Unschooling Articles from Live Free Learn Free

Crafts from the Heart
by Elizabeth Roberts

“Mommy, I need the glue so I can make you a craft! And paper too, okay?” asked my five-year-old son Logan with a smile that told me he was up to something interesting. I gave him the supplies, but then he asked me to stay in the other room so it could be a surprise.

I heard Logan running in and out of the garage, his beloved hiking boots stomping as he moved with purpose. Megan, his four-year-old sister, went into the kitchen to see what all the fuss was about.

“I’m making Mommy a craft, Meggie, and you can make one, too!” “Okay!” came her voice, a little softer but just as excited. After a few more giggles came a wail: “MOOOOMMMM! I neeeeed your heeelllpp!” But before I could move, Logan was bringing me the glue bottle. He watched closely as I pulled out the plug of dried glue from the tip of the bottle, then told me, “Neat trick!”

I ruffled his blond hair as he left, wondering just what in the world was going to be presented to me when he finished. We hadn’t replenished the art supplies since our move, so there was only plain white coloring paper – no stickers or jewels or paper cutouts, no fuzzy balls, foamies, chenille sticks or feathers.

The only thing that was out in the garage (besides the chest freezer and some cardboard being stored until we could take it to Grandpa’s to burn) was the firewood that Paul and Logan had just brought in. What in the world could have been making me from the garage?!

As I wondered, Logan gave me updates. “You’ll like this piece Mommy.... I’m almost done Mommy.... Oh, here’s a cool piece.... Okay, Mommy, I’m done and so is Meggie! Close your eyes!”

I closed my eyes, then opened them. “Surprise!” And surprise it was – two beautiful crafts. Megan had carefully glued a box of raisins to the paper with a couple raisins lying glued outside of the open box. One little raisin was stuck to the inside of the box, but I don’t think it was there because of the glue. And Logan had taken little pieces of firewood and glued them to the paper.

I asked them to tell me about their artwork. Megan said, “I likey raidin! And you likey raidin! I made you craff!” While I hugged Megan, Logan told me that his craft was because “[w]e have a fireplace now and I really like it, and we have fun when we all bring in the wood from Daddy’s little black truck! So, now you can remember when we all bring in the wood!”

My heart melted. Logan had been in school for Kindergarten for about six weeks but had asked to come home again after the Christmas play, explaining that “It’s not bad, but I have other things to do.” He’d brought home crafts they made at school – cute little Thanksgiving turkeys made out of a tracing of his hand, a little “Indian” in a construction paper canoe, and various artwork. I’d ask him if he wanted me to keep them, but he said, “Nah, everyone has one.”

I’m sad to admit that there was a time I wouldn’t have appreciated something like this. I’d have dismissed it simply because it wasn’t pretty or coordinated like a hand-traced turkey made with the “help” of a hovering adult.

These little bitty pieces of firewood glued to white paper will definitely be kept, along with Megan’s tribute to the raisins we both like. These “crafts” aren’t fancy, and they aren’t exactly pretty, but they are beautiful treasures. They came from the hearts of two wonderful children, and from their lives – things they touch and taste and use.

Elizabeth Roberts is a Coast Guard spouse and homeschooling parent to four children, a freelance writer, accounting and theology student, musician, vocalist, and voracious reader who even manages to sleep!



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