I discovered this by myself

Inspired today by these quotes:

“Be careful what you teach. It might interfere with what they are learning.” Magda Gerber.

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” Jean Piaget

There is nothing so fulfilling, exciting and thrilling for me as to discover something new while exploring my craft. Wool is such a versatile medium that I feel I’ve only just touched the surface of discovering its properties. Learning the basics from YouTube instructions, I ordered some wool and tools and set myself to exploring.

Years ago, I taught painting and drawing to undergraduate students and had a really hard time ‘teaching’ them how to draw. For me, the artistic process is a fine balance of seeing, playing, discovery and realization. Many of the students wanted me to tell them how to draw, what to draw and tell them which things worked and which didn’t. I know that a lot of this was motivated by trying to please me to receive a high grade. At the time I had no idea that my discomfort with telling people how to be creative would mirror my parenting style.

Now with two small children, I mostly direct their learning from exploring the world. They discover, experiment and play and I would never dream of telling them what to play or how to play it.

I am that Mum who gives her children Play Doh and lets them mix all the colors together, who puts a lump of beeswax into their hands to see what they do with it. I am that Mum who dumps all the Legos onto a big blanket and tells the kids, “Have at it.” I let them draw with Sharpies on their toys and then experiment with different things to try and get it off again.

I am the Mum who lets her kids paint their own faces to see the joy and empowerment glowing in their eyes.

I am that Mum who begrudgingly gave into the fact that her littlest was a weapons lover and agreed to print out over fifty guns from Google so that he could draw all over them.

Asher and Jasper have created some magical things and come up with ideas I had never dreamed possible and I am along for the wonderful ride.

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12 thoughts on “I discovered this by myself

  1. I know this might sound melodramatic, but I truly mean it when I say you are one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met in my life. Every interaction we have – be it in person or over the internet – I learn something new, or am inspired, or think about things a little differently. I’m so lucky to have you in my life. : )

    I saw this on Pinterest yesterday, and the first thought that popped into my head was you: http://pinterest.com/pin/354152762/

    Love you, friend! xoxo

  2. Have to say I am so impressed with you – and your kids – you have such way out ideas and thinking but somehow they seem to work. I can’t wait to see how your children grow up and what they will do with their lives

  3. You always make me think about how I can encourage my kids to explore the world around them. Thank you! :). I love reading about life at your house – it really seems to be a grand adventure!! 🙂

  4. All this from a little girl who went to school with a hamster in her pocket! Some things never change! Love reading your news. Love Dad. p.s.See you all soon.

  5. You are an awesome mom! I loved this post. It made me realize thats ok when I let the kids just play. Travis loves to write on his legos or even some times cut the guns to make them different. I never thought about printing out the guns, he will love that. He is always researching new ideas

    • Thanks Heather! I’ve really noticed that so much learning comes from letting them play and explore the world. For example, Ash was ready to learn all about crickets yesterday. He was fascinated with the little jumping bugs as he looked at them hopping around in the bag (we got some for feeding the chickens!). He put 2 in a tank, learned what they liked to eat, observed them for hours and figured out that they looked different and later read that the differences made them male and female. This is a lesson plan that I could not have put together better – it empowered him, kept his attention and is likely something he will remember for a long time 🙂 Thanks for reading!!!!

  6. Awesome! I remember my ah ha! moment when I realized it was fine to mix the play doh. I also have a weapons lover and gave in to that too. Thanks for the inspiration.

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