Consumer or Creator?
One of the tremendous benefits of home education is the opportunity that it affords to develop a child’s creativity. Typically, the core subjects of even the most formal homeschooling curriculum can be completed in a fraction of the time that the same activities would take in the classroom, leaving ample time for exploring, drawing, digging, and building.
Nurturing the creative process is essential for many reasons. Any time a child can make something with his or her own hands, something wonderful happens. There is a thrill of accomplishment in producing a thing of value, whether it is a painting to decorate the refrigerator or the colourful magnet that holds it there. When this value is recognized by the family, the child is affirmed and encouraged.
Creativity develops the capacity for problem solving in a child. Choosing materials and colours for a piece of artwork gives even a very young child practice in comparison and decision making. It also illustrates the beginnings of logic. Green is not red. If I choose to colour the ball in my drawing red, then it is not green.
“Kids are naturally indiscriminate and perpetual consumers. If all we do is cater to their whims and desires, we educate them to be takers, not givers, consumers, not creators.”– Dr Laura Schlessinger
Having a creative mind is a good insurance policy against the notion that we always need to have the newest and most popular clothing, gadgets, etc. It encourages freedom from the tyranny of a greedy peer group. Designer clothing? How much better is design-it-yourself clothing!
Teaching a child to sew, by the way, is a great way to develop mathematical skills and spacial awareness. It is not just colour and fashion. It is applied geometry. Where else would your child get to practice thinking inside-out and backwards? Sewing is a terrific brain exercise, and again, gives the child the satisfaction of having produced something of value, even if it is as simple as a rectangular placemat, or square cushion cover.
In her book, The Ten Commandments, Dr Laura Schlessinger says: “Kids are naturally indiscriminate and perpetual consumers. If all we do is cater to their whims and desires, we educate them to be takers, not givers, consumers, not creators.” Part of not raising a greedy child is just not spoiling the child. The other part of raising a satisfied child is teaching the child to be a creator and not a consumer.
We need creative thinkers in our society. We need men and women who can look at the world’s problems with a critical, but creative, eye and find the kind of workable solutions that are beyond ordinary thinking.
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