Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Handicrafts for Grades 1 through 3

It is not possible to do more than mention two more important subjects––the Handicrafts and Drills––which should form a regular part of a child's daily life. - Charlotte Mason, page 315 of Vol. 1

There are lots of discussions online about what a handicraft is and what it is not, as well as whether the projects homeschoolers do (like solar system models) should fall under the category of handicrafts or not.  (The Orthodox Masonite argues that, because Mason did not do unit studies, projects like solar system models should not be done at all).

An example of handicrafts is not a woven construction paper Easter basket.  However, buying a basket-weaving kit and learning the art of basketry does qualify as a handicraft.  In the first example, the child is not learning a life skill.  In the second, the student is learning how to make something useful and beautiful.

Examples of handicrafts from Charlotte Mason schools included:
-helping in the house
-helping in the garden
-paper modeling
-paper folding (origami)
-clay modeling
-rug making

Children helped the Combined Hospital Appeal fund, and made Christmas presents for poor children, so volunteering, making presents, helping with a toy drive, and learning how to artfully wrap a gift could all be counted as handicrafts.

Handicrafts were done outside of lesson hours, during afternoons.

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