Unique and exciting, the woodworking program at Westland builds on a time-honored progressive education tradition of students engaging in hands-on activities, problem solving with materials, and experiencing the joy of making something themselves.

Students’ woodworking projects are linked to their social studies themes. Projects become more challenging as the students grow and mature, and children learn to safely handle age-appropriate tools suited to their ability and experience. A full-time teacher/woodworker guides them every step of the way in our woodworking studio.


More than just building things, our projects engage children in creative problem-solving.In making their plans reality and through experimentation, they come up with their own methodologies to navigate setbacks and “make it work.” They learn to treat failures as feedback, incorporating discoveries into ever-evolving solutions to problems. They also develop design, math, and measuring skills—a natural complement to what they are learning throughout the curriculum. This process-oriented approach allows students to find solutions, build confidence, and work at their own pace.

In working with wood, children experience immense and immediate gratification and become very connected to their projects. There is a lasting power and sense of accomplishment in constructing a physical thing, and watching the children work, you can see the excitement on their faces as they saw, sand, and build.