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How and why to introduce sewing as a homeschool activity

by Jennifer Dixon, April 28, 2019

Home economics class used to be a core part of the public school curriculum, but today the focus seems to be more on academics and less on life skills. Whether it’s the ability to simply boil an egg, sew a button or knot a tie properly, young adults are struggling with these simple tasks that help them to function independently.

“Society couldn’t get over the stereotype of the home economics teacher,” says Gayla Randal, educational and program consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education to NPR. “Anything that wasn’t about a test score was scrutinized.” Homeschooling, however, has the ability to customize a child’s curriculum to include courses that interest them. A sewing course is a perfect introduction to get kids back on track. It’s fun and beneficial, and their creativity might even lead to the latest fashions.

Hidden benefits

Not only can sewing be a creative outlet, but there are a number of physical and mental benefits associated with this activity. Sewing requires hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and concentration and focus. All of these skills are essential for children to develop. Sewing also allows time for children to be mindful. With technology at their fingertips almost every second of the day, the ability to focus on just one thing becomes almost impossible. From open tabs to chat windows, sensory overload is all too common. Mindfulness has been shown to boost the immune system and acts as a tool to process emotions in a healthy way, according to an article from Psychology Today.

Fun sewing activities

Probably the best part for kids is how much fun sewing can be. Young children should be given small projects that can be produced in one sitting, such as pillows. While some children are using crayons to draw images and designs on fabrics, others can work on hand sewing and stuffing. Another idea is to get the children to create a costume box. Kids love to play dress-up on any given day, but making costumes and accessories for trick-or-treating is an especially exciting time for this project.

How to incorporate sewing for homeschool

Being able to lead a sewing course is probably going to be difficult if you don’t know how to sew. But that’s okay—you can learn as you go. More important than knowing how to sew is knowing where and how to find resources.

YouTube has infinite tutorials, and there are numerous blogs specific for children learning to sew. What you will need, however, are the supplies. The items below are some essentials to implement your first sewing course:

  • Fabric: Shopping along with the children will allow them to be involved in the colors and styles you choose for your designs.
  • Fabric scissors: These are sharp and designated to cut fabric only. Children should be supervised when using these.
  • Fabric markers: Kids have a lot of fun being able to draw their own images onto their projects.
  • Pins: These hold the fabric together before stitching. Opt for the ones with the colored balls on the end, as they’re much easier to see.
  • Needles and a needle book: A must for hand-sewing
  • Measuring tape: Necessary to measure the fabric you need
  • Additional accessories: Buttons or rickrack can be fun for kids to customize pieces.
You might also want to purchase thread and a sewing machine if you are interested in using one. Just remember, quality is key for every supply purchased.

It seems that the simple and enjoyable skills of the past are being forgotten. It’s important for children to use their brains and their hands to create works of art. Sewing positively contributes to the physical and mental development of children. Most importantly, it fosters creativity, and kids have one additional course they can actually enjoy.