Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Break Through ?

Or is she just growing exactly as she is suppose to grow; the exact way God made her?

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

I have been wondering, more often than I should, about Bear's lack of drawing to represent items and people.  I have tried to understand the importance of letting her progress naturally, but was really beginning to think we needed to sit down together for drawing lesson time.  I faced this with some trepidation as I think stifling her and forcing her to do things before she is ready can cause more harm than good when it comes to things like this. 
She has scribbled often and has sometimes told me her scribbles represent some item of keen interest to her, but never has she actually drawn what could be rightly called a figure or picture, but I have lovingly encouraged her scribbles and have accepted her word for what they represent in her world.  I have always held the belief that art is not coloring in a coloring book or doing a craft project, though those are very important.  I guess I have felt art is more. Frankly, the picture of her and I walking in the park has looked exactly like the pink unicorn picture, but who am I to judge. *smile*  I have always maintained a philosophy much like Picasso’s, that it’s only in adulthood that we lose our ability to be artists or to put it another way, as we get older society tells us what art is and what it means to us.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Yet, my resolve has wavered.  Children her age or younger drawing actual figures has discouraged me and made me question if I should be sitting her down and “teaching” her how to draw or make her copy some figure I draw.   Yet the natural way we have approached so much in our journey has had better outcomes and less frustration on all levels.  This week we have been experiencing what I will call break through week.  Much like child led potty training, she is now seen, and often, drawing what many of her peers have, yet I have allowed her to creatively reach this milestone on her own terms.  I have no fears that she will “catch up” and perhaps even surpass on her own terms and in her own time, having not be taught into this new stage, but allowed to flow, naturally; that being said I am excited that we are well within the pre-schematic stage.  *smile*
Bear said this was her wearing
 her favorite shirt
Once again, my child has shown me about God; that waiting upon Him and His perfect timing for everything is much more in keeping with what He wishes for each of us.  I could have rushed the process, taken away her freedom of exploration and desire to draw at every turn, but I stifled the desire and worry long enough to let God work in His time.  She isn't slow or behind, she is perfect just the way she is.
I have read that the "perfect" supplies to have easily accessed for children at an early age are paper and black crayons, thick ones. As far as paints, I tried finger paints but Bear wanted to use the tools used by the rest of us, so paint brushes were introduced very young.  Just the cheap ones from the dollar bin at Michael's, and she was in seventh heaven.  We also always have play dough and/or clay within easy access, though I sometimes put it on timeout when it hasn't been taken care of properly. 
I know this will not be popular, (I don't mean to step on any toes) but I certainly wonder about three and four years old producing the same quality of work as a seven or eight year old.  Are they producing for the act of producing or is the art a process of their own creation?  Our world is so bent on making our children grow up and calling every child gifted that it tends to be insane.  Yes some children are gifted and playing beautifully at eight and composing their own music or bright at Mathematics at ten and ready to enter MIT, but those children are the exceptions not the rule.  I find many parents today competing about how bright their child is and neglecting to see to it that their child does his or her most important job, be a kid and play.  Build with sticks, throw mud at a brick wall, spray water in the air and watch it fall, make rainbows with chalk on the sidewalk, and make leaf sandwiches to share at their pretend picnic.  We have forgotten what really makes our kids unique and individuals. 
How about we make a pact today to let our kids be kids and experience childhood the way it was meant to be;  Like it was before cable television, computer games, and ipads.


  1. "I know this will not be popular, (I don't mean to step on any toes) but I certainly wonder about three and four years old producing the same quality of work as a seven or eight year old. Are they producing for the act of producing or is the art a process of their own creation?..."

    I really agree with this part! I've seen so many parents pushing their young children to do things that are really advanced. I've always wondered if those kids are truly interested or if they are being "encouraged" in that direction by over-ambitious parents. Let's just let kids be kids!

    1. Thank you Angie. I love that you are allowing Addie to be a kid too.

  2. I wondered about Sophie as well in that way. She loved creating and coloring - but wouldn't color pictures in a coloring book, and would draw more abstractly. This past month she started drawing people, and she actually is getting it. I didn't work with her on this, I just started giving her reams of white paper and lots of crayons and makers. I firmly believe that kids develop when they are ready to. {of course, I'm now freaking out over teaching reading. Hah.}

    1. Aurie, I had no plans to tackle that until age 6 (kind of using the CM ideas) but she asked to start learning so we are, but slowly. I wasn't ready for it yet either.


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