Every morning since the girls came home almost 5 years ago, they take out their journals,and draw, color, paste, and write anything that they want.
I have their journals, hard covered sketchbooks, from way back to when we were living in a hotel in Ethiopia. It’s amazing to see their drawings and interests over time. The thousand pieces of paper that they create do go in the recycling, or are sent to my grandmother. But the sketchbooks we keep. So they do their most precious work inside.
Back in preschool, I remember getting the funniest report card home. Everything was meeting expectations, except that the girls apparently could not color in coloring books. The teacher wrote a little note… “Must use coloring books to learn to color inside the lines.” So we got a coloring sheet out, and asked the girls to color inside the lines. They looked confused, but sure enough, colored inside the lines perfectly. It wasn’t that they couldn’t… It was that they didn’t feel that they needed to. The coloring books we had been given as gifts went back on the shelf.
I love it that my daughters have learned to color outside the lines. As a professor, I know that people who succeed in business and entrepreneurial endeavors today know the power of creativity. Unfortunately, coloring books and all sorts of other schooling that we put our kids through eraces this innate expression. So I make sure that our daughters have that free time and blank pages to explore their interest every morning after breakfast.
I have to say there is a self-serving side to this as well. Since they can amuse themselves for literally hours in their journals, Saturday morning journaling allows me to sleep in! Which is one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made! :-).
Enjoy some of their most recent drawings from this weekend. There is a whole story behind the all girl high school with animals that attend to learn to control their superpowers, and work with each other. But we’ll have to leave that until they start writing the stories themselves…