When I had my store, I noticed that many schools were teaching children in the elementary grades how to knit and do other crafts. There is also evidence of children attending sewing classes. What wonderful skills to add to a curriculum that is skewed towards computer technology. I don’t deny the relevance and importance of computer skills in our world, but what I find truly discouraging and disappointing is the absence of time spent on “unscheduled” activities that involve personal pursuits, and life skills that allow the mind to rest.
I’ve encountered too many adults who have no idea how to sew on a button, or do a simple repair, like mending a fallen hem, that finds them spending too much money at the local tailor. And heaven forbid, there is a small hole or a run in a favorite sweater, never to be worn again. Teaching children to sew or knit will help them develop dexterity and motor skills by doing things with their hands, other than using the remote control to some device. These skills have the potential to encourage other skills; possibly exploring artistic outlets. Working with their hands develops patience, allows relaxation, and a feeling of accomplishment.
We need to encourage children to move away from the X-box, the laptop, and the television for some of their time, and enjoy personal space. Learning these skills have a psychological benefit in dealing with the stress and anxiety all to common in our modern world. Of course not every child will be enamoured by having to learn these skills, but when they become adults, what they learned, hopefully will be remembered, and if for no other reason than to save dollars at the local tailor, or being able to wear that precious sweater once again.