In my last post, I told you about our son Jon and the fact that we were headed off to an educational show. I didn’t realize the impact that such a show would make in our lives. It was a performance from SCR (South Coast Repertory) called Weedpatch Kids. As soon as I entered the tent and realized we were going to see a live theater performance, I was looking for an escape. But not my 7 & 10 year old boys, they were headed for front row seats! The story was set in time of the 1930’s and reflected on the impact of the “Dust Bowl”, the journey of the people moving from Oklahoma to California, and their settling into California in camps. This short 45 minute play opened up areas of communication and enabled us to go deeper into discussion than any book we had read. I think they were able to identify with the characters on stage and that this helped them with their own feelings about moving to a new location. What I didn’t realize then and am learning, is that it also caused pathways in the brain to open up for critical thinking and problem solving in real ways.
As I stated before, I am not into the “Arts”, and so I didn’t realize the effect that was going to have since I am in the beginning stages of learning about the impact of Arts on the brain. I can tell you that what I knew at that time in our life was temper tantrums and meltdowns when trying to get math work done. But as we started going to educational shows, I saw that there was a change in how Jon’s brain processed difficult to learn information for him, like math. By the time we saw the learning specialist, Jon told him math was a breeze and he was struggling with English (writing, spelling, etc..). The doctor looked to me in amazement and asked what program I was using. While I told him about the “new” math curriculum I found, I am now also sure that it was the educational shows that he saw that made a difference. If I had known then what I realize now, that this is was all that was needed to help Jon with math, then it would have been much better for us all.
I am now learning that through these brief ‘interactions’ with the Arts that I was unknowingly helping to ‘plow the fields’ of his brain for ‘reaping a better harvest’ in math and science work. I am learning from Mary Blouin, other Arts advocates and Neuroscientists that when you bring your child to an educational show, like the next one for Fiddling With History about Dr. Beanes, that you are opening up pathways in the brain for future success.
I saw the difference these educational shows made for my family and felt that more families deserved this same opportunity. The idea to make them available through a “field trip” opportunity for all was born. We hope you will join us at a show soon and see the impact for yourself.