She has a flair for the dramatic and if she can put it to a song she will. She loves to create and has artwork in every corner of the house. Her handmade birthday invitations are done five months ahead of time.
He loves to cook and has never met a recipe he didn’t see potential in. He builds on Minecraft and it bothers him when things are not historically accurate. Facts are his thing and he has started doing a video series called “Homeschool Cool Fact of the Day.” His sense of humor, his impossibly impeccable timing and delivery all lend themselves to his creative nature.
His brother is analytical. He taught himself to whittle and sharpen and build. It’s not unusual to see him outside measuring and plotting out space for his newest fort or fire pit or archery target. The bike rack and fence he built this summer are reminders that creativity doesn’t come pre-packaged in a one-size-fits-all container.
In all of their day to day adventures and interactions, they create, they build, they imagine, and they plan. There is guidance and freedom and support, but there is no push for conformity and no stifling of creativity. These are my homeschooled children.
When the youngest decided to teach herself how to make loom bracelets she went full-steam ahead. She researched, she watched videos, she experimented. Today, she made her first video tutorial to share with others. (You can watch it here and, if you leave a comment on it, it would absolutely make her day.) More videos are in the works and she’s practicing her patterns and outlining her scripts. She is on a mission.
When families begin the homeschool process there seems to be two extremes: higher, full-throttle academics or an unschooling, we’ll learn through discovery approach. For many, neither extreme works wonders, but the happy medium between the two is where the creative child thrives. Embrace that wonder and that innate curiosity and nurture it. As homeschoolers we have such a wonderful opportunity to let our children learn through exploration that is simply not possible in traditional school settings. Discovering the subtleties of weather patterns and clouds by spending ten minutes watching the sky every hour before a storm system moves in is something that our test-laden schools don’t have time for. In homeschooling, we do.
I challenge you to embrace the wonder and unleash the creativity in each of your children this year. Let them find their passion and nurture it. Make videos, do research, build, create, paint, and ponder. Let them find new ways to solve problems, have them explain their process and reasoning, talk with them, ask them questions, make them challenge the traditional way of things and come to their own conclusions. Don’t be afraid of your child’s creativity. Don’t stifle it under workbooks and programs so structured and inflexible that they lose their love for learning.
You may find that in nurturing and encouraging their wonder, that the well of imagination and creativity in your own soul begins to overflow. Let it.