My philosophy of education is that children will learn what they are curious about. I can spend all day pounding information into their heads in vain, just to have them memorize something random from a book they picked out at the library. I never sit a kid down and teach them to read, yet, so far, my kids have all learned to read at early ages. I don’t have any science text books, yet my kids know all about plants, animals, space, and how to make great cookies. My homeschooling style is very relaxed, natural and curiousity based. You want to know? Let’s find out together. I realize that this means I may get a kid who doesn’t read till he/she is 12 or doesn’t understand math concepts till in his/her teens. I am okay with that. My goal is to instill in my kids inquisitive minds and give them the tools they need to find the answers their many questions about the world around them. I teach them to live a life of learning, and to love it.
So, I don’t know what I was thinking last year when I decided the kids needed to learn how to knit. I had read lovely stories about teaching small children to knit. I had visions dancing in my head of sitting in the living room, each child busily knitting on some creative endeavor while I cast on some masterpiece of my own. We would be sipping something hot as snow lazily drifted to the ground outside the frosty window, listening quietly to a radio drama while my husband smoked a pipe by the roaring fire…. Yeah, I know. Crazy.
Before I could recover from my insanity, I had already bought needles, knitting bags and yarn, and made an excellent plan. Then the kids told me they didn’t want to learn how to knit. Weren’t interested in it at all. AT ALL. Weird. I don’t know how anyone could not be interested in knitting. But, okay. I told myself that I could live with that. And I have. Then, today, oh today. The angels sang!
Beka wants to learn to knit. She tells me knitting is going to be her hobby. She watches me raptly as I cast on and knit the first row. She sits in my lap, sweet angel that she is, and she repeats with me, “In, wrap, pull through, pull off.” (I can never remember the verse that is supposed to be used in such situations, and I didn’t want to let the moment pass while I looked it up!) After two rows she said, “Okay, Mama. I can do it. You can go knit your thing, now.” Taking the needles in her hands and moving to sit next to me, that child, that genius of a child, knit a row all by herself!
And then another.
She was having so much fun, Emma joined her.
Oh, happy day! (Emma just made knots and split the heck out of the yarn, but look at that smile!)