5 Pin Boards to Help You Nurture Your Child’s Creativity

 {Thank you to the folks at Disney and BlogHer for sponsoring this post.}

How do we encourage our kids to think innovatively, whether they’re painting a picture or building a Lego tower?   Creativity is more important now than ever.  The ability to think about things in a whole new way.  Think Steve Jobs creative. Think all those successful-entrepreneurs-by-the-age-0f-25 creative. 

Creativity is now as important in education as literacy.                                                  ~Sir Ken Robinson

I have some wonderful Pinterest boards to share with you and they all focus on ways we, as parents, can nurture creativity in our children. Everything from art to music to building with unique materials and cultivating inventions. These pin boards have it all.  nurture your child's creativity So, without further ado, here are the pin boards. Get your pinning fingers ready and click on each link and follow these boards for lots of great ideas in your Pinterest feed every day.

5 Pinterest Boards to Follow to Nurture Your Child’s Creativity [Read more...]

25 Days of Character for Families

A simple tradition. A valuable connection.

Gratitude.  Patience.  Courage.  

These traits, and many more, are the focus of our Character Advent.  I wrote that post two years ago and this year, I had an idea. I wanted an easy way to incorporate this into our days in December and I wondered if other families might want to join me, to share together how we can encourage character in our children and ourselves.

So here’s the plan:  Each day, on the Creekside Learning facebook page, I’ll post one of the character traits, starting December 1st and going through the 25th.

The facebook posts will be a reminder to you for the day, to share with your families.

Share it any way you like:
*discuss it over dinner
*add it to a list on the fridge
*include it in another Advent calendar tradition
*write it on a window with dry-erase markers in festive colors
*any way you like

25 days of Character:  A Trait a Day on Facebook from Creekside Learning

When you talk about it…
***Define the trait.
***Together,  come up with an example (or 2 or 3 or as many as you like) of someone you know that embodies this trait. Maybe it’s a historical figure you’ve been learning about, a character in a book or video game (one year we used Harry Potter characters for most of our examples. Whatever makes it relevant to your child, do that.), a person in your extended family, a way your child showed that trait recently. Maybe your child showed perseverance by learning to ride a bike, even when he fell off over and over again.  Maybe you admire a world leader, who shows the quality of leadership.

If you want the daily Facebook reminders, here’s what to do:

  1. Like Creekside Learning on Facebook.
  2. While there, hover over the “liked” box  and click “show in news feed”. This will ensure that all the Creekside Learning posts are shown in your daily feed.
  3. Each morning at 7 a.m. EST I’ll post that day’s character trait and perhaps, a quote or an example.

I’d love it if you’d share in the comments on facebook: “We talked about how Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated peacemaking.” or “We remembered our Great-Grandpa who was so very brave when he left his country to make a better life in America.” Share once or daily or as many times as you like.  You can share photos, too.

Don’t get to it each day? No worries. This is designed to be a peaceful and easy addition to your day, not another taxing way we all do too much during the holiday season. Do it on the days it fits in, let it go on others.

I so look forward to hearing how this goes in your families, the things you come up with, the insights your children have.

Pin it to share it, or so you won’t forget it:
25 Days of Character A Simple Tradition. A Valuable Connection.

If you’d like to do the Character Advent on your own, rather than follow along on Facebook, you can find a list of character traits in my original post.

Book Reviews: Helping Kids Understand and Manage Big Feelings

Our friends at Free Spirit Publishing were kind enough to send us some books to review from their Emotions and Behavior series. These picture books are a great way to introduce kids to understanding big emotions, the kind that often get so big so fast: anxiety, anger, fear.

Take a Deep Breath shows children in various situations that they find fearful:  swimming lessons, greeting unfamiliar dogs, going to the doctor, etc.  In each scenario, a trusted friend or family member talks the child through deep breathing and helps them get calm or be brave.


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She Can Fly. Oh, Yes. She Can.

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Art Class

We were learning about Monet and Van Gogh, two of the world’s greatest artists, and my 7-year-old daughter asked:

Are there any artists who are women? Ok, I’m on it.

So I introduced her to George O’Keefe.

Then she asked, Are there any great artists who are women, who are alive?  Woah.

So I introduced her to Faith Ringgold.

She was transfixed. She loved Faith’s art. Faith Ringgold, she declared, was her very favorite artist. We didn’t know then, that in just a couple of months she would meet her idol in person.  [Read more...]

How She Does It: Sharla

How She Does It: Homeschooling Moms of Special Needs Kids {Sharla}Welcome to the How She Does It series:  Homeschooling Moms of Special Needs Kids Speak Out. To read more  stories from other homeschooling moms, visit our How She Does It installment on our Special Needs page.

Today’s post is from Sharla, who blogs over at The Chaos and the Clutter.   Sharla is the mom of 7 wonderfully unique children. Here is how she describes her family:

Two of our children were blessed by birth and the other five through adoption. Four have special needs with many of them having multiple diagnoses. These include four kids with SPD (sensory processing disorder), two with FASD, a lung disease, Aspergers, speech delays, severe cognitive delays, hearing loss, subtractive bilangualism (fancy way of saying he lost his first language before learning his second), RAD (reactive attachment disorder), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and anxiety disorder. There is obviously never a dull moment in our household!

[Read more...]