The Importance of Creativity and Dreaming for Children

dreaming, creativity, spacing out, zoning out Quoting an email buddy, who is a North American Indian:

> Our people know better, healthy amounts of outdoor isolation (we call it time to dream)

EXACTLY! It was first my husband's idea to homeschool, because he wanted to preserve our kids' creativity. I did too of course, but since he was an art teacher and an artist at the time (now he is an art and play therapist as well) he saw how creativity quickly got squeezed out of them at an early age. He wanted them to have to time to dream. Lots of dreaming. Time to space out, and zone out. And lots of art. And play. So our kids' play WAS their education. So we honoured their play and their dreaming (zoning out they call it as if it is a bad thing) and they learned to honour their OWN rhythm. I think those things are MOST important in the early years, so that they can get a sense of self, of who they are, so that when they hit the "real" world, they already have maximized their inner strength.

> On the other hand we hear of kids in public school puking on standardized test day from the stress,

We take care of two girls after school, aged 9 and 7. The nine year old talks to me about her extremely authoritarian Grade 3 school teacher, who threatens, pushes and intimidates them every day. She gives them one Smartie every time they've done something right, like a horse who gets sugar cubes, in the tradition of Pavlov's dogs. I've met her when my foster daughter was in that school. She's like Darth Vader on high heels. The nine year old is really scared of her teacher. I asked her why she thought the teacher did this, and she said that the teacher was "preparing them for high school". Now why on earth are Grade 3 kids concerned about HIGH SCHOOL? It's like these kids are born to go to school, born to do boot camp, born to be cannon fodder. They keep getting a message of fear, that there is a "bad, tough world out there, you gotta compete". They are taught to worry and fret. Such nonsense to scare them systematically into submission and spend their lives cowering. Get them to be afraid of everything: afraid of not doing well, afraid of being poor, sick, stupid, fat, lonely, you name it. By the time many of them graduate, they are so immersed in the myth of doom and danger and worry as a way of life, that they can only operate from a place of fear.


Thanks for letting me rant. On the more optimistic side, I've noticed that the kids who do well in school are those who have either really loving supportive parents, or those who have and are unique indomitable spirits that manage to slip through the intimidation and culture of fear and retain their life force and chutzpah. Thank goodness for all the wild card spirits out there. And thank goodness for the few handfuls of fine teachers who believe in kids, and respect and honour them. They have saved many of them from complete alienation and degradation. I look fondly back at one, mabye two teachers in my five years of high school who showed me basic respect.

(who wants to live fearlessly, and still deprogramming... )

My life through Rose Coloured Glasses

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All text is © Anita Roy 2004. All rights remain with the author.
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