Even today, it is still more natural for boys to be helping Dad in the workshop, garage or outdoors than girls. In our family, our girls are right in the mix of construction, repairs, and renovations. Even if we had some boys, they would ALL be involved, since our family believes that everyone can wield a tool, fix a broken item, or create with their hands something made of wood or plastic (remember our post on creating with PVC?).
In this age of the Internet, and being able to “Google” everything you could possibly want to know within seconds, life’s little instruction book has become an iPod linked in to the world’s knowledge!
It is important to teach kids to respect the tools at an early age, and that they can use them if they are careful. The confidence and pride I see in our girls (and that I feel myself!) when we work with tools and build or repair something that we can use makes us feel great!
Being a producer in this world is a lesson that everyone should learn. Sometimes, you simply must do things yourself, so why not get used to the idea and be prepared to do so when necessary? Why not learn to enjoy it too?
Not only do the kids learn confidence, but valuable real life math applications as well. If they are having trouble with basic math, have them measure. If they need work on perimeter vs. area, have them help build the deck, with a border, or paint a room with trim. There are countless applications when we put our minds to work with our hands. And letting kids work on projects themselves, or with supervision, gives them such a sense of joy when they have completed their task and accomplished their goal. Then, they can apply these talents elsewhere in life, both now and when they are grown.