From Our House to Yours
Helping Creative, More Easily Distracted Children Maintain Focus
Do you have a creative child, who is just full of joy, ideas, and inspiration? This can be a wonderful thing in homeschooling! However, it can also be a challenge. As Charlotte Mason advocated, a child needs both inspirational and disciplinary subjects to have a rich, balanced education. Blessedly, Heart of Dakota provides both. As parents, our ‘problem’ with our creative children is also our ‘delight.’ The creative child longs to live in a constant state of inspiration – what a delight! However, the disciplinary, routine portions of school must also be completed each day; hence, the problem. The child might balk at these routine things, might become more easily distracted, and might have difficulty maintaining focus. So, how can we help our creative children be inspired yet also be focused?
Helping Creative Children Be Inspired
Inspire children to be creative by doing all of HOD’s plans! Creative children tend to love HOD’s history projects. These projects have structure but often leave room for individuality. They also tend to love science experiments. The bigger, the louder, the better! Children who enjoy being creative with their drawing love the general directions of the timeline. ‘Draw and color an angel. Label it Hezekiah, Destruction of Sennacherib.‘ This can be a very inspirational activity for children who love to draw! Creative children love choosing the Drawn into the Heart of Reading genre kickoffs and projects. They also love dramatizations, poetry recitations, and even the leeway encouraged in giving oral narrations and writing written narrations! So, to help your creative children, don’t skip the fun stuff!
Helping Creative Children Be Focused
Help creative children be focused by having them follow a set routine during school. Creative children don’t like routines, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need them. The creative child would be fine taking all day on one inspirational history project. And as homeschool moms, it is tempting to let them! They are inspired, having fun, being productive. So, what’s wrong? What’s wrong is it is suddenly 5 PM, and while a lovely history project ensues, math, spelling, grammar, and a whole host of other subjects didn’t get done. No one enjoys doing school after 5 when they’ve been doing it all day; even if it was a fabulous day full of one amazing history project. So, use the suggested time allotments, make a routine, and make part of checking in on your creative child more often a part of it. (I check on my sweetie every 30 minutes.)
What to Do If Inspiration Begins to Run Away with the Day
So, what can be done when a creative child is totally inspired and in the middle of a project/activity/thought? Well, first, you can plan some ‘margin’ in your routine, especially for subjects you know are particularly inspiring to that child. For my son who loves to paint, for example, I planned longer for him to do his CTC watercolor paintings than the suggested time allotments. Second, you can plan some ‘creative’ time at the end of your homeschool day’s routine. For example, for my son who loves to get creative taking a planned activity or experiment further, we finish the plans in the HOD guide. But, we jot his ‘extended creative’ ideas on a piece of paper. Later, after school is done, he looks at his extended creative ideas’ paper. Sometime he excitedly chooses something to do for fun! Other times, he is inspired to do something totally different!
What to Do If a Disagreeable Attitude Arises
Sometimes, the creative child displays a disagreeable attitude. This attitude often arises with the more routine or less favorite parts of the day. I caution you, don’t give in to skipping these things! This only encourages children to show a disagreeable attitude whenever they don’t feel like doing something. And that’s not inspirational to anyone! Rather, help creative children understand the difference between inspirational and disciplinary subjects in school. Explain how being a hard working student is actually their ‘job’ now. It is training for their future job! Discuss the jobs you and your husband have or have had. No job is solely inspirational! Every job has tasks that must be done that are more disciplinary. Doing all tasks, whether inspirational or disciplinary, with joy is what the Lord wants us to do. Hopefully some of these tips will help you enjoy your more creative child in the day-to-day balance of homeschooling!