Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The sensitivity of the child.

Children will spend a lot of time pretending through play, but this does not mean that they are insensitive to the implications of real life, or that they are incapable of discerning that which is real from that which parents and teachers have contrived for their distraction. For that reason, schooling should not be arranged to sequester children from reality, but to engage them safely in it.

Perhaps that's why students at the Clear Spring School enjoy wood shop so much. They are enabled to use real tools and real wood to make things drawn from their own imaginations.

I am planning a parent/child box guitar making class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking this next summer. I asked Marc if he had any particular advice on planning the class, as he has had a number of parent/child classes in the past. He advised,
"Just teach the parent/child class like any class. The parents will take the lead with the machines but the kids can do all the creative stuff."
I suspected that might be the case. It seems that the world is coming apart, with hurricanes, earthquakes and general stupidity at the top. There are some things we can fix, and some things not. But to take wood in hand and make something useful, beautiful or both allows one to feel for a few moments at least, that there we have some power and some control, in our own lives at the very least.

As we build the future one small gift of useful beauty at a time, things may add up.

The boxes shown in the photo are now ready for hinges, a lift tab, finish, then sale. At Clear Spring School today I will introduce first graders to the use of hand planes.

Make, fix, and create.

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