts still happen. My girls also get ahead of me in this. Lol.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 20, 2015 at 6:49 am

      Oh, I totally think some of this is personality driven, for sure! 🙂

  • Reply becky February 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    This post was exactly what I needed to hear–especially the part about scheduling time to teach the new skill. And scheduling time to go get the supplies. I don’t typically do crafts for fun (other than cakes), but it always ends up being fun when we do them. If that makes sense.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      It totally makes sense! I love that you do cakes, too. 🙂

  • Reply Dawn Duran February 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks, Brandy. Yes – that was the link that I was asking for:). Thanks for sharing these cool ideas!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  • Reply Sharron February 17, 2015 at 7:23 am

    One of the best posts I’ve read on the subject! Great tips! I am crafty, but not a great teacher, more of a control freak. LOL!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Ha! You made me laugh. 🙂 That IS an interesting distinction you made, though, about being crafty but not a good teacher. I ran into that with piano. I could play it just fine, but it took a long time for me to learn how to teach it.

  • Reply Mommy Chickadee February 17, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! Handicrafts has to be the hardest area for me. Not only am I not crafty (although I do like to draw) but my daughter has fine motor delays which make “age-appropriate”, well, not appropriate. I know that handicrafts would actually be one of the BEST ways to improve our skills, but it’s so intimidating. I’m going to give your thinking process a try! I haven’t made my own Pinterest board before, but I regularly find great ideas there. I think I’m also going to link to this post from my blog’s list of resources!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:07 am

      I know what you mean about the age-appropriate issues. My second child has had some motor delays. This year, I had her doing whatever the Y2 and Y0 students were doing, and that worked really well. Another thing I’ve done with her is tried to build on her interests. She will try harder if she is interested. Like anyone, I suppose. 🙂

  • Reply Kansas Mom February 17, 2015 at 5:58 am

    I cross-stitch. That’s it. (I have dabbled in knitting and crochet and think I could pick them up quickly, but just prefer cross-stitching.) I love it, but my son has no interest and my 8 year old has not progressed very far this year. Counted cross-stitch can be complicated, I guess. My son has been working on a latch hook rug for a year and a half. He’s content, I guess. In order to get him to do anything, I have to put it on his schedule and make him check it off each week. There was also negotiation on what counted as “enough.” I love the terrarium idea and the stitched cards. I have an embroidery stash to rival any fabric stash you’ve seen.

    My daughter wants to learn to decorate cakes, so I’m sending her to a class I think.

    • Reply dawn February 17, 2015 at 6:00 am

      I took the Wilton classes at our local craft store and they were great. Definitely recommended.

      • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

        I have thought about taking the Wilton fondant class at our local store, but I never manage to make my peace with the taste of fondant. At the end of the day, I feel like a cake should TASTE good. 🙂

        • Reply dawn February 17, 2015 at 9:09 am

          Absolutely. I only do buttercream.

          • Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:10 am

            Me too. They have those smoothing tools to give it a similar smooth look to fondant. I keep meaning to buy one and see what I think…

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Oh, I would love it if you shared some pictures of the rug sometime, KM. Latch hooking has been on my list of things to look into! I do think a live class is the best way to learn cake decorating. I didn’t officially take one, but Siah’s sister worked in a bakery and when the children were tiny she would come help me with their cakes and teach me all her tricks. 🙂

  • Reply Nicole H. February 17, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Hi Brandy,
    I really enjoy your blog! Have you considered “modern calligraphy”? Molly Suber Thorpe wrote a book with lots of project ideas that would make excellent gifts (not to mention gift tags and cards). It does use some special supplies, but they aren’t expensive and it’s REALLY FUN! I’ve used her book to make art prints for decorating around my house (lovely bible verses and even CM motto).

    Another book I really really like is John Muir Laws Guide to painting birds – it has taken my mature study notebook to a whole new level.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Actually, Modern Calligraphy is on my wishlist! I am glad to know you’re giving it a good review. 🙂 And I didn’t realize John Muir Laws was a book! I have used the website tutorials a number of times. Thank you! I will have to buy it now… 🙂

  • Reply Lena February 16, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I am a good cake baker, but not a decorator. However, my three year old HAD to have train cake. So, I took your racetrack cake tutorial and adapted it into a figure eight train track cake. It was not as pretty as yours, but it got the point across well enough to impress a three year old. Thanks for your craft inspiration!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Ooh! Making it a train track is a great idea. I will have to remember that. Good job! 🙂

      • Reply Lena February 17, 2015 at 10:33 am

        Since you cut off a slice of the circle to fit them together, you can take one of those slices and turn it, circle side up and make it a bridge. I didn’t cut a tunnel, but I chopped a kitkat into “stones” and made the outline of a tunnel on either side so that it looked like a proper figure eight track. FYI kitkats make really oversized railroad ties, but they taste good.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

          Not only cute, but yummy! 🙂

  • Reply Mariel February 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Great post. I love the idea of how to think about planning this subject. I’m not a crafty person, but I can sew, so I do look forward to teaching my daughter how to do that. And I look forward to stretching myself and learning other crafts alongside her. Terrariums! That IS a great idea. I never would have thought of that! Neat-o!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      I think it’d be great if everyone came back and shared what great ideas they come across along the way…that way all of us non-crafty types can help each other. 🙂

    • Reply Claire February 19, 2015 at 10:51 am

      I have to add that I would never have thought of it myself, either. I got the idea when I saw one on a friend’s coffee table that her son and sister had made for her the previous Christmas 😉

  • Reply Dawn Duran February 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    It sounds like we are peas in a pod in this area, Brandy. Except that I don’t have the cake decorating skills that you have:(. I saw those cards posted recently, too, and immediately knew that we had our handicraft for this year. Great minds and all…:). I am happy to report that our first efforts were a rousing success – even my four year old loved doing it and did a fabulous job. We are working on their second cards already since their Mama’s birthday is soon and she wants some of these lovely creations for her very own:).

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      That’s awesome, Dawn!

      After I wrote this, I went ahead and started a handmade card board on Pinterest to collect ideas, since I think this will be one of our regular things. I found some ideas for pop-up cards…I think I might print them out and give them to my oldest. It seems like the sort of thing he’d enjoy engineering. 🙂

      • Reply Dawn February 17, 2015 at 3:08 am

        Hmmmm…can I check out your Pinterest board?? I don’t usually do Pinterest so not sure how to navigate it but I’d love to check it out. But…have you been summoned by Mystie Winckler yet? Her recent Evernote series tells you to ditch Pinterest. I hope you won’t be served by the Pinterest Police and sent to Evernote camp anytime soon…at least, not until you respond to me…

        • Reply Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 9:02 am

          I think that Mystie’s thoughts on Evernote vs.Pinterest are true in the sense that, yes, links do disappear sometimes on Pinterest, whereas everything can be kept forever on EVERnote. 🙂 I’m not sure, but I feel like Evernote is more for gadget people. My only phone is still attached to the wall…by a CORD, Dawn!! 🙂

          Pinterest is much easier for me to wrap my mind around, BUT if I was trying to keep truly well-written articles that I wanted forever, I should do something more like what Mystie suggests, or at least print it out and put it in a binder.

          Years ago, I had a decorating binder. I would clip things I liked out of magazines and tape them to pages in my binder. Pinterest is almost an exact replacement of that for me. 🙂

          The one thing Evernote doesn’t have is the social aspect. So, for example, today I hopped on Pinterest and Kansas Mom had pinned a terrarium tutorial. I repinned it onto my handicrafts board. Easy peasy. 🙂 Evernote is a place to KEEP ideas, for sure, but it isn’t a place to GET ideas…which is what I tend to need. 🙂

          • Dawn February 17, 2015 at 10:54 am

            They still sell those? Or did you have to hunt it down at an antique shop?

            Seriously. Teasing about the Pinterest/Evernote thing. I get it for the inspiration. But…I need your link please!!

          • Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm

            Ha. I AM an antique shop, I think sometimes. 🙂

            The link to what? The handmade cards board? That is here:

          • Kansas Mom February 17, 2015 at 1:32 pm

            Brandy, I pinned that tutorial after reading this post and the comments! It seemed like such a good idea I didn’t want to forget it.

          • Brandy Vencel February 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm

            I was glad you did the heavy lifting for me. I didn’t even have to do a search. 🙂

  • Reply Amy Marie February 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Oh…I myself miss crafting as I sorta gave it up as my family got bigger and homeschooling “became” my hobby. 😛 I miss it as well!!!

  • Reply Amy Marie February 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for this post! Perfect timing…I’ve been thinking about our handicraft area, because I think we need the “mental” break from books and writing in our learning. I haven’t been the best at these either as I always get lazy thinking of juggling the little ones and the olders. I really think this would help us return to our book learning with renewed vigor, iykwim. Just not always staring at similar types of things…now just to do it!!!!!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      The doing it…that is the hard part. 🙂 But yes I agree — it really gives a break in the day or the week…a break for all of us!

  • Reply Claire February 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I love the advice I picked up from, I think, A Sabbath Mood Homeschool. She says to include the kids from the planning stage, so schedule the first few lessons as looking up how to do it, listing supplies and shopping. That way they learn those useful skills as well and you don’t have to find the time somewhere else in your schedule.
    Last term I decided we would make terrariums for Christmas presents (very well received, btw) so I got a couple of books from the library and the first week of school we just looked at the pictures and listed supplies, then the next week we went shopping for glass vessels (at thrift stores) and plants (we already had potting mix). Week three we made our first couple of terrariums. It worked really well this way. I also scheduled in making Christmas labels with care instructions and labeling the gifts as part of handicraft time.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Terrariums! That is a great idea, Claire! I love your whole comment, actually. 🙂 So many good things. I particularly like the idea of considering the supply shopping part of the lesson.

  • Reply Mama Squirrel February 16, 2015 at 8:45 am

    If you click on Crocheting at the top of our blog, there are several posts that I did the last time we had lessons here, with links, projects and so on. Not as much fun as really visiting, but considering we’re almost on opposite sides of the continent, it’s the best I can do.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Thank you! I will definitely look at those. I feel like I *should* be able to learn to crochet…maybe that will help! 🙂

      • Reply dawn February 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

        I find crochet much easier than knitting which requires the use of both hands … and with crochet I can “see” the knots, but I can’t seem to visualize what’s happening to make the stitches in knitting.

        Not that I crochet well, mind you … but it’s at least doable.

        I found this book/kit helpful for crochet, but the knitting one not as much. Plus, it comes with hooks which you need anyway, at a decent price.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm

          Thank you, Dawn! I will check out that link. 🙂

  • Reply Mama Squirrel February 16, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Brandy, sometimes even if you feel you are not particularly “crafty” yourself, your kids will get ahead of you and find their own favourite handicrafts, especially when they’re old enough to take on most of the effort themselves (or with library books or Youtube or whatever), or even to teach a younger sibling. I crochet, but my knitting skills are rudimentary; my girls are much better knitters than I am. They have also made bead jewelery, the “real” kind, and I didn’t teach them that. Also don’t forget that there are classes and homeschool co-ops and so on where both adults and children can pick up new skills. I have taught groups of homeschoolers how to crochet at a co-op and at our house, and each time there was at least one mom who got more interested in it than the child did.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

      Very good points, Mama. In fact, I wish we could come over to your place and learn to crochet. Hint hint. 🙂 Seriously, I will keep an eye out. I also keep meaning to explore Craftsy more. I think a lot of the very beginning classes are even free…

  • Reply Sara McD February 16, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Hi Brandy,
    Nice job doing something that doesn’t come naturally to you!

    I am kind of crafty (knitting, crochet, sewing, etc.) and I can’t imagine not wanting to create something, but I suppose you have your creative outlet in cooking, cakes, writing/blogging and running an efficient and joyful homeschool. Makes me think of Mind of the Maker.

    Anyway, something we had success with recently was teaching my three boys to use the sewing machine. It appealed to them on several levels. We made a pillow case. I did the equivalent of a mise en place for the project the night before and it went much more smoothly than I’d thought it would. They enjoyed it and I think they learned something. We’re going to be scheduling in a few more sessions before the end of term three. I think before long I might trust my oldest to use the machine unsupervised.

    I tried recently to teach two of them to knit but I found that pretty frustrating. I know this used to be a pretty standard thing to teach children in some schools a young age, but I wonder how they did it.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 16, 2015 at 7:50 am

      I wonder if there are any old books out there that would show *how* they went about teaching it. That would be interesting to know! How fun to all use the sewing machine together! I bet they love it. 🙂

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