Create: Project Time

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For quite some time I’ve wanted to have a regular space in our weekly schedule to work on projects with the older children. They both love to make things but aren’t yet old enough to do much unsupervised. I’ve tried letting them have art materials during naps several times and I generally end up with some kind of a disaster (cut up bed sheets?) after a couple of days of good behavior.

When I looked at our schedule over the holidays I realized that I was just going to have to use some of “my time” during naps as project time or give up on the idea. That felt like a huge sacrifice. I spend all morning supervising and teaching and the “down time” of people being in their rooms and no one asking a question for at least twenty minutes is a big deal! I decided to try half an hour with each child once a week and see how it went.

Buggle gets his time on Monday after the others are down and Mouse gets hers on Thursday. I have a specific project for them to work on for the allotted time and at the end of that time they go up for their own “room time”.

Mouse and I have started painting and assembling some very simple wooden dollhouse furniture and Buggle has a wooden biplane kit I found at a craft store to paint and assemble. They are using acrylic paints which wash off their hands when they are done and haven’t made nearly the mess I expected them too!

One of my main goals for all of the children is for them to have exposure to a wide variety of ways of being “makers”. I want them to grow up to be adults who aren’t afraid to try new things and who think that creating is a way of life and the primary way in which they glorify their Creator. In order to make those things possible I need to do several things:model creativity for them myself, expose them to others whose creativity is different from mine, expose them to art in many forms and teach them to be discerning about it, and give them plenty of opportunities to make things themselves.

As I think about their education I have to constantly guard against the tendency to think that reading, writing and arithmetic are ends in themselves. I need to constantly remind myself that I am educating them in order for them to have the tools that they need to fulfill their purpose in life and that academics are only one of the tools necessary. I also need to equip them to have wisdom, to be discerning and to be true image-bearers in their creative interactions with the world. Building dollhouse furniture and model planes is certainly not a big thing, but it is a step in equipping them to be “makers.”

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