A big reason for our unschooling expansion over the past two years has been to allow our children to learn new things outside “the box” and to follow their passions. I believe these two items are so linked that they are one reason, as in order to truly follow their passions, they must first discover what those passions are, and in order to do so, they must be allowed to try and try and try new things, and then try more. I’ve been working hard to knock down walls and plow through traditional blockades in order to allow them these opportunities. Many times for me, this means overcoming a fear that I’ll receive a lot of outside judgment in the form of “aren’t you afraid they won’t learn ____________?” and “but what about ___________?” and “oh my goodness I can’t believe they aren’t doing more of ____________!!” So it has very much been (and continues to be) an educational experience for me, as well as an opportunity (many opportunities actually) to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Something my two older girls love to do is arts and crafts, and this seems to be a major creative outlet for both of them. I fully believe in allowing children to expand their creative expression in just about any direction they desire, and so one HUGE leap I’ve made this year is to
change my policy create a policy where before I just had a habit, around art and craft supplies. The new police is “YES.”
You see, previously I tended to hoard art supplies.
Wow, that was really hard to type.
We love to hit up our favorite craft and hobby stores, and browse the sales at the office supply stores. And we especially enjoy bringing our treasures home and organizing them into their various lovely storage places (I love to organize!).
And there they would sit.
I always had a mental inventory of what we had, you know, just in case we needed something.
But I didn’t spend all that money on all those beautiful crayons and markers and colored pencils, and hundreds of pipe cleaners and a gazillion foam stickers, and oh-so-many paints, just to have them ALL. USED. UP.
Then what did I buy them for???
I don’t do that anymore. Now when the kids ask if they can do a craft, the answer is a resounding “YES!” unless of course they have other responsibilities to take care of first.
And it’s been really fun to watch them think and imagine and design and create.
In the fall, after I vowed to say “YES” to more crafts, the first time I was asked, “Mom, can I do an art project?” I felt a little twinge as I watched the bins being raided.
But now I look forward to it as much as they do.