The kids finished their work early today — they seem to be getting better at just sitting down and working through the material. Tonight at dinner, Mr. December announced that N has finished his “Geometry and Measurement” workbook. “N’s almost achieved the goal we set for him,” he continued as we cheered.
“Abba, when I reach the goal you’ve set for me, can I do less work every day?” K asked hopefully.
“Um… maybe,” Mr. December said, and went over to jump on the trampoline with E.
K confided in me that she wanted to do less math work so she could do more art; I pointed out that there are plenty of hours in the day, and she could do both. She shrugged — apparently she wouldn’t like it if it was yet another demand on her time.
I’ve been reading a book called The Brave Learner, and one of the main points is that the children learn by watching their adults learn. I decided to try out some of the author’s suggestions.
“I think I’ll go get my sketchbook,” I said.
“Why?” asked K.
Fighting back my snarky side, I said, “I dunno, I just want to draw something.”
“Well, if you’re doing that I guess I’ll get mine too.” Bingo!
We sat on the small deck at the bottom of our garden and began to draw. I recruited R to model for me. K drew R as well, but as a Manga character. We chatted as we drew, and I stopped a couple of times to show K how to draw the parts that had her stumped (bent legs, shoes, and hands.) At one point R ran back inside and returned with her own sketchbook and a container of pencil crayons (coloured pencils for the non-Canadians.) We drew for over an hour, with R asking for guidance on appropriate clothing for the setting and time period of her drawing. Does that count as a partial history lesson?
Anyhow, it was a very sweet and peaceful activity for us. Now I just have to convince Mr. December that this has academic value: hand-eye coordination to improve their writing, drawing shapes to improve their spatial awareness and knowledge of geometry, people’s clothing and furniture as an expression of different periods in history.
And, of course, the contemplation and patience that drawing requires, not to mention the value of creating art for art’s sake. But ever the engineer, Mr. December won’t be swayed by that, so I probably shouldn’t be leading with it.
When is the last time you drew something?