Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…
In the United States Valentine’s Day is a big thing. In the stores, in the restaurants, on internet, on Facebook, Valentine’s Day is everywhere. It made me wonder. Do the children in the United States really make Valentine Bags for their whole class? Meaning that each child goes home with as many Valentine’s as (s)he brought to school? Meaning that the craze of Valentine starts at a very young age? Do they make them or are they bought? Just some thoughts that entered my mind.
In the Netherlands only some teens and some adults would do something with Valentine’s Day but it is not necessarily a big thing. It is starting to become more popular though. We, Dad and I coincidently had our first date on Valentine’s Day. Which makes Valentine’s Day also our Anniversary Day and today we’re celebrating our 13th anniversary. We are one of those couples who always do something on Valentine’s Day, our anniversary being on Valentine’s Day is helping!
It is nice to see those cultural differences and I am curious how and if Valentine’s Day is celebrated in other countries around the world. If you would like to share your story, please let me know!
Preparations for our Valentine’s Day started early this year. It had to be mailed overseas and for the cards to arrive on time could take some time. The whole process started with asking Maxi- and Midiman to whom they liked to send their Valentines to. Maximan named three persons and Midiman one. Next question was what they wanted to make. They know I am here to guide and facilitate. Midiman needs a little bit more help, although he really knows what he wants. And Maximan, he KNOWS what he wants.
We prepared the table with all things we like to use to make cards.
– Colored Construction Paper
– Multi Media Paper
– Origami Paper
– Magazines we picked up at The Lucky Market and at a Thrift Store
– Crayons (here we use ones we have available from IKEA, but normally we use a set of 30 half pastel crayons from Rembrandt. We like to work with quality material.)
– Lyra Unlaquered Colour Giant Pencils
– Envelopes, which we bought at Walmart
Midiman picked out a sheet of green colored construction paper and a soft pink sheet of origami paper. While I was busy making my own card and was cutting out heart shape figures, Midiman decided he would like a heart shape as well. He was adding glue on his green construction paper, trying to make a heart. And after that he starting adding leftovers of my cuttings on to the glue. It started to look really great. Actually, I was quite impressed with his creativity.
Maximan was focussed. He was busy creating a card for his grandpa and was cutting out images from one of the magazines. Although not really Valentine’s Day related, because he was cutting out a pictures which was an add for a chiropractors office, but in a way it was. He was thinking of his grandpa and saw that picture. We used to go to the same chiropractor.
Maximan made two more cards. One for a dear friend and one for his cousin. On these two cards he even started practicing his writing. Talking about being amazed. Maximan was so proud while he was writing. He wrote the name of his friend, of his cousin and his own name. He discovered that with the letters of his own name, he could write the name of his friend. How I love unschooling and chilled learning. It is beautiful to see the eagerness and willingness to learn when they are truly motivated. I think Maximan wrote for half an hour and then he stopped. He was done for that moment. The next day, he wrote two more cards.
The fun part is. I heard back from the mother of his friend that his card had arrived. And now his friend is totally into writing too. I think we are all very proud and excited. Maximan is proud, his friend is proud (we, as parents, are proud) and that is what counts!
Today, on Valentine Day itself we continued with the unit study. We had some arts & craft ideas. Our first idea, which you can see here, looked like a lot of fun, but ended up in… well nothing. We prepared and we got distracted. We started reading a book about a farmer, a couple of cows and a goose. The farmer was creating a maze of Lady Liberty and every night the goose was adjusting the maze. In the end the farmer went for a balloon ride to see his maze from above and the goose joined him. The farmer saw the result and was not happy. However, the goose was. Lady Liberty turned out to be… Goose Liberty.
After reading that book and a couple more, I promised Maximan to read at least three books, we started to do our second arts & craft activity. Again, we prepared the table. And while I put the plates on the table, Midiman shouted: “eten!”, which means eat/food.
For this activity we needed:
– Plates, which I got from the Thrift Store
– Sharpie 80’s GLAM
Maximan couldn’t believe I let them draw on the plates. He really enjoyed it and told me this would be his favorite plate from now on. Before we started I asked him what he wanted to draw. Something related to Valentine’s Day. He ended up wanting to draw an Eastern Rooster and then decided on an Eastern Bunny. I totally gets his train of thought. Earlier this week we were painting. Also with Valentine’s Day in mind and what was Dad painting? Yes, an Eastern Rooster. So Maximan started drawing an Eastern Bunny, which evolved to a chameleon, which ended up being a jungle.
I always try to participate in the activities too. I am a firm believing of seeing is doing. Remember that Eastern Rooster? Anyway, I also started decorating a plate. I haven’t been able to go out and buy an anniversary gift for Dad. Besides, I like to give something that I have made myself. But I am a bit insecure about me and drawing. However, since I believe I have to be a role model, I shouldn’t stop myself from doing something, anything, because I feel insecure. Either I asked for help, or I just start and see how it goes. Small steps. So I started decorating this plate. I even got a compliment form Maximan, which are the best.
And I must admit, I am quite happy with the result. I’ll get there!
Happy Valentine’s Day!