Monday, September 1, 2008

The Habit of Imagining

Imagination doesn't come down from above fully developed, and plant itself into a mature mind like a man moving into an empty house. Like any other function of the mind, it starts as the merest seed of a power. It grows according to what nourishment it gets. Childhood, the age of wonder and faith, is its window of opportunity to grow. Children should know the delight of living in faraway lands, of being someone else living in a different time, a wonderful double life.

Charlotte Mason in Modern English Page 153

How can we introduce our children to faraway lands and people from different times, to those ideas that can encourage the habit of imagining? One way to do this is through art. Art can help your history lessons come to life, and give children a starting place for their own imaginations.

For example, if you and your children are studying ancient Japan, you can encourage your children's imagination by first of all sharing descriptions of what it would have been like to live in and experience that time and culture. Then you could share artwork depicting what that time was like. Ask them to describe to you what they see. What is happening? What would they do if they were in the painting? Encourage them to put themselves in the painting-- in the time and place you are studying.

Use art to encourage the habit of imagining.
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By encouraging the habit of imagining in your children, you will help them to learn and remember lessons. History can come to life if you encourage your children to put themselves in the places you are reading about in your history lessons and imagine what they would hear, smell, taste and feel if they were there. You can use art as a stepping stone to help your children begin to "see" what ancient cultures and peoples were like. If you let them explore these places in their mind, they are far more likely to remember the lessons you are attempting to share with them about those places and people.

3 comments:

Keri said...

I never thought of this!
Good idea!

Shanna said...

This is such a good reminder to me. I loved playing pretend as a child by myself. We have a large family, so our kids always seem to be doing something with someone. I'll be introduving them to the idea of imagining this week!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Thanks Amanda for sharing your thoughts on this habit with everyone in the carnival.

You have loads of imagination.

Mom-Harmony Art Mom