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How parents can encourage creativity in the classroom

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Creativity in school

Creativity doesn’t usually just happen with kids. You have to encourage it, help it grow and teach your child how to use it. If you do that, you’ve given your kiddo a gift he can use for life.
Fostering your child's creativity
Creativity in school

Your child’s teacher plays a big role in this, but there are ways you can help encourage creativity in the classroom as well.

Let them make mistakes

If you see your child headed in the wrong direction when it’s time for homework, don’t stop him right away. Let him make his own mistakes — he might find his own way while he’s figuring it out. We don’t mean you can’t help, but try to refrain from steering him too much.

Encourage brainstorming

Teach your child that the teacher is there to answer questions but only as a last resort. If your kid raises her hand or heads up to the teacher’s desk the second a problem or question doesn’t make sense, they’ll never figure out how to think things through on their own. Encourage her to sit for a minute or two and think the problem through, then ask the teacher if she’s still stuck.

Give them choices

Let your kids think for themselves, but within limits. Set out two or three outfits and let them choose from them when they get dressed for the day. When picking out school supplies, you choose the price point or style and then let them pick a color or design. Not only will they enjoy their choices if they made them alone, but they’ll learn to think independently.

Skip the rewards

We understand the reasoning behind rewarding students for good grades, but it may be doing more harm than good. When a student knows they’ll be rewarded for completing something, they simply go through the motions to get to the end point. Without an expected reward, they’ll find another reason to get it done and a way to enjoy their work.

Be creative at home

The best way to encourage your child to be creative at school is to let her be creative at home. Be artsy and crafty, just for fun. Paint, sew, draw, color, build, tell stories — whatever works for you, and whatever she enjoys. If you teach her to use her mind when she’s with you, she’ll use it everywhere else.

Quick tip

We know life gets busy, but try to do at least one creative thing with your child every day.

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