I know the feeling regarding the need to take a break from crafting, although mine was due to ill health and fortunately only lasted seven years until the rheumatologist eventually tripped over a more aggressive medical treatment capable of slowing the progress of the disease. I am on borrowed crafting time, but making hay while the sun shines and enjoying the time I have teaching my son. 😀
Paul’s approach is sound and one not too dissimilar to the manner in which I trained and continued teaching apprentices. In terms of providing a solid background in hand tooling, I can’t think of a better route than the one Paul encourages because tool maintenance must take priority alongside well co-ordinated rote learning. The temptation is always there for one to try and rush ahead, but – whilst some begin crafting as if they were born to it – not all learn at the same pace and this is where patient substantive support from others can make a very real difference.