Sunday, July 5, 2009

self-directed creativity

In the spirit of learning all the time, I really wanted to keep my mind and my children's minds active this summer. We are all 3 voracious readers, so I was not really worried about keeping the books cracked open. (my husband, dear man, reads out of necessity) the rest of us read like tomorrow is our dying day.
My last post was about teaching the kids to read a sewing pattern, and as it turned out, pajama pants only require one pattern piece, cut twice--once right side up, once, well you know, the other way.
We have not yet completed the pants but I will not give in to despair. A couple of days ago our kids played with their neighborhood friends, and embarked upon an impromptu art project.
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING, PEOPLE....THERE IT WAS! right on our back sidewalk--3 girls, 2 boys. ages 11 down to 6. kids with varying interests such as knitting, star-wars, lego, american girl...nagging, yelping, and all those other endearing qualities. But somehow in the midst of their usual roller coaster ride that is the life of girls... The kids came up with their own project idea, gathered materials and tools, and just busted out the door and CREATED!
So now I am reflecting on what stars had to align, which elements had to to be in place--
you know, so i can guarantee this will happen again. The biggest component to this thrilling and beautiful display of creativity and cooperation was this: I said YES. I did not get involved or play 20 questions. I didn't ask why, what, and if it would be sticky or whatever... I just said yes and trusted that they would not injure themselves or destroy the property with a spray bottle, markers, paper, and scissors.
Sure, our 2 families have craft supplies at the ready, we moms are both knitters-the other mom more than me...she and i both have the desire that we (kids/parents) are ALWAYS LEARNING...we are lifelong learners, we are aware of teachable moments,etc., and the best way to lead is by example.
Sometimes learning and creativity happen, and the adults just have to get out of the way and let it happen.


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