Is it Okay to Make Mistakes?

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“Oh dear,” I thought as I looked at the model magic teddy bear C(12) had made the day before. Deep cracks had appeared in it overnight. I hoped she wouldn’t be too upset that her beautiful work had been damaged.

The cracks might have formed because our Model Magic* was so old. I bought it when my children first left school over five years ago. Back then I was anxious that they shouldn’t miss out on any experiences as a result of being home-educated (they’d had Model Magic at school, so they must have it at home!)

But perhaps because they were busy doing other things, or maybe  because I was always waiting for the perfect project, the Model Magic stayed in our cupboard until I came across it during a clear-out.

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Later, I found C(12) happily dipping a paintbrush into a pot of red acrylic paint. She was painting the deep cracks in her teddy bear, making them into bloodstains!

C(12) often paints, but usually on paper. “I like painting in real cracks – you don’t have to add shadows,” she happily explained.  “Do you like the way I turned my sculpture into a Beautiful Oops?”

Beautiful Oops* is a sweet little book we have about how mistakes can be transformed into opportunities.

Beautiful Oops

Jo Boaler,  a Stanford University maths professor who’s passionate about giving children confidence in maths, talks a lot about the value of making mistakes.  Her website YouCubed recently released a video for students about how important mistakes are for learning.

J(10) hates making mistakes. I show him the YouCubed video. “Don’t you think it’s amazing that our brains literally grow every time we make a mistake?” I say. ” When we get the wrong answer, then try to figure out our mistake, we learn even more than if we’d got it right in the first place!” J(10) isn’t convinced yet, but I’ll keep trying.

I’m not sure I’d want C(12)’s gruesome bear in my bedroom, but she’s very pleased with it.  She’s put it in our Halloween basket with our cute rock monsters. 🙂

“I’d like to write a blog post about your beautiful oops,” I say to C(12). “The trouble is, I don’t think it’s the kind of thing people are interested in reading. They seem to be more interested in our science experiments.”

“Why don’t you write it anyway?” C(12) smiles.  “Your blog is for you. It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

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I’ll leave you with sneak peek at something I’ve been working on over the last few weeks…

Laugh, Love, Learn blog about overexcitabilities

I’ll write more about my new blog Laugh, Love, Learn soon, but for now here’s a taster – I’d love you to head over and check it out.

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* Affiliate link to something you might like as much as I do.

I’m appreciatively linking up at Weird Unsocialised Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap Up.

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16 thoughts on “Is it Okay to Make Mistakes?

  1. I love this so very much. I can not wait to show it to Keilee and find that book!! And watch the video. Keilee has such a huge issue with being perfect all the time. She has always been like that. She is so hard on herself. Lovely, lovely post!!!

  2. I’m really glad to read this post! I absolutely agree with C’s comment that your blog is for you so go ahead and write about whatever you like! I should listen to her advice as well, since I, too, tend to overthink about whether and how much to write on my blog!

    1. Thank you, Hwee. Yes, sometimes our children give us the wisest advice! I was so glad to hear from you, I’d been hoping you were okay as I haven’t seen you on your blog for a while. I hope to see you back there soon, sharing whatever inspires you.

  3. Lucinda,

    “… mistakes can be transformed into opportunities.” Oh yes! We always learn so much from our mistakes. We might not achieve what we’d set out to do, but sometimes we end up somewhere even better. They can lead to unexpected places. I bet C never expected to have a bloodstained bear!

    I was on the Youcubed website a few weeks ago. I followed some links and found some interesting maths games. I haven’t watched the mistake video, but I will. Thanks for the link!

    Good to see you back on your blog!

    1. Sue, Thank you for your encouragement. The YouCubed website is full of interesting maths resources, isn’t it? I think you’re probably familiar with most of the ideas in the video I linked, but both my children and I can never have too many reminders that we don’t serve anyone by trying to be perfect! You have always been a great example to me of not letting procrastination get in the way of creating – thank you. 🙂

  4. This words so much encouraging…It is right “mistakes are the good path to learn what we are..”.I have similar experience in my life.When I am in my 12th class,I was below average student,one day one of our class teacher make me stand up in front of other students and said”if I plant a tree instead of you is better than teaching you” I thought “I am a failure”,but God help me and give good gift for that ..I got 3rd Rank in my B.Sc.Now I am working as a FOOD TECHNOLOGIST come QHSE OFFICER in Qatar.”Failure is the stepping stone to success.”
    Thank you for your blog…

    1. Jewel,
      That teacher must’ve been having a very bad day to have spoken so unkindly. I’m so glad you didn’t let his or her thoughtlessness hold you back from the success you deserve.
      “Failure is the stepping stone to success” – absolutely!
      You always leave such lovely comments – thank you so much, Jewel.

  5. You’re welcome Lucinda,
    My hearty congratulation for you and your team for making the new generation kids so creative.Now some of our kids are wasting their time and health by eating Jung foods and just playing mobile games due to lack of guidance .
    I have only the knowledge regarding Food Science,I am doing and sharing my knowledge to all whoever talk to me,and informing them for making world good. Your initiative programs for the better life of kid is so impressive.

  6. Good for you, Lucinda! I think we should all write what interests us because if we only wrote what we thought others might be interested in the blogging world would be a very boring place! Thank you for making it more interesting 😉
    I LOVE the sound of the Beautiful Ooops book. I may just have to invest in a copy myself!

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