Why I Don’t Correct The Kraze when They ‘Get It Wrong’

The Kraze (KR&Z) has this incredible ability to come to a conclusion and boldly proclaim it, with zero self doubt… as do most children their age.  I wrote last year about some of the funny things they were saying at the time (I need to write another because I don’t want to forget these cute thoughts & full stories they now share with us).  But this is different… I’m talking about the incredible capacity for innovation children have.

 

Here are a few of my favorite examples from the Kraze themselves:

  • When singing along to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song, they sing “M-I-C-K-E-Y I love you, you see” (when the words are: “M-o-u-s-e”)
  • “Almost fun it is to ride in a one horse somethin’ slay – hey!” (Jingle Bells)
  • Patty-cake, patty-cake… Bake me a cake, trac-tor sand (as fast as you can)
  • *My favorite Calvin Harris/Rhiana: “This is What You Came For” – Kara Rose sings at the top of her lungs “…this is whatcha get!” (instead of “…but she’s lookin’ at”) – listen t the song again, you’ll hear it!

My absolute favorite: Sir Ken Robinson’s example: When his son was a young boy, he was in a Nativity play. When the 3 wise men came out with their gifts, the 1st boy said, “I bring you gold”, 2nd boy, “I bring you myrrh”, and the 3rd boy said, “Frank sent this”.  Baahahaha! I chuckle out loud ev-er-y time I think about this!

They don’t double-triple check themselves to make sure it’s right before they’ll give it go.

I’m so impressed by their creativity and ability to think on their feet, that I don’t dare correct them.
– Just the other day, at breakfast, Zoe saw a mural on the wall & said, “Look at that cool fish!”  After a few seconds, I could absolutely see how she saw a fish when she looked at it, but it was actually an old coffee spigot.  She doesn’t know what a spigot is, so I didn’t tell her any different. What an imagination she has to look at something she’s never seen before and make out an image of something more familiar to her!      – Kara Rose believes she is the best reader in the world, when in fact she has an amazing auditory memory & can recite full books (like several), word for word as she turns the pages.  She might miss a word or even leave a line out sometimes, but when she looks up at me after each page, she’s going to get a smile, thumbs up or ‘way to go’ regardless… And she’ll tell you, “Reading is one of my favorite things to do… I’m so good at it!”
Now understand me here, I won’t let them call a circle a square or something red that is in fact yellow, but with these harmless instances, they’ll figure it out one day… for now, I’m more worried about maintaining their confidence & fostering that creativity than ‘getting it right all the time’.

Having a picnic in the park and Kara Rose suddenly exclaims, “Look! God made an elephant out of the clouds!!” You know, when you take a second to look at it, you see it too!

The point…

Kids will take a chance – if they don’t know, they’ll at least try – they’re not frightened of being wrong. We stigmatize mistakes & we run our education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make… *We’re educating people out of their creative capacities. I’m not saying being wrong is the same as being creative, but if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

*Creativity: the process of having original ideas that have value

My brother and I were having the ‘education path’ discussion, regarding our children, although we view education for our children quite differently (and that is perfectly fine! See next to last paragraph).    He goes on to tell me that his son’s school is counting their students answers wrong, even when the answer is right, only because the child didn’t get TO that answer the ‘correct’ way… since, I’ve found they’re among the majority doing this.  Are you kidding me?  Since when did school believe they had the right to tell children HOW to think?!  America’s educational system is simply based on conformity, which is the antitheses of creativity and innovation – it’s a system that was originally created to meet the needs of industrialism, but *education is not a mechanic system, it’s a human system.Picasso said, “All children are born artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Did you know, almost all children from the ages of 3-7 test in the 90th percentile for creativity?! BUT every year after that, it dramatically declines.  We focus on educating only children’s minds & really only one side.  Academic ability dominates our view of intelligence. The consequence is highly talented, brilliant people think they’re not because what they were good at wasn’t valued or was completely stigmatized.

Story time…

A little girl, in the 1930’s, was ‘having trouble in school’.  The school wrote to her parents saying she had a learning disorder because she couldn’t be still & focus, so her mother took her to a doctor. After she spoke to him about their issues and the doctor evaluated her, he said “Gillian isn’t sick, she’s a dancer.” The mother put her in a dance school & the little girl said it was full of people just like her, people who had to move to think. In this day, someone would have put her on medication & told her to calm down.  Now, you may know of her – Gillian Lynne, the choreographer of the longest running Broadway show in history, Cats.

My older brother was 3 grades ahead of me & I was practically writing his literature papers for him before I even got to high school, so he would help me with math & science.  Who do you think got into an Ivy League school & who barely got into college at all because I could. not. take. a standardizeda synonym for conformity test for the life of me?!  After taking a ‘gap year’, I decided to attend a fine arts college where I graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0. It wasn’t until I went to an ‘alternative college’ that I realized my own potential.

 

 

My little girl who has to move to think

School is about to start in a couple weeks and I am so freaking excited this year because we’ve found a school, here in our new city, whose philosophies match our beliefs on education.  I’ve been told more than once, “If you don’t like the system, maybe you should homeschool them.  Education is standard for a reason – they can’t individualize it for every child.” Well, well, well, if we didn’t find a school that believes in individualized education as a top priority. They believe children should be children, not sitting quietly in desks for hours.  They believe in self-paced learning. And believe it or not, they also aren’t so worried about every answer being 100% correct, as long as they can see that the child is processing the information and demonstrating their knowledge in a way that shows progression and understanding.

Guys, I have twins. They are. not. the. same. especially when it comes to how they learn or what they’re interested in. This is where my passion for this subject matter was born! What is right for my children, may not be for yours OR crazy thought, what is right for one of your children, may not be right for the other! You are your child’s parent.  Trust your instinct. Decide what matters to you most and get involved.  Don’t just take things for face value. And stand up for what you believe in.  Every child has a dream & our job to protect it. In fact, I think Katrina Kennison basically sums up my feelings about this: “One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced as a mother-especially in these anxious, winner-takes-all times-is the need to resist the urge to accept someone else’s definition of success and to try to figure out, instead, what really is best for my own children, what unique combination of structure and freedom, nurturing and challenge, education and exploration, each of them needs in order to grow and bloom.”

 

What it really boils down to

is not my beliefs about education, but my beliefs about humans…  We need to use the gift of human imagination wisely. The only way we’ll flourish in the future “is by seeing our children for the hope that they are*”.  Our task is to educate their WHOLE being so they can face the future – though we may not see the future, they WILL & our job is to help them make something of it.

*Ken Robinson: TED Talk

 

 

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