Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ok, so here goes nothing

For a while now, I've been toying with the idea of teaching.

I grew up with a disabled younger brother and it seems to me that I started teaching him to do things before I learned to do much, myself. He has difficulty with speech and as a child, I acted as his interpreter. I remember showing him how to do up his coat zipper and how to tie his shoes. We were raised in a large family and the notion that "it takes a village to raise a child" was alive and well in our community. As the first grandchildren/niece/nephew, we benefited from a lot of one-on-one learning. Passing practical skills on to others with patience and encouragement is something that I understand because I experienced so much of it, growing up, and I've always felt compelled to give some of that back.

Now, I am not a professional teacher (though my husband is), but I've always believed that knowledge is power and that it is the responsibility of those who have it to impart it onto those who don't. I grew up knowing just how lucky I am to have been born with a full capacity for learning. My brother is 29 and though his condition is complicated, I would put his mental age at 10 years. It was only a matter of chance that I was born with the ability to learn and I've never (not for one second, I'm proud to say) taken it for granted.

I'm starting this blog because it was suggested to me by someone I am currently teaching to knit. Her husband has a blog on which she occasionally posts her crafts projects. She mentioned that she wanted to start knitting items for her children and I knew enough about where she lives and the resources available to her that I suspected it may prove to be challenging for her. I offered to teach her over the internet and for the past month, we've been corresponding about it. We chose a sweater that we both like, and though I have no children to knit for, we are each in the process of knitting it. She mentioned that she'd like to post all of the instruction pages I've sent her, so I'm setting this up as a way to do that. I'd like to invite any beginner knitter interested in learning how to knit a sweater to download and use the materials I created.

When our project is complete, I'm going to continue creating tutorials on some of the other projects I'm working on. I do a lot of sewing, knitting, cooking, canning, building things (sounds vague, I know, but we'll explore that later), painting, drawing, and the list goes on - heck, I even know how to macramé. I'd like to invite anyone who has a specific question to contact me, so that I can put together and post something that answers their question - I'd like this blog to be a virtual tutoring session. I'm going to put things together in pdf format, so that they can easily be downloaded and printed out. I'm not interested in taking your money, but I do ask that you not use them for financial gain or without attributing them to me.

So, here goes nothing. I have to figure out how to post pdf's to this thing (one more thing to learn - it never ends!) and we'll be in business.

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