TED talks are amazing! Here is one I enjoy watching again and again. Ken Robinson’s talk is entertaining and thought-provoking:
(The book he mentions is called The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.)
When I send my children to school, I expect a certain level of rigorous academic preparation. I also expect some enrichment that encourages creativity. Of course school budgets are now shrinking and we all know what goes first. Anything that is not considered academic can be potentially cut. Administrators, teachers, and parents can work together to keep enrichment programs in schools, but we can’t count on this. And sometimes even these programs are not enough.
As parents, we have to take it upon ourselves to enrich our children and be open to their interests. Who are we to say that following your passion will lead to a starving artist life? Why not let children explore their interests and give them a chance to be passionate about something? Why not let them see what their passions bring them? Sometimes we need to trust the process and let them give it a try. If they can find an outlet to simply express themselves, it is worth it.
How are we steering public education and what are the implications for the future? Things look bleak at this point. That is why need to do something NOW. We do need a sort of revolution. We need change in schools. But in the meantime, we need to take immediate action.
Here are a few simple ways we can encourage a love for the arts in our children:
-Give gifts like art supplies, sketchbooks, and journals
-Sign them up for dance, art, or music classes
-Take them to concerts, musicals, plays, and museums
-Study biographies of artists, musicians, dancers, and writers
-Listen to and make music
We need our children to think creatively so they can be prepared for the future. We cannot predict what the world with be like in 10 or 20 years, but we need these future adults to have the innovation to find solutions to problems we have no idea will be relevant later.
We do not have to stop at the arts. Just exposing children to new and different experiences opens the world to them!