Inspire Creativity in Kids

Homeschool

How to Inspire Creativity in Your Children | A Virtuous Woman #homeschool #artforkids

When I was a young mom, {when my oldest three were still little} I tried to avoid at all costs crafts and activities that I knew would lead to a big mess. After all, I thought, why make more work for myself.

Oh, they had crayons and coloring books. And the cupboard held glitter, scissors, and glue, but really, those were just nice ideas. I didn’t really want to use them.

Boy, if I could just go back in time.

I’ve been homeschooling for a total of 16 years now. About six years ago I had an epiphany. When I was planning our coming home school year that summer, I felt God prodding my heart and I knew I needed to make some changes.

Embrace your child’s passion.

A few months before I had attended a women’s retreat where we were given watercolor paper and a set of watercolors. I discovered that I loved to watercolor paint. When I returned home, painting in hand and told my husband my new found love, he immediately went out and bought me an expensive set of watercolors and more paper and good paintbrushes.

You see, my youngest daughter, Laura, was about four years old at that time.

She would watch me paint and oh how she wanted to paint, too! At first I was wary because of the expense of the paints and the brushes and even the paper. You know how I like to save money and I wasn’t sure a four year old could really appreciate fine art.

After a couple of weeks, I decided I was wrong. A four year old could appreciate good art supplies. And teaching her to paint would not be a waste of time and money.

I had known for quite some time that she was an artist at heart. Since she was old enough to draw she had amazed me with her talent. She didn’t make sloppy rough drawings typical of the average toddler. No, she took her time, sketching in small strokes just like real artists do.

We bought her a set of paints and paper. I showed her how to paint with just the tip of her brush, not bending and smashing the bristles the way young children are prone to do. I showed her how to use the paints and how to sketch her drawing out before she was ready to paint. And she loved it. She took care of her brushes. She didn’t waste the paper or the paints.

And I have never regretted taking the time to teach her how to paint and draw.

About that same time my daughter Emily began to show an interest in drawing. We checked out a book from the library by Lee Hammond on How to Draw Horses. She spent hours drawing. I bought the rest of the books in the series for her. We made sure she had good pencils and paper and kneaded erasers and tortillons. Whatever she needed to draw.

I gave her all the time she wanted to work on her craft. I never pressed, but I always encouraged. And I never failed to praise her progress and I always {tenderly} offer constructive criticism when something can be improved.  And today she is an amazing artist.

My oldest daughter, Sarah, can draw if she sets her mind to it. But it’s not her passion and she doesn’t spend much time creating art the way Emily and Laura do.

She loves her camera. She loves to find the perfect shot or create the perfect shot. I make suggestions, “Sarah, this would make a really great photograph.” “Sarah, the lighting right now is excellent for picture taking.” “Sarah, I think you should enter this photo in the contest.”

Not only is Sarah a photographer, she is a poet. She writes beautiful poems about the love of a Savior and her creative talent amazes me more every day. I’m a writer, but I’m not a poet. What a gift she has!

My 12 year old daughter, Hannah, is my nature buff. She is my adventure child. If you knew her, you would know that she hates to handwrite and she hates homework, but she loves to explore and work with her hands. She doesn’t draw like her sisters. But she loves to create things with her hands. Give her a piece of paper, some glue or tape, and a pair of scissors and you will be amazed at what that creative mind of hers comes up with.

She loves to design handmade cards and cardboard box houses for her dogs or dolls. She loves to scrapbook with me. She loves to look at pictures of family and she is very sentimental. She is creative in her own way and I love that.

For over a year Hannah has begged us to let her take ice skating lessons. When we first took her ice skating last summer, she fell in love with it. I could tell immediately watching her that first time that she had potential and the athletic lean build for ice skating. The only problem? We live two and a half hours from the nearest ice skating rink.

This summer {one year later} we made the decision to make that long drive every week so she can take lessons. And wow! It’s been an amazing journey watching Hannah each week as she progress so rapidly. I am so thankful we made the decision to take give her lessons.

 

How to Inspire Creativity in Your Children | A Virtuous Woman #homeschool #artforkids

Since I had that epiphany moment years ago, I haven’t worried about the craft supplies being drug out. I haven’t worried about bits of paper and glitter and glue strewn about my house. I haven’t worried about saving my scrapbook supplies for when the kids are older and can “appreciate them more.” I haven’t worried about sheets of music and colored pencils and paintbrushes showing up in the oddest of places.

I take joy in the mess. Because that mess testifies of the creativity in each of my children.  I don’t want that creativity, that beauty, to stay hidden.

How do you inspire creativity in your children?

Each of my girls have discovered their talents. And I’m here to guide and cheer them on.

  • Sarah writes poetry and plays the piano.
  • Emily draws and plays the guitar.
  • Hannah loves to scrapbook, craft, and ice skate.
  • Laura is a writer, artist, crafter, and plays the violin.

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