Using Real Tools For Real Learning

I am a firm believer in allowing kids to use real tools whenever possible.  Since we've begun homeschooling we have taught our boys how to handle most household tools-- knives, scissors, screwdrivers, vacuum cleaner, etc.

There is always a little fear that they might get hurt but we do teach them how to safely handle the tools we are using, we watch them using the tools the first few times they handle a new tool, and we remind them of some key safety points each time they go to use a tool.  But I do feel like letting them use real tools leads to a much deeper and better understanding of all that It can do.

 Ian had a friend over for the day and they spent the majority of time outside.

They dug holes and built a mini garage for all of Ian's trucks.  I was impressed when I went to check it out.  To make the garage they had a dug a large hole into the side of the hill, surrounded it with rocks (for the walls) and topped it with boards, twigs, and pine needles for a roof.

They had two large rocks in place as the doors and when they moved the doors I could see all of his trucks lined up inside.  I loved that they worked together, using their imagination and found materials to build something quite functional.

They used a shovel, hand saw, and rake to get their garage just right.

My husband and I (with the help of Ian) are working on finishing a room in our basement.

My husband measured and cut boards while Ian and I drilled holes, held boards in place, snapped chalk lines and handed over tools when needed.

I was pretty amazed to find that Ian knew how to use an electric drill, a hand saw, and a tape measure.  He had to subtract numbers and fractions, he learned why 2x4's are called 2x4's and how big they actually are, he learned how to use a level and why we use shims.  It was a great learning experience for him.

Letting our boys use real tools prepares them for real life so much better than play tools and toys.  As they age they are ready to learn how to properly use the tools safely and they quickly learn the best tools to use for each job.

Do you let your kids use real tools?


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