The Making Lessons – Handwork Homeschool

I am so excited to have launched my NEW course on June 16th, 2013 !

It SOLD OUT  (as has every session since),
but you can still read all about it below….

for the newest information about the

2016 Session – click HERE

The Making Lessons - Handwork Homeschool

Here are all the details ! 

Buried under a huge pile of multi-coloured wool on the couch one evening, I planned it.

My first, real, handwork project which I hoped to use to teach my young son at home.  It was such a simple idea & yet I hadn’t the slightest idea of how important it was at the time.

I made a play-farm.

Knitted Play Farm - Handwork Homeschool

Just 12 squares of basic knitting – all held together by a knit stream & a few paths. Embellished with some veggies, a little bridge & a few different stitches, it became my key lesson tool for years.

While attending a parent & tot program at a nearby Waldorf school, I realized how the things the children played with weren’t just toys.  I hadn’t really thought about it before.  Good quality toys had always been a priority for me while raising my 3 bigger kids (they’re all adults now).  I chose them mainly so they would last & because, as a life-long creative, I appreciated the effort that had gone into making them.

It wasn’t long before I discovered that children can make great things with fibre from a very early age. Watching my little son making wet-felted balls, pompoms & little felt figures, I was inspired to do it at home with him.  He loved it & was good at it.  And then? Being an unusual hybrid creative-researcher type, I started delving deeper into the Waldorf curriculum.

Why did handwork play such an important role in Steiner’s method?

Well, I found out & so much more!  Since those days, a lot has changed.  My son is 9 now & I have a lovely daughter who is 5.  My husband & I decided 3 years ago, to pack everything, sell up & leave Toronto.  We moved to a small village in the French countryside, where I homeschool the kids using an eclectic blend of Waldorf, Reggio & things that feel right.

And the play-farm ?

Yesterday, my daughter, had it laid out on the floor (5 years later !) floating her fairies on the pond while she told herself the most elaborate story….

What are The Making Lessons ?

Handwork Homeschool - Knit Horse

This self-paced course is taught via easy-to-follow lessons; each brimming with inspiring ideas & supported by up-to-date research about the fabulous effects handwork has on our children’s brains & bodies.

This course is live.  It will grow & change as we move through it.  I will be planning projects for my own children along with you (I’ll show you how & what I’m doing).

And …

if you want to tell me more about you & your kids (where you live, ages, curriculum), I’ll tweak the course here & there to make it even more relevant for you.

I have been a professional designer & maker for 30 years.  Handwork has been my passion since I can remember & now for the first time, I am sharing my flexible approach to designing handwork projects in this course.

You’ll discover how these techniques will simplify your planning & help you feel more confident & relaxed about including handwork in your everyday lessons.

You’ll enjoy coming along for this beta-version of the course if you:

  • like to think for yourself, draw from many sources & then translate your ideas into a rich & exciting curriculum for your children
  • have so many ideas you don’t know where to start when it comes to handwork projects
  • teach children aged 4 – 9  (approximately kindergarten to grade 3)
  • want a little bit of support & guidance when planning your projects

How are The Making Lessons taught?

Creating anything is always a multi-faceted endeavour which rarely starts at just one point.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the planning & dreaming.  Often, we miss getting to the making stage!

As a homeschooling/work-at-home/designing mother, I know how challenging it can be to find a long stretch of time to myself (pretty much impossible), so The Making Lessons are clear, short & filled with solid content.

Mix + Match + Create = Enjoy

Once you have completed the course, you will be able to mold this approach, adapt it, make it yours – so that you can quickly & easily write lesson plans & design projects for any age child(ren) using any curriculum – for years to come.

Listen, watch & do at your own pace.

You can spend as long as you want browsing, choosing
& sampling anything that takes your fancy.

Arabella Knitting Fork - Handwork Homeschool

Everything will be presented in 7 multi-media lessons –

Lesson 1 – Why Handwork Matters 

– how it affects children’s heads, hearts & hands
– how handwork is brain smart
– how the course works
– how to get the most out of this opportunity

Lesson 2Collecting Ideas & Content

– the powerful places to integrate handwork into your curriculum
(handwork integration 101)
– how to annotate books & sites – easily remember where you found topics & ideas

Lesson 3Inspiration

– where to find it & what to do with it once you’ve got some
– build your own personalized Handwork Sourcebook
how to create a “look board” with your kids

Lesson 4  – Skills & Projects

– general overview of age appropriate handwork skills
– observing & assessing your child’s skills
– assessing your own skill levels – define YOUR unique making talents
– learning new skills – how, when & where
– types of projects – gifts, toys, dolls, teaching tools, décor, contemplative
– explore tools, materials, vocabulary & basic skills for the major fibre arts

Lesson 5 Creating your own “Handwork Studio”

– collecting materials & tools
– building your own library
– when & what to buy
– what NOT to buy
– how to work on a budget

Lesson 6 Teaching Handwork

–  tips for designing engaging lessons
–  create your own individualized craft guide & lesson planner
–  how to create an environment that enhances the handwork experience
–  easy to follow techniques with examples of simple lesson plans
–  tips for building confidence, maintaining motivation & making it fun
–  how to vary lessons—make them easier, extend them
–  enjoy the lesson you’re teaching it without worrying how you’re going to present it
–  working with multi-age groups

Lesson 7 – Making Handwork Memories

– Record – making sample books, storing finished work
– Report – how to tie new handwork skills into academic topics
– Share your children’s work with school inspectors, friends & family

Each lesson will feature :

  • Videos & podcasts
  •  Lots of inspiring images (many from my own projects & archives – 25+ years worth !!)
  • Q&A posts (I’ll gather all of your questions & answer them after each lesson)


A variety of PDFs — created specifically for this course :

– Guided exercises & short readings for you to reflect on
– Handy worksheets, tables & forms to print & use immediately
– Shopping Lists for materials, tools, resources ( including FREEBIES)
– Checklists for preparing lessons (have everything ready BEFORE you teach)
– Charts & Calendars (festivals, handwork skills lists for kindergarten to grade 3)
– Annotated book lists (my core resources & I’ll tell you why)

Bonuses :

♥  I’ll share lists of my favourite inspirational blogs & websites.
♥  You can share & explore the course with the other participants by leaving comments on           the private course forum.

you may have some questions about your situation & how The Making Lessons can work for you.  You can indulge in this short, practical course even if :

  • you don’t know a lot about handwork yet (everybody has to start somewhere !)
  • you use a mix of curriculums & packages  (customization is the name of the game)
  • you don’t have a whack o’ cash lying around for mounds of supplies  (who does?)
  • you teach a mixed age group of children  (projects can be even more fun)
  • you teach in a professional setting  (this approach will simplify your planning)
  • your kids are really little (it’s never too early to start learning & gathering inspiration)
  • your kids go to school but you’d like to enrich their lives with making beautiful things
  • you keep trying to add handwork into your days but can’t seem to find the time

It’s possible for anyone to benefit from this course if they are willing to read a bit, think a little & try some new things along the way.

*** This is the course I wish had existed when I started homeschooling 9 years ago. ***

paris me & babes - Handwork Homeschool

I live  ( & love) this stuff – I read/design/teach/make constantly —it’s my thing !

If you’d like to enjoy the satisfaction & freedom of
easily designing your own
handwork lessons for next year along with me,
simply click below to enroll.

The Spring 2015 session
The Making Lessons 


To learn more about the 2016 Session click HERE



Hope to meet you soon !


PS  Go ahead &  EMAIL me if you have any questions !



12 Responses to The Making Lessons – Handwork Homeschool

  1. Love the play rug!

    What I find interesting is that children are taught the handiwork of experimenting with fiber and other projects at a young age then it disappears from their memory. By the time they hit middle school and high school, these skill are no longer being taught and they might get lost…if one doesn’t happen upon a local fiber arts festival. I’m so thankful that as an adult someone threw yarn and knitting needles at me and said, “you’re a knitter” and from there I became a spinner/weaver/felter and teacher of fiber arts.


    • Thanks – the play rug is a big hit around here.
      You are right about fibre arts – quite often they get pushed aside so that more “academic” subjects can take centre stage in a child’s education.

      That’s one of the big reasons I’ve created my new course, The Making Lessons, because I think handwork can play such a vital role in teaching a child much more than just knitting or sewing.

      Stay tuned – I’ll be posting soon about an amazing fibre show we visited at an historic eco-museum last weekend.


  2. siomac2012 says:

    Sounds great. Count me in!


  3. btbguest says:

    I’m in need of clarifiication, please. Is it eebinar style where we all watch together at same time? If so, when? Not sure i could get away from my kids at certain times to “attend” thanks for clarifying.


  4. Emmie says:

    I just signed up as well, and am so excited! What date does the first lesson start?


  5. Sheila says:

    This looks fantastic. I just signed up! So, so excited.


Comments are closed.