Customer Reviews (9)
Another Prespective: Consider Starting a Woodworking Program at Your Church
With educators slashing budgets across the U.S.--and an intensifying focus on core curriculum in reading, math and science--one of the really essential elements of a good education is becoming an endangered species. I'm talking about what most Baby Boomers once knew as "Shop Class." While vocational education is alive and well in many communities, we still need a whole lot more "hands on" programs for kids to start working with tools.
Many community groups are filing this gap. Scouting groups help. But religious groups can get involved, as well, if adults get some help in how to organize equipment, supplies and basic projects. The number of adults who know how to do this is also a rapidly dwindling circle. So, a huge "thank you" to Michael Bentinck-Smith for producing "It Wood Be Fun."
Michael Bentinck-Smith was the woodworking teacher at Lower School of Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts, for 41 years. He specialized in teaching children from kindergarten through 6th grade. His new 120-page book is as clear, as logically designed and as productive as his classes.
The chapters are geared for adults working with 5- to 10-year-old children. First, he describes how to create and equip a work and storage area. Note: This book is geared toward teaching kids to use hand tools, so he's talking about tools like a plane, hammer, rasp, coping saw, crosscut saw, hand drill and chisel. He also describes raw materials to gather for these projects that most congregations will find easy to collect or purchase. The projects, which include detailed plans and instructions for teachers, include things that many of us may have produced back in school, including: a bookshelf (or video-game shelf), a lamp, a rocking horse, a dollhouse, a chair or a toy castle.
My recommendation: Order a copy of "It Wood Be Fun: Woodworking With Children" from Amazon, read through the material and see if you can't inspire someone--perhaps you--to get busy and help some kids in your community learn a skill and a creative vision that will grow with them throughout their lives. And don't limit your vision to your own household or existing groups like Scouting groups. There are hundreds of thousands of congregations nationwide that work with young people on a weekly basis. Consider adapting these ideas to your congregation.
A must for any parent who wants to introduce their child into the wonderful world of woodworking
A Good craft teaches perseverance and patience. "It Wood Be Fun: Woodworking with Children" delves into the value of crafts for young people along with plenty of starter projects and advice for working with wood to create and build. From useful items to trinkets to toys, "It Wood Be Fun" is a must for any parent who wants to introduce their child into the wonderful world of woodworking.
The nation needs to return to the colonial way of life, when a wife was judged by the amount of wood she could split.-W.C Fields
My husband and son enjoy doing man projects together, so I got this for them.I am not the handiest of women, but while skimming through the pages after receiving the book, I knew I could do these projects, too.
The author gives you all the direction you need to complete your woodworking projects.He outlines the tools and materials needed, the time it will take to complete the project, and then gives you step by step instructions going so far as to tell you what parts are better for the adult to take over, and what parts the kids can do.There are helpful pictures and even some comments at the end to congratulate your finished project, or tell you how to switch up a design.
This book is definitely for amateurs and the tool list he suggests you use are all manual.I would think all the tools are what most people have in their homes already, I know we did.We were even able to make some of the projects even easier by using electrical tools here and there.For the most part we stayed with the manual tools so that my son could do the majority of the work.
Written by a woodworking teacher with over 40 years experience, this book is idiot proof.The instructions are so clear and easy to follow it's impossible to screw up!
Cherise Everhard, August 2010
Excellent format for teaching greater lessions
Having myself published several articles on woodworking and having spent time presenting to elementary and middle school children, I eagerly anticipated receipt and reading of Mr. Bentinck's book. Safe, accurate construction with wood requires a clear understanding of tools and techniques combined with the ability to focus on the activity. Each of these elements presents a challenge when working elementary school aged children, and I was most curious to see how Mr. Bentinck approached them.
It is worth noting that Mr. Bentinck has a firm grounding in child education with over forty years of experience teaching kindergarten through sixth grade. His familiarity and understanding of the young learner's mind are evident throughout the book.
Audience: The introduction states that it is geared for five to ten year olds, but after reading the book, I would say that it is written for parents and teachers of five to ten year olds who wish to help these children improve hand/eye coordination, analytical skills, and self-esteem. The book essentially creates an enjoyable framework for adults to interact and assist children. Simply handing this book to a five to ten year old will not accomplish these intended goals.
Format: The book is written much like a teacher's lesson plan. It begins with a brief overview of the participants (children and adults) then moved on to equipment (tools). The book follows this very linear (building-block) path throughout. For example: The care and use of tools is discussed prior to introducing the first project.Much of this preliminary information appears to be directed toward the adult with the intent that age appropriate bits are related to the child.
Projects: The chapter that begins to introduce actual woodworking projects is outstanding in that it provides insights for the adult in terms of likely problems and obstacles (child frustration, fatigue, safety issues). Not only are these noted, but recommended responses are also discussed as well.
The projects proposed are, like the book, presented in a simple-to-complex sequence. However, even the early, simple, projects are interesting enough to engage a child and motivate completion. One of the very first projects is a simple boat project, but with the added appeal that the finished boat has a rubber band powered paddle wheel, making the completed project more than just a model to set on a shelf. Other projects teach techniques for achieving accuracy (a simple box) or clever and useful items such as wooden shoes. Again, designs that are interesting, but teach at the same time.
Project progression: The projects proposed in the book begin with simple, basic designs then proceeds to successively more complex and useful, designs. Both toys and utility items (such as mailboxes and desks) are included in the proposed designs.
Age/gender appropriateness: It apparent from the selection of projects, that the author intended the book for use with both male and female children. Gender neutral, as well as, gender biased projects are included in the list of proposed projects
As for age appropriateness, the range or projects appears adequate to engage the interest of six to ten year olds. This being said, it must also be noted that the book is designed to be used in a collaborative effort between the child and adult teacher/supervisor.
Summary: Understanding the difficulty of capturing and holding the attention of elementary school aged children, I give It Wood Be Fun, Woodworking with Children very high marks. The book is very well targeted to its intended audience, thorough in its presentation and (most importantly) structured to create a fertile learning environment.
For the parent or teacher looking for a means to help children improve hand-eye coordination, thinking skills, and self-esteem, It Wood Be Fun, Woodworking with Children would be hard to beat. Highly recommended reading.
This is a fascinating book about work working.
It Wood Be Fun is an informative book about wood working. This book is designed for children, but adults can learn a lot from this book too. There is a sense of pride making something with my two hands.I made a car out pine wood as a child, and that is still one of my favorite childhood memories. Michael Bentnick Smith identifies the various kinds of different tools.He also talks and the proper way to use and care for each tool.I didn't even know what a chisel or a rasp looked like or what they are used for. This is valuable information, even though I don't work with wood now.
He details step by step how to make each project. I would love to try to make some of these projects if I had more time and better coordination of my hands. I am always looking for a place to sit, so I think I would enjoy making a chair. I would enjoy making a sign to mark my property. I am always looking for comfortable shoes, so I would have fun making shoes out of wood. Anyone who is looking for something fun and creative to do will enjoy reading this book.
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