Gimme Five with the Shop Monkey: Share the craft

Kids are out of school.. and, the later we get into the summer vacation, the more you can hear the whining.  “I’m BORED!”  Iggy’s been watching this phenomena in our house, and he’s been shaking his head. I mean, come on, if Iggy had time away from the shop, he’d be catching up on his mad ukelele playing skills.

Knowing that bored kids are an issue, Iggy drafted this week’s list of the top five reasons why woodworkers should share what they know with eager young learners during the hazy, crazy, lazy days of summer.

  1. Kids are curious.  Maybe they don’t want to become a worker in a cubicle farm and they want to discover a new path in a well-respected field of work.  Not everyone wants to – or even needs to – go to college.
  2. Shop class has been canceled.  With budget cuts and a greater emphasis on computer education, kids aren’t even getting exposure to woodworking in a shop class.  Many of them may go through life without putting a nail into anything more than drywall in order to hang a picture.
  3. Clean up on the cheap! When you bring eager young learners into your shop, you can get them to sweep up and vacuum for the cost of a few ice cream cones afterward!
  4. Math maniacs.  Sure, kids learn a lot about math from textbooks.  But, how do they apply it in the real world?  Woodworking allows kids to use all of that book learnin’ in a real-world setting.  I was terrible working with fractions until I applied it in the wood shop.
  5. Process matters.  A lot of kids can’t handle homework.  It’s not that they are bored or lazy, it’s that they don’t understand the process involved.  Woodworking provides that lesson in spades.  From selecting a board and milling it square and true to cutting joinery  from assembly and glue up to sanding and finishing, there is a logical progression in how you arrive at a finished project.  That kind of self-discipline and organization will help well  into the future.

2 thoughts on “Gimme Five with the Shop Monkey: Share the craft”

  1. All five of those reasons are sound.
    I’ve helped my little neighbor lately and it’s been fun for both of us.

    There are a lot worse things kids could be learning then Woodworking.
    (like how to bicker and argue instead of running the country…) uuugh

  2. My 17 yr old son is spending the summer turning wood on the front porch and doing a real good job of staying busy.
    Nice thing about turning outside is the wind does most of the clean up!

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