Children live in a world of "No's." No, you can't play with slime through the house. No, you can't lay upside down at the dinner table. NO, you can't do THAT either. As children are growing up to learn acceptable behavior, follow rules, and go with procedures, art class is the great release for children as they can hear the invigorating and satisfying word "YES."
During our Creative Geniuses art classes we do have a list of things to be learned and goals to reach, but art class is different than many other places of learning. In art class, our students have a goal to meet which is the art project and it's objectives. As we are reaching those goals our students find many paths to get to the destination (which is the complete project).
We surprisingly hear so many questions asked for lots of little details such as: "Can I use a brown crayon? Can I smoosh the clay? Am I in trouble because I got a mark on my finger by accident....." The relief on the student's faces when we give them a comforting "It's okay," is absolutely memorable and heartwarming. As art teachers it's our normal to say "Everything is going to be OK", but we are reminded of where the students are coming from when we hear so much fear and hesitation when we first ask them to create. It reminds us that these children are not often set free from the routines of daily life. We are so thankful these future leaders and innovators have art class to let their true light shine!
Having choices and making decisions are very important exercises for young people. As we grow up we learn some choices were awesome, some weren't the best, and some will be better next time because we live and learn. Number one priority is student safety, and a little paint on the pinky toe never hurt anyone :)
"Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults." - Jim Taylor, Ph.D. "Parenting: Decision Making." Psychology Today. 2009.
Students that make their own safe choices and decisions get a chance to learn cause & effect, the rewards of perseverance, and can grow their confidence.
Question: What is one thing you say "No" to that maybe if you said, "Yes" to wouldn't be so bad after all? What would be the benefits? Feel free to comment below.