Wednesday, February 11, 2015

parabolas, brain doodles, and steering the boat

I think I've mentioned before that Wednesdays are a wild card for us.  Sometimes we are in synch and the flow is sa-weet! But many weeks we are tuckered out from Tuesday's coop and Wednesday finds us in our separate corners.  It is reminding me that long ago we quit a coop for just that reason: instead of coop taking one day of busy and out, it really took two days from our week - the long day out and the long day of recuperation.  That feels like too much time to me! We lose our rhythm and struggle the rest of the week.

I keep thinking that rhythm is hard won, because that has so often been my experience, that if you interrupt the rhythm of your days it takes so much energy to get it back.  I wonder if some would argue that in that case, it would mean the rhythm ain't really there...I tell you, this business of  - what? shepherding? guiding? I can't find an analogy I like here...steering the boat? Anyway.  Trying to facilitate a good day for three people is a bit mind-boggling. When I'm rarin' to go, they are deeply focused on Something Else and vice versa.  Case in point: I had my shoes on to run to the store for supper supplies and Ani bounces down the stairs singing, "I'm ready for piano!!!!" Turns out, she had a lovely practice, without me. Good for both of us...

So, to celebrate the successes of today inspite of no rhythm...Eliza launched herself into sewing together the pieces she cut during sewing class yesterday, to make a beautiful little "clothespin apron".  I'll have to get a photo of the finished product to share.  She is still doing a good bit of winging it, rather than being sure to check the pattern and the instructions, but I'm seeing big improvement in her craftsmanship, which was one of her goals.  I love that she forges on and does it, rather than thinking about it for a few months before starting (Ahem. I am intimate with this approach).

Ani and I butt heads a bunch today.  Just couldn't really see eye to eye on most things.  I finally went and lay on her bed and apologized for the ways in which I'd been pushing her to do the things I wanted her to do today.  What I wanted her to know was that I really deeply value her ability to tell stories for nigh on three hours, that I don't think it is a waste of time for her to cut out every piece of clothing her paper dolls have so that she can tell her story and that I remember not wanting to practice piano, and I thanked her for getting to it when she was ready.

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Wednesdays tend to be a math art day.  

We made parabolas a few weeks ago, and today we made more parabolas and Eliza and I stitched some, while Ani got out the compass and made a circle to string on.  I mostly enjoyed that we were all at the table together, Doing.

oh! circles! so many circles!

Ani tried the stitching, but was easily frustrated and went on to something else. Eliza made the sweet butterflies below.

My triangle. I can see why these were popular in the seventies!
My friend Molly sent me a link to this and it got me traveling down a few rabbit holes and thinking about how I could use this method of thinking "out loud" to encourage Ani to put more thoughts to paper.  The girls attend an off-again, on-again poetry class with a poet we love, and Ani participates in her own way, but does not often choose to write during class.  I've offered to be her scribe, but she feels pressured by time and is a bit intimidated by what she perceives as the ease and skill with which her friends accomplish their writing. (Some are impressively skilled and some are willing to accept some scribe help to get past the mechanics and are able to contribute to the class.)  

So, we doodled.  We chose to think about our cats, and to draw and write what came to mind as we talked and giggled and thought.  

I think we might be on to something.

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