I have watched my kids’ immersion in creation and design for some time now. Maddie 8 and Jake 6 exist in a state of creative evolution that sometimes is breathtaking. When I am caught in their ‘Flow’ of activity, I get lost.
The most remarkable thing about their process is the effortlessness of it. In it, I see the seeds of future design, experiential learning and much of what we secondary teachers are pursuing – the elusive modern learning motivation.
My kids can shift from computer to crayon, to theatrics on a whim. And when I key into their creative frequencies I witness storytelling, performance, monologue, pantomime – pure drama, pure joy.
Untethered and unlimited.
For this single reason, I confess that I am ridiculously and irrationally jealous of my elementary teacher colleagues – they get to see this side of my children every day.
And they are completely willing to create anything, over and over and over again. I will take some fault for this. I draw and write and cook and get fascinated frequently. I get messy and random often. I lose myself, find some of my parts, and begin again.
This process is blowing my mind. In its elegance, I can see how higher designs can be achieved. Nonlinear processes start with unbound potential at an early age. Both of my kids revel in the non-linear. I love that they lead me into their nonlinear open spaces. But still, I fear the future.
So, to make this post a bit shorter, I will cut to the chase – this fire may burn out. I do not want it to, but the curious spirits of my children may not make it to high school.
I’ve seen it too many times.
Something about getting marks, something about puberty, something about peer pressure, something about stress, something about executive function- so many somethings that could erode growth mindset.
Grade 9 may be the beginning of a something-like-an-ending. So, I am mapping out my counter strategy like a navy seal, making every logistical chess move to keep the creative in every day. To make open space for fun, I tell them to skip homework, play video games, and make choppy movies on their leap pads. My hope is that I am inoculating them against the slow rumbling onset of adolescence.