I recently enjoyed a Ted.com video by Ken Robinson entitled How Schools kill Creativity about the importance of creativity in a child’s education. My personal views on creativity in my children’s education parallel the debated topic in many ways. One of the many tips that I read while originally researching options for my children’s education, was that I should consider the person I am trying to help my children become. Creativity minds and the ability to love deeply life, people, and their career, are all things I hope to help my children to aim to achieve.
Creativity in essence is your ability to express something of yourself, or how you view your surroundings or the world. Creativity manifests itself in the new, the different, and the unexplored. New inventions and progress are often the result of a creative mind.
How to best encourage and support creativity in young and developing children is certainly a topic for debate. Many topics have been studied and manipulated to try to achieve the best one-size-fits-all method of education. Though more recently I feel this thinking is starting to runs its course as educators are seeing the need to tailor to the child’s abilities to receive information for the most effective learning.
One topic that has been turbulent lately is that of bullies in our schools. This particular topic is hammered over and over again from many angles. However, I feel that there is one angle that we fail to touch out of lack of a solution, or what would be considered a viable solution. Bullies tend to focus on the differences they see in their social groups. Children in school join with those who have similar interests. However, it is those children who do not always quite fit in, that tend to take the brunt of bullying. Those children who come from different financial, cultural, religious, and geographical backgrounds.
The area that I live holds a lot of traditional thinking. Often times parents around my generation laugh and say, “you know how we took care of bullies in our days? We punched them in the face“. Which of course in many cases is true. Where did we learn this behavior? Where did we learn to be a bully in the first place? That answer is very simple. We learned from our parents. We learned from a system that said we had to fit in, we had to adjust, and that being different was not acceptable.
Is it any wonder that generations of people lack creativity? Why would we express ourselves differently when we are expected to blend into the crowd.
Yes, we are brow beating today’s youth with anti-bullying campaigns, yes, it seems ridiculous to several generations of adults, but why not improve the future for our children. Why not teach them that creativity, being different, and expressing themselves is not only acceptable but normal. Is there limitations to these expressions? Yes, of course there are. Safety and well being need to be practiced, modesty should be considered. Limitations need to be placed to keep everyone safe.
Passing to our youth positive things is a way of leaving behind a positive legacy and ensuring a better future. Passing to our youth the ugly oppression’s we ourselves were raised to accept should be the last thing we wish do.
Recently I joined the playground and I received a good beating from a bully who, like so many parents, assume that my choices reflect the multitude of bad homeschooling practices. Like everything in life there are extremes, there are home school families who excel and produce some of the worlds most intelligent and progressive adults. On the other hand, there are a few that neglect their children’s education, their children, and blur into the lines of abusive parenting. I was punished for the poor choices of a few. I was humiliated, poked at, pushed, and abused, all because I am different. I am creative.
I hope to guide children who love deeply. I hope to support children who are creative and search the world with a glorious curiosity. I aim to help my children find a career that fulfills them, not just their bank accounts. My dreams for my children may not differ that much from the next parent, but my methods may.
I at one time picked apart the public school systems, and even the private sector. Aiming to find fault to justify my reasoning for the decisions I have made for my children. I have grown out of the youthful phase, and do not hold a grudge against my many bullies who have done the same to me. I have however, moved to a place where I do not need justification.
I hope that society and social circles will eventually stop bullying the home school community for trying to provide for their children. I hope that they will see that the actors, singers, and song writers that their children adore are most often schooled on the road. I know that opening your eyes and seeing something differently, when for years it was put in your head to be a bad thing, can be a challenge many will never overcome.
Part of the educational process is opening a person to broader views; looking at the world as being big, diverse, and wonderful all at the same time. You many not approve, appreciate, nor understand America’s fastest growing educational trend, but really you do not have to. You may not appreciate the concept or short comings of home education, but is that a reason to bully, torment, and belittle another person?
~ Jenn aka. Mom