Sep 16, 2014
Last night, after a bit of an emotional outburst half exploring discomfort with the mental pattern in me that obsesses about whether I’m giving Joaquin a nourishing environment at home (the annoying pattern that at the end of the day scolds me for spending time working on the backyard rather than brainstorming learning opportunities for Joaquin), I read something that comforted me… Holt from his grave, telling me “It’s okay; you’re doing okay; keep trusting”…
“Young children need the opportunity to see older children and adults choosing and undertaking various tasks and working on them over a period of time until they are completed. Children need to get some sense of the process by which good work is done. The only way they can learn how much time and effort it takes to build, say, a table, is to be able to see someone building a table, from start to finish. […] Children need to see things done well. […] Adults must use the skills they have where children can see them. In the unlikely event that they have no skills to speak of, they should learn some, and let the children see them learning.”
This morning, Kiki started his building project. The first step he gave himself was to take measurements of his space. Then he requested tools to begin the digging. I saw him working hard removing grass for a long while, then he came to my workspace and confessed “You know… The problem is, I’m not a great digger. Digging is HARD!”… He’s still very committed to his project, but after some personal experience decided to accept some of my help –heck, he wanted me to do all the digging for his project, so I offered to remove the soil and let him to the dirt excavation. I think tomorrow my project will hit payoff time finally: Dumping sand and placing glorious bricks in place. I’m sure he’ll be excited to join me for that part… Maybe with greater perception and appreciation for all the effort that it took to get here.