Fantastic Ways to Cultivate Creativity in Homeschooled Children in a Pandemic
Can you really cultivate creativity? What are the best ways to cultivate creativity in homeschooled children in a pandemic? Are there any fool-proof ways to cultivate creativity in homeschooled children?
Creativity thrives when it is cultivated early on in life. It does not exist in a vacuum. It is the result of an accumulation of knowledge, insight, information, inspiration and other input that exists in our brains. When combined through thinking and producing, these can have extraordinary results.
When you cultivate creativity, you prepare young minds for opportunities that may arise in the future. This helps children innovate and provide solutions to common problems but through a different angle. These results are the physical embodiment of “thinking out of the box”.
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Defining Creativity and Innovation
Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. The basic processes involved are thinking and then producing results.
To further break it down, it involves five smaller stages. These stages are:
Preparation includes identifying the problem and exploring the different solutions that have been used in the past and the results presented thereafter.
If the results are already satisfactory, then nothing else needs to be done at this point except do a review and file it under best practices.
The best way to go about this process is to ask questions. Help children form answers by prodding them in the right direction.
This is the stage where new solutions can be created using the successes of the past as a starting point to come up with better results.
When there are no other solutions at hand, this is the end of the process and you can file it under review for best practices.
This stage involves a lot of thinking.
After the preparation and incubation process, a number of solutions can be had. This is perhaps the best part of the process as this is when everything becomes very interesting.
Children can list down their ideas and narrow it down to the most probable solution afterwards.
The create part of this stage is that you can switch back to the previous stages as new ideas pour forth.
The most rewarding stage of the process is when insight comes forth and solutions are fleshed out.
From the list of solutions they’ve created, you can narrow it down to the few possible best ones and work from there. Don’t throw out the other ideas they’ve created because these can still come in useful in the future.
The best thing at this point is that you’ll see their eyes light up as ideas come in increasing numbers. Your role at this point is to encourage their thought process and help them in consciously coming up with new ideas as they process all the data laid out before them.
At this stage, the solution is fully fleshed out, verified, elaborated, and then applied. There is a conscious effort involved at this stage to solve the problem with the solutions created by going through all of the stages involved.
The creative process does not have a specific time frame. You can create a schedule and allot enough time for going through and completing the different stages. Ultimately, the right solution will only come when enough time and effort have been invested in going through the creative process.
Creativity is the ability to see the world in new ways, find patterns, make connections, and create solutions. If there is no action involved in fleshing out the ideas and solutions presented, then that falls under being imaginative and not being creative.
When you cultivate creativity in children, they begin to have a wider perspective on the world around them. The possibilities increase. In some, there is a paradigm shift that occurs allowing them to innovate better, more competent solutions. Sometimes, these solutions are even better than what adults can hope to achieve.
Some examples of children coming up with better ideas because their parents were able to cultivate creativity in them at a young age are these:
- Young Innovators Making A Difference In This World
- Boyan Slat – Cleans Up The World’s Oceans
- Pollution Solution From Young Children
Unknowingly, these young children went through the creative process and through the help and support of their parents and society, are now changing the world with their fully flashed out ideas.
In Parting, Here’s Creativity Summed Up In A Few Words:
“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness: ecstasy.” – Rollo May, The Courage to Create
So, who knows? If you cultivate creativity in your children, they could be the next young mind slated to win a Nobel Prize. At the very least, they could provide innovations that prove highly beneficial to society and that’s still a good thing.
Now What About Innovation?
Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product, service or process that creates value for business, government or society.
In short, this is the result of creativity put to good use. The keyword being value creation.
And here’s a secret: people who innovate are more important in the workplace, in society, and ultimately, the world.
Without innovation, we wouldn’t have Microsoft providing the software for our PCs, Tesla for our electric cars, engineers for our awe-inspiring structures, in fact, the world would grind to a halt the minute we stop innovating. The world wouldn’t be as comfortable as it is now without innovators.
Can Creativity Be Taught? Is It Possible To Learn Creativity?
Can creativity be taught?
The short answer, is yes.
The long answer puts into consideration the individual’s past experiences, level of intelligence, information gained over the years, and other input retained in the brain. You see, creativity increases the more the brain is exposed to ideas, experiences, and other data.
This further proves that creativity does not thrive in a vacuum.
The biggest consideration is the willingness to cultivate creativity to make the child more productive. This is done through a conscious attempt to use all the available tools provided for innovation to come forth.
Children are naturally creative. As they grow up, the willingness to create becomes more apparent depending on the environment they grew up in. Naturally, an environment that seeks to nurture and cultivate creativity produce more creative individuals.
This is a skill that develops the more it is nurtured. Think of it as muscle memory but for the brain. The more you use it, the better it becomes at executing ideas, solving problems and finding connections where none seem to exist.
Training Your Child’s Brain
Let’s get to the fun part. Here are some brain training techniques to help cultivate creativity.
Don’t Fall For The Right-Brain/Left-Brain Myth
Do right-brained people have a creative advantage over left-brained people? Are left-brained people more successful in business over their right hemisphere inclined counterpart?
Don’t fall for the myth.
While it’s true that right-brained people are more inclined to be creative and left-brained people more analytical, that doesn’t mean you should devote your attention on one over the other.
True creativity comes from using both sides of your brain. There is no such thing as a purely right-brained or left-brained person. Both sides will always manifest its dominance in one form or the other throughout the day.
If your child is more right-brain inclined, introduce mathematics and science into their routine and find a way to incorporate it into their creative exercises. These could be drawing numbers while solving basic mathematical problems or painting anatomically correct animals.
If your child is more left-brain inclined, allow them to explore their artistic side by giving them a break and showing them how to paint, play an instrument, or dance. Since these children learn more through observation before applying what they learned, you’ll have to invest time and effort to show it to them.
The most imaginative ideas must be logical and rational in order to work. The most scientific and analytical of approaches must still be unique, thoughtful and ingenious.
Creativity requires the entire brain to think “outside the box”. To do this, one must be able to think laterally and from different perspectives effortlessly.
Cultivate A Lifelong Thirst For Knowledge.
Knowledge is a never-ending pursuit and a thirst for it should be cultivated early in children. It is in your best interest to fuel that thirst with an endless amount of information that they can process and apply to their daily lives.
A lifelong thirst for knowledge fuels creativity. Thoughtful, intelligent minds demand a constant flow of information. Continued learning and growing feeds the mind with ideas and expands the brain’s horizons making it more open embracing or creating new concepts, approaches, and processes.
Encourage your child to be curious about the world around them. Introduce new things as they progress through their studies. Connect subjects seamlessly so they’ll want to learn more about what links topics together.
Open the communication lines between you and your child. This is a two-way process. Let them ask questions and answer them as best as you can. In this way you are creating a safe environment for them to explore their thoughts and flesh them out in words. Help them understand so they can grow.
You might also want to apply this to your own life. Since you’ll be the source of answers to your child, learning about the topics they are interested in can help you respond to them with verified information. If you are unsure, you can find the answers together by opening a book or looking for it online.
This is an opportunity for you and your child to bond over knowledge and finding joy in the information about the world around you.
Question Everything And Answer Them In Creative Ways
Okay, this isn’t about being political. Questioning everything doesn’t necessarily mean riling against authority. This is about constantly asking the questions who, what, where, when, how, and most importantly, why. These questions can open up a world of interesting information if you answer them creatively.
Let’s backpedal a bit to the creative process. Remember preparation?
This is a good way to establish that when you cultivate creativity in young children.
When you need to kick-start your creativity, ask yourself an interesting question, and try to answer it.
Try doing it in front of a mirror. You’re going to find it funny the first time you do it but give it time and you’ll soon feel comfortable with having a full-blown conversation with your reflection.
It’s one thing to read a book or study a subject. It’s an entirely different thing to be able to process all that information and explain it to others or even yourself. Being able to explain that new knowledge shows that you internalized and processed the information.
You can then expand on this knowledge, reshape it, or integrate it to your own ideas so you can create new concepts.
JumpStart The Creative Process By Establishing A Ritual
One of the best ways to begin the creative process is to give your brain a virtual starting point.
To do this some people develop a ritual. This can be something as simple as drinking a cup of coffee (or a glass of milk, for children) to a more complicated one that involves several steps done in a specific sequence.
Here’s an example of a ritual:
- Wake up – as soon as your alarm goes off, get up and get out of bed.
- Write – a random 1000 word document of your thoughts and other musings. Try to tap into what your dreams were the night before or the thoughts you’ve had.
- Exercise – do a short 15 or 30-minute set of exercises that will raise your cardio up to meet the day right.
- Start of the creative process – this is the official start of your day.
Some people include listening to familiar songs or meditating to prepare their brain for the creative process to begin. The best thing is to observe what it takes to motivate your brain to start creating and incorporate it into your ritual. And remember, as long as it works, keep it in your ritual.
Create In The Morning
One of the best things about creating in the morning is that there are little to no distractions present. This is especially true very early in the morning when no one else is awake and you have a little time of undisturbed productivity on hand.
This is also the perfect time to tap into the potential of all the thoughts you’ve had during the previous night.
Lastly, this is a great way to start your day before the real productivity takes place.
Do Something Creative Every Day
One of the best ways to cultivate creativity is to make it a routine. Challenge yourself or your child to do something creative every day. This doesn’t have to take long. Setting aside 15 to 20 minutes a day is a good enough time for this routine.
To make this exciting for your child, do a 14-day creative challenge and keep the results for further improvement at a later date. This can be a continuous process to cultivate creativity in children.
Discipline And Devotion Play A Huge Part In The Creative Process
We’ve already talked about creating rituals and doing challenges, so what’s the missing key in the formula? The combination of discipline and devotion plays a huge part in cultivating creativity in young children.
Too often creativity comes to a halt because not enough time was invested in it. This can also be the result of disappointment and lack of perseverance to continue on.
Help your child finish his or her projects by instilling discipline and devotion at a young age. Help them understand that when they continue doing something and keep their eyes on the ball, a reward will be at the end. This can be something like a trophy or the sense of self-satisfaction that they have completed something.
Let Your Child’s Imagination Run Wild
Remember what we said about not taking action on the ideas that come to your mind? Yeah that’s being imaginative. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Being imaginative frees your mind from the constraints of the physical world and lets you think up of things that are unique and out of this world.
Children are great at being imaginative. Their thoughts aren’t totally hampered by the rules of physics, science or logic yet. Allow their mind to wander, or daydream and use their thoughts as jumping off points for creating real-world solutions.
Help them keep a journal of all their fantastic ideas and slowly work on making those come to life no matter how fantastical or impractical they may sound at first.
Be Your Own Best Supporter
Self-doubt can creep in in the most inopportune moments. This can seriously put a damper on the creative process. Without confidence in one’s self, constantly second-guessing your decisions is going to seem like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back.
But make no mistake about it. Failure does happen. Producing unsatisfactory results do occur. It’s how you deal with these that matters. Will you berate yourself for coming up with answers that don’t live up to your expectations or will you view it as a stepping stone towards getting the right solution in time?
Will you stop at that point or retrace your steps to find what you missed and make the necessary corrections? Are you going to have a negative outlook or will you choose a positive mindset?
These things are entirely up to you. You can choose how to react to the situations that arise during your experimentation and respond in an appropriate manner.
Bet on your own self to succeed. Be your own best supporter.
Deal With Creative Blocks Creatively
Creative blocks do happen from time to time and this can hamper your progress. You’ll have to learn how to deal with those blocks so it does not stop you from coming up with a solution for the problem at hand.
There are many ways to do this. You can take a break, take a step back and try to see the problem from a different perspective. You can also review some of the initial answers you came up with during the preparation, incubation and intimation stages of the creative process. Sometimes the answers were already there all along and you just didn’t see it immediately.
You can also review the past successes of people who were presented the same problem and try to apply that to your own ideas.
Brainstorm with your child. If you’re working alone, brainstorm with yourself by writing notes and arranging them in front of you. Sometimes making your ideas come to life in this manner works. You’re basically making them physical instead of keeping them in your head as random thoughts scattered all over the place.
When All Else Fails, Take A Break
Sometimes we just reach an impasse during the creative process. This can also happen while we’re already knee and elbows deep solving the problem. Sometimes, it just happens without any clear reason behind it. You could be steps away from getting the solution and you just run out of creative ideas.
The most frustrating is when you think you’re on a roll only to find out that everything you’ve come up with is redundant and uninspired.
And that’s ok.
There’s a time to keep going and a time to just stop and take a break.
You need to know when to do that and for how long.
Breaks are important. You can divide tasks into sizeable chunks and have an agreed upon deadline (with yourself or with a team) to complete it by stages.
Set a timer. When it goes off, find something else to do or simply walk away. Come back when you’re fully refreshed. Work on other tasks if you think you can have better results with them. Who knows? You might find the answer to your existing problem by completing another task.
Allow your child to play. Sometimes answers come when the mind in this manner. play with them if you have to and find the connections there.
Or go to sleep. That works too.
Maybe in the end you were just exhausted and that was all you needed.
In the end, when all else fails, just take a break.
Cultivating creativity goes a long way if taught to children at a young age. This helps develop young minds to become more critical about the world around them and become more solutions-based in their interactions with their surroundings.
This differs from one child to another based on their environment and other factors that affect how creativity is instilled into their minds. Exposing children to a variety of experiences and helping them process it through discussions is a good way to cultivate creativity.
Some of the best ways to cultivate creativity requires creating a ritual, practicing devotion and discipline, and successfully overcoming blocks through proper identification. You can always refer to the stages involved in the creative process.
Understanding that creativity is a process that requires time, critical inspection, introspection and using all of the tools available is important. Although you can always come up with solutions if your resources are limited, it still helps to have access to more equipment so you can focus on solving the problem at hand instead of being sidetracked with the burden of creating tools to help you.
Last but not least, creativity does not thrive in a vacuum.
Won’t I Look Ridiculous If I Start Talking To Myself?
No. This technique is used by the most successful businessmen in the world. The most creative minds use it too. Learning how to talk yourself allows a level of introspection that very few achieve. This helps you fully flesh out problems and devise strategies to solve them. This makes your thoughts tangible letting you create answers as you begin to fully understand the obstacles in your way.
Does Talent Trump Creativity?
No. Too often people believe that talent defines success in certain areas in life. What most people don’t realize is that talent is raw potential that needs to be honed to perfection. The best case scenario is for creativity and talent to work hand in hand and that can only manifest if devotion and discipline is applied.
How Does Anxiety Affect Creativity?
Anxiety can have a negative effect on one’s creativity. In order to get around that, learning how to manage your anxiety can put you in a calm, meditative state. This will help you remove yourself from the situation you are currently in and see things from a different perspective. It is when this happens that creativity can flourish.
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