The Creative Learning Center bases their curriculum, interactions, and learning on the interpretation of brain development learning stages as explained by Cindy Gaddis, founder, as briefly described in the article, The Natural Learning Development of Right-Brained Children. Ms. Gaddis successfully educated her own children and mentored thousands of other families using her Collaborative Learning Process. These two pieces of learning knowledge encompasses the core learning base for The Creative Learning Center.
5 to 7 Year Olds
In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Learning Style Discovery stage (5 to 7 year olds) reveals how a child best learns. Because play is their “work” during these ages, it becomes apparent to what resources, tools, interests, and toys they are naturally drawn. This information helps a facilitator know a whole lot about what inspires an individual and gets them excited about learning. Read More.
8 to 10 Year Olds
In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Exploration Stage (8 to 10 years old) is a time when a child does a lot of exploration in many topics of interest. Although each child has a style or interest that is revisited consistently, moving off it to explore other areas of potential comes more easily. It’s like sampling from the buffet table, but bringing the food back to your preferred table to eat. Read More.
11 to 13 Year Olds
In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Collaborative Learning Stage (11 to 13 years old) is a time when a young person leaves his childhood behind and begins to step into adulthood. The young person has hit the height of his childhood abilities and explorations and now finds himself in new territory; a starting over phase of understanding how to develop an adult work ethic and learn goal setting skills to pursue purposeful adult work. This is where young people are ready to be mentored in more formal frameworks by the adults moving from gathering and honoring information to sharing and coaching information that empowers a young person to self-advocate effectively. Read More.
14 to 16 Year Olds
In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Gift Focus Stage (14 to 16 years old) is a time when the young person suddenly knows what s/he wants and loves to do and begins to pursue it passionately. This is the focus that will be pursued without reservation and for long periods of time independently. The young person will encounter the need to know how to balance the pursuit of this gift along with the other responsibilities and formal learning opportunities. The young person’s understanding of how they learn and what goals are important to their future has increased to a level that s/he initiates formal goals in collaboration with a mentor. In other words, the baton is beginning to be handed off to the young person toward the road to full independence. Read More.
17 to 19 Year Olds
In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Transitional Stage (17 to 19 years old) is a time when the young person moves from a home/school and dependency-based lifestyle to a community and independent-based lifestyle. Some will move seamlessly into this stage, while others will be hesitant, and yet others will be outright resistant. This stage can encompass such things as consistent work, volunteer opportunities, college preparatory pursuits, entrepreneurial steps, and/or travel options. It is time for a full adult schedule, whatever and wherever it ends up. Read More.
My Commitment to Individual Development
It’s important to note that each of these stage shifts is seamless . . . they flow right into one another and one style slowly fades and reshapes into another. Therefore, each child or young person can remain in the stage that works best for them, regardless of age. Because the environment at The Creative Learning Center is an open flow space, no one looks out of place based on where, how, or when they want to learn. It truly is individualized to each learner.
The Creative Learning Center creates the opportunity for each person to find his or her gifts and passion and the opportunity to develop the skills and attributes necessary to meaningfully pursue it into adulthood. Each ingredient of each stage promotes this goal. If there wasn’t an environment that valued and honored exactly who you are, and helped you flourish in the style and time frame that works with who you are, and provided a setting that allowed free exploration of all that is available, how would you know what unique gifts and talents that were given specifically to you to bless your life and the world in which you live? If you don’t have an environment that shares information and skills on how to organize and focus your thoughts, and a support system to create and develop short- and long-term goals, and experience balancing a full life, how do you fulfill your hopes and dreams? At The Creative Learning Center, each young person receives this type of learning environment.