Channeling Harry Chapin

You all remember this song, right?

today I watched Netanel take a blank piece of paper and turn it into something that made me cry. First he took a blue crayon and started making a 1 inch wide slab of sky at the top of the page and I knew that the orange triangle of sunshine in the corner would be next, followed by a mirrored green slab at the bottom and some lollipop flowers. I had to do something quck! “Oh! is that blue water?”
He didn’t skip a beat, flipped the page over and said, “yes!”
Then there were waves and green seaweed floating and finally, inevitably, the orange glowing triangle in the corner. “What’s that?” I asked
“The sun.”
“Oh, what other colors are in sun?”
He reached for yellow, and red, and we even put some dark blue around the edge and then some more red and orange…
What happened to my Tani and his free expression?! Why have we not learned how to educate our children without extinguishing their creative spirit? Why is it impossible to differentiate between the paintings and drawings of any child in a kindergarten class?

I want a different life for my children than the one I have. A life where anything is possible, where creativity is rewarded and linear analytical thinking is not the only way to solve a problem.

One morning I watched him do a matching activity with the teacher. He had a card with 6 fish tails on it and you had to find the fish that matched the tails. He took in all six images and began pulling matches out of the box, but the teacher made him put them back and go in order. I wanted to cry. He does not have to do them in order! He does not have to change the way he naturally solves that problem! I’m not saying that we shouldn’t offer children other ways of finding solutions, but we have to encourage their own natural abilities and ways of thinking.

Because there are so many colors in the rainbow! But who sees them anymore? How can anyone fix the problems with education when we are all products of the education system we are seeking to change?

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