ever since I wrote my post on learning, naturally.
Ever since the comments thread raised some interesting issues.
And actually, ever since I began homeschooling.
Who are we
Where do we fit? With what philosophy do we align ourselves?
These questions go to the core of how I live.
Because the thing is,
I don't fit.
I don't ever Absolutely align.
I get close, but there's always that part of me looking out saying, But that looks lovely too, just past the self-drawn fence, the invisible wall.
That was me in childhood. In school and in university. I never quite did things consistently. I was never the Same for long. There were dreams to chase, boys (wrong and right) to follow, ideas to have, plans to change, travel to do, so many meandering paths to walk/run/skip down!
And that was me as a parent. Of babies, toddlers, school-aged children. I never followed a single, simple path. Sometimes I baffled friends and family. Some of the simple paths would have been lovely, looking back, but I couldn't see them then.
So now I am here. We are here. On this particular, unusual,
complicated (but oh, so beautiful) path.
We are homeschoolers. And I've found that doing things the Same As Anyone Else is both
All I know, all I can know,
is how we do it.
All I have to measure that with, is
Us feeling out what is good and right and true to us, and following that.
When it doesn't feel right—when it doesn't bring Joy—we stop.
And, as I was thinking, and thinking, and thinking on this,
a picture came into my mind.
This is how we do it.
We learn by leaping.
We leap, we launch, we fly.
When we're up there, amongst the clouds, with the view so fine, we say,
Want to go here?
Sometimes we fly together. Launch ourselves straight ahead, at that one bright speck in the distance (or just in front of us).
But sometimes one of us starts flying, without looking back,
starts Doing and Living and Learning, on his or her own.
The rest of us sometimes See how wonderful that is,
and come too.
Which is how our sewing adventures began.
With one small girl saying,
I want to sew something.
And so she leaped.
Into her adventures in felt. And embroidery, and learning blanket stitch. And making birds and dragons, and owls. Then clothes for her toys, made of paper, cardboard, felt, fabric. And sewing more animals and learning to knit and saying how great it would be to have a sewing machine. And saying, I want to make toys and sell them at the market! And designing, and sewing, and making and making.
In the meantime, I did some asking, some talking, and lots of dreaming.
Which brought us to two weeks ago, when my friend and I were having a chat. It went a bit like this:
I said, Howabout your boy joins writers workshop?
And she said, Howabout I do sewing workshop for your boy and girl
(and my boy too)?
Together we said, Now wouldn't that be a lovely, creative, energy exchange?
Yes! we said. Wonderful!
And it was settled. The kids were thrilled.
My girl's leap
led to not one, but three kids
(and two interested, excited adults),
setting off down a long, lovely
path of learning that, so far, has covered
sewing machine parts,
measuring, estimating, pattern making, buying,
finding out how sewing machines work
learning to make buttonholes,
and more and more sewing!
We have so much further to go! The kids are part way through their first project, and now
so many new projects are popping up,
like seeds sprouting after the earth has been freshly dug
and planted, and watered and sun-shone.
And in the meantime
another path opened up last weekend…
A doll-making workshop at the art gallery! YUM.
With this amazing artist
and some of her beautiful dolls.
We were so happy, making dolls all afternoon, sewing our little hearts out.
My girl began a new, different doll at home.
The two of us were inspired for days;
my girl making the body, me covering it,
and the two of us making the arms and legs…
and then my girl decided she wanted to make a cape for it,
and my friend cut out a template for her so that she could make capes any time she wanted
I was reading a flyer from the fabric store.
$200 off a brand new sewing machine for VIP members only!
Well, howabout that: I am a VIP member of that store. And we have a Visa card—we totally can buy this machine! ("Afford" is another question, for people who think about questions like that).
Which led two kids, one mama and one dad on a path yesterday afternoon
to this beauty.
Which is our next adventure.
with a single leap
by a single girl.
all of us flying.
All of us
loving everything that we've learned,
and loving how we've learned it.
We learn by leaping.
It's that simple
and that beautifully complicated!
Just how we like our lives