My Take On Teaching

So we’ve been having Kid Knit Club for 6 months now.  You already know I love it.   I love teaching.  I love encouraging.  I love seeing the girls (and moms) create.  I love seeing their excitement as they learn something new.  The whole thing totally turns my crank.

Recently my philosophy or style of teaching was called into question.  I don’t mind that at all, being open to new ideas is how we learn and grow.

Some questions asked:  Why don’t you have a systematic order in which you teach the skills?  Why don’t you make everyone learn the same things at the same time?

With someone that has never knit before they need to learn 3 things:  cast on, knit and purl.  There needs to be a project that can teach those things and all that those things contain.  So I asked the girls if they would like to knit a hat.  A hat goes quickly and then you have something you can:  A. wear, or B. give to someone else to wear.  If they had not wanted a hat, we would have found something they did want to do that could teach those basics.  But it had to be a project that they wanted to knit.

After they complete that “sampler”, they can choose whatever project they are interested in.  We find a pattern for their project according to their skill level. Sweater, hat, mitts, socks, whatever.

I don’t make everyone do the same thing.  Ever.  If you knit or crochet (or whatever) something that looks pretty or is fun or exciting, or could be a gift, you’re more likely to stay with it.  Forcing everyone to do that same thing is unnecessary. Thanks to the internet, patterns are plentiful and many are free.

Lona is knitting fingerless mitts with cables.  She’s cranking them out at an alarming rate.  She can continue to knit them until they aren’t fun anymore and then she can pick something else, anything else, and we’ll tackle it.

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Lona’s fingerless mitts

Adrienne finished crocheting a hat and wanted to crochet one of those ruffle scarves that are so popular.

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Lona (wearing the hat Adrienne crocheted for her) and Adrienne

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Ruffle scarf crocheted by Adrienne

As long as she enjoys it, she can keep making them.  Making her crochet pot holders or granny squares just for the sake of making my teaching easier and more systematic is the quickest way to kill enthusiasm.

So there you go.  That’s my philosophy with teaching knitting/crochet.  It’s not everybody’s cup of tea and that’s fine.  Do what works for you. And love what you do.

Laugh. Dance. Learn. Create. Knit.

(or whatever you love to do)

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3 Responses to My Take On Teaching

  1. Karen A. says:

    I’m so glad for your teaching philosophy. You just can’t imagine how many exciting things I grew to dislike because they were taught in the boring, methodical, “but that’s not what I wanted to make” way. THANK YOU!!!

  2. Leslie says:

    Not only the project but the yarn as well. I have been so thankful for your enthusiastic teaching method. Because Lona has learned in such a positive environment she will go to her room and knit especially when she’s banned from movies. She’s working on knitting a purse and making it up as she goes. She’s planning on an icord for the strap. I could never have done. I think that your teaching style has produced a new generation of knitters. Thank you.

  3. Krista says:

    That is a wonderful philosophy, Marie! I don’t think I could learn any other way. One day I WILL learn. I will, I say! 🙂

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