Homeschool Room: Woodworking Project
Homeschool Room Makeover.
Last year, right in the middle of winter, we felt the urge to give our school room a makeover. It all began with a need for some shelves which are simple, accessible and an open feel. I wanted to store our Montessori materials, nature study materials etc in a better way. We also wanted to implement a suggestion from a book to display our projects. We had moved into this home a year ago and we desired a functional yet aesthetically pleasing room. Initially, we considered the elfa storage system from ‘The Container Store’. We visited the store, looked at some designs but something was amiss. Though, we desired doing something ourselves, we were uncertain because of the time commitment.
- We started taking them to woodworking workshops at hardware stores. Many of the hardware stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s conduct free workshops for children once a month. I remember attending Home Depot Workshops on the first Saturday of every month. I think we started attending these from age 3.
- When they were toddlers, we introduced toys, hands on activities which improve the fine motor skills. We bought for them sets where they had to drive nails into corkboard with a small hammer, small screwdriver sets where the child has to put the right sized screws into the wooden board using the screwdriver.
- Whenever we could, we involved them in small fixes around the house. Little children are very curious by nature and allowing them to watch can sometimes make all the difference. There were many instances where I had to put off our lessons just to let my son watch the handy man fix some of the things in our home.
- We started doing small projects at home so that the children can watch and learn. We did DIY projects at home and repurposed old furniture etc. We are not DIY’ers so this is something we were literally learning along with them. I have had to come outside of my comfort zone to try new things because it is a priority in our home to teach life skills and also to model the willingness to learn and make mistakes.
- Since, we were not naturally good at all this, I would often go to workshops for adults at the hardware stores along with the children. The children started to learn the more complex skills at these workshops.
- Allowing them to assemble furniture, tables, toys, shelves etc. Depending on their age, interest,willingness we started letting them assemble/put things together. This was almost by accident, but it really built that grit and patience in my eldest. He has assembled drawers, shelves, bookcases, even a foosball table with complex instructions over the years. My youngest has built stuff too. Last year, he built a rolling cart which I used every week to take my supplies to co op classes.
- I let them play a lot. I know that sounds simple but I honestly do believe that their open ended play which often involves putting something together has taught them how to delay the gratification and stay on task for longer periods of time. They seem to anticipate the pleasure of completing it and it seems to keep them going. If you have young children, please make time and space for them to play uninterrupted. It will go a long way.