During class the other day Silly Boy, one of my homeroom kiddos who is one of the silliest kids I know, got all worked up because he'd lost a button off of his shirt.
The kids were busy working on a group activity about Newton's Laws when Silly Boy came up and asked me what to do with the button that had popped off his flannel shirt.
"Well, take it home and sew it on," I suggested. "Or have your mom do it."
"I don't know how to sew, and I'll probably lose it before I get home," he admitted. At least he's honest. This is a kid who loses his locker several times a week because he can't remember to bring his books to class.
"You don't know how to sew on a button?" I asked, figuring that was one of those life skills that everyone pretty much knew how to do, sort of like boiling water. Granted, Silly Boy is, after all, a boy so maybe he missed the "how to use a needle and thread" lesson somewhere in life.
Which got me to thinking. Maybe he's not alone.
So, while I went to my desk and whipped out my "housewife" (you Civil War buffs will know what I'm talking about but it's a reproduction sewing kit that soldiers would use to do their own mending - me, I use it to fix things at school) I stopped the kids for a minute and asked them if any of them knew how to sew on a button.
My jaw about dropped. Out of 23 kids, two raised their hands.
"Seriously?" I said. "You don't know how to sew on a button? What do you do when you lose one?"
The answers varied from "I dunno", to "Give it to mom/grandma/older sister" to "Don't wear it anymore".
Oh dear. Even the girls, many of them in Girl Scouts at some point in their lives, didn't know how to sew on a button. They were, I might add, just fascinated as they watched me sew the button back on Silly Boy's shirt (with him still in it, squirmy little twerp that he was). Most of my kids don't come from money and the fact that they can't do basic clothing repairs just blows my mind.
So I'm thinking...the last week of school, when we're wrapping up the year, I just may get a bunch of buttons, fabric scraps, and needles and thread and teach these kids one of those basic life skills - sewing on a button.