Updated on October 17, 2016
Kids are needy. There’s no easy way to put it. They constantly need things, like lunch and dinner, baths and help finding their shoes (Really? Didn’t you just wear them this morning?). So, when they start asking for more, for things beyond their biological need for survival, it gets overwhelming.
Let me explain. I’m sitting at the table, trying to catch up on some work (okay, Facebook), and my oldest comes up to me and asks, “Mami, when are you gonna teach me to sew?” Ugh. I automatically get that sinking feeling I’m failing as a mother because it’s not the first time he asks me this question. It all started a few months ago, when he first asked, but like with most initial requests from my kids, I ignored him.
No, I’m not mean, but can you imagine if I chased after every whim my kids come to me with? I have four you know – “ignoring” is sort of like a first-layer to filter out all empty requests. Plus, I needed time to get ready. I’d need to create a Pinterest board and spend a minimum of 45 minutes pinning ideas, then find several blogs and books on the topic, look for the perfect kid-friendly project for him, find the proper kid-friendly needle and thread. I mean, one does not just teach a kid how to sew.
The funny thing is that I don’t know how to sew. I mean, I can sew a button if I have to, but if I need to hem a pair of pants, I’m more likely to reach for a handful of safety pins (yes, I actually do this) than for my needle and thread. And, while I do own a sewing machine because I was convinced I’d be making cute dresses and costumes for my little girl like my bestie does, I’ve used it twice.
Now, back to that sinking feeling I get when failing as a mother. A few days later I was clearing out some boxes in the garage due to hubby’s obsession with wanting to use our garage to actually park our cars in it. As I unpacked one box, I came across an old sewing kit, that judging by the contents of the box, was approaching vintage status.
My son later saw it and automatically asked, “Mami, when are you gonna teach me how to sew?” Not now, I’m busy going through these boxes. Plus, I still needed to do that Pinterest board, and find kid-friendly projects. I wasn’t ready.
The sewing kit roamed through the house for a few days, and the asking increased. I now found myself being barraged daily with the “Mami, when are you gonna teach me how to sew” that had not just increased in frequency, but had also spread over to his brothers like a bad virus.
So I caved in one night, and went rogue. With absolutely no plan in hand, no kid-friendly projects in mind, I pulled a few scraps of fabric I’d been
hoarding saving in a bin for that slight possibility that perhaps, one day we would do a sewing project, and cut a very intricate pattern that looked similar to the image below. I showed him how to thread the needle, modeled a simple stitch pattern, which I now know is called a “running” stitch, and then let him try it.
As he sewed up the sides, it occurred to me that we could put something inside, maybe rocks or pebbles. My 7 year old, who was now sitting watching his brother and asking “When are you gonna teach me, mami?”, suggested beans. Duh, why didn’t I think of that? And so, bean bags were made.
I learned a lot that night. Sometimes my kids ask to do things that I feel require more than I can give at the time, and so I put it off until I’m ready. But it turns out you can just teach a kid how to sew, and not every thing has to be fully planned out and Pinterest-perfect. Actually, most things don’t have to. Most times, making it up as you go, works just fine and perhaps even better. My oldest even said at one point that it would be cool to one day make his own clothes. Hello, Ralph Lauren?
I have since created that Sewing with Kids Pinterest board, and have looked up a few books to help teach them how to sew. I found one book I particularly like, See and Sew: A Sewing Book for Children by Tina Davis. It’s nicely set up, very simple to use and I know my boys can follow it along with little hand-holding from me.
Most of all, though, I’m embracing my new mindset of being okay with making it up as I go. Today we’ll conquer sewing, tomorrow that flame thrower they’ve been bugging me about.
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Updated on September 26, 2016
Making the time to read non-children’s books once you have kids is nothing short of difficult. If it’s not Dr. Seuss or Goodnight Moon, it’s most likely not getting read, right?
After years of talking about it, a few friends and I decided we needed a bit of accountability to make sure we are getting our own reading done. Drawing inspiration from the Scholé Sisters podcast and call to create Scholé Groups, we finally created our own book club with a book list to keep us inspired throughout the next year.
Updated on May 16, 2016
One of my favorite times of the year is coming up quickly: used curriculum sale time! This is when the local homeschool groups organize sales for their members to sell books, academic texts and courses of study they no longer need, and people like me can get their fix– I mean, find the best deals for what they need.
Now, these sales usually come up once a year, so you want to make the best of it. That means, strategize! Read More
Updated on April 28, 2016
Whenever I meet a new homeschooler, I always encourage them to find a homeschooling support group. I truly believe that finding your “tribe” is key to your success in homeschooling. No matter how supportive your family and friends may be, there’s nothing like talking to those who know what it’s like in the trenches. They can celebrate your small victories, sympathize on your bad days and encourage you on the journey. I actually must’ve visited about six different homeschool groups when I first started and it was quite the experience! Homeschoolers are truly the most diverse group of people ever. Read More
Updated on April 29, 2016
The idea of homeschooling, once you start to seriously consider it, is exciting when you think of all the possibilities that lie ahead, and at the same time, terrifying, when you think of all the possibilities that lie ahead.
I remember reading through way too much information and trying to think through all of our options. Would we be eclectic? Unschoolers? Charlotte Mason-inspired or purists? Classicists? Should we opt for online classes or try to be roadschoolers? Worldschoolers, maybe? What in the world was Waldorf and what was the deal with all the little wooden toys and fairies? Read More