So, how does an uncrafy mom do hands-on projects with her kids?
1. Keep it simple. A craft need not be complicated to be fun or to offer educational value. Often, simpler is better. Also, realize that you don’t have to do crafts or hands-on projects every day. I prefer to plan for one good, relevant craft a week, rather than several mediocre projects.
2. Let the kids take the lead. Maybe this goes without saying for some people, but I’m a bit of a control freak. For most hands-on projects, it’s more about the process than a perfect end result. If your goal is to let your kids learn by doing, let them do it. And, if the end result is key, offer as little help as you can while still ensuring a successful outcome.
3. It’s only a failure if you don’t learn from it. What about those projects that don’t turn out the way you’d planned? Investigate what went wrong. Then, try again or simply chalk it up as a learning experience.
4. Do a trial run. I’ll go ahead and admit that this is one of those areas in which I rarely take my own advice, but it’s wise to try the project ahead of time when feasible. By making a sample ahead of time, you’re not only giving your kids a visual of the finished project, but you’ll be able to avoid frustration and make any needed adjustments.
5. Consider your reasons for making the project. Is it just for fun? Will it help cement a concept? It’s easy to get caught up in what we think we “should” be doing, but if the project isn’t helping to reach your educational goals or isn’t something that you truly think you and your kids would enjoy, it’s probably not worth doing.
What tips would you offer the craft-challenged among us for incorporating great hands-on projects in our studies? Have you made a fun, easy craft that you’d be willing to share with us?
Kris is the classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason, sweet tea drinking, homeschooling mom, to three Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
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