Friday, November 14, 2014

Expanding Creativity

pants and pottery
EM has traditionally been our most mathy, practical, child. He has a great imagination that often comes out in what we call "blowing things up." This involves some imaginary battle he has in his mind as he darts around the room making explosion noises. He has now found a friend who also enjoys this activity and they spend hours blowing things up together over the telephone. I can't understand the entertainment value. I guess it's a boy thing.

In the last few months EM has really started to show an interest in the arts. Up until recently, he had not wanted much to do with those kinds of activities. Last year EM took a few pottery classes at the local Y.M.C.A Arts Center. His classes focused on hand-building pottery. This year he expressed an interest in trying the more advanced pottery wheel classes. An opening just became available this month and he was finally able to try it out. He seems to be getting the hang of it although he says it is much more difficult than his other classes. He always comes home covered in clay. I guess that's a sign he's really getting into it.

music selection
We have also added music instruction to his schedule this year. After only seven lessons, he is playing some pretty tricky pieces. His teacher says he is one of the best students he's ever had. EM loves playing and practices every day, at least once, sometimes more. Many times I have to tell him to stop and get to work on other things he needs to do. He likes the challenge of learning new songs and will work until he can play each one from memory. I can only hope this trend continues!

fine art
He added another new pursuit this week. He decided he'd like to learn how to draw better. He was talking with his dad about how he thought he wasn't a very good artist. Dad suggested that he try using this Star Wars book to give it another try. Now that EM has been learning that patient hard work can lead to success through his piano lessons, he seemed more willing to sit down and make mistakes to get to where he wanted to be. Several times this week I have found him in his room or at the table in the classroom working on his art work.

I know that we are told over and over how making mistakes and having patience are the best ways to learn new things, but it's easy to forget when we watch our children struggle to master a new skill. We tend to want to make learning easy for them. We want them to be happy, not frustrated. But in all three of these activities EM has struggled and now he is thrilled that he has conquered those challenges. Hopefully I can keep that in mind as the boys take on more difficult things in their lives and allow them to grow through those struggles.

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