"The child is only truly educated who can use his hands as truly as his head, for to neglect one part of our being injures the whole, and the learned book-worm who is ignorant of the uses of a screwdriver, also lacks that readiness and resourcefulness, mental neatness and capability, and reverence for labour and its results, which a knowledge of practical matter gives.
We want the children to be neat in mind as in body, to have clean-cut ideas and be capable of producing good work of all sorts; so we set them to fold paper, while their fingers are still tiny, and they will soon find how much better one clean fold is than a crumple (and simplicity than duplicity).
Then we set them to model the familiar pear or apple in clay, and their conception of the fruit rises above mere "taste," while the fingers learn how much one light touch can effect.
Then we would give them the joys of cardboard sloyd, employing the creative instinct which is in every man, craving to be given a means of expression.Here truth and tidiness go hand in hand, for an error of a centimetre here or there will render a morning's work useless. If you ever want to see how untruthful, lazy, and depraved and fallen human nature is, go yourselves and see how you fare over a first morning at Sloyd--it is a revelation of one's own inner blackness and want of intellectual truthfulness; to the children, however, who are not yet fully cursed with our self-consciousness, it is a great treat and a great education.
Any work which employs the creative instinct to good purpose and produces a reputable and artistic result (not mere exercises which waste the children's time and material for nothing) finds favour with us.
Basket work, wood carving, etc., all so adapted to the children's age and capabilities that they may be able to attain a habit of perfect execution, and that sense of the mastery of our spirits over matter which is surely part of our divine heritage..." Parent's Review
"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.
Again we know that the human hand is a wonderful and exquisite instrument to be used in a hundred movements exacting delicacy, direction and force; every such movement is a cause of joy as it leads to the pleasure of execution and the triumph of success. We begin to understand this and make some efforts to train the young in the deft handling of tools and the practice of handicrafts. Some day perhaps, we shall see apprenticeship to trades revived and good and beautiful work enforced. In so far, we are laying ourselves out to secure that each shall "live his life"; and that, not at his neighbor's expense; because, so wonderful is the economy of the world that when a man really lives his life he benefits his neighbor as well as himself; we all thrive in the well being of each." Charlotte Mason
Handicrafts and life skills can be studied by the whole family together. Focus on one item per term for mastery of skills. Choose three areas of study per year.
Changing a tire
Checking the oil
Replacing a tail light
Balancing a checkbook