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Be Creative - Live life with your kids - Issue 062
July 11, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

Once a month many churches in our town get together for a Combined Church Service. During the Dry Season we are having these services out in the park – they are truly a blessing with many tourists joining in. It encouraged my heart this week to see Josh fully participating in the life of the church. Being a 15yo boy can be a hard time – you are neither a child running in the park, neither are you fully involved in all the talking that adults enjoy after church. This last Sunday Josh was involved in setting up the sound system, learning from the young men who do this every week. But the thing that I really noticed was seeing him serving ice-cream to a long line of young children. This wasn’t arranged, he wasn’t on roster – it just happened. How truly wonderful to see our children serving and finding their place in the body of Christ!

Live life with your kids!

Family Life is a Resource for Education

Be Creative

I believe homeschooling families fall into one of two categories
  1. You love creative projects
  2. You baulk at creative projects

There is a little of both happening in our home. I encourage creativity and yet sometimes the projects that the children desire to make are so … big, so ….interesting, so…..hard I truly do baulk.

We have just completed a three week season where we have done very little but creative projects. Being this intensive I have seen the benefits and I hope the next time my son presents me with an idea to make a rocket, with spinning wheels I will be a little more enthusiastic!

Here are some of the lessons that I have seen my children learn:

Trying new skills
If you can reflect back to the last time you took a Course – did you do a course on computer skills, or public speaking or quilting? Where you nervous, uncertain of what your abilities would be like? These are the same emotions that our children go through even if they have chosen to learn a particular skill – they will be uncertain, it is all new ground to them and we need to be gracious and patient teachers.

We also need to applaud our children when they step out and try new things. It is easy to stay in our comfort zone but we learn so much when we are stretched. If our children can live like this as a child, they will continue to take risks, to do new things and to be fully available to God in the days to come.

Following instructions
When my daughter started the piano we encouraged her with a story we heard a lady share once. She said, “If you can play music by ear you will go far, but there will be times you won’t be able to play. If you can play by sight you will go far, but there will be times you won’t be able to play. If you can do both – you can play anywhere!” This has been the attitude that I have had with teaching creative skills as well.

We have one very creative, inventive, out-there kind of child. During this last creative season she has learnt that there are benefits from learning from those with experience and skill. As she learns the foundational skills from following the instructions, she will then be able to create far more from her own imagination as she adapts, moulds or completely ignores the techniques she has learnt.

It has been a heart attitude – a willingness to learn from another.

Problem solving
Even as we follow instructions things go wrong. It may be our own lack of skill, or an error in reading or understanding those instructions, or sometimes an error in the instructions themselves (it does happen!). Being creative is all about finding a solution.

Handling mistakes emotionally
There is another lesson to learn when mistakes happen and that is to handle our emotions. It can be so frustrating when we put everything into a project only to find a mistake. I’m not talking about the “mistakes” that perfectionists see but the big gaping “this is not going to work” mistakes. There is a whole range of character traits that we can expect of our children, or teach into our children when necessary

  • Self control – the folding of hands, the taking of a deep breath. Getting angry at a quilt or a sewing machine is not going to get the project finished! Anger is futile. There are times that we have to walk away from a project, give ourselves a break, take a walk, get perspective. These things can be taught to our children when they are young. Let them acknowledge their frustration, but don’t let it move to anger, and don’t let them discard their project.
  • Perseverance is a character trait that can only be developed in hard times. When everything is going right we are living in joy, it is easy – perseverance gets us through the hard times. Yes, we may take a break, but perseverance will have us coming back to tackle this project with a fresh mind.
  • Thoroughness is all about knowing your goal and completing it. I encourage my children to see that they are in a learning phase. This dictates their goals. Their goal is not to create a perfect project – their goal is to learn the skills. This helps with the perfectionist in them.

Slow down the pace of life
It has been a delightful season as we focused on one thing; we sat around the house listening to music, or audio stories, or talking to each other as our hands kept busy. There was lots of laughter, talking and it was lovely to hear the children encouraging each other in their projects. It was a timely reminder that we need to take our routine by the ears and make time for the peaceful, the relaxing and the creative.

Website Updates

Positive Affirmations - Surround yourself with positive affirmations to confirm your love for your children and to encourage growth and change in your areas of weakness.

Blending Homeschooling and Housework - One of the biggest challenges, universally, to homeschool mums is the balance between homeschool and housework.

At the Mum’s Support Corner Amanda encouraged those with Special Needs to keep peace in the midst of challenges.

Share your own heart What has worked for you in your family? Start a topic of interest discussion or read and comment on topics of interest to other homechool families.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

Keep up with additions throughout the week with my Lifestyle Homeschool Blog

Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life is a Resource for Education – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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