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  • Writer's picturePaul Hogendoorn

HANDS ON SKILLS - TIME TO BRING THEM BACK TO SCHOOL

School is back - what a wonderful time of the year! The same grandkids that were counting down the days until summer just a few months ago were eager for the beginning of a new, fresh school year last week. The curriculum is always changing, being adjusted and tweaked to what's import, for our kids as they grow up and develop. There's been a lot of discussion the last year or two about bringing more hands on skills and trade skills into our high schools, but I think its important to start even before that - right at the very beginning of their elementary school career.


Earlier generations gave their kids not just pre-engineered Lego kits (which I think are excellent), but bags of basic plastic blocks with no set designs, boxes of wooden building blocks, "mechano" sets, and small hammer and tool kits to mimic the work they saw their parents doing around the house and in their basements.


A few years ago, some of the big box building centers started a Saturday program aimed at developing the appetite for woodworking and small construction in very young kids. I watched with glee as little girls and boys put on the orange apron and eagerly learned the basics of cutting and hammering and making something from wood. It made me wonder why something that simple and fun, and constructive, and educational, wasn't added to the school curriculum. Maybe local building centers would partner with elementary schools in their areas - it shouldn't be too hard to do, and I'm guessing they'd be eager to do it.


It would be a win-win-win; a win for the kids, a win for the schools, and a win for the building centers that take the lead and help get it done.

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