everyday homeschooling blog


May 16, 2014

Build Your Child's Creativity

MaryAnn Gaver


"A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something."

-Frank Capra


It was a great brainstorming session for young elementary kids. After lunch, we opened a few cans of Play-Doh, and began to twirl and knead a few colors as we discussed some ideas on how to best reach out to our new neighbors. After that interchange, we challenged ourselves to name as many varieties of birds that we could think of in forty seconds. And after that, we settled in for a history lesson and our own made-up "globe game" for geography...

Creativity isn't something that's necessary just for artistic or musical pursuits—but something that we all need in our lives whether it's better communication, business ideas, or home management. It's critical for problem solving or working as a team in the household.

Yes, creativity—and nurturing those creative skills in our homeschools is definitely something that will benefit our kids for life. And, as homeschoolers, we have bountiful opportunities to help our students hone their innovative tendencies...

Whether it's solving riddles, doing puzzles, or making their own LEGO designs, think of some new ways that you can encourage your kids to be creative this week. And remember that it doesn't mean that the kids have to sit in one spot. Physical activity is a wonderful way to get the blood flowing for cognitive work. Yet another blessing of homeschooling—moving around instead of sitting at a desk for endless hours!

I remember our spirited games of 3-person ping pong (with one of us rotating "around the world" - the table), or our attempts to enhance book learning with a hands-on craft. I bought these little mosaics when we studied about Rome, and colored wax to create a tiny colonial community when we studied Williamsburg—things like that. I did it not only to help with manual dexterity—but also to give the twins time to process what they were learning academically and musically.

Kids are naturally inquisitive, creative, and full of ideas, so I encourage you to capitalize on that while your kids are young. Remember the great opportunities we have to foster our kids' ability to brainstorm, collaborate, and think as we teach them at home. Have fun!