Instead of feeling guilty, I’ve learned some simple tricks to bring the outdoors in, which inspire lots of creativity and exploration.
When we connect with people, even through their biographies, they can inspire and challenge us. When we read about others with similar interests who go on to do great things, that makes us more willing to try hard things as well.
We reach the “early chapter book” stage, and all of a sudden, we go from nice, friendly, stories about families supporting each other and getting along to this focus on everything annoying, mean-spirited, selfish, and disrespectful. Here’s a list of good, quality, enjoyable literature in that upper elementary level (grades 2-4, primarily) that does NOT celebrate mean, catty girls or rude, potty-humored boys… but are still fun to read.
This list is going to be the anti-list to those “hot toys” out there. Nothing. I repeat. Nothing on those lists is being marketed to inspire creativity and open-ended exploration. Instead, these toys are specifically designed for a cheap thrill that your kids will soon tire of and then move on to the next craze. So… turn off the commercials, hide the catalogs, and think about ways to inspire your little ones to think and grow in creative ways.
Sometimes, perfectionism looks like someone spending hours and hours laboring over draft after draft, making sure everything is just exactly so, but for some, especially those who deal with executive function difficulties, it may look exactly the opposite.
Every once in a while, though, a student came along who was so disenchanted by the educational system, so convinced that it was irrelevant, that he did everything possible to declare his independence.
By the time they got to me, at age 15, it was almost too late.
What can we do in the early years to help kids stay engaged and motivated so they don’t reject the system and end up failing out of school?