Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

sept 06 2008 001

This is a picture of Tee reflected in one of the mirrors in the periscope he built this evening.

I suggested he build a periscope when I saw him playing with a couple of small mirrors and a flashlight, not thinking that he would actually be able to figure out how to do it, but after scrummaging around a bit with scissors, plasticine and tape, he built one out of an empty milk carton, a cardboard tea box that he emptied the tea bags out of, and the two mirrors.

I was genuinely astonished, and he was truly delighted. Here he is in a dark closet, trying to see if the light he shines at the bottom will come out the other end.

sept 06 2008 004

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It does not behoove us in this day and age to raise conformists. The hope of the future depends on original solutions and unrestrained intellect like it never has before, and there is no way to create true thinkers other than trusting children to be in charge of their own learning.

~ Amy Spang ( author of Anony-Mom-Ous blog)

I found Amy’s blog thanks to Life Learning’s unschooling blog directory (which I discovered today after it sent a few readers my way). I agree with her sentiments on allowing children to learn independently. Some people have implied that my desire to follow this unconventional (by modern standards) method of educating my children is arrogant, but it might be argued that the arrogance lies in the assumption we make when we dictate what children ought to know. We assume that we know what they will need to know in the future. Out of all of the possible bits of information in the vast storehouse of accumulated human knowledge, we know which bits are essential. Hmmph. We live our lives in the moment, often unaware of how particular to the moment our ways of living actually are. We do what we think is “right” based on what we see others doing, or based on what our parents, or our community, or our cultures have taught us to do, often disregarding the fact that things have been done differently in previous times, and are being done differently even now, in other parts of the world. It’s such a narrow, narrow perspective, and the rigidity of this kind of thinking doesn’t leave much room for individuality. It doesn’t lend itself to questioning, and without questioning, we as a culture will continue to make the same mistakes endlessly. We need to allow our children to discover their own particular strengths and their own particular interests by giving them the time and space to do so.

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They’re tablets of the Gods. We write in a special language on them and we use toothpicks. We have Risk figures to guard them. They’re made out of plasticine. It has the journey of the King of the Gods written on it, and if you know it, then it tells you how to get to a treasure. It shows you a map and tells you how to get to it, if you know the special language.

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