Thursday, October 5, 2017

Growing the Imagination

Photo by Benjamin Lambert on Unsplash

How do we help grow a child's imagination (or our own)?  According to Clay Clarkson, we all have the capability for imagination, although some may have more capacity for it.

We are all made in the image of God and, as such, have the ability to create, which includes using our imagination. We can feed imagination through excellent books, music, art, nature study, and more. But we also need to give our children time to exercise their own imagination.

As Clay Clarkson says:

Part of your child’s creative nature is their imagination—the ability to conceive of things that are not physically present, that have never been seen, or that may or may not exist. And if that sounds a bit like faith, that’s not a mistake.
The challenge for every parent is not just to feed a child’s imagination, but to expand it. Go back to the muscle analogy— you can feed your child all the proteins and nutrients their muscles need, but unless those muscles are used and exercised, they won’t grow. Children can passively consume what seems like creative food all day long, especially in our digital age, and yet never need to exercise an imaginative muscle. It’s very simple—if you want your child to have a strong imagination, make sure they exercise it.

Clarkson lists some 'back to basics' ideas for exercising the imagination. Although digital gadgets are fun and helpful, spending time regularly 'unplugged' is very important for healthy child development.  He suggests finding time daily to do the following:

1. Draw something
2. Write something
3. Tell something (a story, narration, etc)
4. Show somebody what you are thinking about or working on. 

Drawing and writing tools should be made easily available. Of course, sometimes parents need to be there to prompt or inspire, but often children just need some time set aside, and seeing a parent value these activities by joining in with their own projects is even better!

How do you inspire your or your child's God given imagination or creativity?

Friday, January 29, 2016

The power of student driven learning

Shelley Wright is a Curriculum Developer with a passion for student-driven learning. In her words:

 "My greatest passion in education is social justice, inquiry learning and helping my students make the world a better place.  As a result of a social media campaign we created against modern day slavery, my students won the MindShare Learn 21st Century Video Challenge as one of the most tech savvy classes in Canada. I've also had the privilege of giving a TED talk on the power of student driven learning. If you'd like to watch it, it can be found here:   It's a powerful story of my students making a difference because they found something they were passionate about. And how God can intervene to work through the lives of kids. I would love for you to take the time to watch it."

The BC Ministry of Education is shifting to an inquiry based curriculum, which makes it both a challenging and exciting time for all of us.
Have you thought about how you can use student driven learning in your child's education? Perhaps you already do!

Here is the inspirational video of Shelley's Ted Talk:

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Love Connection

Did you know that according to some of the latest neurological research, the brain is most interested in love, belonging, community and connection. This might well be the most important starting point for learning.

And what better place than the home to foster a great learning environment? Who cares more and loves their children more than the parents in a healthy home environment?

We all know from experience that when we are nervous or stressed, we have a hard time remembering or retaining information. It is the same with children.

How would you rate your home environment? It is fostering love, belonging, community, and connection? Do your children know that who they are is more important than what they are able to do or how well they do in their schoolwork? How do they know this?

A recommended read for  parents of children of any age is: How We Love Our Kids by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Learn about the 5 Love Styles of Parenting and how simple changes can make a big difference in how you love your children.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Math Fun

If you are looking for ways to practice and encourage your child's math skills, try putting away the workbook for a change and play games!

Here is a list of simple Dice and Card games for the whole family!

Math literacy is so much more than memorizing numbers and math facts. You child needs lots of time to play, think, use manipulatives, and let those concepts gel in their minds. Encourage them to tell you what they are doing when completing math activities.

Any time you are able to use 'real life' activities to teach math skills, do so. For younger children, use money, calendars, cutlery, shopping, folding socks, and other daily activities to show how numbers work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Coffee Klatch

I came across this excellent site where you are invited to listen to podcasts of award winning authors, expert psychiatrists and psychologists and international renowned children's foundations who are there to support you in raising your special needs child.

Read more about how the Coffee Klatch began here

Then make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take a little time to gain  information, support, accommodations and interventions for your special needs children!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Welcome Back!

So, how has your first week or so of homeschooling gone? At this stage I know many of you are still waiting for books to arrive, just settling in after being away, tweaking plans, and helping children adjust to a more scheduled day after what I hope was a summer of many good memories made with family and friends. I know beginning a new year of home based learning can be exciting and rewarding, but might feel a little daunting and stressful!

I wanted to pass on a free printable just for YOU, Mom! Motherhood is such an awesome responsibility, joy, gift and so much more. Sometimes in the middle of our busy lives, we forget what a PRIVILEGE it is to be a mom and then on top of that, to be able to homeschool our children in a province that allows us to thrive in this educational choice. And it's this crazy, busy life at times that sometimes makes us forget the important things. 

That's where the printable comes in. I hope you read it, feel encouraged, and maybe put it up by your desk, on your fridge, kitchen wall, tucked in your journal, or by your bed to reread now and then. It includes 10 Grace Prayers for Joyful Parenting and 10+ Real Helps for Really Busy Mom. This is provided by Ann Voskamp, an author, speaker, and  homeschooling mom, so she knows what she's talking about. ;)

For your printable, click here 

I pray God's grace and peace on your family as you begin or continue on this adventure in teaching yours at home. May he bless us all with wisdom, joy, and unexpected gifts as he uses this important ministry of raising children to change us for His glory and to bring hope to a hurting world. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homeschool Management

We all can use help sometimes in managing our homes, especially as homeschoolers, since there are a lot of activities to be juggled and completed on a daily basis.  Besides book work and planned learning activities, there are the regular home routines and chores which need to be completed. Often a well organized home makes for a more productive and peaceful atmosphere.

Some ideas for organization:

  • Daily Schedule posters and wall charts - easy for all to see
  • Personal daily checklists for each child.
  • Whiteboard  To Do lists - daily or weekly

And now, there's something new!

Easy Daysies is a home management tool for children, using magnetic tags to help with routines and daily tasks. If your child needs visual cues and works best knowing what's coming up next, and what needs to be done before the day is over,  this might be the tool for you!

Check it out and see what you think!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Your Child is an Expert!

What does your child really enjoy doing? Given free time, what would he spend hours doing? What new skill has she learned recently? What does he know a lot about? What does she spend her time talking about? What project has he recently completed, which others could benefit from?

Yes, your child is an expert at something. It may be as basic as how to knit a washcloth, bake a cake, or as complicated as fixing a computer or planning a successful fundraiser.  If you asked her, she could probably explain, tell, or show you how to make or do something. Simple or detailed, it's knowledge that can be shared with others.

Your challenge is to inspire your children to share this passion and expertise with others -- others who are interested and will want to read about it.

Writers need an audience. Usually, this means sharing information with people beyond their immediate family (although they are important, too!). might be just the motivator for your student (Gr 4 and up) to share what he or she knows. Parental guidance is suggested, as with all sites. "This website has numerous categories, and projects range widely in difficulty, so parental supervision is recommended for use of WikiHow with children ages 8+."

For the many educational benefits of writing articles for Wikihow, check this link. 

If your child submits an article to, please let me know so I can learn from them! :)