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The Creativity Crusade: Nurturing and Protecting Your Child's Creativity Review by Lori Hooten

Dr. Richard Shade & Patti Garrett Shade
3814 E. Regents Circle
Bloomington, IN 47401

Creativity is an essential part of life, work, and daily living. Yet, we see it disappearing from education and learning at alarming rates. This reduction in creativity and creative problem solving skills is causing concern for many across the nation. Dr. Richard Shade and Patti Garrett Shade address this issue with their book titled The Creativity Crusade: Nurturing and Protecting Your Child's Creativity.

This soft back book is not a difficult read in terms of the information shared. It is, however, a challenging book in understanding, application, and daily use. With just over 300 pages, the book brings to the reader the background, history, and difficulties faced by those who are struggling to continue to include creativity and problem solving in education. There are 11 sections, in addition to the preface, forward, introduction, and afterward. These 11 sections are broken down into 56 easy-to-read and easy-to-digest chapters.

The Creativity Crusade brings to parents, grandparents, and educators knowledge of the challenges involved in teaching creativity. Creativity is a "use-it-or-lose-it" skill and so it is imperative that someone be actively engaging students in the techniques and tools of creativity. With many teachers overwhelmed and frustrated with the curriculum they must teach, they don't have a lot of room or time to include these key survival skills for their students. Thus, it falls on the parents and grandparents to do so and to advocate for this to be included in education. This book will help you be the advocate your students need you to be.

If you are a home educating parent, all the better, right? You don't have to worry about the failure of the institutionalized education systems, right? You can just put creativity into your curriculum, right? Well, yes, if you have an idea of what you need to do and the skills and strategies that will foster creativity and problem solving. This book is the answer for that.

The Creativity Crusade will help you to teach your children creativity skills and mindsets. It will help you learn to teach creative problem solving skills and strategies. It will guide you in how to protect children's innate curiosities and interests, reinforcing the mindset of figuring things out. The Creativity Crusade will give you ideas for guiding children in exploring their interests and passions, which are key to lifelong growth, interest, and happiness, not to mention success. Most of all, there are strategies to help you make learning fun, interesting, and engaging for all children.

There is a lot of talk in this book regarding the institutional education systems, such a public schools, and very little of it is encouraging. If you are a parent or grandparent or a public school student, know that going in there is a lot of discussion about the failures of that system in protecting student creativity and problem solving. It was eye opening for me, even as a homeschooling parent, as it talked about the exact things that drove us to pull our children out of the public school system. It was an encouragement.

The book is not a fast read but it is an important one. There are easy-to-implement strategies and skills that you can apply right away as you get to them. They are effective, as I have been using them and seeing almost immediate changes in the ways my girls answer questions. It is not easy, though, to maintain change. It takes effort and stamina, so I will be reading this book again right after the first of the year to absorb and understand more about what will benefit my girls in the long run.

I highly recommend this book for everyone who interacts with students in any capacity. Parents, grandparents, and educators of all levels and all subjects, even the administrators, will find much to encourage and challenge them in this book. Every little bit of that will benefit the students and make them stronger in the long run, more able to solve problems, work with others, and attack anything that comes their way.

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2018