Helena has been into pirates since, well ages… er 3 ish? I have no idea where she heard of them. I asked her why she liked them years ago and she said something like “because they are fierce” not even she knew how she knew that. I made her a pirate outfit (with instruction) which of all the costumes I’ve made her actually gets worn!! We have read pirate books, both fiction and non fiction. Today she was telling her friend about how there are actually pirates in some countries and how bad they are, that they actually kill people – followed by philosophising that to kill bad people makes you bad too. Then Helena made a boat with a plank out of a cardboard box, all storybook style, and then she drew a picture of a shark all weighted down by stones at the end of that plank. The blindfold was a incongruous piece of pink sparkly fabric. The show that I never got to see (it may have never happened and may have just been the idea for a show) was her walking the plank, falling in, swimming and bumping into the shark because of the blind fold and getting all eaten up.
a sword made this year some time, a telescope made years ago, today’s shark….
The pirate – complete with a pirate map in her pocket. We did some treasure hunting (which reminds me that one of my bracelets got buried in the vege garden and is still there) and then the pirate became a monkey (her friend was a rat)… What does Helena learn from going over the pirate thing? she doesn’t seem to be a consistent character, she likes maps but in an abstract way, she is better (more accurate?) with them now than she was, digging for treasure was fun but the treasure itself wasn’t the thing. When we read books about pirates she doesn’t seem to want facts really – she uses the vocab but doesn’t seem to care for details of real pirates, finding out they were actually real was me telling her about Peter Blake and that was because I didn’t like their romantic hero properties. Making stuff to do with pirates happens but the making is the thing. Helena talks about her self as someone who is into pirates, and someone who was into pirates when she was little but she’s never asked for a pirate party (the true gauge of obsession?). Sometimes I worry that I am the one keeping the pirate thing going because I made a flag I want used…. It was talk like a pirate day today, which I had marked on the calendar and then forgot to tell her (I thought the boat had sailed) but the story book pirates popped up anyway perhaps they knew it was their day.
I could use this and “follow the children’s interests.” I can see some brilliant pirate maths, the pirate readers, the pirate worksheets, we possibly even actually have pirate colouring in but I won’t because why would I make her thing into my thing? why would I take some thing that she likes and redirect her choices/reasons for liking this thing into a vehicle for “education”. If she likes them that much she will find a way to turn anything into pirate play.