How Knitting Makes Me a Better Teacher

I have to laugh when people tell me that they wouldn’t have the patience to knit. You see, I knit because I’m not particularly patient! If I’m sitting still, I tend to fidget. Just ask my IT staff about my pen-clicking and pencil-tapping habits… Knitting, it turns out, rarely annoys people and is a productive use of my excess fidgetiness.

But what does that have to do with teaching? Well, if you are a teacher you know how painful it can be listening to a beginning reader read aloud. Sitting next to my new readers and listening to them laboriously figuring out the words and reading ever so s…l…o…w…l…y makes me terribly fidgety. Almost more so than my children some days! I have to fight the temptation to constantly jump in and “help” them read. So when it’s time to listen to one of the kids read, I grab some of my knitting that I can work on without looking at it and manage to sit patiently and calmly, no matter how long it takes to read just one paragraph! A bit unorthodox perhaps, but that’s the beauty of home education, isn’t it?

When my daughter is solving math problems, it’s not unusual to see her standing next to the table. It took me a bit to get over the idea that learning can only happen if my children are sitting at the dining room table. I do insist that they sit at the table to do their penmanship. Any different seems to make their handwriting significantly worse. But if standing next to the table helps Munchkin concentrate better on her word problems, then that’s OK. If sitting with me on the couch helps Mr. Q relax and read with fewer mistakes, then that’s OK. And if knitting while the kids are reading aloud to me helps me to sit back calmly and just let them read, then that’s OK too.

2 Replies to “How Knitting Makes Me a Better Teacher”

  1. Teish, does this work with quilting too? My sister JUST taught me how to knit, and I have to say, it’s not brainless. I DO have a quilt that needs finishing, though . . . hmmm. Now I’m thinking . . .

  2. It probably would Kim! I couldn’t imagine being able to knit without looking when I first learned, but Mom told me that it would just come with time. 🙂 I just find it difficult to just sit and have nothing for my hands to do. (This is why I always grab my knitting whenever Aaron and I sit down to watch a movie!)

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