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Seattle-Area Families Find Unexpected Learning Opportunities at Home

From potty training to puppy training and more

Published on: March 31, 2020

Seattle-Area Families Find Unexpected Learning Opportunities at Home

George Smith sews reusable towels. Image courtesy of Lucy Smith


Lucy Smith is the mother of 10; right now she’s home in Renton with six boys (her five youngest sons, plus her grandson) and three dogs. In a house full of boys, she was excited when George, her 13-year-old, showed an interest in sewing.

“When he jumped on the sewing thing — not that it’s a ‘girly’ thing — I was like, ‘Do you want to do crafts?’” Lucy said.

George got his introduction to sewing in his home economics class at Nelsen Middle School, before the school closure.

“At first, he was your typical boy: ‘This is stupid. Why do I have to do this?’ Well, he fell in love with sewing,” Lucy said.

George asked for a little hand-sewing kit, and used it to fix his brother’s hoodie. The other night, they were bored and he said, “Let’s sew something.” Lucy pulled out the sewing machine and some terry cloth and flannel. She needed more reusable “paper” towels, and it was the perfect time for a project.

“They're reusable paper towels,” Lucy said. “It’s not like they have to be beautiful, they're just for drying your hands.”

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