Mind: Mental development is best combined with social and emotional development. If mental development progresses beyond the emotional development then the structure can’t hold itself in a balance. Mental development should reach its peak from 20 to 65 years old. One of the main problems with our current academic education is that mental development can easily predominate, because it is over emphasized. But then without a strong identity there is a struggle to find a focus for all that mental energy or it is not balanced with social intelligence or overall vitality. People with above average intelligence who enjoy their work are not there because they have filled their brain with facts, it is because they have a creative mind, know how to interact with others and know what they want to accomplish.
Social and Emotional: To develop skills of friendship, cooperation, patience, confidence, integrity, empathy, ambition, enthusiasm, trust, intuition, humor etc. Most jobs need a person with these skills and without them one is almost unemployable.
Creative structure: Almost every lesson can include a creative aspect. Why is creativity so important?:
The inner self is looking to participate, it needs to be given a chance to become strong and connect to the outside world. Life is a process of creating. At this deepest inner level facts have no meaning. The inner self, if strong, can use facts for it’s higher purpose. But how to make creativity strong? It is a very gradual process with a very soft voice in the beginning. It needs a space and an activity that allows for personal listening, personal interpretation and a personal response. A space and time is needed to accomplish this without an expectation of a right or wrong answer, non judgement and a supportive environment.
Paced Learning: When the expectations are too high or there is a rush to complete the lesson, then emotions can become heightened and frustration can easily set in. Approach each day as calmly as possible and at a slow pace. I have provided ways to accomplish this. Set up the materials needed, provide a short introduction, allow time for creativity. When the child loses their sense of time, then creativity is being experienced. Once it starts, it is better to not interrupt the process. Best not to ask factual questions because this is disturbing to the creative process. A brief affirmation or acknowledgement is all that is needed after a task is completed.
Because of this, it is important that if a learning activity is working well (creativity is engaged) then stay with it, do the same lesson the next day and only change it gradually over time. The child can easily feel the expectation of ‘hurry’ or ‘impatience’ and so it is best for the teacher and student to stay in the playful creative mode.
Imaginative play is the easiest way for a child to engage the inner self. This is the first step and can be used as the foundation for the rest of the curriculum because if all the learning activities can be playful then deep learning and love of learning will continue day after day and far into the future. Edutopia a website developed by George Lucas provides the following article: https://www.edutopia.org/article/emphasizing-importance-play-during-distance-learning
Imaginative play requires an open-ended environment, a place for variation. For example
- blank paper and one paint color,
- colored blocks in different shapes,
- a garden or sandbox with simple toys,
- a musical instrument.
With these open ended environments, the inner self is challenged to invent, enjoy and make up something that usually ends up being a story in their own mind. In the early years facts, are the last thing to learn, they should only emerge out of play, imagination, creative expression and a sense of having a purpose. Facts by themselves are very dead and lead to frustration, apathy and mental burnout. Especially in young children.
Perhaps what is most difficult for a parent is to not interfere or coach the creative process once it has started because it interrupts the creative process. Once you set the tone, provide the environment, then best to go silent and wait. It will take some minutes for their inner self to engage, then wait till they are done, usually about half an hour.