At some point, many adults find that they have enough time and energy to spare which they can invest in learning a new hobby or picking up a useful skill. While it’s never too late to learn anything, in practice one can only train in a few disciplines at a time. Thus, people who are practically inclined will want to spend their efforts on acquiring a skill that is interesting and has useful applications in life.
Here’s the case for woodworking as one of the best examples of this skill and why any household can benefit from counting a woodworker among its members:
Picking up a life skill
The teaching of vocational skills such as woodworking as part of our standard curriculum fell out of favor decades ago. There are many reasons to regret this, among them the fact that woodworking has been a life skill for humans going back thousands of years. With a hammer, chisel, saw, and plane, as well as some modern innovations like expanding wood glue, anyone could start their first carpentry project.
But most of us lack the foundational training required to complete even simple projects, and the motivation to master this useful skill. The Internet is your friend. Look around the house. For every piece of wooden furniture or spot that’s in need of repair, you can find a DIY tutorial telling you how to go about it. Save money, maintain your home, and build your own chairs and tables. It’s hard to beat woodworking for practical value.
An activity for the kids
Becoming your family’s go-to handyman for years to come isn’t the only reason to pick up this skill. Like a few other adult hobbies, woodworking can be a great activity for your kids. As a form of problem-solving, it helps develop their spatial intelligence and teaches them math without them even realizing it! Working with their hands, listening to the sounds of their tools, smelling the wood, practicing coordinated movements – all of these contribute to a vivid sensory learning experience.
Your role in this aspect is to teach them basic safety and assign projects appropriate to their level. Give them the freedom to work and experiment, and learn through small mistakes. They will be able to develop their creativity and critical thinking while gaining a big confidence boost from accomplishing something through the efforts of their hands.
Bonus points if you’re teaching carpentry to a girl. Mastering this traditionally masculine craft will let them know from an early age that there are no barriers to what she can do.
Helping the environment
Working with wood teaches you the qualities and possibilities of the material. Not only do you thus acquire a craftsman’s respect for every bit of wood; you also understand the potential of refurbishing and working with distressed wood. Putting this skill into the hands of the individual reduces the demand for mass manufacturers to constantly consume more lumber, as you can address most of your family’s needs by working with existing wood products.
With the current environmental crisis looming large into the future, you can simply leverage the work of your hands to contribute more to a sustainable lifestyle.
If you’re looking to learn an interesting hobby that’s also a valuable life skill, look no further than woodworking. With a few basic implements and techniques, you can easily make a difference around the house for years to come.