What does creativity look like?

164236_10200972033486386_2048216904_nWow, creativity. The thought of forced creativity is scary for me because it’s like saying, “You’re a funny guy. Say something funny.” I have a hard time being creative on the spot. My daughters have no reservation when it comes to being creative though. And now that we are homeschooling, I get to see creativity in motion.

My Wife is really the instigator of the lessons and she lays out the objective and the limited “junk” (straws, spoons, tinfoil, cups, tape, etc..). The girls have a blast creating their own designs and seeing how they work.  There have been some failures along the way, but that’s part of creation. I love watching them come up with a new way of thinking and then seeing if it works in the real world.

The creativity they are allowed at home is boundless. We don’t care if they shoot a marshmallow (or 12) from the dining room into the living room or dog dish. It is just part of the fun.

My oldest doesn’t seem to like numbers. She likes the math concepts and figures out patterns really well, but not the hard numbers. I get that. I was/am horrible at long division and multiplication, but I excel in more challenging math concepts. Drilling for her is punishment in her eyes. So we have dice. We can roll dice and can change the “game” depending on who’s playing. We can use 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, or 30 sided dice and use these to add, subtract, or multiply the numbers shown (division gets complicated at times). This is our creative way of making math more fun. We adapted the idea from a game called Sum Swamp.

Regardless of what the way you use creativity though, I find letting my girls be creative is what really helps them right now. They find new ways to use all sorts of objects. I was told that the average person could only come up with about 30 uses for a clothes hanger. I could come up with 200 pretty well, but I think my girls are getting better than me, and that’s fun. They learn new ways to tackle challenges and that’s what I think we’ll need more of in the future. Just as I agree with Sir Ken Robins in saying that we can kill creativity , I think we can nurture it as well.

I’d like to think that this creativity would be helpful in my children’s future. I know it’s been a blessing at times for me, but a curse others. Maybe if I keep up with the “respect others” lessons it will make things easier on them than I made it on myself.

How do you think creativity will be implemented in the future and should we “teach” creativity?

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Author: Tom

I started advocating for G/LD students when I was finishing my undergraduate degree, but got caught up in life and forgot to continue to follow my heart. That’s changed and I’m again advocating for these students who fall through the cracks. Their gifts mask their LD. Their LD masks their gifts. I understand their situation because I’m one of those students who struggled through the school system as both gifted and learning disabled and never diagnosed. The challenges faced by a student who is gifted, but not served, is immense. The student who is LD, but not served, is unbelievably difficult. The combination is nothing short of cruel. It may be unintentional, but the need to understand this under-served population is necessary. These are some of the most brightest and creative minds who we ignore through school.

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