Process vs. Product – why is it important?

The staff at Aloma recently revisited the topic of Process vs. Product.  If you’re not familiar with what this means, let me just say that when you’re talking about Preschoolers it usually means that the artwork or thing that you are producing either looks like a child made it or it looks like a teacher made it.  That’s it in a nutshell.  If you are talking about penguins and they actually look like a representation of a penguin then you can probably be sure that it was fashioned and manipulated by an adult.  But if the thing sort of, maybe, kind of looks like a penguin, maybe…then it is probably made by a child.

You may ask why is this important and why are we talking about this?  It is VERY important and it is something that all parents should be aware of so they can continue to implement it throughout a child’s life.

Let me ask you how you learned to use a computer?  Or an IPad or your Smart phone?  Did someone show you how?  Did you follow instructions?  Or did you fool around with it and figure things out as you went along.  Probably a combination of both, right?  We learn by doing.  Even if someone showed you how to do something you probably had to do it a couple of times to remember it and to get it right.  You had to practice to remember it and sink it into your mind so that you wouldn’t forget it.

Well, that’s exactly what process means in this context.  Allowing the children to figure things out, choose their art mediums for themselves and come up with their interpretation of what a “penguin” looks like.  Now, of course, some things you may have to give them a little instruction and help with in order for them to succeed but for the most part, it’s “hands off, adults”.

Why, you might ask?   Because ultimately you are trying to raise  your child so that they can stand up for themselves and what they believe in.  So, they can express themselves confidently when others challenge their interpretations.  So that when they walk into an interview with a prospective new boss they will be able to present themselves in a way in which that boss will look at the candidate and see how they could be an asset to their company.

So, next time your child looks up at you, whether it is doing an art project in Preschool, working on homework in elementary or tackling an essay for mid-hi or high school, and asks “Is this okay, mom/dad?”  Respond by saying, “What do you think?”

Let’s all work together to raise the next generation of movers and shakers!

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