Sunday, November 4, 2007

Technology is Only A Tool!

My existence has changed greatly since access to new technology has improved over the past decades, but I often realize that we cannot lose sight of the real world. Our children must be exposed to the real world and activities that actually produce something that is not ephemeral. For their psychological well-being, they need to connect with the electromagnetism of Earth, and they need to create artifacts, including practical artifacts like food clothing and shelter.

I believe most of us know of the importance of keeping the real world in our thoughts, but we can become so busy using technology that we forget to put those thoughts into action.

I believe that most parents and teachers do not want our children to live in a world where they are helpless, but where they are self-reliant. That is why it is so important TO DO, TO MAKE, TO PRODUCE.

Now I am not suggesting that every child needs to know how to make soap, build a house or fix a motor; I am saying that every child needs to know how to perform small projects like: change the oil in your car, mend your clothes or grow some food.
It seems to me that the virtual has outstripped the real world lately.

I know children do like to do things, make things, and it is very important to provide them with tactile and kinesthetic experiences or they will become out of touch with humanity. Remember The Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle's famous line: "Take Chances! Get Messy!"

Periodically, I will highlight one type of real world skill that I know is being neglected, but I believe should be elevated. Today, it is the skill that can also be an art: SEWING!

Sewing is not being taught in the schools across America as much as it was in the past, and young people need all the self reliant skills they can get. This article may be an inspiration to any quilter or quilting guild to start a group for children and teenagers.

Even very young children can learn to handle a needle and thread, especially those plastic ones that are used in large cross stitch patterns, Children, around 8 or 9 can easily learn simple hand sewing, including embroidery. From this age on, responsible children can be supervised with complicated projects and using the sewing machine. Careful supervision is definitely required when rotary cutters are used, and gloves should be considered appropriate safety equipment when cutting.

"Robin Rice guesses the lost art of sewing skips a generation these days.
'I know my own girls. I’m trying to not let that happen,' she said.
She is passing on her knowledge of stitching to her daughters while teaching the craft of creative stitching at Danville Area Community College’s College for Kids program.
She works with three to five young sewers at a time, mostly girls, who are learning the basics this summer." excerpted from The Commercial-News, Danville, IL. "Kids Discover Creative Craft of Sewing", by Anna Herkamp.

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