An Unexpected Benefit From Sketch Tuesday

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Caring? For your “C” word?
I can just hear my mother-in-law, “that Joseph is just such a sweet, special boy. Special! Just SPECIAL!”.
You’re right, Mom. He is.

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Overachieving Molly. Two “C” words.

For those who don’t know, we try to pick something to sketch on Tuesdays.  It can be anything and there are no rules for how to draw or color it.  We have been doing it for over a year and most of the time, if the kids don’t come up with their own idea, we go with whatever topic is listed on Harmony Art Mom’s blog.

All I have to say is, “it’s Sketch Tuesday” and the kids have their books out (we’ve finally decided to keep 1 notebook each so we can keep track of everything).  After many months, it’s finally a habit!

I usually ask the kids about what they draw and have them tell me a story.  Sometimes I write down what they say or let them write it down.  Then we date and sign the sketch (we’ve never sent anything in to to Harmony Art Mom – – I just can’t seem to get organized enough for that).

I’ve gotten some questions lately about how we spend our days and oddly, three people this week asked me for updates about Sketch Tuesday.  I don’t post the sketches each week because I wasn’t sure if it would be interesting for anyone other than my MIL and me.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: participating in art is good for you.  Sketch Tuesday is an easy and inexpensive way to be creative.

Here’s a surprise benefit from this practice: mindfulness (or “being aware”).  Mindfulness training has some pretty serious benefits.  So mindfulness is a tool I want my kids to have in their toolbox for life.

Taking 5 minutes to sit together to draw and write at least once a week has helped us to quiet our minds.  Out of that quiet have come some great conversations about feelings (as well as some really fun pictures).  And you never know where that will go!

This week we sketched something that begins with “C” and, as you can see, Joseph had “caring” on his mind.  It was pretty fun to talk about why he drew this picture.  And that lead to talking about caring and vulnerability in general.

We live in a competitive world where weakness is frowned upon.  While vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, it’s also the cradle of joy and love.  That’s taken me almost 40 years to understand.

I could not have come up with a better lesson plan for talking about something so tricky and yet so vital to living a full life.

A big thank you to Harmony Art Mom for giving me the idea of Sketch Tuesday and a really great explanation of why teaching art is important, as well.

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