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Did you ever have something (a class, a book, a product) that you came across over and over again and kept putting off for one reason or another?
- I’ll wait ‘till vacation to read that, when we have more time…
- I’ll wait to buy that ‘till I win the lottery (which, of course, you may not even buy tickets to) …
- I’ll wait to take (or teach) that class ‘till (insert your reason here)…
- My child is college-bound – he’ll develop life skills on his own…
Well, that’s how I was – until now ☺!
Over our years of home education, I often looked at the domestic arts as kind of extra-curricular. My approach to our learning was always “college bound” – as if that was some sort of academic holy grail. As I gained more experience (in life and parenting), I realize that our children’s futures were tied up in the seeds, in the forms of gifts, talents, and interests, that God had already placed in them. Sure, college attendance may be involved, but that doesn’t mean that ALL our studies need to involve college-prep courses. At the same time, I realized that arts and crafts are only fluff until we’re hungry…or our clothes need repair…or we’d like to decorate our homes or give gifts on a limited budget. Can I get an “amen”?!
If you’ve felt the same, you may be interested in how I’ve come full circle and learn…
Why I incorporate arts and crafts-type classes into our home
Awhile back a friend of mine showed me a gorgeous quilt she’d started, and casually mentioned the Craftsy course she had taken to learn the skill. I was intrigued, but (as often happens) I promptly forgot to look them up when I’d gotten home…
Later on, a Facebook friend posted a picture of an aMAzing meal she’d prepared, and (you guessed it!) added that she’d gotten the recipe from a Craftsy class she’d just finished.
And then I received a newsletter from a well-respected blogger I know, who included a Craftsy class on her summer bucket list! How cool is that?
OK, ok, after 3 mentions from widely diverse sources, I figured that it was time to take a look for myself…
So what IS Craftsy?
An online collection of video courses, Craftsy presents a smorgasbord of video-based courses on a wide variety of topics, such as:
Photography (over 70 different classes here)
Woodworking (from more creative woodturning and decorative inlay to shelf and furniture construction)
Gardening (including landscape and design)
I downloaded a few of their free classes to check them out (a great perk, by the way, and one way you, too, can test the waters…) and decided to dive in! I was amazed at how I could drill down to find something I’d like and something to match my skill level. For example, under “Food and Cooking” classes, I can filter by price, skill level, baking technique, cooking technique, and even a specific dish!
They are “meaty” enough to use as school classes
When you get past superficial teaching and find a resource for deeper learning, craft classes provide serious “life skills” education – and Craftsy is an absolutely magical place if you have any desire/interest/inclination to DIY or learning new skills of the domestic kind.
And speaking as a homeschooler, these are absolutely terrific classes to incorporate into a high-school economics course or a life-skills elective series. As we were looking through the cooking offerings, I found a few classes on Spanish, Mediterranean, French and Italian cuisine, which you could use as a basis for, or at least portion of, a unit study, or culture studies, or geography class. Gah – my mind is going crazy thinking of ways to use this site!! But they also offer specific classes, such as food photography, and product photography – heads up to my fellow bloggers out there ;-)!
They provide quality time opportunities
An additional perk, speaking as a parent, is that these classes can provide wonderful opportunities for mother-daughter time. As a matter of fact, my 11-year old daughter and I worked through the pizza-making class right off the bat, and had a great time! (Of course, given the presence of 3 teens/tweens in our household, that one was an obvious first-choice, right?!)
Craftsy courses are high-quality life skills classes
Yes, I know you can learn a LOT from YouTube videos, but the quality of teaching is often questionable. Often times, you have to search and search to find anything that is really helpful. Also, what you’ll most often discover is a video tutorial, which is fine, of course, depending on what your needs are, but doesn’t really offer a thorough presentation of a subject.
So how does Craftsy differ from free online videos?
1) They are taught by professionals in their fields – This isn’t “Joe Shmoe” showing you how to do something. Each course presents a background and qualifications of that course’s teacher – so you know they know their stuff!
2) You have access to the teachers while you’re taking the course
3) They include downloads and printables as needed – Depending on what the course is, you might need a recipe or a pattern or a list or something…yup, you can download and save for later or print for now!
4) They allow unlimited access once you’ve made your purchase (which, as one who tends to purchase-and-forget, I really appreciate) It’s almost like having an online mentor in a specific skill area!
5) They offer a money-back Guarantee! (Even though I’ve only ever taken ONE company up on that perk, knowing it is available always makes my heart happy!)
This time of year, you may be getting ready to (or already involved in) planning for the upcoming school year, so why not give Craftsy a look-see?!
Learn a new skill!
Breathe some new life and interest into your homeschool!
Try something different for quality time with your budding chef or crafter or…well, you get my drift, right?!