This summer, Eleanor is joining me (and more than 300 others) for the Inner Excavate-along, the read-along meets create-along of my book Inner Excavation.
And it's awesome. She's teaching me so much as she dives into the prompts and does things her way.
At the beginning of any course I teach, I invite participants to create an intention for themselves. I wanted to teach this to Eleanor as well. So we read the introduction at bedtime a few weeks ago (she asked such awesome questions: Did you really write all of this? How did you know what you wanted to say?) and talked about what an intention is. The next day, she came up with this as her intention and wrote it in her journal.
Play. Have fun. Make mistakes that I can fix.) She's working on spelling the words she knows and was delighted when she spelled fix as "fixe" so she could fix a mistake right away!
I want to always remember that.
As we dive into each chapter, we're reading some of it together (especially the introductions) and then talking about the general themes. Then we work with a couple of prompts that I choose. (Depending on the age of your child, you could choose them together, work through all of them etc. Ellie is 6, so I'm going with what makes sense for her.)
So far, it has felt like the most important pieces I'm sharing are the different ways to "tell your story" - through photos, words, color, and any other way that makes sense to you. We're gathering words, going on walks to take photos, and also sitting down with our journals and creating with what we've gathered.
Sometimes, I give her a jumping off point based on the prompts in the book if we don't already have a plan. I'm gently pushing her to write her own stories without asking me to spell every word; she's pushing back that she wants to learn how to spell the words she doesn't know.
I'm also learning how to stay quiet when I have an idea of what we might create and she's diving in and just having fun without needing any instruction. And I'm also figuring out ways to teach - "look what happens when you do this with your watercolor brush" and encouraging her to be curious and experiment. And I'm trying to let go of my expectations of how this experience "should" look.
So basically, the usual parenting lessons with a big side of color.
And hopefully along the way, I'm giving her even more tools to express herself, her stories, her feelings, her dreams. Yes yes yes.
I'm also remembering that I need my own time where I can write my stories down, so I'm creating little pockets of alone time to do that too.
There's still time to join in this summer's free Inner Excavate-along. You just need the book! The course is always available and new folks are joining us every day in our magical Facebook group. You can buy the book here and sign up for the course emails here.