Friday, May 1, 2015

On Drawing Lessons and Determination

Fridays are for drawing lessons, although in reality they haven't happened in a while.  They're in that category of non-essentials that tend to get bumped when the homeschooling days get crazy.  David has been asking for them again though and since it's pretty much the only type of lesson he's ever actually requested I grabbed a how-to-draw-dinosaurs book from the library this week and made it a point to schedule it in.  Well, since it's always been scheduled in I suppose it would be more correct to say that we just actually followed our schedule but let's not quibble over semantics.  

We've been working on the idea that everything we draw is just made of different types of shapes or lines--a curved line here, a straight line there, a circle for a head, etc--a la Drawing With Children so this book fit right in.  David was especially proud of his dinosaur and proclaimed that it was the best one because it was "more creative" than the one in the book.  Of course if "most creative interpretation" is the the determining factor of whose picture is best I think Henry wins hands down, or spikes up as the case may be.

Now, David is of the temperament that wants to do things exactly right the first time and if he can't he doesn't want to bother trying at all.  I can't imagine where he gets that from.  I have talked with him again and again about the need for practice to get good at anything and the lectures never seemed to be doing any good but apparently the lesson has been sinking in after all.  In the past I couldn't give my best effort in this particular area because he always seemed to see my drawings as a direct insult to his.  I think we may have turned a corner now and my (fairly mediocre, but definitely better than your average six year old) ability is more of an incentive to keep working than a signal to not even bother.  I guess it's just one more reminder to take the long view of education, and parenting in general.   Children probably aren't going to change drastically as the result of one lecture, however eloquent it may be--and if it's one thing I do well it's an eloquent lecture--you'll just have to take my word for it since generally no one is listening.  But all the little lessons and reminders and moments do add up and one day you look up and realize that it's been working, and they're getting it.  There's hope after all.

Now if I could just get him to apply his new-found ability to persevere to his handwriting practice I might really have something to celebrate....
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