In one of my conversation with a day care specialist, she told me that they are not allowed to give a coloring book to a kid. They are only allowed to give a blank paper and a pencil. I asked her why. She answered, “it promotes creativity.”
I thought about that for a while. Which I thought actually makes sense. Although I would have preferred a blank paper and crayons, haha.
I went back to how I started learning as a kid (at least those that I remembered). It was on the early 80s on a remote area of a remote province of an underdevelop country. All we had were different plants that my mom grows in her garden, fruit bearing trees like bananas, guavas and coconuts, and a fishpond that my father inherited from her parents. Simple as these may have sound but they are the very foundation of my learning.
I learned how the wind could help fly a kite by putting a banana leaves into the air and make it fly. I learned how to catch a fish (and frog, too) because we had to stay in the fishpond at least once a week. I learned how to make a ball from the leaves of palm trees. I learned to make a boat from an old newspaper. Even with those simple things that we had back then were enormous learning that I’ve had priviledge to have. We have to go back to these roots, in order to comprehend the learning that is available to us. Wow, it is amazing what our kids could do with raw materials.
Now, being a mother of 3 daughters, I’m very passionate about teaching them differently. With my childhood experience to what I have learned going to different countries and to what I have learned working in corporate america are vast enough to give them the learning that they deserve.
Learning should not be limited to the walls of the classroom or to a Monday to Friday sessions called school. Learning is about discovering anything where it happens. They should learn why a kite fly. They should learn how a boat float. They should learn how an airplane fly. They should learn that the world is round and thay there are other countries and culture that they could explore to. They should learn that there are other games played in the world aside from hide and seek and tag. The list goes on and on.
Learning is exciting. It is fun. It happens anytime, everywhere. The only limit is our imagination.
Since my conversation about the blank paper and a pencil, I started giving my kids just that. They started creating things that amazes me and my husband. Best of all, I started receiving beautiful cards from them everyday! One time my oldest daughter even taught about drawing her own house, her own restaurant, and the universe! She started dreams that makes her confident that she could achieve. She thought, if she could draw it, she could achieve it.
We do not underestimate the power of a blank paper and a pencil. Just because all ideas starts from there.