Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Club: Imagination's Air

Everyone has one (imagination)   and everyone's needs a continual supply (air).

That's my premise.  And I'm sticking to it.

At least for the purpose of this online book club discussion.

Our dear professor is trying to make the case otherwise and I'm not convinced.  In fact, I'm usually supicious of an educator who talks more about the method(s) of teaching than the actual subject itself.

I mean discussing methodology gives those with NO ideas something to do, right?

Furthermore, I'm agreeing that a parent has to work harder to destroy a child's imagination and spend more money to deprive him/her of the outdoors.

It's been said before.

In John Rosemond's book Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children the author maintains that the job of a parent is all about *helping our children get OUT of our lives.*  It boils down to identifying the difference between needs and wants; and as that process unfolds (over the course of 20 years), so does a child's capacity for initiative, resourcefulness, creativity, self-sufficiency, achievement, and the like.

But Esolen comes highly recommended and his style is charming, so I keep reading How to Destroy.

While I may not have been the most imaginative child in my neighborhood nor the most imaginative adult in my circle of friends, I'm not buying into the idea that our culture is being destroyed by the lack of imagination.

There is always a chance to re-oxygenate and enliven the synapses.

Opportunities abound!

So, as I mentioned earlier, I believe we all have this imagination of which Esolen speaks....obviously in varying stages and degrees....

and our duty as stewards of this God-given talent is to:


2)recognize, and

3)realize, that it is there.

It's all about attitude and/or perspective.

Here's one example ~ When I was a very young mother, a friend (another very young mother) complimented my child's routine and lamented that hers had none.  After a quick thank-you reply, I pointed out that indeed her baby did have a schedule.  Perhaps she justed couldnt see it.  And to consider sitting back and watching. By sheer observation I promised her she would find it.

The same is true of one's imagination.

Now make sure yours is working.

Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child will confirm that yours is properly informed.


  1. Hi Dana. Thank you for your lovely comment.

    It strikes me, especially in light of my own experience, that imagination really is resilient and will grow where it can. Esolen uses the imagery differently than this, but I think sometimes imagination like a dandelion growing out of the crack in a parking lot. That's better than nothing, but it could be even better than that.

  2. Dana,
    I am not sure what to think. My older boys were highly imaginative and I worry that access to video games and television will harm my younger boys. But perhaps you are right and it is like the greenies worrying about destroying the Earth as if they could. How arrogant!!

    I am looking forward to the chapter on the out of doors because it is an area I still feel good about :)

  3. Actually, Cindy, I do think we have to be a little more vigilant with our younger set (of children).

    For me, that meant as much or more work/discipline to maintain the proper flow of water from the downspout AND trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to impart Wisdom to those hard core truths that come hearing The Narrative.

  4. I've spent the last 8 or 10 years worrying that I haven't been as vigilant with my younger two as I was with my older two. :-)

    I'm in the midst of Ch. 1...I thought I would check out what others are saying to encourage me because I'm not thrilled with it so far...:-(

  5. Press on, Gail.

    Dont let the plethora of trees (individual chapters) keep you from seeing the beauty of the entire forest (complete book).

    Esolen will not lead you astray ;-)

  6. When I was a young mom we took a newspaper that carried John Rosemond's column, and I loved him. It's been a long time and I've forgotten most of what he said, but I still quote one line of his, "God made the out of doors for little boys to play in. Now go outside!"

    I'm still trying to figure out how to say what this book has caused me to think -- I can see how my schooling sabotaged the healthy groundwork my parents had laid for me -- they "failed" at nearly all of the ten methods. It's only been because of educating my own children that I've been able to reintegrate....

    See? I don't know how to say it.

  7. This book reminds me that there are many things in modern life that we need to examine, and use carefully because the general tendency is toward suppression of the imagination, not its nurture.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement, Dana. :-)

    This chapter annoyed me somewhat, but I finally made it. (Although I did fly past the math problem stuff. ;-) And I'm glad I read it.

    I'm behind everyone now, but I'm off to read method 1.