Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

Knitting Is Homeschooling?


That’s the question I was asked today. I had Luca on my lap, helping little fingers so their work. Beekee looked at me in surprise when I asked Luca if knitting school was the best.

This is really where unschooling comes in. Anything can be a learning moment. Why does it need to fit the traditional label of “school” anyway? Isn’t learning for the sake of learning enough? That’s really the root of unschooling.

I still remember the day Luca went with me to the craft store on a mission to find some knitting needles I needed. I pointed out the cute kid’s needles and Luca announced that they had bears, so Luca needed them. I always thought they were vaguely animal of a non-specific sort, but bears never occurred to me. This was met with telling Luca “no” and stopping the ensuing meltdown of tires kid by changing to, “If we get them, you have to learn to knit.”

Just like that we had needles in hand and a quest to get some yarn, blue yarn, Luca’s favorite color. The first ball Luca liked was a pretty deep blue, but at $5 for a ball, I opted to keep looking to see if we could find a cheaper solution to the probably swiftly abandoned new hobby. Luca clung to that ball like it was treasure, needles clutched tightly alongside. I feared for whoever tried to separate the two.

Then there it was, this perfect, bright blue yarn with a sparkling rainbow strand twisted in. The best part? It was on clearance for $2. Not only did Luca love it, but the other ball was swiftly tossed back into it’s bin and Luca came barreling after me to grab this new, sparkly treasure.

Guiding Luca’s hands, we started knitting the next day. Luca was excited to start the day we brought everything home, but it was too late and everyone was too tired. The first few days we went one row at a time across twenty stitches, me guiding Luca through the steps.

Then one day we just stopped. The bag of yarn and the needles were stuffed on the shelf under my nightstand and forgotten. Soon Luca’s brothers were home and Luca’s knitting was forgotten.

Just yesterday I unearthed the bag while looking for I forget what. We sat down together and Luca worked through the first stitches, seemingly not needing my help at all. I was just there to steady the needles and to help slide the stitches and hold the needles in place when Luca changed grips. We worked through two rows then and there.

Today it was back to knitting again. Luca cruised through three more rows, stopping now and again to count how many stitches were left. I guess now is as good a time as any to work on counting to twenty. The work was almost easy.

For not even being five yet, Luca’s stitches are incredibly near and even. This little garter stitch scarf is looking pretty good. It’s a sport weight yarn, so the weave is a little loose, but I don’t think that will matter much to Luca. Luca just can’t wait to get to wear it. If course, at a row or three a day, it could still take a year, but we’re getting there.

Now Sander and Beekee want to learn. I can get them each their own set of knitting needles and a cheap ball of yarn and they’ll be on their way too. It’s nice to have them interested in the hobby I pursue, and it’s a lifelong skill. Knitting may not be as useful as car repair or something of that nature, but it does allow you to make some pretty nice, quality stuff. Plus it’s a hobby that results in a wearable product, making it both fun and useful!

This is what unschooling is really about. Sharing your passions and helping them discover theirs. This is all of why we do it.


Author: Fox

With four kids, who has time for much? We spend a lot of time together, which translates to a lot of knitting time for me when we hang out. We've been trying to get back to our unschooling roots. We watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, and pay attention to the things we notice in our everyday life. It's been quite the big adventure!

8 thoughts on “Knitting Is Homeschooling?

  1. Yes, knitting counts. It is a life skill. It also keeps fingers more nimble as a person grows. I love to knit, I am just not very good at it. But I keep trying.

    • I’m definitely a knitter. I just don’t do it as often as I would like. I like knitting with Luca because it gives me a chance to knit when there’s no project I have to work on.

      • I like to knit, but my hands do not always cooperate. I injured my wrists a few years ago, which makes anything repetitious-like knitting-painful. It is easier when I wear my wrist brace.

      • My hands hurt when I knit sometimes, and my skin is bad in the winter, which sometimes makes knitting painful, so I totally get that. I’m just glad I can share it with my kids.

      • My dad tried to teach me how to knit, but he had sever nerve damage in his hands. Also, hs arthristis was so bad at times, that he struggled to hold a cup without spilling. So he sent me to spend a week with my aunt. It was a blast! My dad is the one who taught me to sew with a machine.

      • My grandmother attempted to teach me to knit. I kept adding stitches and she had no idea how. I didn’t get anywhere with it until I was pregnant with Beekee. My grandmother and my mom did teach me to sew on a machine. I just wish I’d kept with it more. I would totally teach my kids!

      • I am trying to get back into sewing. My two oldest want to learn and keep asking me about it. It is a good skill to have.

      • It definitely is. It’s not used so much as a practical life skill, but it’s always good to know how to make minor repairs and sew a button back on at the very least.

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