October 28, 2017

Fairy Tales and Scholars




My last blog focused on the foundational truths of fairy tales and how these truths help children with empathy, knowing right from wrong, and focusing on positive future realities for their lives.


Fairy tales are filled with educational treasures
With childlike simplicity, fairy tales punctuate independent action and personal responsibility.  The tales demonstrate not just what to think, but how to think positively about life’s difficulties and barriers, and what it means to positively influence others.  


I am excited to continue sharing how fairy tales can be even more useful in teaching and training your child.  In this article, we will explore how these old tales give children a patterns to apply in education, leadership, goal achievement, use of imagination, rational problem solving, opened-minded thinking, and disciplined character!  


“Once upon a time” is also about the here and now
There’s so much to say on the benefits of “ once upon a time” narratives.  Here is what some legendary notables have to say!



Einstein was once asked by the mother of very young aspiring scientist, how she could better prepare her daughter for academic excellence.  Einstein answered: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.  If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”   Surprising? Simplistic? Childlike? Yes, and he was one of the greatest, accomplished minds in all the world.


Now, before you write off this ridiculous comment, and chalk it up to one of Albert’s bad hair days (which we know he had many)  let’s look at a few of the characteristics found in fairy tales that inspire the young mind!
               
“I was acutely aware how far superior an education that stresses independent action and personal responsibility is to one that relies on drill, external authority and ambition.
Albert Einstein



Scholarly Traits Found in Fairy Tales


Fairy tales provide the launching pad for imagination to soar  
A very essential commodity for intelligence.  Well, let the man explain it himself…
          
“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” 
Albert Einstein


Fairy tales develop critical thinking for better future possibilities
By exhibiting the consequences of choices, both good and bad, critical thinking skills are engaged. The definition of critical thinking, from the Foundation of Critical Thinking, is ” A mode of thinking about any subject, content or problem in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing and reconstructing it.  Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self monitored, and self-corrective thinking.”  


Tales inspire a child to want to be the hero, not a scoundrel. Thus, a child begins to think like a hero and sees the possibilities of good endings and honor, developing from even the most frightening and difficult experiences.




Fairy tales provide life lessons in leadership and responsibility 
Characters who exhibit passionate, take-charge attitudes and  creative solutions to various adversities and situations can inspire children to take on life in the same manner  


“Leadership is a choice, not a position.”
Steven Covey


Stephen Covey wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He also has a program for children called,  The Leader In Me, which was inspired by two of the United States’ Founding Fathers, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.


Gleaning from these giants, Covey developed seven habits he feels people should incorporate into their  lives to be more effective, goal oriented, and successful.


The first habit is to be proactive and take responsibility. Covey emphasizes that without adopting the first habit,  all of the other habits are pointless.  I think Albert Einstein would agree!  


If inspirational leadership, critical thinking  and imagination can be cultivated in our children, and help shape their pursuits of education, we need to provide our children with the seeds for this most important harvest...fairy tales!  


               
“In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected.”
Charles Dickens

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