Today I sat down with both Tom and Ali to begin teaching them crochet.
I followed Charlotte's advice and kept our lesson short (10-15 min.) so that neither of us would get frustrated. I also gave them each a lesson separately so that I could focus individually.
I followed the advice given here on teaching the basics to children and started by showing (visual) them how to make a slip knot and describing each step along the way. Then I let them try it out. It took a few tries and some extra showing but both of them got it and were able to make a nice slip knot.
Next I showed them the crochet hook and explained the different sizes and how they are lettered or numbered. It is best to start with as large a hook as possible and large yarn but all I had on hand was a size J hook and some wool yarn. Neither Tom or Ali seemed to be bothered by the sizes but if I can locate my size P or Q hook we may try that. I also showed the 2 different ways that the hook can be held (knife or pencil method) but they both automatically grabbed it and held it like I do (knife method).
Initially I started out from the slip knot and demonstrated a few chain stitches. I explained how we wanted to make "fat worms" not "hungry worms" and then showed how this was accomplished. After watching a few stitches being made I handed it over to them to try. After a little bit we found that it worked best for me to direct their hands as we made more stitches. This reduced frustration and correction so that they were able to make several stitches.
Most of our time was spent in proper hand position, holding the yarn and proper yarn tension. But all in all I think it went o.k.
I do think that I will also throughout the week be teaching each of them as well as Emi to finger knit. Working with yarn in this way will take some of the unfamiliarity away and they will be able to get results sooner. Finger knitting is what I first learned to do and spent many years making yards of rope.
You can watch a very good video of instruction for finger knitting here and here and a cute video of a different method here. You can also find some great projects to make using the rope made from finger knitting.
You can also find more info from my first post here.