Archive for May 8th, 2008

Haiku Friday Nature Walk

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

For more Haiku, visit Jennifer over at Playgroups are No Place for Children and Christina at A Mommy Story.

Thirteen ways to foster creativity in your children

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

This has been an extra busy week in my real world, AND I have been trying to do the responsible thing and get more sleep. These are my excuses for posting a bit less than usual. If you are interested in my unsubstantiated opinions, I forthwith present you with this week’s THURSDAY THIRTEEN,

Thirteen ways to foster creativity in your children:

  • First of all, make sure that your children’s basic needs for body and soul are consistently well-met. This lays a foundation of security and health. This will require a lot of love, self-discipline and self-sacrifice on your part.
  • Expose your children to real life people, places and things. Go to the park, to the zoo, to the concerts, to church, to stores, to the library, and to as many other places as you can think of. Prepare your children ahead of time for what they will see and what behavior will be expected of them.
  • Involve your children in the real work of the home, so that they may learn real skills and discover what valuable, competent people they are. Children (at an appropriate age, with instruction) can do animal chores, bake bread, clean bathrooms, mow lawns, wash vehicles, paint rooms, organize seasonal clothing, etc. DON’T DO FOR YOUR CHILDREN WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR THEMSELVES! Do you want them to learn that they are helpless and needy, or that they are strong and competent?
  • READ, READ, READ to your children! And, let them see you enjoying reading, too. Read a variety of literary genres to them, and non-fiction, too. Other times and places will come alive to them. Wise and good men and women from ages past (and the present) can become your children’s friends through good books.
  • Pay attention to your children, and particularly try to notice their aptitudes, talents and special interests. Nurture these talents, with appropriate lessons, supplies, field trips, mentors, etc. In schooling language, this is called Interest Based Education. This is the type of homeschooling that I tried to do. What’s good for one child’s development may not be the right fit for another child, as you most likely realize.
  • Provide a rich learning environment in your home. This would include: books, art supplies, Legos or similar 3-D building toys, clothing for dress-up, a safe outdoor play area with sand box, a dirt heap, trees to climb, places to bike and skate, room to run and dance.
  • Make sure your children have unstructured time every day to play and dream. How can they be creative if you are deciding what they will do every minute of every day?
  • Provide opportunities for your children to interact lovingly with people of as many ages and ethnicities as possible. Emphasize the duty we have to love and serve others. Let them know that they are no better and no worse than anyone else because of being black, white, brown, or any other shade or nationality. Let them think of ways to love and serve.
  • Limit TV viewing time. I would like to say, do without TV altogether, but there are valuable programs you can enjoy together, I know. I have read that the type of stimulation provided by TV does not foster neurological development in young children, nor does it develop their creativity. You can research this yourself, if you so desire. Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. has quite a bit to say on this subject in her book Your Child’s Growing Mind. This would include computer time as well.
  • Just because you are a busy momma, don’t stop altogether doing the creative things for which you have a passion. Please, continue dancing, playing musical instruments, writing, and painting, or working to further a cause for which you are passionate.
  • Make sure your children have strong basic skills in reading and math. Can a child be creative with math when he doesn’t know the language or rules of mathematics? Can a child appreciate the worlds hidden within books when he cannot read with ease?
  • Converse with your children about everyday events, newspaper articles, and books you are reading, and truly try to listen to them when they converse with you.
  • Play games with your children. Following the rules, planning one’s strategy, interacting with one another during the game, and keeping score foster emotional and mental growth and creativity.

There you have my list, compiled by an opinionated momma who homeschooled for many years. I am very pleased with my kind, creative, competent children. I didn’t say PERFECT, mind you. But, I enjoyed all the time spent with my children. Those were some of the best years of my life, and I am passionate about helping children to develop their particular talents.