The Freedom to Create
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I wrote this article after watching my daughter in her homeschooling crafts. She has taught me an amazing lesson about creative homeschooling.
I guess we all have our own ideas about what the projects we do with our children 'should' look like. Perhaps we even envisage what our homeschool as a whole should look like.
But this can lead us to being dissatisfied with our efforts instead of celebrating what we have achieved.
Here is my daughter's story. I hope it helps to change your mind!
Home School Crafts
Once, when my daughter was three, we went to a toddler group that had colouring pages and crayons on a table. It was nearly Christmas.
My daughter pounced on a picture of a reindeer and proceeded to scribble all over the page enthusiastically with a blue crayon
. The little girl next to us was receiving detailed instruction. "Now, colour it carefully between the lines" her mother told her. "Here is a brown crayon."
"I want pink!" came the outburst.
"No dear" smiled her mum. "Reindeer's aren't pink, they're brown"
My daughter turned to me puzzled. Loudly she asked "Why does she have to colour between the lines? Why can't she have a pink reindeer if she wants one?"
"I don't know" I said. The mother moved her daughter away from us. She didn't want to be near a mother who didn't know how to bring up her child. Who didn't know that things had to look right, had to look nice. We were artistic dissidents
She is 8. I watch her with trepidation as she embarks on a patchwork quilt.
The squares are cut free-hand, without measuring. Some of the squares have five sides!
She proceeds joyfully to sew them together. I wait for her to fling it from her in horror. She doesn't. When it is the size of a placemat she declares it to be a wall hanging and pins it proudly to her bedroom wall. She looks at it admiringly. "I made that!" she says.
Her second attempt becomes a doll
. She calls her Scraps and they love each other.
She is 9. I watch her knit. She is making a scarf. This has been a long and laborious homeschooling crafts project. She catches me watching her and smiles. ""I dropped a stitch" she says. As I rise to fix it for her, she yanks hard at her project and the stitch runs to the bottom. "Its fixed" she says, beaming. She likes that her scarf has an interesting look
. Where others see holes, she sees texture and pattern. "If I wear it around my face", she says "it will keep me warm, AND I will be able to see out of it"
I am humbled by her innocent joy in all that she creates
The lesson is hard for me, but I am slowly learning from her. In today's world of pre-packaged, colour co-ordinated art, my daughter is a dissident. While throughout the world others are striving to perfect their art, my daughter simply loves something IF SHE HAS MADE IT!
Are you giving your child the freedom to exress itself in your homeschooling crafts. Or do you try to make things 'look nice'? Are you robbing your children of the joy and passion of pure creation?
Sometimes we have to let the children teach the parents.
To read more information about the crafts we enjoy see my Home School Crafts
page. Or for my recommended crafts books go here!
Homeschooling Crafts Article