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Teaching 10 Year Olds to Knit Online

I am looking for advice on teaching children (9 - 11 year olds) to knit in a live, online, once a week (for six weeks) class.

I am a teacher by profession, and an intermediate knitter, who has taught after-school knitting (just the basics) classes to about 20 students in total. I recently began teaching online and decided to try a class on knitting. There are about six students signed up and I am getting nervous about not being there in person to physically pick up their needles and make corrections or pull up a dropped stitch.

The plan is to have them cast on with worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles. By casting on 30 to 40 stitches, they will have a the option to knit a very simple garter stitch hat or a scarf, if they are liking the whole knitting process, OR, it it’s not going so well, they can bind off early and call their creation a bookmark or a doll blanket or … In my past experience, children have really wanted to make something, but some run out of gas. They tend to be content with their decision, and I feel good that I have exposed them to knitting. I am willing to be flexible, but am thinking that if I give them an goal to shoot for, we can always punt along the way. For those who really connect with the process, they will be well on their way to making a finished product, perfecting their knitting as they go along.

So… what do you think? Am I forgetting something? Any teaching online advice?

Thanks so much!

I’m not very familiar with 9-10 year olds - not since my girls were that age - and they are now 22 and 25!

But until I retired last year, I taught online college courses since the days of bulletin boards! And yes, hanging my head sheepishly, I was indeed a sysop for a few. I’m also familiar with teaching knitting to the Girl Scout troops I used to have.

The main advice I can give you for online classes is to pull the camera back and tilt it until you are almost looking up at it. My Broadcasting colleagues tell me that’s the best way to demonstrate something. It gives you the full “field” to show your hands and one always looks like they are showing their good side from a downward camera angle! Also, depending on the app or program you are using, you might want to use the “raise your hand to talk” button - if not, the online format can easily lead to people cross-talking and conversing with each other instead of listening to instructions.

One thing I have noticed, both with the troop and myself when I was very young and learning to knit, is that it seems to be easier to hold the needles at right angles to each other. It looks like top and right sides of a square. I just go with it. As long as they’re interested in and learning the basics, the needles will come down eventually. I think you are absolutely right about the size of the needles and the weight of the yarn!

Good luck with your class! I’m enthusiastic for you and really want to hear how it goes!

I

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Well, after several weeks, it looks like the knitters ARE learning how to knit. It IS more difficult to teach online, and you aren’t sitting with them in person, but with the help of a second camera (my phone) mounted on a small tripod, I’ve been able to demonstrate what to do. Thanks for your suggestions! I really appreciate the support!

Paula

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