I love the term lifeschool. I love it because as an educator of over two decades, and as a homeschooling mom, I know that child-led learning and “learning from life” is the best way for children to learn. It’s also the best way for us to teach! Imagine a homeschool environment that is full of joy, a love of learning, and is conducive to all creative things!
What is Creativity?
Creativity does not have to be limited to the arts as we well know. Many scientists and computer programmers and engineers have amazingly creative minds. Music and poetry and sculpture are other means of expressing what God has given us: the will and ability to create.
Creativity is the purest expression of learning. Some believe it is the way to achieve the highest level of self-actualization. If this is so, then shouldn’t we ensure that our homeschool included time (and lots of it) to devote to these endeavors? My girls are both high schoolers now, but we continue to carve out time for us to express ourselves in creative ways. Here are some ideas from our lifeschool.
Creative expression in the younger years takes many forms and for us, have made for some of the messiest, most fun memories!
Let your kids play with large bins or rice, sand, water, shaving cream, rocks or beans. Allow them to do whatever they want to with these items. Put out paper, glue, and glitter and let your kids create without any rules. Leave watercolor paints around and giant art sketch pads with high-quality large crayons. You’ll be surprised at what kids can do when creativity “flows” naturally when kids aren’t confined to rules.
Go to the Dollar Store and purchase any kind of noise-making item that you can find. When my girls were young, the Dollar Store had so many wonderful musical instruments to choose from like castanets, percussion sticks, drums, and bells. Allow your kids to make a joyful noise!
For us, Science and Art went hand-in-hand. Often, when we were creating something, we’d turn it into a science project. For example, roll a marble around in some paint and allow that marble to roll around on a blank paper inside of a box. Talk about how gravity can help you create art! Study the pictures in the clouds. Build a volcano. You get the idea.
This is when kids often show an interest in one area of creativity over another. Allow your kids to spend as much time on their chosen interests as you can.
My eldest daughter suddenly developed an interest in writing music. She wrote amazingly beautiful songs and had the melodies in her head to go along with them. We encouraged this so much, that in her 7th-grade year, she entered a statewide music competition and sang her song acapella, winning first place! Later, this led to a deep desire to study piano which she continues to this day (and just last week won another award at this same music competition for piano.)
My youngest daughter has been writing books since she was able to write. She also loves to draw. As time went on, we realized that she has an amazing, God-given talent for creating characters and writing dialogue which translates into amazing stories! She’s now on her third book in a trilogy and is looking for a publisher.
All children possess the ability to create amazing things. It is part of our birthright as human people. Taking the lifeschooling approach only helps to enhance and make space for these amazing abilities to shine through.
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