Open thread

Published by Lori Pickert on April 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator. — W. Beran Wolfe

 

38 comments

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 24, 2009 at 01:35 PM

some happy things for today:

— we are picking up our vw camper van from the mechanic .. and thinking about camping trips.

— maira kalman has a new column up:

“I think, Move over Jane Austen as my imaginary Best Friend Forever.”

http://kalman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/may-it-please-the-court/

— it is finally warm here and i am wearing shorts.

Comment by Sarah Jackson on April 24, 2009 at 02:19 PM

I read her blog post first thing when I got up this morning, and I just loved it. Such a great start to the weekend.

Yay for camping trips! We're planning the epic summer trip now - CA, OR, WA, MT. Some camping, mostly not.

Our big news for the weekend is that we're going to butcher a 50lb turkey tomorrow as part of the farm project. We bought him at the county fair and our fabulous farming friend in Flagstaff took him home with the breeding turkey she bought. We head up there for a lesson in the less pretty side of farming. Let's all cross our fingers that it doesn't scar my sweet urban children for life. :)

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 24, 2009 at 05:04 PM

yes!! i wish i could start every day with fresh maira.

how do you camp when you camp? i just bought a pop-up tent (srsly - pop-up) to supplement the camper van. because the almost-six-ft-tall 12yo needs his own *space*.

good luck with your turkey! don’t forget your sketchbooks and cameras...

Comment by Stacey on April 24, 2009 at 05:14 PM

Happy things for us:

-pulling out canoe out for the first time this weekend (we'll be the car with the red boat permamently on the roof)

-my son becoming a preschool dropout (offically today)

- learning that our soon to be home has passive solar water heating, a wood stove and a green house.

-the time for sewing summer clothes is here.

Just some of the things exciting us right now.

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 24, 2009 at 05:34 PM

stacey — i am selling one of my old kayaks today and getting ready to buy a new (old) one! :^) the boys keep getting bigger, and we need new boats.

lol re: preschool dropout ... you know where that leads ... K dropout .. and beyond. ;^)

congratulations on the new home!!! those are my kind of amenities! :^D)

thanks for sharing your happy — it makes me happy! :^)

Comment by Sarah Jackson on April 24, 2009 at 05:48 PM

We have a big tent that we put in the Eurovan, which is sadly not a camper van. We'll stuff that, an air bed for the wimpy among us (me), stove, lantern, small cooler into the van along with all of our other worldly belongings for the larger portion of the trip that involves electricity. I totally overpacked "stuff" last year, so I'll try to be better this year. Try.

Comment by nancy on April 24, 2009 at 06:01 PM

enjoy the "spring-like" warmer weather where you are.
we are now into full fledge summer in florida - 85 degrees anyone?

Comment by Megan on April 24, 2009 at 06:02 PM

happy things:

a husband who washes the dishes

a snugly cat

shy little violets peeing out from behind their leaves

wide open windows

Comment by Amy Chionis on April 24, 2009 at 08:23 PM

Ah, my first test drive of the new laptop and wifi system. bliss. coffee. napping child. pinch me, no wait, don't...
i bought 50# of clay at dick blick - they stoked me out with a homeschool discount?!- this week and he discovered it this morning. when i got out of the shower he was outside with a butcher knife (long story) stabbing the bag. suuuuper excited - i need to scroll back through previous posts to read suggestions for working with kids and clay. long way from our playdoh days, bless 'em but good riddance.
so hopefully this afternoon i can get some good photos of his WIPs and recent artworks - for the flickr pool and get those up-
he starts the language enrichment program monday! I have to say, I feel like being hard of hearing in our district and getting an IEP is the BEST thing that could hapen to us next to someone swooping in and building a studio in my yard. the school is awesome, the staff totally amazing, and all of them are totally behind us as a homeschooling family. everyday i feel vulnerable and unschooled, and it is really amazing. the whole experience has leveled the playing field in terms of learning for both me and his dad and him, and it is such a neat experience to be in the position of really being a student of his needs. a GREAT way to get into the role of facilitator and observer, while forcing us to be autodidacts at the same time. what a steep lesson.
these forums have given me a great framework for making sense of the last few months...i enjoy all the discussion...
any thoughts, anyone, on playing with clay????

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 24, 2009 at 09:39 PM

homeschool discount?!?! whaaaaa?!?! tell me more!

lolol butcher knife

that is wonderful about the school; it really sounds like a great program.

definitely search for “clay” because i know leisa made some suggestions about working with smaller amounts and keeping it cool/moist.

my ideas:

clay tools — i have some beautiful wooden rollers that i love that make different patterns in the clay; we also have sets of plastic tools for cutting, carving, poking holes, etc.

flat clay — leisa used to give the kids sheets of rolled-out clay to kind of draw/carve pictures into .. it is like a whole other way to utilize clay.

slip — we believe in showing kids how to use slip and attach pieces. there is a certain american school of thought like “just let them figure it out on their own — don’t interfere.” and i do think it’s good to let them explore with any new material for awhile on their own. but after studying reggio for awhile, we really came to believe that teaching children techniques for using materials allowed them to more successfully accomplish what they wanted to do.

to bake or not to bake — we had a pit kiln and fired pieces that way; if you don’t have a kiln you can always appeal to a local university or school or pottery place to fire things for you. (i have no idea whether you have access to a kiln!) but over time we really came to realize that the most important thing was the kids’ access to and opportunity to use the clay regularly — to work in three dimensions, and to be able to form with their hands — and not so much to have finished, fired pieces. we would save finished works, let them air dry, label them, etc. — so clay was an important part of project work. but we didn’t necessarily need to fire and keep everything, if you kwim.

i’m excited for you!! :^D)

(and .. homeschool discount?! need more info...)

Comment by Amy Chionis on April 24, 2009 at 10:30 PM

db told me they provide a teacher discount. i told them i was a homeschool teacher. the end.

the preschool has a kiln. i hadn't even thought to fire! i love the idea of rolling out and working with texture. i'll make a few pieces tongith and when his buddy comes over (with his smart artist mom) we can all texturize away. now i am crazy with ideas.
i agree re: giving a little bit of guidance with materials based on my own experience with him. he's much happier with two brushes and two colors of paint for example then the whole can of brushes and a giant vat of preschool brown. gives him more room to interact, and some core skills to express himself. he's not dominated by the medium.
must. stop. drinking. coffee.

Comment by Amy on April 24, 2009 at 11:40 PM

I like sharing happy things! Some of mine:

We have survived almost two whole daddy-less days.

We spent 4 1/2 hours at the zoo today and I feel like super mom. (Tired, but super.)

I just left the local hs yahoo group, which was beginning to feel toxic, not to mention completely irrelevant.

I am excited about plans I have percolating, which must mean I am not so burnt out I'm giving up on hs'ing (yet).

I met up with an Internet friend this week who was up this way. Unknown to me, she used to be an elementary school teacher. She said to me, "You do know that V is advanced for his grade level, don't you?" Nope, I really didn't. It took some of the stress off to hear someone basically say, "Relax. Your kid is FINE."

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 25, 2009 at 12:44 AM

amy c., good ol’ dick blick! well, i’m going to have to investigate that. i buy a significant number of art supplies from them every year!

agree completely re: limiting material .. and helping along the acquisition of core skills.

lol re: coffee. ;^) keep drinking it! and post some more!

amy, when i saw you were taking the kids to the zoo i thought you were super-mom. and after having the kids by yourself for two days!!

leaving a toxic (and irrelevant) group is a very good thing.

re: grade level .. i really don’t know how parents do it, if they haven’t been able to be around or work with a large number of kids. working with so many kids gave me a very strong sense of “the range of normal”, but my husband had little contact with other kids and never had a grasp of where the boys were. and that was the #1 question probably that parents would ask at conferences — where is my child compared to the others.

i’m glad you got some good news & reassurance!

Comment by Kelly on April 25, 2009 at 02:54 AM

Today I'm happy that...
Our homeschool experience is being slowly transformed by the info/insight I'm finding on this blog...thanks, Lori!
A health scare this morning with my mom turned out to be nothing too serious or life threatening - just extremely nauseating.
My Amazon order came earlier than expected, and I was able to start reading about Reggio Emilia last night.
The girlys spent the whole day outside in the sun (and are actually tired tonight!).

By the way, all this talk about camping is making me want to go as well, which is unusual for me, but would make my hubby very happy.

Comment by Susana on April 25, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Yay to sharing happy things!
Our happiness this weekend:
- one of my brother in laws and his wife our visiting from out west, for the first time ever!!
- milestone: selling our double stroller = kids spending more time learning to ride their bikes
- spending time at Camp Creek Blog because it always injects me with enthusiasm, cheers me on in our convictions, very positive place to share openly. Thanks Lori. xo

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 25, 2009 at 12:32 PM

kelly, thank you so much! :^) i love being one of your happy things!

so glad to hear about your mom — what a relief.

yay for reading about reggio! :^D)

lol re: camping — your husband can thank us later! (camping is fun!)

susana, i agree — sharing happy things is putting me in a very good mood.

aw, selling the stroller .. that is a milestone! one of the reasons i had to sell a kayak is because my 12yo is now an inch taller than me. things just keep changing!

thank you so much for your kind words about the blog!! you guys are making me feel great. :^)

Comment by mary on April 25, 2009 at 01:31 PM

Many, many bike rides, including ones to the grocery store, movie theatre, and other errands.
Dirty hands and fingernails
a birds nest in the playhouse full of eggs.

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 25, 2009 at 05:08 PM

those are very good things, mary. :^)

Comment by Peggy on April 25, 2009 at 05:13 PM

I have just taken my 5 year old out of public kindergarden, about two months ago. We are homeschooling now, and get so much guidance from your amazing blog.

Here is what I wanted to post. I guess it's an open ended kind of question, and it's long...

The first month I sort of left everything open ended. I did activities with her as she was interested -- painting, drawing, sculpting, working with tools, reading, writing, all kinds of things. She constantly asked me to be like "Mrs Ch***" and told me how to teach. "You say what we're working on" or "what is the letter of the week?"

I decided she needed some open ended time to flush all this out from her mind. Yes, I said "flush!" :)

Then we transitioned into more journal-work. She kept track of what she was doing, and I let her pick what she'd like to focus on each day. Over the next three weeks, she started a quilt, learned to knit, made herself a simple skirt, and set up her first email account to keep in touch with her far away family.

I decided this week to try project work. We made a long list of all the projects she was interested in. She chose many different animals -- sea animals, pets, birds, etc., and then other things like cooking, camping, sewing... She chose sea animals. Then I asked her what kinds of questions she had about them. I wrote them down as she asked them, and the list was huge! At the end of about fifteen questions she said, "Love, [her name]." I looked at her and asked her what she meant.

"Well, aren't we mailing this to Grandpa? He knows everything."

I said, well, we could ask him, but the idea is for you to answer the questions. She left the table. She started saying, "Oh NO. No, no, no, no no! I am not doing this!" then came back in completely upset saying, "I didn't pick questions I knew the answers to! I don't know those! They are too hard!" I thought we were getting somewhere, but she was so upset it was hard to focus her again. I asked her how we might find the answers, where we would look, and that seemed to help.

She talked about the zoo, the library, an animal shelter, etc." I wrote them down.

Then she announced, "This is boring! I don't want to do this!"

I am a little stuck now. I do trust that the process will work, but I'm wondering, did I spend too long on the writing part? Did I squash her enthusiasm? Is sea animals not that interesting? Should a project at her age, for where she is now, be shorter/smaller/more focused?

I know that i can't ruin her by doing any of this wrong, I just want to help her be excited about learning things. I know she was in the habit of asking people who knew things or having a teacher tell her the answers, but I know this isn't the best way for her to learn.

Where do I go from here?

Thank you!

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 25, 2009 at 05:31 PM

peggy, thank you so much – i’m so glad you’re finding helpful things here — and thank you for sharing your story!

you have all the elements in place, and you feel good about the approach. i would say the only problem is the pace ... your daughter is obviously feeling a little (or a lot!) overwhelmed.

i think you are on the right track when you wonder about shorter/smaller/more focused. i wouldn’t worry *so* much about focus .. but i would concentrate on making every part of the process short, small, simple. write down *one* question. make the trip to the library to look up the answer the most fun trip ever. write down another question. call grandpa and see if he knows the answer! look it up on the internet and see if the answer is the same!

have art materials available but don’t do focused work every day. allow big swaths of “white space”.

http://www.whiteoakschool.com/camp-creek-blog/2009/1/13/white-space.html?SSScrollPosition=0

down the road, your goal is to have her managing and directing her own learning, investigating topics of deep interest, and creating representations of her learning.

your goal *now* is to introduce her to the idea of project learning — without putting a name to it.

i would say, lower your expectations, relax, dip into each area lightly and pleasantly, and put your focus on having great days together. do much less and enjoy it much more. over time, these early experiences will add up to a lot — *and* she will realize how enjoyable it all is, so her attitude will blossom naturally.

btw, i *still* step into this trap ... my 9yo has been doing projects since he was 3 and just last week when i over-enthusiastically jumped on something he was doing, he said, “moooooooooom, don’t start turning it into a really big deal!” ;^)

Comment by Meredith on April 25, 2009 at 08:55 PM

Well, I'm a little late as usual, but happy things for me this weekend are:

-the sweetest 13 year old girl :)
-little league with my boys
-a hisband who takes all the kids with him on his run, quiet house, aaahhh!

Happy weekend everyone!

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 26, 2009 at 01:07 AM

it’s still saturday — you’re not late! :^)

i have really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s lovely saturday .. i hope the storms stay off tomorrow, then i will be able to share a morning of sketching and a picnic lunch. :^)

Comment by Barbara in NC on April 26, 2009 at 01:46 AM

That quote made me reflect on how my kids are almost always happiest when they are busy...generally in some sort of industry of their own making. Today it was literally hours of play in the mud pit that emerged after we hosed off a bunch of old play equipment.

And their dad and I were also happy in much the same way, planting and digging and building and hauling and sweating--a lot of garden and treehouse action around here today--and I realize that we were fully engaged in our OWN project work, planning and making those plans happen.

A good day all around.

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 26, 2009 at 02:21 AM

the quote made me think about the people who find themselves searching for happiness in their adult lives, reading books like this —

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400077427/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=U...

— and not understanding what happened.

in my opinion, we don’t put nearly enough emphasis on helping people discover the path to truth happiness. there’s a bit too much focus on job + money + belongings, imho.

and i agree wholeheartedly with the quote — people who are busy *doing* things, busy doing things they care about, don’t have time to worry about their happiness. they are digging into life.

i agree with you re: being happy when they are busy .. and isn’t it funny that when we talk about adults being busy we usually mean something negative — they are overworked, overscheduled, and stressed out. not the kind of busy of a child immersed in play or important work like digging a mud pit.

being fully engaged — experiencing the “flow” — that’s the ticket. and i really think we give our children a gift when they see us truly engaged, instead of just busily rushing about, fretting.

beautiful thoughts, barbara — thank you!

Comment by Amy on April 26, 2009 at 01:38 PM

I finally got around to placing an Amazon order and ended up with books to use with the kids. I think we are sliding in favor of homeschooling again. Either that, or I'm going to have a lot of books I'm not using. ;)

My kids also had a ball playing in the dirt yesterday. We spent the morning at the baseball field, and they spent the afternoon outside, until I had them come in for shower/bath before dinner and daddy's phone call. And amazingly, they were okay with that, with the explanation that if I tried to do baths AFTER dinner the baby would fall apart. Somehow it all got done, and I had two tired yet clean boys at the end of it. Today we are heading out to a spring fair even though the weather is unseasonably warm, with a forecast of 88. I am so happy for the opportunity for fresh air and outside time.

And meanwhile my mind wheels are turning.... thanks for your provocations on your blog, Lori. They always help my mind wheels.

Comment by Dawn on April 26, 2009 at 06:52 PM

Just getting caught up from the weekend...
Happiness here lately has been in the form of being outside without bundling up in too many layers!! Spring is finally starting to come around!
Today we were lucky enought to find a new camping area. A great lake in the middle of a wonderful not to swampy forest! That's a big deal around here! Happiness!

Moving here has definitely taught us many lessons about happiness and appreciating what you have... not the never ending search for something just a little bit better.
It's not that I don't hope for better things in the future... I just have to remember to live the life I have right in front of me! Happiness is in the living...

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 26, 2009 at 08:11 PM

thank you, amy. :^) i’m very glad i help your mind wheels.

me too re: fresh air and outside time! we just returned from a day outside sketching, walking, and picnicking — so, so wonderful. i am sunburnt. i hope the boys aren’t. :^P

dawn, i can’t wait to see pictures of the new camping area.

i wholeheartedly believe what you are saying (about living and appreciating now and not always looking for ways to improve it) — in fact, i am making it my mantra! enjoy now .. enjoy now .. enjoy what’s right in front of you ..

Comment by Cathy T on April 26, 2009 at 09:19 PM

Happiness - this weekend's weather sure helped! Wonderful sun and hot hot hot (for Massachusetts)!

Three things:
- My husband took our 14 soon to be 15 your old to NYC for a birthday weekend - the goal was to take pictures and hang out together. They did, and had a ball.
- I got a sitter for three hours so my 12 year old and i could hang out without little ones for a while. We went out for dinner, played pool, went to a bookstore, and went to a fabric store. He requested that we "do this again soon, just you and me!"
- Health: Though we have health issues in our family they are not as extreme as a very close friend's family who just found out their 15 year old has stage 1 cancer (hence the trip to the fabric store - to make some presents for her hospital stays). sigh.... Nothing like a health issue to make one feel that life is precious.

We just booked our first camping trip for the summer after getting our pop up camper opened on Friday. If we don't open it we get ants in it! Blah. Anyone with any ideas? (We live in the woods and I'm not fond of chemicals since my 2 year old is too adventurous with eating things found on the fly.) We love trying new places, at least one a year, but haven't settled on where that one will be. We camp at least 4 times a year.... Any New England suggestions? Or maybe one on the way to MD, since we talk about driving down there this fall, maybe with the camper, maybe not...depends on the price of gas and all...

Good weather tomorrow too! And we'll get to see our friend tomorrow, if she is up to s short visit.

Cathy

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 26, 2009 at 10:28 PM

oh my. a trip to take pictures? that’s the best.

no, wait. a date with your kid? *that’s* the best. :^)

so true about health scares putting everything into perspective.

re: recommendations, i haven’t camped in your part of the country, *but* i really like the "best in tent camping” series (subtitled “a guide for car campers who hate RVs, concrete slabs, and loud portable stereos”):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&index=bo...

even if you aren’t a tent camper (we camp in a vw camper van), we have found these books steer us to good campgrounds. we’ve used them for three states so far. (i haven’t used the new england one, though, so try at your own risk! :^)

Comment by Stefani on April 27, 2009 at 01:16 AM

1) Gorgeous quote... like paint it and hang it on the wall to remember always - that kind of gorgeous.

2) YAY for shorts!!! So glad you all are getting some warmth.

3) YAY YAY YAY for camping! It's going to be too bloody hot for it here soon, so we need to get our fannies out there. We don't have an RV, but we're SERIOUS campers... we have a shower and a toilet! The men in my life did not see a need for the toilet, but the mama who hasn't gone a single night without getting up since her first pregnancy... she insisted :-)

Comment by Cordelia on April 27, 2009 at 09:54 PM

I'm going to get that best in camping book, yup. I am. Not ready to go back to the states, but I am ready to spend some time outdoors when we do. We're thinking about a summer road trip (maybe catch some Laura Ingalls Wilder sites on the way. I'm thinking new TALL tent, better thermarest, (I like comforters when I camp, boy loves sleeping bags always.)

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 27, 2009 at 11:57 PM

thank you, stef. lol re: shower and toilet. we may have a camper van, and it may even have a teeny tiny stove and sink, but we don’t have either of those things!

cordelia, i would *love* to do a laura ingalls wilder road trip — i wish i had suggested it when the boys were a bit younger, i think they would have gone for it! it may just be me .. or me and my sister and mom. ;^)

lol tall tent — one you can stand up in? re: thermarest, we gave up and moved to cots. i mean, if you’re going to car camp, you may as well go the whole 9 yards. and the air mattresses that some people use are just too time-consuming (and noisy) for me. the cots fold out in 2 seconds and they are so comfortable. and you’re up off the ground! even when the tent floor gets dirty and wet (and doesn’t it always?), you’re high and dry.

Comment by www.applesforpo... on April 28, 2009 at 01:05 PM

LOVE. that. quote.
Wonderful.
I have just begun a journey of sorts and a blog to match...I found you via this vintage chica and wonder if you have any advice for unschooling/homeschooling in Canada...I am having a difficult finding out what I need to know...mind you I have a bit of time (our daughter is only 9 weeks old) but I am anxious to find out more!
Thanks!
e.

Comment by Christina on April 28, 2009 at 05:34 PM

Uh oh, I guess I'm coming to this a little late (Tuesday :) Busy, busy weekend. Still and all, next weekend's open thread hasn't yet begun, so hey, I figure I can still comment.

re: Peggy's first project experience with her Kindergartener . . . I just want to second what Lori said about pacing things. My Kindergartener started project work for the first time this year and I quickly learned that sometimes 10 minutes was enough for one day. Some days she has lots of plans and is willing to invest more time, some days we're lucky to read a bit from a book and just let some ideas germinate.

As far as topics go, my daughter chose "birds" as her first project and I was actually glad for the broad nature of the topic. It gave her the opportunity to go down various paths (general bird information, individual bird species, eggs, nests, bird calls, etc. . . the list goes on). It lasted a good 3 months or so. We just "finished" it last month in lieu of a new project: Primates (especially chimps). It still seems like such a large topic, but after birds, we're finding it to be much more narrow, and we're having a harder time keeping on track (that may have something to do with the advent of spring and warm weather).

So here's my question: When do you know it's time to end a project? And how do you generally go about doing it? In our case, my daughter just got less and less interested in the topic . . . or rather, she became less interested in *working* on the topic and exploring new avenues and activities associated with it. I finally asked her if she was interested in "closing" down the project and choosing a new one, and she jumped on the idea, and knew exactly what she wanted to study in her next project. It felt so anti-climactic. Should I have "wrapped things up" by reviewing the project work with her? Should we have talked about ending the project at all, or just started a new one? (It's not as if we don't talk about birds everyday still). Any suggestions/ideas?

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 28, 2009 at 06:09 PM

thank you, erin. :^)

i’m afraid the homeschooling laws in canada are not my specialty. but you’re right — you do have plenty of time to figure it out! ;^)

good luck with your journey, and let me know if i can help with anything. i forewarn you that the areas of my inexpertise are quite vast. ;^)

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 29, 2009 at 01:43 AM

hi christina :^)

> When do you know it's time to end a project? And how do you generally
> go about doing it?

i think you just develop a sense of when you’re starting to feel done. projects can slow down toward the beginning and the middle, and you can give them a tap and get them going again. but when you start to feel a lot of exploration has been done and avenues explored and representations produced, and interest has faded, you may be done.

lol re: anti-climactic. :^) there doesn’t have to be (in my opinion) a big “the project is over!” event. for me, one big goal is that the child learns enough to teach someone else — so we look for opportunities to do that. creating books, blogs, setting up displays in the community (e.g., at the library), showing things to friends and family ... there are lots of ways to do this.

we often just quietly move into a between-projects time and wait for new ideas to percolate. my sons usually consider something they’ve studied to still be a strong interest — if they see a tv show about it or a new book at the library, they will be drawn to it. their projects are continuing interests. two years later, one of them will find a new material and say, “i need this for my project!” lol

sometimes adults (some teachers i’ve worked with) almost want to kill the project because the kids keep talking about it forever! and the teachers are ready to move on, or don’t want to move backward. and the work has petered out, but the kids are still insisting they want to keep on. :^)

in one of the other open threads we talked about a mom who was wondering how to clean away the old project from the bulletin board, and we talked about suggesting those things could be put into a book, journal, or portfolio. it’s nice to have something like this at the very end when you can reflect together on everything that was learned, talk about it, and maybe transcribe some of what your child says to be put away along with their work. that’s a nice mellow form of closure.

remember that a really clean-cut beginning, middle, and end is more of an artificial, usually teacher-imposed structure. instead of thinking messy and indistinct, just think of your overlapping projects are authentic and organic! ;^)

Comment by melissa on April 29, 2009 at 06:33 PM

oh- i love that quote. yes- let's look everywhere and anywhere we can- fill up our days with the pursuit of happiness. :)

Comment by Candy Cook on May 1, 2009 at 09:56 PM

Oh, I just wanted to add my two cents to the "cookie cutter art" comment. When I was in high school, my art teacher put this question on her test, "What have you learned in art this semester?" LOL... I interpreted that question to be asking me for my opinion.... what *I* learned, and wrote that "I learned that her art classes weren't about expressing yourself. It's about copying other artists and making things you are told to make, the way you are told to make them." Needless to say, I got that question WRONG!!!!!!! I was pretty mad that my opinion concerning what *I* learned was considered a wrong answer. LOL

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