My daughter can barely identify the letters D, I, and Y yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from planting seeds within her that I hope will grow into an appreciate for the beauty of things made at home, with our own hands.
I made the towels she uses after her baths and the diaper bag we carry with us each day. She pushes the buttons on the blender when we make a smoothie and mixes the ingredients for her play doh. My husband and I built a backyard playhouse for her this summer using materials harvested from our neighbors’ trash. It sits amidst garden beds she helped to water and from which she ate blackberries and tomatoes. For Halloween last week, she and her sister wore owl costumes I created out of fabric remnants I found in my sewing supplies.
One of the first picturebooks I bought for her was Crafty Chloe, a fabulous story about a girl with superb crafting skills that aren’t fully appreciated by some of her friends. I don’t think Cora fully understands the point of the story yet, but she loves Chloe and I’m sure will grow to appreciate her message that people appreciate gifts that “you can’t even buy in a store.” In my notes about her creative development, I have come to refer to my daughter as Crafty Cora, in the hopes that she will love crafting as much as Chloe someday.
An increasingly high priority in education is character development. This includes educating students to believe they can shape the world around them. I believe that introducing students to purposeful creative activities like sewing, woodworking, cooking, and gardening ought to be included in any reform directed towards this agenda. I hope that wherever Cora goes to school, she can engage in these types of endeavors. Regardless, I’ll keep on homeschooling her and her siblings in those areas.