Sunday, 11 January 2009

Anyone know where the devil fits into the Christmas story ?!

In the pre-Christmas chaos I had forgotten to mention that J had brought home a piece of handarbeit that he had been working on for a few weeks: a wooden devil and sheep, which he claimed were Christmas decorations. In fact he had brought home some knitting a few weeks prior to this, saying it was part of a handarbeit project, but I had forgotten to ask him about the rest of it (and when asked what his homework was on one particular day he had replied: “nothing - just me knitting” – which I had met with gales of laughter).

Now, I understand where the sheep fits into the Christmas story, but I’m struggling to understand the wooden devil. No matter……. J had really enjoyed making them and they are obviously encouraged to work to their best ability. He’s never really been pushed in terms of arts & crafts at his previous schools, and his enjoyment of the creativity is clear. I’m beginning to understand why the school place so much emphasis on it – it’s enjoyable, it’s good for their motor skills, they can be sociable whilst they are learning, it’s creative, they finish with something physical which they have made in their hands, and they learn real skills while they are at it – measuring, cutting, making decisions, giving them responsibility, using power tools. J loves it: a wicked little glint comes into his eyes on Wednesday mornings in anticipation of using the power tools (at which point I get on the floor and pray he returns home intact at lunchtime), and of course, for the non-Swiss families, whilst it’s still a lesson in German, it’s time away from the super-intensive Deutsch-immersion-in-the-classroom.

And as far as I’m concerned if I have sons who leave school able to create and then put up a shelf then I think that’s pretty useful.

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