Rarely are productivity and play coupled in the way that intelligence might be with intuition. However, our family discovered that productivity in childhood emerges and evolves in a youth when s/he explores and then gets inspired to engage in generally accepted extracurricular interests as play. Ebbs and flows on a violin or other instrument for an hour – then a drone or PC for the next. Perhaps a favorite book or movie followed by breaks over climbing, ping pong, or chess. Repeated, but with nothing but projects of choice the next day – and the next! I as a mother finally and unwittingly learned that the trajectory of such a life could be changed, advanced, and even saved.
Seven long years of worsening conflicts over homework mandates, after all, had yielded only hard feelings between myself and my son, then between myself and my husband. My web-savvy kid knew – somehow! – that things could be different. Newfound options in web-based independent studies (in collaboration with equally productive and playful experts) ended up saving such a thing as quality of time – my son’s and mine! Unfortunately, we parents don’t very readily understand just how powerful a kid’s emerging thoughts and evolving interests outside of any classroom can be. These and the lessons learned that a tween or teen gets the chance to discuss and adapt in a field are what we parents really want for any kid, and sooner in life than later.
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