Hoping to Motivate Creativity vs. Perfectionism


So I posted about our Thursday unschooling studies on Bubblews as well as here and it spawned an interesting discussion with another homeschool mom on encouraging creativity.

I mentioned that Em has a difficult time drawing and that it appears to stem from her frustration that the drawing is not “perfect.”

Never mind the fact that we have had so many discussions on the concept that anything that appears difficult can be resolved by practicing and continuing to try.

I have to stop here and say that, despite knowing this, and knowing it WELL, I do the exact same thing in my own life. It is for this reason that I have spent the last 20+ years wanting to be a writer, and writing about being a writer, and dreaming about being a writer, and talking about being a writer – all while convincing myself I was incapable of writing a cover letter, incapable of writing something that peopled wanted to say and incapable of writing mainstream stuff that would appeal to the masses.

I guess it is easier to focus on others and forget how well and thoroughly one can stand directly in one’s own path to success.

In any case, in my discussions with this other homeschool mom, she suggested I look for the book Ish which is written with 5-7 year olds in mind. And along the way I also discovered The Dot and Sky Color by the same author, each of which appears to encourage children to try making art, despite criticism or frustration with their own abilities.

I’ve ordered all three from our local library and I can’t wait to pick them up.

Even if you never become an artist – I believe that learning to draw, paint, and sketch are deeply beneficial for everyone. It exercises a portion of our brain that opens the door to other skills, dreams, and capabilities.

And since my goal is to raise an a future adult who is capable, creative, confident, and curious – learning to create art feeds into my curriculum (eclectic and unstructured as it is).

What do you think? Is a knowledge of art and a creative bent important to you for your children?

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