WHAT is Handwork ?

Bean Bag Babies

Look it up in the dictionary & you will see something like this :

handwork [ˈhændˌwɜːk]
n work done by hand rather than by machine

I prefer to hold a much wider & exciting view of such an
important part of my children’s life !  As a
serial “handworker”, I naturally incorporated creative projects into their
days from the time they
stopped putting inedible objects in their mouths.

It took a while to sort out what I wanted
to do with my kids & when various projects would be
developmentally appropriate.
Wanting to avoid unnecessary frustration in the house
& ensure that their love of working with their hands kept growing
– there was no point subjecting them to unrealistic expectations on my part –
it made sense do some research on the subject.

When I first learned of Waldorf education, I was
drawn to Rudolf Steiner’s views on the intellectual as well as aesthetic
values of handwork & the arts in general.
In fact, they may have been
the MAIN reasons
why I jumped on the waldorfian-wagon eight years ago!
As an educator & philosopher,
he wrote hundreds of articles & gave many lectures.

In an attempt to distill the true essence of my
handwork point-of-view, I spent a lot of time thinking &  reading
about handwork, design & creativity
before shaping our homeschool curriculum.

Here is my definition in a nutshell.

Handwork is fibre-based.

Now, some may say but what about this craft or that technique ?
The way I see it, it is nearly impossible to neatly
extract handwork from handcrafts or the visual arts.
Of course they are interconnected
(think of sewing the pages while bookbinding or printing fabric with paints)
BUT
in general, handwork is based upon the use of soft, natural fibres.

So, if you’re planning a creative project that includes
manipulating or embellishing some form of fibre or textile
then you can pop that one right into the
Handwork section of your curriculum.  Your kids will love it ( & you will too…)

Coming soon ….

WHY bother with Handwork ?

Follow Handwork Homeschool to join us
on our creative path in the French countryside.

See my dream studio here & read about my recent Parisian excursion here.

Keep Making !

Elizabeth

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