Monday, April 7, 2014

Handicrafts Made Simple...

Our girls are loving this Handicrafts Made Simple series by Simply Charlotte Mason!  Angel and RileyAnn have spent the winter learning how to hand sew with Rebekah Shafer.

Thus far, there are five DVD's in the series including Cardboard & Paper, Crochet, Hand Sewing, Knitting, and Woodworking.  Each DVD offers step-by-step easy to follow instructions on individual handicrafts.  Each DVD is accompanied by a small book "which holds tips, techniques, refreshers, and ideas for how to use the finished projects".   The book also gives a 12-week suggested schedule as well as an introduction and supply list.  Both girls commented on the professional poise Ms. Shafer offers in each lesson.  She is an excellent teacher and role model.

Using cotton fabric fat quarters and craft felt, the Hand Sewing DVD gives instruction on learning the running stitch and whip stitch.  The student then uses those stitches to create such projects as a simple hem blanket, button bag, whip-stitch pillow, draw string bag, and four-square blanket. 

The DVD's are intended for students grades 1-12.  At 4th and 12th grade, the girls were able to take the DVD, watch the lesson, and then complete the projects on their own.  There are 8 sessions on the Hand Sewing DVD, each running approx. 8 minutes.  I also purchased the Crochet DVD.  However, we have not started that one yet.

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.” – Charlotte Mason Vol. 1 Home Education, p. 315

Based upon our experience, I believe Charlotte Mason would approve of SCM's Handicraft DVD series.  The short lessons are "taught slowly and carefully".  The finished projects are useful and simple enough to be accomplished by a novice.  If you are looking to implement handicrafts into your day, I recommend getting started with Handicrafts Made Simple by Simply Charlotte Mason. 

RileyAnn with her simple hem blanket and button bag

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