Do you want your child to be able to create and foster his or her imagination? You have to let them write.
Outside of the school day, kids are not often motivated to put pen to paper and create something. Creative writing is often not taught in schools and even when students have the opportunity, it is often as an elective that most kids don’t have the time to take due to a rigorous workload. I did not take my first creative class until I was 14 years old—but I had been writing for myself since I was 12.
Kids don’t have to take classes to become creative writers. In fact, more often than not these classes will sometimes suck all of the soul and originality out of your child simply because the teacher in charge is not able to execute a successful class that celebrates growth.
What can you do?
First, bring them to Math Genie so we can cultivate and nurture that creativity.
Then, tell them to create!
Is your child bouncing on the balls of her feet, pulling impatiently on your sweater, chattering along about something that happened in her day as you have one ear plugged into a conference call and your hands are busy washing dishes? This is not the time to panic or shoo her away. This is a moment to tell her, “Go write it down, we’ll discuss later.”
By making your child write down what they need to tell you are ensuring that they place importance on what they have to say as well as create a narrative that you both can go back to and talk about once the chaos of the day has dwindled down. If your child does this everyday by the end of the year they will have written 365 pieces of writing, on par with completing a book a year!
Get them into practice. Make it important and make it essential. On a rainy day when the family has exhausted its supply of movies, create a game. Find a random object in the house and don’t offer an explanation for what it is. Have everyone write down a story about how the item came to be in your house—what its purpose is, how it functions, where it came from? The most creative story wins a prize—or gets to choose the next object.
Tell your child to experiment with poetry, read poetry, breathe poetry! The more poetry your child is exposed to, the more he or she will start experimenting with different words, phrases, and ways to break up units of thought. This is what makes the creative writer sing across the page—not the traditional format, expectation, and structured rubrics they are exposed to at school but truly a place where the blank page means even lines do not exist.
This, I imagine, will not come easy—but create a comfortable writing space for them. Fill it with color and inspiration, with words and books and phrases that will eek into them. Give them the time to take a break from the mundane and the routine. I use writing to create, build, think, meditate, share, reflect, reject, speak, and communicate. If they say they’re bored, tell them to write. If they say they’re restless, tell them to write. If they say it’s not fun, bring them to Math Genie and we will show them how their creations come to life—why their creativity is essential for building their souls and growing their heads. The only thing that is absolutely detrimental to your child, is boxing their imaginations before they even have a chance to discover it. They need to write.