This picture is a reminder to myself that children develop in fast leaps and in slow and steady climbs. On the right it says “My Last Day of School” and is filled with the careful script of my almost-four-year-old. On the left is…nothing. A blank page. What is supposed to be there is “My First Day of School” and an art creation that lets me see visually just how much he has grown. He didn’t do it. I can almost hear the conversation
Teacher: “Hey! Want to come over to the art table?”
Although there is no art to compare, its absences gives me just as much of a clue to his growth. At the beginning of the year he was careful and stuck just to what he knew and liked. He barely tolerated art explorations and saw no value in trying to write his own letters, although he treasured books.
At the end of the year he wanted to express himself, he was trying new things and experimenting with his own creativity.
Some parts of a child’s growth seem to happen all at once, or have a “wow” factor that makes us whip out our cameras to document. Other things happen slowly, or are easy to miss since they are the absences of something.
A complicating factor too is that, as cliche as it sounds, each child is different. It is tempting to compare and worry. That is why it is so important to remember the whole picture of each child, the wow moments and the small steady climbs in development