Some Thoughts on “The Toolshed Muse: Creative Minds in Process” from Your Child’s Growing Mind by Jane Healy, PhD.
The last chapter of Jane Healy’s book, Your Child’s Growing Mind, was thought-provoking and informative. I especially enjoyed the section on “Creative Parents”, wherein she lists some things that parents do to foster creativity in their children. As I have mentioned in a previous journal entry, I have, off-and-on, homeschooled my children. When the children were younger, I sometimes worried that we were not covering enough “academics”. After reading this book and especially this chapter I feel “validated” that I did many things right, after all. Here are some of the “tips” offered by Jane Healy, and applicable examples from our homeschooling experience:
“Provide discipline and structure to give children security to explore.”
Both my husband and I sought to train the children, lovingly, to do what was right and especially tried to teach them how to love one another. Some examples of the structured environment I tried to provide are:
• The children had healthy meals and snacks on a timely basis.
• We (the children and I) would first do morning chores together to care for animals and get the house neat, before attempting any “school” work.
• We had a framework of “routine” activities each day; the children knew what to expect.
“Set realistic standards and encourage pride in achievement.”
I very much tried to stay away from comparing the children with one another. My husband and I, and the children, recognized areas of great talent and creativity in each child, and would seek to encourage that child in his or her individual endeavors. The children seemed to understand from an early age that it was not necessary to match up to brother or sister, but only to be oneself, and to develop one’s own talents. Of course several children could have the same talent. We have found that they encourage one another to excel. For example, our younger children are looking forward to following in the footsteps of older brothers and sisters who excelled in the “Running Start” program.
“Show active interest in a child’s thoughts and creative efforts.”