As an elementary teacher Carlson’s goal was to create an environment that honored her students and developed their thinking and self expression. With Child of Wonder book and newsletters she helps parents do this for their children. For her, nurturing children to be discovering, creating and wondering is a labor of love, her way of life.
With an M.A. in education, Carlson has taught in public and private schools in the United States and internationally. She is an educational consultant guiding parents and children who have given up on traditional education.
Carlson believes children are naturally creative and her book shows how parents and teachers can avoid destroying that creativity and have happy healthy creative young people.
She feels parents have the biggest impact on children’s desire to learn and their ability to express themselves. Children deserve to be treated with patience, confidence, faith, justice, appreciation and love. She reminds parents that Children Learn What they Live (quoting Dorothy Law Nolte). Parents provide resources and encourage imagination when their children are not tied down by too many rules.
She shows us how to live a life of wonder with our children, how busy adults with little time can find teachable moments, how our questions can often teach them more than our answers. She shows us how to praise a child, how to find special alone space for a child even in a stressful crowded household and how making a mess can be a creative way to learn.
Carlson suggests we smile and stay silent at times. “Try to say nothing more often.” Listen more.
Carlson warns that too much media can be harmful for the child and illustrates how when properly supervised it can be a tool for learning. She shows how to choose a good science experience, how to incorporate story telling in education. She encourages us to see educational as enjoyable. The book provides many projects to nurture a child’s inherent interest.
She shows how we can assist teachers in their creative journey.
Using a poem, Flowers are Red; Leaves are green, Carlson illustrates how an insensitive teacher can kill creativity in a child who sees multi-colored flowers.
This book can be used to design creative curriculum that simulates thought, unique expression. Children are often our best teachers
Child of Wonder asks questions, explores ideas, dialogues about creativity
Child learns by positive feedback. They are keen observers, bring passion to life.
They need freedom to play, experiment, question, make messes, take risks ,explore and apply their learning to the world by thinking reporting solving problems expressing ideas shouting crying laughing and creating .
Specific actions parents can take to encourage creative thinking
Elements of creativity how to solve problems and think creatively
Give them responsibility and freedom to try things on their own
Make child feel secure and cared for, ready to take risks
Help children meet creative people, writers, musicians, painters etc
Recognizing how stress affects a child and how to handle it
Relaxation quiet time
Setting an example only way to teach let children have their own
Let children become independent
How to create a creative environment children need to know what materials are available
Make sue kids can reach the materials when they feel inspired
How to understand our child’s learning needs always
Encouraging imagination curiosity and confidence through Play, experimentation and discover mazes
A costume box
Learning thru arts science stories media
What it makes them feel, what they like about it, and what it reminds them of,
The author introduces such creative positive ideas as a “Yes Day” when the parent allows the child to do whatever he wants all day long. She shows you how to create a portfolio for the child.
Show children we appreciate their attempts at expression
We need to provide my children with the knowledge of their ways but also the spirit passionate desire to use them
How our parenting and learning choices may influence creativity curiosity and thinking skills
Child of Wonder explains how parents and teachers can support a child’s inherent sense of delight and curiosity. and promote their opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment for their future.
I would recommend this book to all teachers, parents, grandparents and anyone who loves a child.