Fueling Up the Fire in Your Child’s Mind: Creativity and Online Learning

Posted on February 09 2013

Can being on an online high school help spark your child’s creativity?

One of the fears a parent has with an online high school program is that the student may be chained to his computer day in and day out. However, that is far from the truth. Rather, the curriculum and the freedom that studying on an online high school can give are both great openings for the child to think outside of the box, to look at things in a different light. After all, online learning is in itself a different learning approach from a brick-and-mortar school!

The need for creativity

Why is there a need to put that spark of originality, inspiration, artistry, inventiveness or ingenuity in your child? In today’s highly competitive world, creativity is one of the key things that will help prepare your child for the real world. Creativity enables a child to approach problems in his own way, to discover and learn on his own.

Creativity and The American Academy Curriculum

The online curriculum of The American Academy encourages the child to be fully engaged in the lessons in order to maximize his learning. This enables the child to interact with the lessons – to ask questions, even as he is asked questions that challenge his thinking and imagination.

The online teacher as a guide. The student does not go through the lessons by himself – he has his online teachers as his guide and as the ones who will help him see concepts from different perspectives. The teachers in The American Academy are licensed and qualified.

The online curriculum. The over 100 courses offered by The American Academy are designed to provide hands-on activities to help the student experiment and discover things on his own. This means that the child does not simply reiterate the lesson but is required to tackle the subject by thinking it through and to provide thoughtful answers. The curriculum provides a number of tools which the child can actively interact and discover the principles behind the lesson and solve problems on their own. There are also courses that have more focus on a child’s creativity. For instance, there are courses offered in Advertising & Promotion, Interior Design and Website Design.

Parents: Adding Fuel to the Fire of Creativity

Parents can also have an active part in cultivating a culture of creativity (and fun, too!) with their children. The flexibility of an online high school student’s “school day” allows for plenty of opportunities.

  • Let him play. When the school work’s done, allow your child time to play. It would be better if this is unstructured and directed by the student himself, rather than structured by gaming devices or the Internet.
  • Foster an atmosphere that appreciates creativity. Avoid the penchant to evaluate the quality and feasibility of our child’s ideas, instead, focus on the process of creating new ideas. Ask questions, present your child with problems that will help them brainstorm. For instance, ask, “If all things are possible, what things would you like to do, things that you’ve never tried before?” When your child is able to solve a problem, ask him to solve that same problem but in a different way, or minus a particular resource.
  • Involve your child in projects. Whether as part of his online lessons or just for fun, you can encourage your child to get involved in projects that provide outlets for their creativity. This can come in various forms – artwork through different media, writing, creating websites, penning lyrics to a song. Encourage your child to pursue his creative interests by providing opportunities for him to express his creative gifts. Limit TV or gadget time to make way for creative activities.
  • Showcase your child’s work. If it’s a work of art, hang it in a prominent spot in your home. If it’s a blog that shows your child’s writing skills, promote it to your friends via Facebook or Twitter. If your child’s into making short films, make sure that you let your friends know about the YouTube link. This shows that you are providing him with the crucial support to boost his confidence in his work.
  • Allow your child to make mistakes and make them feel supported. A teen is at this crucial time in his life when he needs affirmation from people important to him. Teens usually think that making mistakes is something to be avoided. As a result, creative thought comes to a standstill. Assure your child that you are there for them, especially during times when he makes mistakes. Share some of your recent “I blew it!” episodes to show your child that people do make mistakes.
  • Allow your child to express opinions that may be different from yours. Differing opinions provide opportunities for thought-provoking conversation. It also shows that the way towards a solution may vary and that there are actually more than one ways to solve a problem.