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XIS offers woodworking class for students starting at 6th grade. We believe that it provides the students the opportunity to practically apply what they learn in other classes as well as teach them how to use tools safety, importer their fine motor skills, give them an opportunity express their creativity and see a project through from concept to completion.  

This semester, six middle school students are making toolboxes primarily using hand tools. From being unfamiliar with the most of these tools to using them confidently and appropriately the students have made much progress in their knowledge and skills about wood, tools and the building process. From pull saws to block planes, sandpaper to power drills they are slowly mastering the use of hand tools. While this is great to see, the best part is seeing them help each other. Complementing other’s weaknesses with their strengths. Not all students are working at the same speed, but the care to detail is showing in the quality of their work.   

In addition, in preparing these students for success in the marketplace, we feel that working skills are not enough. Knowledge and skills may get a job, but wisdom and character help a person thrive and lead in that field. Towards this end, we integrate Occupational Character Development into our curriculum, giving students a chance to reflect on carefully chosen stories, parables and sayings, discuss the morals and how they should …or should not be applied to their life. We enjoy seeing the great insights shared in these discussions.   

Each student has their own unique personalities and skills. They are certainly different but all have shown excellence in different ways.   

We are excited not only to see their finished toolboxes but to see them develop more into life- long learners and tomorrow’s leaders!