Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Guest Post: Author Stephanie Vlahov Talks About the Active, Creative Child

Yesterday, I reviewed an insightful parenting book called The Active, Creative Child: Parenting in Perpetual Motion. Today, I've invited the author of that book, Stephanie Vlahov, to share some thoughts on the challenges of educating the active, creative child.

The active creative child is a prime candidate for an alternative school experience. When this book was published five years ago, we as a nation were in an educational fiscal crisis. Fast forward to 2010, and it is much worse. The financial pressures on our public schools (and political/union expenditure - but that is the topic for another book) is greatly impacting how our kids are taught. “Teaching to the test” is rampant in the rat-race for great scores and the accompanying funding. Compliance and conformity add to an atmosphere where rote memorization is praised. The squirmy kid in the corner who wants to act out his book report instead of efficiently spitting out a report is oftentimes a nuisance. Teachers love him, but “Gee, there is no time.”

The active creative child receives a lot of negative comments merely because he is well, active. He is alternately praised and punished for his precocious ways. It is imperative that he be able to wrap his creativity into an academic environ. A teacher who embraces innovation and enthusiasm is essential. If home-schooled, there needs to be an element of cooperative work between this child and others. Because the active creative child is additionally praised by many for his innovative and creative output, he can become narcissistic in possession of a gargantuan ego. Stressing to him that we all need to cooperate and conform to rules in most settings is important - because oftentimes he is wrapped up in his personal flights of fancy.

Read my review of The Active, Creative Child by Stephanie Vlahov

For more information about The Active, Creative Child: Parenting in Perpetual Motion, visit Stephanie Vlahov's website.

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