Handwork is a study of practical arts including knitting, crochet, needlepoint and sewing. Classes begin formally when a child enters Grade 1. Each grade has a specific set of skills that they study each year. Many of the benefits of our handwork curriculum are clearly apparent, such as hand-eye coordination, the ability to comprehend and focus on a task from concept to completion, and of course the acquisition of new skills. Basic math skills, such as counting, the four math processes, and simple geometry, are integral to all handwork.
More subtle rewards are also inherent in our handwork classes, such as the knowledge on preparation and care for materials. Throughout the process, creativity is encouraged through the choice of design and color. An atmosphere of respect, for the earth which gave us the materials and for the teacher and other students who work together to use them, is actively cultivated.
The social aspect of handwork is also important. Students must learn to transition between times of quiet focus, such as when they are learning a new stitch or skill, and the other times when the atmosphere in the classroom is more convivial, not unlike a quilting bee. Projects generally have both a practical and pedagogical purpose and aim to be aesthetically pleasing.