"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." -- Pablo Picasso
Take a second and look at the three pictures above. Do you know what the hand-written signs say?
That Picasso quote at the top of the post is oft recited in my house. It comes up because my wife is an elementary school art teacher.
She uses the quote with her students, as encouragement, explaining to them that they have a certain talent that even Picasso struggled to compete with.
And she uses the quote on those occasions when she if offering instruction to adults, particularly the ones who say "I can't draw" or "I haven't done art since I was a kid."
Tapping in to your inner-kid-ness is a talent.
And as a parent, it can be a necessity.
Our daughter is completing her first year of public school. Kindergarten. Her knowledge and her skills grow every day. One day she's sounding out the word "red." And what seems like a few days later, she's reading aloud, slowly but surely, through "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish."
Then she leapt into spelling. She is labeling pictures. Writing stories. And posting signs with important information for our family about our new kittens.
I always struggle to read these signs, and usually I have to ask my wife for help.
"Just read the letters," she tells me.
In other words, don't sound it out. Just say each consonant and vowel, as is. Our daughter isn't really blending letters, or writing the silent letters, or using the "soft" versions of letters.
Read it, as is. As it sounds.
The above pictures say:
"Bubble soap" (which was a potential name for one of our new kittens)
"Smelly Section" (note the corner of the house where we keep the trash barrel and the cat litter box)
"A couple of days ago I got two new kittens. They are fun. One is Kiki and the other one is Jasper." And at the top of the page it says "Toilet Paper."
On the same day I saw my daughter post this sign where she was trying to make a cat bed, I also heard the Patty Larkin track on MVY. That song makes me happy because it mentions Paul Klee, who is my wife's favorite artist (after our kids, of course) And yeah, I can hear how "disturb" could easily be sounded out by a 6 year old as "distubv."
As of this posting, my favorite art teacher has not updated her site about her planned 2014 Summer classes, but you can keep checking this link.
Hear the song on Youtube.