“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso
When did you stop playing? Do you know the moment when you began to question whether you were really creative? I remember the college English Professor who had a profound negative effect on my writing. I stopped writing for anyone other than myself.
I still love to write. I love the stories that unfold, even if I don’t know the rules. I am brave when I write, but lately self-doubt was creeping in. My interests were changing and I did not know how to shift my interest on my blog.
About a month ago, I walked into the boy’s room as Austin was drawing this beautiful scene above in markers on his dresser. It is not a fancy dresser, but a cheap IKEA Pine dresser. He looked up at me and stared. I took a breath and then did one of the smartest things I have ever done as a parent. I said, “That is beautiful! What else can you draw?”
He beamed and told a story of a secret village and villagers. He and his brother have now drawn all over their dressers and pine beds, and I love it. Every day a new story is unfolding.
I honestly don’t know why I was not upset that he drew on the furniture. I saw something in his face when he looked up at me, waiting on my reaction. I cannot explain it. I just knew he needed me to be proud, not frustrated.
Where does confidence in something come from? I think it comes from validation, sometimes from a someone else and sometimes we have to find it ourselves.
We began homeschooling for Kindergarten in September, but I had no idea what I was doing. I had all the tools, but zero confidence. I did know what is expected by cultural norms. “Send them to school already”, was dancing through my head. I began to get frustrated as we dove into homeschooling. Was I teaching them enough? Is this the right thing for them?
I had a conversation with a friend and homeschooling mom of three. She was in a shift in their journey. Her oldest was in middle school, her youngest was having trouble with phonics, and she was having doubts. I was having doubts too, but we realized our doubts were about stories we were telling ourselves about what education should look like. She is back in the grove, and as a confident as ever.
I embraced that our style is really an unschooling style, but the person being ‘unschooled’ is me. The boys only know their experience. Their only truth is what is happening to them at this moment. They have never been to a formal school. It is the purest view of learning you can have. Everything they try is new. There are no stories attached.
As parents, we have to be able to embrace the organic process of learning, because our children already have. They will teach us so much, if we can only trust them. They have no plan, and that is the lesson.