What 20,000 Years of Handwork Can Teach You About the Future (or…

6 books I’ve read & 1 I haven’t!)

By now, you’ve probably gathered that I like to read….a lot!

."Women's Work" Elizabeth Barber Handwork Homeschool

Not novels or magazines (ok, the odd one here & there) but books that you’d probably call “texts”.

(The kind you hauled around at university while wishing you could have your own
book-boy/small donkey to schlep them to your next class.)


– because they feed my fascination for understanding some of the smoldering
questions that I’ve been tending for years. Like…

Questions About
Extruded Dresses & Robo-Sweaters…

  • Why am I magnetically drawn to handwork as a smart, educated & motivated woman? Shouldn’t it just be a hobby or something I do during vacations?
  • Why have some of the wealthiest women (& men) of all time done handwork – surely they could have had someone else do it for them?
  • What purpose does handwork serve in a world where you can now
    extrude a dress with a 3-D printer or program a knitting machine to whip
    up a sweater in a few minutes?
  • How are my head & body affected when I work on a handwork project?
    Why do I feel different after a few minutes of knitting or sewing?
  • When did our culture stop valuing the “work of our hands”?
  • Where did people get the idea that children aren’t capable of designing,
    creating & completing stunning handwork projects?

& lastly….

& this one is a BIGGIE

  • Who will teach our children how to make their ideas tangible, if not us?

The Hand Frank Wilson Handwork Homeschool


Why Handwork ? 

Why in these modern times?

You’re teaching your children because you want them to have the best education
you can give them.

One that is customized to highlight their strengths & shore up their weaknesses.

Right ?

When you envision them as adults, what do you hope that they have…?

A creative, beautiful, happy & healthy life.

Think about that for a minute…

If you nurture your child’s creativity, she can make beautiful things &/or
experiences for herself & others.

When she has beautiful things, experiences & people (for people are drawn
to those who express themselves freely & joyfully) in her life, she’ll feel happy.

When she feels happy she enjoys what she does everyday & does it well.

When she’s happy & feeling fulfilled (in her career & personal life) she’s
more likely to be healthy.

See? It all ties together so perfectly !


A Whole New Mind Daniel Pink Handwork Homeschool



I started off telling you about 6 books that were instrumental in setting me on this fascinating path of “Handwork” discoveries.  They may seem like a motley
assortment but reading across genres & disciplines is the best way to find
NEW information & forge FRESH ideas (in my opinion).

It was fascinating to see how the concept of thinking creatively,
using our hands & connecting with others
runs through such
diverse books.

In the course of reading these, I found the answers I’ve been looking for
& a whole lot more!  My discoveries changed the way I teach my kids,
how I see the world & I want to share it all with you.

Here’s the short list (in no particular order)

  • Women’s Work : The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
  • Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  • A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
  • The Hand by Frank R. Wilson
  • The Knitting Sutra by Susan Gordon Lydon
  • The Right Side of Normal by Cindy Gaddis

 I’ve read the first 6 & the 7th is the next on my list because of this quote…

The Divine Within by Aldous Huxley

“ The liberal arts… are little better than they were in the Middle Ages.  (Then, they) were entirely verbal…Although for hundreds of years we have been talking about mens sana in copore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body), we really have not paid any serious attention to the problem of training the mind -body, the instrument which has to do with the learning, which has to do with the living….

One of the reasons for the lack of training of the mind-body is that this particular kind of teaching does not fall into any academic pigeonhole….what we do need…now is a few people who run about on the woodwork between the pigeonholes, and peep into all of them & see what can be done & who are not closed to disciplines which do not happen to fit into any of the categories considered as valid by the present educational system!


When I read that, I thought – yup, that’s me up there running around
the edges & peeping into the holes, working to fit all the pieces of a
thorough & useful education

It seems only fitting that I’ve discovered the best way to weave it all
together is with a few pieces of fibre!

It’s finally time to bring all of this inspiring information & the effective
learning activities I’ve designed to you for the first time in over a year
– want to run around those pigeonholes with me ?


Drum roll please…. it’s time for the 2015 session of…..


The 2015 session of
The MAKING Lessons has begun & registration is now closed.
If you’d like to be one of the first to hear
about the new session in early 2016
click HERE
(you’ll also receive access to some
fab Handwork Homeschool Treats
that you can try in the meantime! )


What’s NEW?


this master course is LIVE for 5 weeks plus when you enroll you’ll get
PERPETUAL access to the course site & all materials. If you want
to re-watch a video or see what some of the other mother’s are doing with
their kids, you can pop back into the site whenever you want.


there will be a Facebook forum for everyone to ask questions
(& receive answers), get to know each other & swap ideas.

We’ll be an international group – so this will be fun!

I’ll even have office hours once a week when you can ask me anything about
handwork or homeschooling (or living in France!)


I’ll be adding a new BONUS section to The Making Lessons for everyone
who enrolls before August 7th,  in which I’ll share my notes from my top 7
most inspiring books (see above) & of course, my insights!

Seriously, it’s taken me hours to read & re-read them & every time I do,
I discover something fresh & amazing!

You can think of these as your Handwork Quick Notes – you’ll only get
the good stuff – a taster of some of the best thinking about how working
with your hands shapes your life & glimpses into what the world will be
like for your kids.


The Knitting Sutra Susan Gordon Lydon Handwork Homeschool


Helping Children Make Their World

I’m opening the doors today
& offering you an Early Bird price
as well as the
Handwork Quick Notes

TMLtitleHiRes 2015

The 2015 session of
The MAKING Lessons has begun & registration is now closed.
If you’d like to be one of the first to hear
about the new session in early 2016
click HERE
(you’ll also receive access to some
fab Handwork Homeschool Treats
that you can try in the meantime! )

Live, Easy & Inspiring Lessons
Perpetual Access to
All Course Materials

 You’ll Receive Full Access To:

A Whole New Way of
Creating Unique Handwork Experiences
for your child

* 7 multi-media lessons
* the best & most useful printables
* a private Making Lessons forum
* my “office” hours = semi-private coaching
* 30+ years of real handwork experience & insight


*  the one & only
Handwork Quick Notes


To keep it real, so I can answer all of your questions
& give you all the virtual hand-holding you need,
I’m limiting the class size.

So, send me an EMAIL if you have any questions.


If you’re looking for a new & different way to
give your child a
calm, creative & connected life,
now’s the time to get started.


During the course, you’ll observe your child (& take a look at yourself, too)
then pick the right handwork skills to teach & learn this year – those that
will help lay solid foundations for future academic studies & advanced social skills.

I’ll show you step-by-step how to teach a new skill, reinforce current
ones & know when it’s time to move onto the next.

It’s like having a really good reference book that you can talk to
(& who can answer YOUR questions not give you some generic response…).

As in any good handwork project –

Customization is the name of this game!


Knitting Without Tears Elizabeth Zimmermann Handwork Homeschool


You’ll be amazed how a few well-chosen handwork projects can change how
your children see themselves & the world!  It’s a lot easier than you might think.

Along the way, you’ll also:

  • assemble your own inspiration files – for handwork & academic lessons
  • develop your own homeschooling timetable
  • brainstorm ways to tweak a commercial curriculum OR…
  • invent your own custom curriculum !

Is this the year you pull all the threads of
your homeschool together?

I look forward to meeting you in “class”.

Happy Making!







Elizabeth des Roches Handwork Homeschool


* Want to be a Handwork Homeschooler?
Click HERE to get some great freebies & savings, too!