Presidents and Perfectionism

Since we were out of town last week, we’re talking about presidents and President’s Day in our homeschool this week. Miss is very fascinated by the stories of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I think she especially likes President Lincoln, because we have read a few books that mentioned how much he loved to read. I suspect she views him as sort of a kindred spirit. Plus she thinks it’s really cool that he’s on the penny.

We made George Washingtons yesterday.


I love them.

I had planned to do the old standby “Lincoln’s log cabin”craft using popsicle sticks today. However, Miss specifically asked to make a President Lincoln instead of making his house. Kindred spirits, I say.

So I quickly pulled up this printable from DLTK and they started working on it. I left the room for a few mintues and came back to find that Miss had looked through one of our library books to find a picture of President Lincoln to refer to while she made her craft. “So I know what he looks like,” she said.

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She was quite pleased with her finished presidents, though we had a bit of a rough time getting there with the Lincoln craft.


See, my eldest girl is something of a perfectionist. She is very particular when creating her masterpieces. The jacket she pasted onto the Lincoln picture was a bit tricky to get lined up right. I didn’t care if she had it placed perfectly, but she sure did. And she was very upset that, when placed correctly, it covered his hands a little bit. It was quite difficult for me to keep from helping her with this. She was having a complete meltdown, but I knew she could figure it out herself, and that she would feel much more satisfaction than if I fixed it for her. I ended up giving her some suggestions about how she could get the jacket the way she wanted but keep it from covering his hands, such as cutting the ends of the sleeves. She came up with her own solution though, as she usually does. She folded the sleeves back and pasted them in place, to make cuffs. Problem solved. And she did it herself. I love that “Aha!” moment.

I also love Lass’s accomplishments (she wouldn’t pose for a picture holding up her presidents).


I must admit, it takes a bit of effort on my part to sit back and let them do their craft projects on their own. I have a tendency to want to “help” them place the pieces in the right general area. I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist myself. Lately I have been extra mindful of backing off. Of letting them shine in their own ways. I show them how the pieces are “supposed” to go together and then hand them the glue sticks and sit back. It’s actually much more fun this way. And naturally they got so much more out of the process and enjoy the end product more when they do it themselves.

They are teaching me every day.


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One thought on “Presidents and Perfectionism

  1. Those are awesome! I am so impressed with what they are learning and what you are teaching… ! Some time, when they are a little older, you must visit Heather and Neil in Springfield, IL where the Lincoln museum is. They redid it a few years ago and it really is something to see. And, of course, everything Lincoln is there. We plan to go visit his home and tomb and many other sites on another of our visits.
    Love you guys,

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