Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

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adrianpglover
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Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by adrianpglover »

I haven't really been through the self study guide, except to thumb through it on the model that was loaned to me 10 years ago, and then a few years ago when I got my MK7. Do you think the self study guide would make a decent start to a homeschool curriculum for homeschool students? My wife homeschools our 4 kids and I haven't done a lot in the shop with any of them, but thinking of offering this as something I'll do with one of them something like 2 nights a week and maybe also on weekends. So, what's your opinion? Is it a good beginner's guide that could be used for a shop class, or is it best used as doodle paper for the 4 year old?
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by JPG »

I vote for having the shop class. Question is, the qualification of the 'instructor" as opposed to the text book.
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adrianpglover
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by adrianpglover »

Yes...I would somewhat be the blind leading the blind, but not quite as bad. I probably have as much qualification as an instructor in a shop class as my middle school shop teacher had, with the exception of the teacher's cert. And by this I am in no way stating that the teacher's cert means nothing. On the contrary, both my mother and my wife have degrees for teaching and their teacher's certs. No way could I handle 20-30 little...darlings...through even 30 minutes of instruction. I might be able to handle just one child at a time with this though. The only thing is the 7 year old is the one most interested in being around me in the shop, but the 10 year old is the one that I really should start with on this. I just haven't ever let any of them touch my power tools, mostly because I don't want them walking off.
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by thunderbirdbat »

The self study course does a good job of introducing someone to woodworking and how to set up a SS. I started my kids in the garage when they were a little younger than your 7 year old. I had a hard time finding safety glasses and hearing protection for them due to their size for the power equipment. The other problem that I encountered was that they were too small to safely operate the SS. So I started with hand tools until they grew into the safety equipment I could find. I got each their own set of screwdrivers, wrenches and a hammer. I also got a small hand saw, chisels, eggbeater style hand drill and drill bits for them to share. I introduced the power tools slowly after they understood how things went together and grew enough for the safety equipment and to operate the tools safely. I believe the table saw was the last tool I introduced them to. Paul Sellers has a good hand tool beginner course online called Common Woodworking. I wish it was available when my kids were little. https://commonwoodworking.com/ You may also want to check with your local Home Depot as they used to run a workshop for kids each month with project kits for them to put together. Even if they do not have the workshops, you may be able to order some of the kits for them.
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chapmanruss
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by chapmanruss »

adrianpglover,

I think it is a great idea to add this type of learning to home schooled students. I took Industrial arts classes (wood shop, metal shop and drafting) in High School back in the early 70's and enjoyed it. I still use skills learned there. Using the Self Study Guide along with the Owner's Manual so they get to know how the tools work and safety guidelines should get them started on good woodworking foundation. Not only learning woodworking skills from the Self-Study Guide but the importance of learning how to setup, maintain and safely use the tools from the Owner's Manual. You could include a final woodworking project to complete the class. Your wife may be a good teaching resource to help you along.

Something Brenda said,
I had a hard time finding safety glasses and hearing protection for them due to their size for the power equipment. The other problem that I encountered was that they were too small to safely operate the SS.
You may have you consider when the proper time is to include the Shopsmith or other power tools in a woodworking class for younger children.
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by RFGuy »

Adrian,

I don't have a lot to offer except anecdotes. Brenda has some really great feedback and I wanted to echo the Home Depot (and other big box store) kits part. My kids are in college now, but I had some small success getting them into my shop for woodturning over the past few years. Enough to get a bowl or two out of each. I believe it is difficult to get kids today interested in woodworking...there is simply too much competition for their attention with electronic devices, social media, etc. I was actually surprised when my father in law got my kids to do some woodworking projects in his shop several years back. Perhaps because they were a captive audience while visiting for a week. I believe he bought some of these small wood project kits from a big box store and they assembled them. Required sanding, gluing, nailing, etc. I have seen these Saturday morning classes at Home Depot for years also (not relevant), but I think this is why they sell these kinds of kits, for adult and kid levels, to go along with the course. He had a scroll saw in his shop and had them do a couple of projects with it. I have never had the patience for the kind of detail work in scrollsawing, but I admire those who do it. So, I don't own one, but my kids enjoyed scrolling out their name in letters and then mounting this on a picture frame also built in his shop with him. Like I said, just a couple of anecdotes and I hope this helps in some way. You may want to look into these small project kits at the big box stores, not necessarily to buy unless you want to, but it may spur more ideas for the curriculum for them.
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by edma194 »

I made a bird house and some kind of napkin holder to get a Cub Scout merit badge. The bird house was a kit, required some nails and glue, a tiny bit of chiseling to get pieces to fit together. Using hand tools and basic assembly skills should be the start of an industrial arts* class. Those are pretty basic skills, barely touching on woodworking. You might do as well assembling a dresser from IKEA.

There weren't any power tools for me to use back then except an ancient electric drill. Once your kids have those basics, including understanding safety with sharp tools, and the danger of using power tools improperly, then using the Self Study Guide for a couple of simple projects would be a good way to provide a traditional school type structured course.

Your kids are pretty young though, I think 4 and 7 years old is too young to operate a table saw or even a bandsaw. You have to account for their limited height and reach. When my kids were in Cub Scouts every den had to make something. I had a long chunk of Zebra wood I picked up at a mill for no particular reason so after scrounging together enough safety glass the whole den made little decorative boxes using my Shopsmiths for cutting, drilling and sanding. I wouldn't let the kids get too close to the table saw blade, they would stand back and start pushing a long board to rip but I would take over and finish the cut. I used a router to cut a profile on edges for the top, then they used the bandsaw to cut up the longer boards into box size pieces, and then the drill press for holes for the hinges and latch. They absolutely loved it. Then with the den moms we helped them glue up the boxes, put a finish on them, and glue some felt in the bottom. They looked gorgeous. Other dens made some nice looking items for their projects but every kid in the pack oohed and aahed over those little boxes. The kids could barely explain how they made them, I remember one them reporting that they used a saw. Prompted for more details he said it was a 'really big saw'.

I say do it. Of course they're not my kids so it's easy to say, but I get the idea you'd like doing it too.

*industrial arts = fancy name for shop class.
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RFGuy
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by RFGuy »

Ed,

Thanks. Really good feedback. Wish I had gotten to do more with my kids in the shop when they were younger. Glad you got that chance and had some great experiences with them. I think there is definitely a certain age range where they are more receptive to learning a hobby like woodworking. Hopefully Adrian will be able to get them interested and keep them interested in it with this because of the home schooling. Wishing him success in this endeavor.
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Mark V 520 (Bought New '98) | 4" jointer | 6" beltsander | 12" planer | bandsaw | router table | speed reducer | univ. tool rest
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adrianpglover
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by adrianpglover »

Thank you all for the great feedback. I'm long winded, so this will be a lengthy post.

I suppose I should give a bit more background here. I've been building my hobby of woodworking over the years, starting actually before borrowing the MKV from a co-worker back in 2012 to create some nursery furniture, although at that time it was mainly with a drill and cheap handsaws from the big box stores.

As far as my kids go, I have 4 - 3 daughters and 1 son.

My oldest girl is 10 and is interested somewhat in assembling and painting things herself (she really liked the birdhouse kit), but that's about as far as it goes. I think her interest in it is more like an interest in legos, kinex, erector sets, etc. Once she asked to help run the lawn mower, and I let her have a straight strip to work on, which she enjoyed, except for the "shaky feeling", and then I promptly fixed after she was out of sight.

My son, age 9, is pretty similar. He also enjoys building things or assembly, but I haven't let him use many tools yet. He has helped me a few times with the leaf blower, but I haven't let him loose on any of my workshop tools just yet.

My middle daughter, age 7, is the one that shows the most interest. Since she was 2 or so she has made her way out to my shop and wants to be around me and do what I do. She tells me often that she wants to be an electrical engineer when I'm working on fixing things around the house, at which point I explain that it's not the same, but I still appreciate the desire to be like her father. She will come out in the shop and watch me work on things, which lasts about 10 minutes, and then I have to go searching for my PPE that she has run off with and laid down somewhere.

My youngest daughter, age 4, I don't expect to get her into the shop at this point. She doesn't show individual interests at this point, but more of copying whatever someone else is doing.

What I'm envisioning with this is to get the shop and projects ready to start the oldest off with a workshop type class in a year or two. I remember taking a shop class in 8th grade, which would be in a few years for even the oldest. With this, I'd like to go over not just woodworking, tool setup and maintenance, but also any household repair projects that happen to come up (like me rebuilding a toilet tonight) as well as the general maintenance tasks on our vehicles like changing the oil, taking off a tire and putting on a spare, bicycle maintenance, etc. Other than the interest side of things, I think my main issue will be the fact that all 6 of us, wife included, are ADHD, and at least the oldest and middle daughters are also autistic, although you wouldn't know it just by talking to them.

Another hobby of mine that more directly interests the oldest is photography, although being an engineer, I'd want to approach that subject from a physics perspective, which involves math that she's no where near able to comprehend just yet. I already let her use a 20 year old camera from time to time, but I might need to be a bit more intentional on teaching her about it.

On the subject of devices and TV, my kids live a life that's more akin to how my wife and I grew up. They have no devices. They don't watch much TV at all. The only TV in a common room they can get to has a parental lock code on it, so we dole out the TV time sparingly. The kids have chores that they must do each day to earn their monthly allowance, like feeding the dog and cats, doing the dishes, etc. They do have a set routine, although they don't have to wake up by alarm clock early in the morning to get on a school bus. Instead they're supposed to get up at 8 (usually they're up long before that), do their morning chores, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush hair and teeth, and by 9 start their schoolwork that my wife set out the day before. If they're focused that day (rarely happens), then they're done with their schoolwork in about 2 hours and it's off to play. I'm making generalizations here. It takes a bit longer for the older two as they have more work to do and the youngest is mostly learning colors and letters. It can be chaos, and if each of them need direct instruction then it's a serial task and the teaching stretches out throughout the day. We don't follow the school schedule, so we teach throughout the year, taking breaks while others are stuck in school for camping and other trips. They do some enrichment classes at the natural history museum in Houston, as well as some others that I'm not around for and can't remember off the top of my head. There are days off where one or more may have a doctor's or dentist appointment. School happens up to 6 days a week and continues during the summer. Actually, continuing from one grade directly into the next skips a month of year end review in one grade and a month of review/reteaching at the beginning of the next year, so they're able to breeze through the work a bit better. If you compare the kids against what the public schools say they should know by certain ages then some are ahead and some are behind, but in different subjects. My son is ahead in math, but a bit behind in reading. Just the opposite for my oldest as she's read all the kids books in our house (5-6 full height bookcases worth) multiple times over, but she's working through the same math as my son. Grade wise, the kids are 2 years apart each, just based on their ages on August 1st.

Overall it's a different life for my kids than what I had growing up. I don't envy my wife at all when it comes to having to manage all 4 of the kids. I can't stand taking them to appointments sometimes, as they may see it as a field trip and start goofing off when it's time to listen to the doctor.

In any case, this should give a lot more clarity into what I'm looking at doing here.
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Oneida Dust Deputy (on 5g bucket bolted to a 10g oil drum, used only with planer & jointer)
RFGuy
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Re: Self-study guide as homeschool shop class curriculum?

Post by RFGuy »

Adrian,

Thanks. You and your wife have your hands full. We decided two was enough for us to handle. Maybe off topic, maybe not. On the electronics side, for future Electrical Engineers :) , I posted about my efforts with my kids in the past. There are some great electronics kits available from many sources. The best program I have seen is Thimble which I got in on with their initial Kickstarter campaign. Basically a different electronics kit centered around an Arduino microcontroller each month. Their website was more tutorial focused for each kit and walked the kids through step by step. I was there to supervise, go into more detail, help with coding, soldering, etc. for them. From Kickstarter it was a canned program where you received a different hobby kit each month for a full year to do and explore. Check out my past link below and let me know if you have any questions. Not woodworking, but given your last post, thought there might be some interest to have something like this to incorporate into your home school curriculum for them. Good luck!

viewtopic.php?p=265830#p265830
📶RF Guy

Mark V 520 (Bought New '98) | 4" jointer | 6" beltsander | 12" planer | bandsaw | router table | speed reducer | univ. tool rest
Porter Cable 12" Compound Miter Saw | Rikon 8" Low Speed Bench Grinder w/CBN wheels | Jessem Clear-Cut TS™ Stock Guides
Festool (Emerald): DF 500 Q | RO 150 FEQ | OF 1400 EQ | TS 55 REQ | CT 26 E
DC3300 | Shopvac w/ClearVue CV06 Mini Cyclone | JDS AirTech 2000 | Sundstrom PAPR | Dylos DC1100 Pro particulate monitor
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