Founder, Caulbridge Education| January 6, 2016
We teach fire building at Caulbridge School, not because we expect our students will be stranded in the wilderness and need to survive; rather for the sense of accomplishment, confidence and mastery it provides. Armed with a new skill, and sometimes one they can teach their parents, you’ll see children’s enthusiasm for learning come alive.
Activities such as carving, knitting, cooking and building are essential to get children working with their hands, using natural materials and creating something practical. Rhythmical movements while working with the hands promotes the mental operations of logic (reaching conclusions, forming judgments, comprehension), calms the nervous system and further develops intelligence which is formed through activity, movement and manual dexterity.
Practical arts also have a way of strengthening the inner initiative and brings a warming balance to a child’s expression. Our physics curriculum teaches us that everything is propelled by warmth; gasoline/combustion fuels our cars, the sun fuels the plants, and healthy food fuels our bodies. Intellect and thinking forces are cooling in nature. Pure intellectual thinking may bring about ideas or solutions that, without the warmth of the human heart, may not really work for humanity.
Integrating visual and practical arts throughout the day can help to open a child’s mind and heart in a balanced way. Making something beautiful helps children cultivate a deeper respect for both their own creations and the works of others.