of the road. Properly taught, shop classes
become applied academics—a hands-on
lab of sorts for other classes—helping all
other areas of study.
Integrating shop classes into your
home education is truly going against
the grain, but doing so gives your child
a great advantage in the marketplace.
The skills they learn will be a large part
of who they become, and it will benefit
them both personally and professionally.
The Homeschool Shop Class
Lest you think I am only talking about
training boys, my wife and I have four
kids—three are girls. All of our kids are
learning the same shop skills, and I train
both girls and boys in our workshops.
I recommend you work with your
student(s) side by side. Don’t overthink it,
and don’t worry if you aren’t mechanically
inclined. Start with something you can
complete in a single day, using tools you
already have, and ask your student(s) what
they would like to do. Kilroy’s Workshop
has a free at-home starter lesson available
at www.Kilroys Workshop.com/lesson.
Be sure to track your hours for high
school. According to HSLDA, one credit
is equal to 120 hours of class time. You
can count any shop class as an elective.
If you do not have the skill or confi-
dence to train your student in a particu-
lar area, find a local trade or enrichment
class, talk to a friend who works in that
trade, or even stop by local businesses
with your student to pick up as much
knowledge as you can. Many local hard-
ware stores offer classes. Take this op-
portunity to learn a new skill together.
Craftsmen are in every community. Just
seek them out.
If you want to dig into a topic yourself
but just need a little confidence boost or
instruction, join a forum. Kilroy’s Workshop has a forum that is specifically designed for kids. It requires an account
and is moderated. If you locate another
woodworking forum where your child
is engaging with others, be sure to check
the feedback, as most sites are geared toward adults.
The Legacy of Craft
We all leave a legacy, and part of my dad’s
is a love of the industrial arts. When my
parents passed away and my siblings
and I divided the assets, the first thing I
selected was my father’s workbench. It
is beat up and would barely fetch $10 at
a garage sale, but it is his bench. Keep
the crafts alive and make the skills your
children learn in your homeschool shop
class part of your legacy.
Ron and his wife Susan homeschool their
four children in Falcon, CO. Ron founded
Kilroy’s Workshop to train teens in shop
skills, and equip homeschool parents to
do the same. He is a board member of A
Daughter’s Heart and 4Gens ministries,
both of which encourage parents to focus
on the legacy they leave for their kids. Ron
is the co-author of five books, has written
numerous magazine articles, and speaks
at conferences on a regular basis. Follow
Kilroys Workshop on Twitter to see some of
our current projects. #Train Them.