The Missing Alphabet

My daughter is in Senior Kindergarten. My son is in preschool. Both are incredibly imaginative children at home. I can’t speak for what goes on at their respective schools. I would like to think that a fair amount of imaginative play leads them through their days.

As a writer, I spend most of time in an imaginary world. Yes, I exist in the real world and I function in “normal” fashion according to the laws and expectations of the society in which I live. But ultimately, my mind is going a mile a minute, always with a new idea, a new story, a new twist on an old idea. I never stop.

I attribute this constant spinning of my imagination wheel to my mother. She, without realizing it I imagine, nourished that spark of imaginative creativity in me at a young age. I think I could have been better equipped with the confidence that is needed to continue to live creatively, but conforming to the norms of society is required to some extent and unfortunately, my creativeness was not strong enough to escape being beaten out of me. I retain some of it, for sure. But not nearly as much as I started out with.

I read this book not long ago about the missing alphabet. It talked about how every child is born with a rich creative capacity that The Missing Alphabet bookparents can build on by supplying the Sensory Alphabet—the building blocks for creative thinking. Unfortunately, this sensory alphabet is largely missing from the curriculum in schools today.

The Sensory Alphabet comprises line, colour, texture, sound, movement, rhythm, space, light and shape.

As was stated in the press release I read about this book:

“In a future that will require visual literacy and innovative thinking, today’s kids will be expected to think across disciplines, come up with imaginative solutions, and have the capacity to invent with many media. In order to succeed, they’ll need creative thinking skills. Yet, we’ve been trained to think that some kids are “born” creative, while others are not.

Through vivid photographs and illustrations, The Missing Alphabet helps parents and educators hone in on a child’s natural strengths, and develop that child’s particular brand of imagination. In a digital world where information is often communicated through pictures, icons, sound and video, tomorrow’s adults will need highly developed creative thinking skills that are beyond words. This guide will help build a strong foundation.”

The thought that my children are being pigeon-holed into an expected pattern where their natural creativity cannot soar frightens me. We are not effectively helping our children move into the future with the necessary skill set.

I found the topics and suggestions presented in this book to be helpful in engaging my children’s creative tendencies and helping them build confidence in themselves in the things that they do. I find that when I help my kids think in creative terms with the Sensory Alphabet they have more confidence in situations where they are expected to conform even when all they want to do is soar with their imaginations.

It’s a learning process and I will continue to go back to this book for guidance as we go along, but it was really interesting to be presented with the idea that every child is creative and that when we see a child through a sensory lens, we discern that child’s individuality.

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Title: The Missing Alphabet: A Parents’ Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids
Greenleaf Book Group
ISBN: 978-1-60832-378-4

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Missing Alphabet. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own.


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