Sewing in the Curriculum
From Sewing School 2 by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle,
Photographs by Justin Fox Burks
Used with permission from Storey Publishing
Storey has a listing in Homeschool.com’s Freebie February—keep your eye out for it! Now, onto the article!
Want to teach your child some new skills while also making wonderful connections to their regular curriculum? Sewing just might be the answer!
Sewing not only allows kids to master a new skill set and offers a creative outlet, but also strengthens fine motor skills, enhances creative problem-solving, and employs spatial and math concepts. Once you learn a few simple ways to incorporate sewing into your existing curriculum, the possibilities for its usage as a learning tool are endless. Start out by thinking of sewing as another art form. You are already drawing, painting, and making collages – now you can sew, too!
Create a classroom sewing area. Include materials such as fabric and felt scraps, yarn, stuffing, buttons, and ribbons with your art supplies. Gather materials for a simple sewing basket so that sewing may be easy and accessible for your child. For machine sewing, talk to your child about safety tips and help find a good place to set-up a machine.
Now you are ready to start sewing! Look at your curriculum and think of ways to sew a project instead of draw or sketch it. For example, after reading Jan Brett’s The Hat, your kids can stitch up their own Hat Attack! hats (Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make) or design a unique Stuffie (Sewing School) to go along with a winter animal unit. Even the youngest of sewers can begin to sew with simple projects using a plastic needle.
Older students will enjoy creating a story or play about a Sleepy Bear (Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing) or writing down the steps for making a Patchwork Scarf (Sewing School 2). The Stripy Quilt (Sewing School 2) is the perfect companion to a quilt unit and incorporates math skills that run from measuring to learning about fractions. Are you studying financial concepts? The Cookie Coin Saver (Sewing School 2) is a fun tool for children who are learning how to manage their allowances or count spare change!
Once you begin to think of sewing as a natural expression to enhance literature and math lessons, you’ll find many additional ways to incorporate this skill into your curriculum. Both Sewing School books and the Sewing School blog provide a good place to find ideas and inspiration. Our books also offer adult support to help even non-sewing adults guide kids to sewing success.
In addition, if you want to add a sewing unit to your existing art curriculum, Sewing School has you covered. Each book is easily adaptable for teaching at any level by starting with basic projects and moving on to more advanced ones as your child’s skills grow. Plus, every project has a special “Make It Yours” sidebar, which allows your students to expound upon their creativity.
This winter, we encourage you to look towards sewing as an art form and see how easy it is to include in your existing curriculum. Happy sewing!