I don't particularly love this page in my mixed media journal. It was fun to do-- I had some background layers going and then I made a couple of bird stencils and tried to use them in various ways. The red bird is molding paste which I painted on after it was dry.
I am showing it to you in order to give a basis for the rest of my ruminations, if you will indulge me in a little ramble.
There is a certain educational philosophy that I have studied in which there are "Seven Keys of Great Teaching". I really like to ponder these keys as I think about what my children need to learn and how I might help them. One of my favorites of these is the last one, summarized as "You, not them." What I love about this idea is the permission it gives me to come out of survival mode as often as possible and work on my own education and pursue my own passions. The idea is that not only am I expanding my own foundations from which to teach my children, but at the same time they will see me learning and loving it. Ideally, they will see learning as an enjoyable and lifelong activity. Maybe they will decide to try out what I am doing (often in the case of little kids) or maybe they will be inspired in their own studies.
This was made evident in a small way as I was working on that bird page.
Evan (6) and Andrew (4) were so enamored with my bird stencils. I have given them stencils before and they tried them out, but didn't really seem to like them. On this day, however, they spent over an hour drawing with the bird stencil and the cutouts.
Andrew first made the one above in imitation of mine, adding flowers for the birds to hold.
He did these two more, since he is always fast and prolific. I love how he put the heart on the one bird, and the flower in its beak.
He filled these all in with patterns instead of coloring.
Evan worked long and slowly on this one. I was amazed at his attention to detail, making sure each bird had one match. He tediously colored them with fine-tipped markers, even when I offered him some broad markers.
It was just so fun to see what they came up with!