A Giant Chalkboard to Inspire Self-learning and Expression

by Rashmie on May 8, 2012 · 7 comments

in Read & Write


Slowly but surely I’m ticking off some of my long pending projects that have also been very close to my heart. And, in doing so, I’m feeling much peace. Really, procrastination drains my spirit, I should know and understand clearly – once and for all.

First, it was the mud pie kitchen. Then, a BIG chalkboard that I’d envisioned having on one of the bigger walls in Pari’s room.

This chalkboard (6 feet by 4 feet) , I’d been really, really wanting to have  – to serve as the ‘voice’ for each of us. I’d visioned it to be a place in the house where Pari and I would stop by any time we just felt like giving an outlet to our thoughts – in the form of words, doodles, zentangle, poems – whatever.

We have a smaller one for years now, which has been useful, too.

But I knew that a wall-sized canvas/writing area would inspire at so many levels. It’s basically about the “space”. When an entire wall transforms itself into a space for self-expression, no one can remain untouched.

You feel invited, inspired and raring to go.

It serves as a wonderful place for discussion and brainstorming.

And, well – also as a means to tackle boredom. (wink)

Yeah – all of THAT was my vision rather than creating a classroom at home. No way. Far from it, I’ve been encouraging Pari to use it in all sorts of ways for HER to challenge ME. Like – throw an un-scramble challenge at me; sketch a shape that I can zentangle inside; write a math equation that I can solve!

So, she thinks, she’s the one in charge rather than me. No way would I want her to think that I’m out to TEACH her and that her learning is under my control.

Nope.

I want to motivate her to be in charge of her own learning.

(In the picture below, I wrote that poem from our collection while Pari drew Daffodils to illustrate the line from the poem – “and sometimes clouds have a daffodil hue“)

The chalkboard has also been a wonderful get-together point for her with her friends.

They play teacher/school games! Oh well!

All said and done – the teacher games seem to be the most popular among kids, especially girls!

I’ve noticed that sometimes (well, these days – often) when Pari is not motivated to write using paper pen/pencil, she gets a fresh bout of motivation (and ideas) when I mention the chalkboard.

Especially with Hindi (our mother tongue), which she’s never keen on writing. The chalkboard lends itself beautifully to many word games encouraging her to write a ton of words – all the while under the impression that she’s playing! (wink)

In the photo below, I play a game with her in which she needs to decipher the code (solve the riddle) and write it in Hindi. She thinks she’s playing a detective. Each time she deciphers the code, I give her a “code-hugger hug” – whatever that means! But, it’s the high point of the game for her – with lot of  giggles and pride!

While I wonder at her innocence!

Not to mention – it saves piles of paper each day.

Isn’t it symbolic then that our chalkboard is green and not black!

Another related article on the topic of self-learning that you might find helpful:

Giving Creative Freedom to Your Child