Over the last few weeks Emily has been drawing prolifically, each drawing has gradually been getting more and more detailed.She draws whatever takes her fancy be it Harry Potter characters or her puffles from her penguin website with all their play equipment.Sometimes she draws similar things over and over again each time adding something different or refining some aspect of it .
I have been amazed at the variety of things she has been drawing and the character that is in all of her pictures.I see her personality in the art, a uniqueness ,a quirkiness that I hope continues.
We have a range of paints available watercolour, acrylic etc but at present she is using pen and crayon another time she will choose to concentrate on a different medium.
My only input has involved finding a couple of books for her she wasn't able to find . They are by Usborne called I can draw animals and I can draw people.They have simple step by step drawings .
I have in the past not been so clever and have (god forgive my stupidity!!!) butted in and made a suggestion as to what to use or what to draw!!!! You live and learn and nine months into this life I can see how that took away her spontaneity and enjoyment and stopped the self directed growth process I have seen over the last few weeks.It has seemed like a passion, every spare moment she chooses to draw and I know that when she has done what she needs to do for now that passion will pass onto something else or may just pass onto a period of reflection and rest.This seems to be how Emily works and although she will probably still draw it won't be with the same intensity.
When we first took Emily out of school she had stopped drawing and rarely picked up a pen she was frustrated with any attempts to draw and would scrunch them up and throw them away her confidence was so low. It has been a gradual change and although there may be the odd time she is frustrated with her attempt it is not the meltdown it once was.There is no pressure on her she can draw when she wants and what she wants and her confidence has grown in her own ability.
I have been around whilst she has been drawing, perhaps reading to her if she is not listening to music or a story CD . I have asked her about her drawings and on one occasion she showed me a drawing she had done of the back view of a girl with long hair , as soon as I saw the picture I was interested in where she was going and asked her and from that and with me just asking questions she began to make up a story verbally and without prompting drew the pictures to go with the story.Other times Emily will ask to do a book and I will write her words and she will illustrate, both of these things are done when she wants to not when I request them.
At times since we started home ed I have got scared about the lack of motivation from Emily to do anything, surely she has had enough time to deschool now? I questioned if an autonomous approach would work for us and I have tried to kick start things ,you know lots of suggestions about projects we could do and things I just knew she would enjoy and getting things out ready to make or do , 99% of the time it failed miserably and I felt resentful and angry that she wasn't wanting to do what I wanted , I am sad to say on occasions I would force the issue and it very often ended in tears, hers at the time and mine sometime later when I re-lived the scene trying to see what went wrong and realising I was what went wrong!!!
I needed to step back and just be there and although it took a lot of faith I now know that was the right thing to do. She has blossomed and I feel confident she will continue to spread her wings and grow at her own pace.
It is natural to have concerns and I am sure there will be more on the way, but I truly believe Emily knows best what she needs and I have to be brave enough to let her do what she needs to do. Sounds easy doesn't it? Maybe I should write that down and put it somewhere I see it regularly because it is so easy to believe it when we are going through a very visible growth period not quite so easy when she is more keen to watch TV......
This whole experience started with Emily coming out of school but this journey we are on is about so much more than her education.