A Renaissance Year!

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Renaissance: A Rebirth or Revival

Renaissance Man:  A person with many talents or areas of knowledge

That’s our focus in Aspen Cooperative this year. It’s going to be an excellent time for the kids to dive into their individual talents and develop themselves.  It also means I get to do the same.  I can’t wait to get started!  From the courageous and very capable discoverers, to the proficient and genius artists, to the skilled and accomplished writers – the Renaissance was a time filled with hope and light. Yes, it had its challenges, but finally the dark ages were dissipating. We can learn so much from the men and women who left us their ideas and examples.

It makes us more aware of our own gifts which we want to be alert and alive to.  That’s what natural learning truly is – discovery of the seeds of brilliance we each possess. So as our younger students began class we watched the parable of the talents and the sharing experiment. (To remind us that talents aren’t just the obvious ones) It’s an enjoyable conversation when we get to talk about what talents really are and what talents we recognize in ourselves and others.

It was so adorable to listen to our kids tell what their talents were.  A sampling looks like this:

Student:  I’m good at making people happy!

Me:  I’m so glad.  I’m going to come and find you sometime when I need your talent to make me happy.

Student:  Well, I’m better at making children happy!

Other thoughts were:  swimming, baseball, Legos, karate and drawing.

So with lots of books to look at and a table full of art supplies, magnifying lenses, Legos, stamp pads and tutorials for water color painting, we set off on a discovery of our own.  What could we discover? What talents could we use to create something to share with our friends?  The adults joined in as well.  Some of the kids took the magnifying loupes outside, some stayed in and watched the tutorial then painted some lovely pictures. One made a submarine out of blue Legos  – inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci. (Imagine what Davinci could have done with Legos!)

I look forward to sharing our eventful year of enlightenment and discovery with each of you.  I hope it sparks some lively activities and discussions in your home!  For parents who want to jump in with both feet, I highly recommend the book: “How To Think Like Leonardo DaVinci” by Michael Gelb.  Enjoy!

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