A teacher my son had said this to him about the art project he had just completed. A teacher who was supposed to bring out the best in him. A teacher whose very job is to inspire and empower all students. And so, his mind began to turn, "Was it really good or just good for a boy's effort? I am a middle school art teacher. When you train to for this profession, you are told that there are thousands of ways to praise. There is no room in art to undermine the creation, revision, polishing, and perseverance it takes to express oneself in art. In a subject where we think outside of the box, … [Read more...]
“So is every day a sunny day?” That is the question that stumped my father several decades ago when I took my first airplane flight as a child. Once we ascended through the dark gray clouds, I was stunned that the sunny blue sky reappeared in all its glory. My concrete-over-abstract brain at the time thought a gray sky meant the absence of the sun, not just its obstruction. Hence my question. “Well,” my father replied, “I guess you could say that.” Little did I know that by welcoming my question and exploring its meaning through a series of follow-up questions, he fostered my … [Read more...]
The greatest tool you can use to help your children grow is something they can't cram for to pass a standardized test. It’s creativity.
Creativity affects the way we learn and grow. It can be applied to any subject and teaches us that, even within rigid structures, you can find freedom of movement to make something new. And creativity is heavily employed and deepened in others by exposure to art, music and literature -- the fine arts.
Show children a painting and ask them to tell you what it is … [Read more...]
It began with a simple question from my oldest daughter, age 4 at the time: “Daddy, what is art?” “Art,” I began, “is something that, well, let me think about that for a moment.” What was art, indeed, I asked myself while continuing the mindless routine of a frantic preschool morning: load the dishwasher, supervise the brushing of teeth, check the backpack, and head out the door. On the way to school, I muttered a few tidbits about art being a way humans change materials like clay or paint into beautiful objects. As with so many adult explanations of abstract concepts, however, the … [Read more...]
Your kid's creativity starts with you, dad. That's among the messages children's book authors have in our latest Modern Dads Podcast. Mike Adamick, author of a series of books on art, crafts, science and cooking projects that parents can do with their children, talks about how he shares the experience of creating his books -- including his latest Dad's Book of Awesome Recipes -- with his daughter. Adamick is a stay-at-home dad, writer, and inveterate tinkerer whose work has appeared on National Public Radio, KQED Radio and in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and more. He … [Read more...]