Our children are experiencing childhood very differently than we had experienced it. There’s nothing inherently wrong in that – after all, each generation is different. But one aspect of today’s childhood that does bother us is the lack of creativity and imagination.
Children are blessed with natural curiosity. They want to learn, to explore, to create. But being surrounded with ready-made toys means that they use their creativity very rarely. Even when it comes to the many wonderful things technology has to offer, technology-based video games generally do not enable the player to create or to change the world she plays in.
When you take time spent at school in traditional learning environment, which also doesn’t encourage problem solving or creativity, and you add afternoon hours spent in front of the television or playing video games, you get a very passive existence.
That’s why we feel so strongly that at least when they’re learning, children should be encouraged to be creative. Emphasis needs to be placed not on memorizing facts, but on solving problems, creating environments and thinking up stories.
The best gift we can give our children is love of learning. Rather than making education so passive and boring that they can’t wait for the school day to end, we can make learning an experience they look forward to. Whether through technology-based, 3D online homeschooling programs that allow children to create, or by adding a virtual worlds class to the traditional curricula, we owe it to our children – especially our gifted children – to bring life back into teaching and learning.