The years have slid by so fast. However, the years of using quilting to teach basic math and life skills to my kids was so worth it. Quilting and homeschooling can go together amazingly well if thought out and planned correctly.
Our kids, both male and female, learned housekeeping and life skills. These skills included: sewing, cooking, changing tires and oil, cleaning, laundry, and gardening.
Math was taught by cooking and sewing. The nice thing about homeschooling is that learning can be taught in ways that make sense to the teacher and student(s).
However, since quilting and homeschooling is the topic of this post, below I have some simple suggestions:
For young ones:
Spools of thread are great for teaching colors and counting. They also work well for doing simple addition and subtraction.
Fabrics can be used to teach colors.
The various shapes used in quilt blocks can be used to teach shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, hexagons, etc.
The kids used to lay out fabrics and/or cut pieces on the floor and make their own quilt designs. They were learning critical thinking skills and having fun while doing it.
For Early Elementry Grades:
Following simple written instructions, such as a magazine, book, or website.
Measuring and fractions are easy when using rulers or measuring tapes. Here in the US, the kids should learn inches, feet, and yards.
Multiplication and division using the “how many blocks ___ size do we need to make a quilt ____ size?” question.
Learn to use the Table of Contents or Index of a book to find quilt block photos and directions. The same skill can be used on websites like Quilter’s Cache.
Encourage creativity. Kid’s have a great imagination and come up with some neat projects.
For Junior High Grades
Safe ironing, and cutting skills. If the kids have not learned by now, this is the time to teach using sewing scissors and rotary cutters.
Workmanship by learning to sew even and correct size seams. Accurate cutting also falls into this.
Geometry by making their own basic quilt block patterns.
Algebra by teaching them to figure out how to change the size of patterns.
Currently as adults:
Homeschooling was hard work for me. Quilting encouraged me and allowed me to create a quiet place within all the chaotic daily grind.
But the legacy of homeschooling and all the hard work that went with it is that my adult kids have good research skills, critical thinking skills, and so many life skills. They can and do have real conversations with others of any age. All have college degrees and hold down jobs they have chosen for themselves.
They know how to think for themselves, and why they believe what they believe. All are productive members of their communities.
And yes, they still sew and quilt.
The real and life skills they learned via basic sewing and quilting is an ingrained part of their lives.