Friday, December 11, 2015

preschool woodworking

 I went to the Clear Spring pre-school yesterday afternoon to help the students drill holes in wooden presents for their parents. It was their first time to drill holes, and an excellent time to begin learning of their own creative powers.

I also finished a box guitar, and spent just a bit of time in the shop, sanding the underside of panels for box lids.

In school, my older students worked on turning cherry gavels, finishing bows and making a bunk bed for fairies.

In the meantime, it is important to have lofty goals beyond test scores, reading comprehension and grades, for schooling should least in some measure concern itself with the making of the men and women for the future of the human race. What are we to become? Froebel believed that children should be assisted and encouraged toward an ideal that I believe would resonate with modern psychological therapists. The term that Froebel used was Gliedganzes, which meant member-whole. By the use of this term, Froebel described human beings as being both individual members of the human race, and connected to the human archetype as an embodiment of the whole. And so while a child might display signs of personality and variance, within that child was also the potential of expressing the ideal of our human spirit.

The following is from Susan Blow's Symbolic Education:
The longer we reflect upon Froebel's definition of man as Gliedganzes the more suggestive it becomes. Concentrating attention first upon that phase of the definition which affirms that each man is ideally mankind, there dawns slowly upon us the vision of mind as a generic and therefore self-creative energy. We picture to ourselves a musician, who is also the instrument he uses and the symphony he plays; a sculptor, who is himself the clay he models and the statue he produces; a master-builder, who is also the quarry whence comes his marble and the temple he rears. Then, as our thought grows clearer, we throw away our pictures of the unpicturable, and, gazing directly upon the miracle of mind, behold an energy which, acting upon itself as material, realizes itself as result; an energy self-impelling, self-fulfilling, and selfrevealing; an energy which starting from itself returns to itself only to be incited to fresh wanderings which culminate in deeper returns; in a word, an energy which, in the most literal sense, "is what it makes itself to be "—a self-product. Very wonderful is this vision of mind, but we may not dwell upon it, for the Gliedganzes has other secrets to reveal. It is the paradox of mind, that while free and self-creative it yet implies relationship. It is independent but not solitary. To be social is its nature, and a mind existing apart from and out of relation to other minds is a logical impossibility. Indeed, mind is in no sense a possession of the individual, but a universal energy in which all individuals participate. As Dante teaches us in the Purgatory, spiritual energies grow by giving, by spending are increased, and in the distribution of spiritual food the miracle of the loaves and the fishes is perpetually renewed. The more thought communicates itself, the more truly it possesses itself; the more completely love loses itself in its object, the more surely does it find its own fulfillment. Only through membership and the communion which membership implies does man make actual his ideal nature; only in so far as he becomes universal is he in any true sense individual. – Susan Blow, Symbolic Education.
We are down to 14 days of making time before the Christmas holiday, but the season of giving is more than just one day. If you've run out of time to make, and would like something made by a real person and from real wood, Shop my Etsy store.  Delivery by priority mail in 1-3 days.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the opportunity to learn likewise.

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