the weird stuff kids do (25.09.18)


These are called springs.

You make them by folding, Helena can now do this extreeeemly quickly and with her eyes shut.

There is now a basket of 80 of them “two more sets of 10 and there will be 100” sitting on her desk, as well as some cut card waiting for her to make more.

WHY? and this is not the first time, the first time she made 140 something and it took a long time. This episode started because her first self appointed task was weaving – and there were strips left over. 20180925_101910-1

And I think the inspiration for this was looking at an outdoors making book where people had done some weaving on branches….

I don’t get the springs though, they don’t get used for anything – as yet, and this is a repeat activity, so she knows this, last time they were even allowed to be fire starters. The counting seems to be important, as does the sheer volume of them, and that the paper gets ‘shorter’ but really it’s a strange activity with no apparent return…………… except of course to the doer! Helena is proud of them and how fast she can do them, she can do them with her eyes shut!! (she’s gone up a level in random activity). The cost is the paper, a small mess and the loss of a child for the length of time she does this task. This is a task that requires focus and concentration, she has flow. I know flow, it’s what I get when I’m totally engaged in something I’m making usually, or perhaps gardening. When time disappears, as does the demands of one’s body. But I swear that my activities are purposeful. Were my activities always purposeful? Why do I need purpose? Does purpose make my mahi more valid? I don’t sneer at her and her activity as there is a tinge of jealousy in the degree of return she gets and the apparent total lack of failure (but I’m not defining the task here so how would I know). So extension, that oft used word in educational circles – to extend the activity or not? or if I was being softly softly perhaps to look at it as a schema and consider other similar activities. Hmmm this presupposes a few things;

  • that the activity has no value in itself
  • that I know MORE/better
  • that I think an extension activity is of more value than the activity she is already getting immense pleasure from
  • that I have some idea of what educational concepts are important in this activity, i.e not the ones she is doing- concentration, self management, creativity….
  • that I know what element it is that is of value to her to be able to extend rather than change the ideas she is working with
  • that she won’t extend herself
  • that she should doubt the value of what she is doing because of things I say/do

I’m going to follow my usual plan – but out (always the hardest), watch this space – observe, clean up the mess, provide the equipment and model my own projects (of which to her I doubt have purpose..).


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