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Drawing Class

Burke is starting to really love his drawing class!! Which is a major load off my mind since it was a REALLY rocky start. I wasn’t going to go into it here, partially because I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, and partially because – if I’m honest – I’m a little embarrassed about it. However, I’ve always been honest here and I do try to document things that have been going on…and now that it seems to be behind us, I’m going to write about it so that perhaps if anyone else runs across a similar issue, it will help them out.

When Burke first started going to his drawing class he would argue with us about going. He did NOT want to go … anything else in the world was better. We were baffled because we know he LOVES coloring and drawing. When we asked him why he didn’t want to go he said it was because he didn’t like his teacher. So I’m racking my brains trying to think of anything she may have done or said to him (I’m usually just sitting out in the hall on a bench when he’s in class)…but I can’t think of anything. So we asked why he doesn’t like her. The answer completely shocked us: “I don’t like her skin.” Not said just once…said whenever he was asked why he didn’t like his drawing class. And said to whoever asked…

Now, if you know Mike or me at all – you know that we are probably two of the most accepting people around. (well. unless I have to tell you something more than once – then all bets are off 😉 ) So, as you can imagine we were at a loss and just couldn’t figure out where this was coming from.

Needless to say, we still had him go to class. And along the way I’d say things like “I really like your teacher – I think she’s beautiful” (she is) or “Your teacher is so nice!” (she is) or “You’re learning so much from your teacher – it’s really great that she shares all of her knowledge with you…” I wanted to address things without making a bigger deal of it than it might have been for him…does that makes sense? You know…the more you push something, the worse it gets.

For the first few weeks it didn’t really seem to be sinking in … until right before last week’s class when I casually mentioned “What if your mommy had darker skin? Would you not like me then?” I could see the wheels turning…and went on with “Or what if someone didn’t want to talk with you because they didn’t like your freckles…wouldn’t that make you sad?” More wheels going in the head and a quick nod … And then it turned out that he was the only one in class for about 10 minutes, so he had his teacher all to himself for a while…

After that class (on a Monday), the entire way home he was trying to negotiate with me to go again on Wednesday LOL! Except … as soon as we hit our driveway he went back to “I don’t like Drawing Class.” I let it drop because it felt different this time…like he didn’t really mean it; he was just trying to see what I’d say.

Yesterday, the whole way home, he was talking about how he really likes drawing class and when these sessions are over at the end of the month he wants to sign up for more!! And he didn’t change his mind once we hit the driveway either. I had tears in my eyes.

I’m going to chalk it up to fear of the unknown…I guess. Although, I know he has  friends at school who are all colors of the rainbow. Maybe it’s different when it’s someone of authority? Who knows. I’m just glad that it’s over.

Now – on to the fun stuff where I get to brag! Each week, they study a different artist. (yep, they’re only 4 and know more about various artists than I do at 35…) I don’t remember who it was this week, but it’s someone who studies movement. Burke’s teacher was SO impressed with his drawings this week! She said that he was looking at the artist’s drawings and just “got it” – and she really like his sketch of the guy jumping off the page. 🙂 They do a sketch first and then the ‘real’ drawing goes on ‘real’ paper. (Have I mentioned yet how impressed I am with this class?)

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Jumping off the Page

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The Final Project

And close-ups:

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3 Responses

  1. Wow! This is really, really good for a kid his age. Is the class in your town? Isn’t it great that because you work from home you can do this sort of thing with him?

  2. I’m glad you felt ok writing this. I think all kids are sometimes so much more honest with their feelings than adults and it’s so much easier for them to voice it. Can’t tell you how many times my kids, when very young, made comments about a “fat man” or a “bald person”…etc. (not somethign we ever say, just what came to their minds).
    It’s great the way you worked through it with him. Well done mama 🙂

  3. I really like the work that he does in the drawing class. You know Nancy, being this honest is one of the reasons why I like you so much. (I have a blog brewing in my head about dishonest bloggers). Here color has been an issue for centuries – maybe the country with the biggest color issue ever – and now that our kids are growing up in a rainbow nation, color is so unimportant. (I need to blog about that as well)

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