Inside: Find out why handcrafts are the best kind of homeschool electives for your child and how to do them easily with The Makers Club membership!
I was raised by a mother who was very crafty. She could decorate three-tier cakes, make quilts that took Best of Show in fairs, make wedding dresses that looked store-bought, create paper-mache dolls that people would buy, refinish kitchen cabinets as a business, and much more! Seriously, I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do. She’s the queen of DIY.
I did not inherit any of her abilities, or maybe it was just that I didn’t want to because she did it all for me. Either way, I wish I would have tried to learn. Now, as an adult, I don’t have any of those lifelong skills to teach my own daughters. My solution? Homeschool electives!
*Full Disclosure: I received The Makers Club membership along with financial compensation for this review. My opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.
Why Should Kids Do Handcrafts for Their Homeschool Electives
When most homeschool parents think of electives, they picture sports, gymnastics, music lessons, robotics, and possibly some art lessons.
They’re usually not considering other creative avenues such as sewing and knitting that have been forgotten by the younger generations.
It’s important to include these skill-building electives for a number of reasons. Below are just a few I’d like to mention.
Boredom Buster– Having a hobby is a great way for kids to fill their spare time and keep them from wandering around the house bored.
Reclaim Lost Skills– Many of these skills are a lost art. Yes, our grandmothers and some mothers may have sewn or knitted, but how many people of the younger generations can do these things? I would venture to say a lot less than we think. It’s really easy (and faster) to go to the store and purchase products, but there’s something to be said about the satisfaction of making something yourself.
Saves Money– Having someone in the family who has the ability to sew, crochet, or knit lets you mend items you may normally throw out and buy new. You can extend the life of clothing, sweaters, and socks with these lifeskills.
Strengthens Ability to Concentrate– It takes a lot of focus and concentration to work with your hands. This is something many children are lacking these days. In fact, most of our society lacks this. The average person can only hold their attention for about 8.25 seconds. That’s less than a goldfish! Handcrafts help to strengthen the ability to concentrate, which is going to benefit a child in every area of his life.
Builds Confidence and Appreciation– As I already mentioned, there’s a feeling of accomplishment when you create something with your own hands. Going to the store to buy a scarf is not going to feel the same as knitting one yourself. Every time you wear it, you will proudly remember the time and effort it took. You’ll appreciate it more and take care of it.
No Instant Gratification– We live in a society where everything is given to us instantly. We don’t have to wait for much. Working diligently and having the patience to finish a project will help children appreciate the work that’s involved in creating things and that it doesn’t happen instantly.
Screen-Free– Many children spend a large amount of time on electronics. Getting them interested in something that is screen-free is going to help them spend time away from devices.
Purposeful– Lots of crafts on the market today aren’t really useful. In fact, you might hang them on the fridge for a while, but then they usually end up in the trash. Wouldn’t it be nice if your children created items you could actually use?
Gifts That Are Thoughtful– What about being able to make homemade gifts that are special? I’m sure Grandma and Grandpa would like to receive a hat or bookmark they can use over and over again.
These are just a few reasons why I believe learning to create things from scratch is the way to go.
Why We Avoid Handmade Crafts
So if we know learning how to make handmade crafts will benefit our children, why do we avoid them?
Not Able to Teach Them– Let’s face it, how many of us are proficient at sewing, knitting, making clay sculptures, baking, and other skills? We don’t even know where to begin. I know I felt incompetent.
No time– We are all busy. It’s hard to find the time to get in the car and go to classes to learn a new craft.
Inconvenient– Who wants to pack the crew up (don’t forget all the snacks and activities to entertain the littles) and pile into the car to go to lessons? Just the thought of that makes me tired.
Expensive– It’s not cheap to pay someone to teach your child, or fill your tank with gas. And the prices aren’t getting better any time soon. If you have more than one child taking classes, it gets even worse. You have to start choosing between classes or even rotating the kids between lessons each year.
Why Use The Makers Club Membership for Your Homeschool Electives
I’ve discovered The Makers Club membership by Elevation Handmade and have found it’s a great solution to providing my kids homeschool electives. This membership checks off a whole host of reasons why I didn’t do them before.
- One Price for the Whole Family– I don’t have to pay for each individual child. No choosing between electives or children.
- You Can Learn with Them– I get to learn too! Who says it’s too late for you to learn a skill alongside your child, which brings me to the next point below.
- Build Family Bonds– As you and your child learn something new, you will be strengthening family bonds. It’s something you can do together for years and pass down to the next generation.
- Online Tutorials– Someone who knows what they are doing is teaching your child. Not you watching YouTube videos for hours trying to figure it out.
- Saves Time and Money– It takes a lot of extra time to load everyone into the car and travel somewhere. Not to mention all the gas money. Learning from home saves both.
- Step-by-Step Videos and Written Instructions– Projects and lessons come with very easy-to-follow videos and downloads that have instructions, material lists, or other important information. These are fantastic!
- Convenient– We can do the lessons when it’s convenient for us (in our PJs). Need to take a break for a week? You can pick up where you left off and not miss anything like you do when attending a live class.
- Perfect for the CM Method– If you use the Charlotte Mason method in your homeschool, this is the perfect way to teach those handicrafts.
Types of Projects and Skills You’ll Learn
The Makers Club membership has a growing library of skills your child will learn. Here is what is included right now.
- All about yarn
- Knitting and notions
- Slip knot
- Long-tail cast-on
- Knit-straight needles and circular needles
- Knit stitch
- Purl Stitch
- Stockinette vs. garter
- Combining knit and purl stitches- ribbing, stockinette
- Joining a new ball of yarn
- Binding off
- Weaving your ends
- Washing and blocking
- Tools needed
- Sewing machine basics
- How to wind your bobbin
- Thread your machine
- How to change your needle
- Sewing a straight line
- Measuring and cutting tips
- Ironing tips
- Using a seam ripper
- All about fabric
- Threading a needle and tying knots
- Running stitch
- Whipstitch/overedge stitch
- What is polymer clay
- Instructions on using clay to create charms
- Air Dry clay
- Instructions to complete projects
- Shrinky Dinks
- Sidewalk chalk paints
- Friendship bracelets
- Holiday projects
- Baking (coming soon)
Who Is The Makers Club Membership For
The Makers Club membership is recommended for children ages eight and up, but you know your child best and what they are able to handle.
There is no experience necessary because every category has foundational lessons to teach the basics. If your child already has some experience, that’s fine too. They can skip the basics and move on to the extension projects.
The following types of children would enjoy this membership:
✂️ Those who like to work with their hands
✂️ Visual learners
✂️ Creative types
✂️ Kids who like making homemade gifts
✂️ Students who like to learn outside the box
✂️ Those who are bored with textbooks
Other Benefits of Being a Member
In addition to the lessons, there are extension projects, an online social hangout, and live Q&A sessions. New projects and series are released throughout the month, but your children can access them at any time.
The goal is to create a safe community where kids who love to craft can hang out together and share in the joy of making things with their hands.
Our Experience with The Makers Club Membership
I wasn’t sure what to expect with my girls and The Makers Club membership. They love crafts, but getting them to take the time to learn a skill is another story. Rather than force it on them, I decided to try learning something myself and hoped it would catch on.
I have wanted to learn to knit for a while so I chose that. I watched the online tutorial videos and was casting on in no time! And just as I’d hoped, my youngest daughter became interested in what I was doing and wanted to know if she could give it a try. I showed her what I learned and after a few minutes, she was knitting away!
And you know what? She enjoyed it. She wanted to continue and asked how long it would take for her to make a scarf.
At the end of the day, she told me how much she enjoyed knitting and couldn’t wait to do it again the next day. She has continued working on her scarf and I am really proud of the effort she is putting into it. Is it perfect? No. But that wasn’t the goal.
Here’s a short video on Instagram of her knitting.
Next, I’d like to get my oldest daughter sewing. She has expressed some interest, and with this online membership, I think she will be able to do it.
We’ve also enjoyed the Elevation Handmade newsletter. It has free project ideas that are a lot of fun to do and go with the seasons or holidays.
One thing I do want to mention with this membership is that Chelsie (the creator) is teaching real skills. These are not paper crafts that require a piece of construction paper and a glue stick. You will need to have certain tools to do the projects, such as a sewing machine, scissors, knitting needles, clay, and other materials to make the projects. She always provides a supply list and even recommends the places where you can get them.
Our experience has been very positive so far and we intend to continue learning (including myself).
Conclusion About Homeschool Electives and The Makers Club
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started The Makers Club membership, but I am really happy with the results so far.
We have been able to participate in homeschool electives from the comfort of our home during the free time we have.
My daughter is gaining a life skill, learning to concentrate, discovering that things aren’t made instantly, and feeling proud of what she’s doing. That is a success in my book!
If you have been wanting to add some homeschool electives but didn’t have the time or know-how, this may be the answer. And right now you can get 50% off your first month of The Makers Club using the code MAKERSCLUB50 | Expiration date July 31, 2023.
Or click the button below and it will automatically take the discount off for you.