Allow Creativity and Self-expression
As you know in my last post, I discovered major gaps between my child's reading grades and her actual reading level. We have been reading many different books on different platforms since my discovery. She loves to read and surprisingly she loves to read to my bitmoji, Ms. Halle. Our children teach us so many things and my daughter did just that. She did something that stumped me in my tracks. My daughter is 5 years old and a half and she does what any typical 4/5 year old does. She is always playing and creating and that's ok because, she is learning. Whether its taking all the measuring cups out and filling them with water and pouring them out into other containers or cutting pieces and pieces of paper; she is still learning. We call it playful learning. Well as I was saying, she did something that made me pause and say, "hmmm."
One day, she took several pages from my printer, folded it, and made her own book. First, I thought what in the world? But then, it was just amazing because, I was able to see just how she thinks and what makes her tick. She made up a title and she made up a story. Her story had characters, a beginning, a middle, and an end. She even drew her own illustrations but of course I helped her with the writing. But that's ok, because, it was all her own ideas and words. And guess what? She loved her book and read it out loud over and over again. I had to step back and process what just occurred and here's what I realized:
My daughter led her own instruction:
1. She had free-choice!
2. She created!
3. She wrote creatively through shared writing!
4. She was self-motivated to read!
I realized; Isn't this what I have always wanted my students to do? Yes, and finally it happened with my own child. It's no mistake that many of us have had to homeschool our own children. I'm not saying go and make your child create a story. No! But what I am saying is this, do what you have been doing but pay careful attention to what your child creates because, of all the time and teaching you have been doing with them. Even if what they create is not perfect, or may seem silly pay attention and give them the tools to build upon it. So if you notice they are always motivated to draw, then have paper, pens, crayons, and other writing tools available for them. If your child is like mine and likes to make little books, then have things you think they may need to support them.
Why is Creativity a Big Deal?
Creativity is not only a higher order of thinking but the freest form of self-expression. Children experience security in being able to be themselves openly and without judgement. When creativity is personal and self-motivated it can nurture your child's emotional health. This creativity in their early years is what solidifies a firm foundation of development.
Children can be creative by being free to make their work their own. Don't you have a certain pride about owning something like a house. For example, for some home ownership is huge accomplishment. So is you child's creations. Your child's creations can help you learn more about what they are thinking or even feeling. New ideas, new ways of thinking, problem-solving and new experiences can also increase mental growth. Self expression is also another way to address your child's uniqueness and diversity.