Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Outside the Lines

I mentioned last week my 4-yr-old's love of pen + paper, which makes me oh-so-happy because it's something that I can relate to and love, and has nothing to do with wrestling or bad guys. The thing I love most about the way he has written his name [above] is that it is all over the page. The letters don't line up. They aren't in order. They are the way he thought best to write them.

When I thought about this it made me think about my favorite teacher at the SMFA who was always challenging us to get rid of all the rules that we had been taught growing up. Rules like writing in a straight line, coloring inside the lines, making everything neat and ordered. He taught me to really brainstorm, to say or write every single idea that came up, to not be afraid of "bad" ideas. And that by getting all those out you made room for the really interesting stuff. The ideas that don't flow out of what we think we should do because we've been trained that way, but ones that come from our own creativity. And for me, someone who was the best little rule-follower in school and cried her eyes out when she got a smiley taken away for talking during quiet time [another kid was encroaching on my drawing space; what was I supposed to do?], that's an amazing thing.

I hope that even when my kids do eventually write in a straight line, that they will always think outside the lines. And I'm going to frame this little piece of paper, and leave it on my desk so that I'll remember to keep things outside the lines!


julie perry said...

love the picture! that is just the best work of art - seriously when jackson drew his first person this year i laminated it within the hour.

i too get excited if jackson draws, works in a workbook, etc.

so impressed henry is writing his name! i need to start teaching jackson to do that. way to go mom/teacher!

Reggie Carter said...

what a great post...I love this stuff.

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