We are in our own original performance. My youngest daughter is involved in Odyssey of the Mind (OM). If you are not familiar with this program, it is an after school activity that involves a small group of kids in the same grade level. The kids select a “problem” to solve. They need to create an original performance within a set of given criteria. The skit is then performed and judged after months of planning and preparation. This process will take them out of their prescribed thinking and beyond their comfort zone.
As a co-coach of the Cannonsburg 3rd Grade OM team, my task is to guide them without instruction. One of the stipulations of the performance is that it must be done without “outside assistance”, which includes coaches, parents and siblings. The kids are taught to think “out of the box” and that all ideas are valid. They must work as a team, supporting each other and building on the suggestions of others to develop their own unique show. What’s amazing is the creative capacity of the children, if we allow them the freedom and space to explore all possibilities.
Why, as a parent I love OM is the fact that it is a valuable life lesson. First of all, we are in our own unique, one of a kind, original performance. We choose our “problem” within the given rules of time and space. Planning and preparing can take many years and is part of the learning experience. As we move beyond the comfort zone and past the current thinking of the day, we experience growth. Helping others often boosts our own progress. In this environment, we are open to the adventures of new realms.
Love, “with a heart of peace”,
Susan J. McFarland
October 9, 2013