Friday, September 24, 2010

Knitting Together

As promised. . . some photos of my after school knitting club at St. Therese Catholic School. Several of my students had been asking me to have a knitting club for several years. When I agreed to offer the after school activity, I did not expect that twenty-five third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders would sign-up. What is more, sign-up forms keep rolling in as other students see their friends knitting and want to learn.

We have met several times this year, and a few of the students are already able to mentor other students (love that). Thank goodness I now have some help teaching! I was barely able to catch my breath at the first few meetings. I'm also helping students one-on-one or two-on-two in the mornings before school.

One mother has already come to class with her daughter because she wants to learn, too. How cool is that? Another mother asked if she may come next week. Inter-grades and inter-generational (love that, too). Our club has several boys and more who want to join. The school principals want to learn, and I plan to have students teach them. One student has completed her first project-- a headband!

Knitting with students in the morning and after school has been a joyful part of the last few weeks. I am looking forward to their creations and accomplishments. Mostly, I'm looking forward to what we will laugh about and share while we knit, knit, knit, knit.

Maybe we will purl a little, too, in a month or so!

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Saturday, September 18, 2010


The beginning of this school year is throwing me curve ball after curve ball (my only excuse for not showing up here very often). I hope I learn how to hit these balls soon. At least I'm showing up every day for practice-- whether it is at work or at the kitchen table for homework each night. I love a challenge, but I haven't quite figured out how to master this school year yet.

Balance is the mantra I try to hold in my mind, and I hope that I am helping my children learn how to balance their interests and obligations, too. My son has three new endeavors: cello, after-school choir, and Taekwando. My daughter is adding Taekwando to her art, piano, and the increasing academic demands of fifth grade. Their schedules impact my schedule and vice-versa.

While I want my children to be academically successful, I also think the expectations of today's schools are sometimes unrealistic and just too much. I don't want my children sacrificing their creativity for worksheets, busy work, or multiple choice tests. I ask myself: "Do I have computers with bodies, or do I have children?" My vocal inflection on asking the previous question might equal Patrick Henry's cry: "Give me liberty or give me death!"

I remind myself that balance is important when I need to check off items on my "to-do list," but I also need to exercise. I may not have photographed or blogged about my newly formed knitting club at school, but I promise photos and a blog post after all twenty plus students get the hang of the basic knit stitch. I may not have a perfectly clean house, but I have found a few creative minutes here and there by sewing some needed p.j. pants, dyeing curtains with turmeric, and making journal covers and pillowcases for gifts.

And, I'm diligently searching for some writing time with that idea that keeps popping into my mind during moments of silence on my way to work and late at night before falling sleep. I have so much to say about education.

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