Give Creative Space

20141022_113005Recently I met several new homeschool families, most with teen high schoolers and a graduate homeschooler.  Apart from the joy of sharing like-values and hearing their encouraging and inspiring stories, there was a repeated theme  = homeschooling gives children the freedom and time to develop their gifts and visions.

Several experienced moms exhorted a new homeschooling mom of  young primary school-aged children to relax.  We urged her to give her children the time, space and freedom to explore, discover, read and create.20150308_174550It was refreshing to be reminded/ urged to give children space. More importantly, encourage creativity!

Creativity needs space and opportunity to develop.  Creativity needs time.  Children encouraged to fill their time with hobbies and interests will find things that they love and are good at, and given enough encouragement and freedom, they may even follow this into careers or short-term jobs. 20151020_123634_001One parent told me how her unqualified, yet very talented son was offered a position in an internationally selected team.  His unique flair and ability stood out among those far more experienced.  His untrained style and ability gave him the opportunity to land the job, and his new work experience provided additional training  to add to his ever-growing portfolio.

Don’t worry about formal training.  20150328_114825Often formal schooling has a preset framework and children often lose their unique style and ability in order to fit in to the school’s requirements and expectations.

Allow your child to be unique!  Don’t be afraid.  They may be challenged later, but they will have a deep sense of their authentic self.

I think it is this very uniqueness that makes homeschoolers seem “odd”, but the cookie-cutter career is no longer an option.  In fact, many large corporations are looking for homeschool graduates for this very reason!20141114_170311My hubby and I decided a few years ago to buy our children tools and supplies rather than other the more ordinary gifts for birthdays.  In the past we have bought leather-making tools, art easel and canvases, soldering iron and craft tools, packets of beads, chains and jewellery-making items, or several reams of fabrics and ribbons.  Often these gifts have provided the inspiration and means for our children to create for months on end.20150224_105140

But more important than buying materials, we need to give our children the freedom to “be“.

Let them use the stuff!  Encourage them to create, make mistakes, invent, explore, gain experience, become frustrated, try again, learn.

If they need help, watch YouTube videos or tutorials, or visit an artist or artisan, or take classes, or find a tutor.

I loved   Jess from A Thoughtful Life‘s  post on “Hearing your Child’s Voice” and wish to end with her words of encouragement:

“All people are destined to be both observer and mentor. Your child is destined to be both your observer and mentor. But if you rush to fill all the spaces, be the one to only ever lead, then your child can only ever follow.

My children take me in directions that I never could have planned. Space left free, is space full of endless potential.”

Please feel free to share how you create space for your children in the comments below.

Blessings,


6 thoughts on “Give Creative Space

  1. Hi Nadene!! I just love your blog!! Thank you for sharing your insights. I really would like to implement what your talking about. Though I find myself wondering how & when?? Did or do your children participate in outside activities like sports? Because it seems like in order to cultivate the free time to create/explore we need to be home more often than not. By time we complete chores, meals & school there seems to not be much time left. All seems hurried.😦 not free to create! Any suggestions?? Just thought I would try to pick your brain!!🙂

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    • @Amanda, you’re right! We are home a lot! In fact, because we live on a very remote farm, high up a rocky mountain road, we hardly ever go anywhere. At times this has prevented our girls being involved in things they would love to do and I have considered all sorts of options to ‘help them out’, but our family has never had the Lord’s peace, or provision or leading, and so we remain at home.
      Early in our homeschooling when we lived in a large city, and when my eldest was still a toddler, I realized that every time we climbed in the car to go somewhere for an appointment, there was STRESS. In fact, she once told me when she was about 5 years old, that Wednesdays were her “happy days” and when I asked her why, she told me that that was the only day we didn’t go anywhere. A light-bulb moment!
      My urgent advice to busy moms and kids is to chose prayerfully = one cultural activity and one sport per child is more than enough to fill every day of the week. Often one activity is all through the year and the other may be seasonal. That is enough. For some families with several children, this may even be too much.
      Another word of advice is to look at how these choices affect the whole family = is Dad neglected for the children’s busy lives? Is one poor child permanently driving around and/ or waiting for another’s activities, or left with a babysitter? This should be avoided.
      Another problem I have heard: A friend said that her very talented child should not miss her opportunity to make the national team. At what cost? And how does this serve the Lord? Talent isn’t worth a family loosing precious peace and time together. is it? How does this glorify the Lord? I don’t believe this kind of sacrifice is godly, but every family must decide together, prayerfully.
      If possible, carve out stay-at-home day/s and allow your kids to be free and creative on those days. Even just one day a week is good.
      Blessings as you plan, Nadene

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  2. This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to make time to be creative. Just yesterday our son made a rocket with K’nex. They both recently drew a picture of the Seattle Space Needle they got to see. *smile* It is fun to see them use their hands and their imagination to make things they have seen with their eyes. *smile* Have a great day. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings and so much more!

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      • I do so enjoy seeing the different things you do with your growing blessings, it inspires me to keep stepping out of my type A box and getting messy from time to time. *smile* Last night, while they enjoyed time with Daddy doing math, I got messing making peanut butter balls and cream cheese mints.*smile* Boy is there a mess to clean up today. *big smile* And I still get to dip the tasty goodness. *smile* Our son gets to write a poem today and a play soon. *smile* Our daughter prefers to draw and write stories for her friends at club. *smile* I enjoy watching them make time to be creative. *smile* I also enjoy hearing them play the piano, no payed for lessons, just reading the music and playing the electronic keyboard set to piano here at home. *smile* So glad they know music theory because they can read the book and play on their own. *smile* It’s fantastic, so thank you for making the time to blog and encourage those of us who may forget about the other fun messy subjects. *big smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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