Being a Homemaker is a multi-faceted job. We want to learn new skills that will help us further our effectiveness in this ministry. But have you ever wanted to learn a new skill and not know where to begin? Have you ever wished you could fill in the “gaps” but were unsure as to how to go about it on your own? Well, let me tell you about the Autodidactic Homemaker.
An “autodidact” is a person who knows where to get the information he needs and teaches himself. You already have a wealth of resources in your hands, and in this post I’d like to point you to a few of them, and show you how you and your daughters can take the plunge into broadening your repertoire of skills by becoming autodidacts.
First stop, the Library! Is there a public library in your area? I highly recommend getting a library card if you haven’t already, and don’t be shy of making friends with the librarians, either!
When I want to investigate a new topic or a lost art, I usually start at Amazon.com and browse their titles and reviews. If I find some helpful-looking books, I take the list down to the library. Sometimes I find the books I need, sometimes I can’t. What do I do then? If your library is part of an Inter-Library Loan system like mine is, then you have a great blessing available to you! I can request my library to borrow books from other libraries. (This is also very helpful if I’m considering buying a book, but want to make sure it’s worth the money.)
Other times I just go to the library’s website with an idea of what I want and can search their own list of titles. If I want to browse the books themselves, the Dewey Decimal System has made it just as easy to find what I need. Here is a simple list of the classifications:
The Dewey Decimal Classification System
000 – Computer science, information & general works
100 – Philosophy and psychology
200 – Religion
300 – Social sciences
400 – Language
500 – Science (including mathematics)
600 – Technology
700 – Arts and recreation
800 – Literature
900 – History, geography, and biography
By just going to the library and becoming familiar with my favorite treasure troves (such as the 700’s section), I have learned many things useful in my giftings as well as homemaking skills.
Next, the Internet. This seems like a no-brainer, but let me tell you—I even forget about it myself. One day I was stumped with a knitting project. “It’s too late to go to the library,” I moaned. “I’ll never figure out this rat’s nest.” My brilliant mother said, “Look up a YouTube video on it! I’m sure they have lots.” And they did! And I’m sure they have tutorials on whatever you want to learn, too. What have you been itching to learn? Dig it up!
Lastly, on this very condensed list, are Friends. Now, this really doesn’t fall under the self-teaching category, but part of being an autodidact is knowing where to find the information you need. Perhaps you would like to learn how to use your sewing machine, or how to crochet, or how to alter a pattern. Do you have a friend who knows how to do these things? Well, put on a kettle of tea and invite her over to show you how!
Our local library has gatherings and classes for different arts and crafts. See if there are any classes in your area; or better yet, start your own! Have someone who knows the craft come and teach in your home for special mother-daughter night for you and your friends. A few years ago my mother, sister, and I hosted a small gathering of girls called “The Needlework Society” where, every few weeks, we would learn new hand crafts taught by my mother and some of our friends. We have many fond memories of fellowship as well as learning new skills.
Whatever you want to learn, there are plenty of resources already at your fingertips. All it takes is finding your information, gathering your materials, and the time and dedication to conquer! So what are you waiting for? Jump in!