Monday, December 20, 2010

Hobbies rule

I've been working on a few pieces of jewelry for the holidays and the more I work, the more I think about, critique and really enjoy what I'm doing. The more I want to get back to it each day. This is a good thing. I wish it happened more easily in other arenas (work, for example).

So I decided to bring jewelry making to school.  We started the activity by discussing the value of our own interests and hobbies. It always blows my mind that many of my kids don't know that what they think about and enjoy doing is valuable and important until someone tells them. They can tell you that they're okay at math, like science and need to "work on their reading," but often struggle to tell you what they really like and are really good at outside of their school subjects. They wouldn't tell you that they like reading Calvin and Hobbes, but much rather practice drawing the characters and making the dialogue sound like their friends talking. Or that they could spend hours fixing their Tech Decks. My favorite things to do are cooking, playing outside and craft projects and you won't find any of them posted on the Daily Schedule at the front of the room (though if you know me and my coteacher, they are lurking within each subject).

We talked about how hobbies are an important part of who you are in addition to and often in conjunction with who you are in school. I felt very much like I was leading the kind of discussion my dad had with me thousands of times. What are you passionate about? Find that and run with it. Do what you love and you'll love what you do, right Billy Joel? (His Syracuse Class of 2006 Commencement speech in a nutshell)

So today I shared my hobby (showed them some beaded things I'd made, talked about patterns, sawed some metal) with my kids and then they made their own jewelry for someone in their family. Each kid had someone special in mind and worked quietly (ahh!) and diligently (amazing!) on their necklace or bracelet. They were pouring themselves into their work.

I haven't posted pics of my kids, though I was tempted to because they are really cute when they look proud of themselves. But, I have put their work up. I was very impressed by some and got a kick out of others. Either way, everyone had a blast.

Today was a good day. Everyone had fun. Let's do it again tomorrow. 

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