Archive for ‘creativity’

June 5, 2014

Summertime Can Be Easy, and Happily Productive Too!

girl with carrotsSome parents look toward summer with happy anticipation, building a packed schedule of family activities and outdoor fun. Others wonder how on earth they’re going to keep their kids occupied over the long slow weeks ahead. No matter which camp you’re in–or if you’re somewhere in between and hope to balance times of activity and relaxation–there are ideas and attitudes that can make the summertime happily productive. For everyone! 

The Basics

  1. Make plans with your kids. Ask them how they’d like to spend their summer. (This gets them thinking about the summer months, and helps them take some ownership over how they spend their time.) Do what you can, within reason, to accommodate at least a few of their suggestions.
  2. Focus on imagination and free unstructured play.  Especially for kids whose school year schedule is packed with serious stuff, summer should nurture a sense of freedom and enable them to exercise their creativity.

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September 1, 2013

Music and Intelligence: Nothing Activates More of the Brain than Music

boy playing pianoAlthough wild claims about ‘The Mozart Effect’ have been debunked, it’s true that music education—when it’s done right—can foster the development of intelligence. 

Scientists and intelligent consumers are justifiably sceptical of claims that music increases children’s intelligence. ‘The Mozart Effect’—claims that listening to certain kinds of music, such as Mozart’s sonatas, made children smarter— became wildly successful several years ago, and then was roundly refuted. Listening to Mozart’s sonatas was shown to have very short-term effects (15 minutes) on one form of intelligence (spatial reasoning), and not to improve children’s intelligence in any useful or practical way.

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August 29, 2013

Beyond Intelligence

hands joining in the centreIntelligence matters. At the same time, however, achievement, success, happiness, and fulfillment in life are built on a lot of different factors that go beyond intelligence, at least as intelligence is conventionally defined. Some children are academically advanced, and others make friends easily. Some kids are inclined to athletics, and some excel at music. Some are great at mathematical analysis, and others have well-developed ‘street smarts.’

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