Do You Have a Super-Creator?

Two of my kids are Super-Creators. They seem incapable of learning anything directed by another person, unless they need the information to help them in their creative pursuit.

SUPER-CREATORS have a powerful mental image of what they want to create and their life quest is to create it. Anything that gets in the way of the creative process turns into a struggle and is seen as a threat to the Super-Creator’s quest. Some have projects that will be completed in a day, while some take years and never lose focus.

They imagine the end result in great detail, and they seem to work backwards to bring the concept into reality to match the vision. Often the imagined creation is something far beyond their skills and abilities. If they are leaders, they will enlist others to fill in their gaps or show them how to overcome obstacles. They are not intimidated by the dream as long as they feel supported.

Super-Creators have no time or energy for anything they feel is irrelevant to their quest. They are very focused on the task and very distracted and even slothful when a parent or teacher tries to divert their attention. If the parent gets on board with the project and just responds to the needs of the child… and does not try to take over…results can be out of this world!

We have a habit in our culture of trying to make Super-Creators into respectful and obedient students, thinking we are teaching “discipline”, and we destroy who God created them to be. Super-Creators are rare and, if you have one, consider yourself to be entrusted with a rainbow unicorn!

Who else has a Super-Creator?

What questions do you have? What victories have you experienced?

Here are some journals to help inspire your Super-Creator!

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

Shot from Olive Branch Farm, courtesy of Toni Jackson-Lawrence

I try to infuse beauty and creativity into the simple things of life wherever I am, when we have little or much. It’s all about seeing the ordinary and everyday things as opportunities for wonder, spice, faith and shared delight.

In 2010, a realtor came to look at the house we are moving from, she said we need paint over all the murals because people want ordinary houses to imagine their own ordinary lives in.

Some people are talented with paints and pencils, others craft with words, still others are creative in providing memorable experiences. Truly, anyone can make the ordinary extraordinary–because what makes life beautiful are the people, the shared moments and smiles, baby giggles, the love and learning, the music, making and experimenting, time in worship, perhaps some furry cuddles, investing time in doing things together…and maybe a sweet treat or two!

Join us for about 5 minutes with the Brown family on a rainy day over a decade ago. The same things that made life feel magical back then still create the same wonder today!

Sarah’s Mom Tips: Don’t Fear a “Learning Gap”

Don’t be afraid of learning gaps.

Kids don’t need to learn everything.

Kids need to know HOW to learn what they need when they need it.

Sometimes we fear learning gaps, but if a child knows HOW to research there will be no permanent holes because the child will be capable of learning on the go.

There is no way to prepare a child for what life and the economy will look like when they are adults.

Today’s standardized education is already behind.

It is research skills, creativity, character and resourcefulness that will insure potential for successful adult life.

Thinking Tree focuses on life skills, thinking skills, planning skills, being innovative, being creative, being resourceful, great character development, having excellent research skills, reading and writing skills and a strong work ethic. These things are NOT usually part of a standardized curriculum plan. You may worry that your kids will not be on grade level; but the skills that matter most are often overlooked and undervalued.

How Your Child Thinks: Visual Thinkers (Part 2)

children who are visual or creative thinkers

My child has a totally different way of seeing the world! He thinks in 3D Pictures.

Stop for a moment and look up from your computer. All around you are things that were designed by someone. Even the webpage in front of you was designed. Your computer was designed. The room you are sitting in, and the clothing you are wearing? Everything was designed, and chances are they were designed by a person with the gift of being able to think visually.

Some people are able to imagine something in their minds that has not yet been created. They are able to envision a better way of doing things. They are able to envision an object and change the size, shape and color using the power of the 3D workstation called the imagination. The people who designed the objects all around you were often called bad students, day-dreamers and doodlers. They are the visual thinkers.

Creativity journal for artists, songwriters, poets, writers, dreamers, thinkers

What if your child is a visual thinker? Only 10% of the population has the power to think visually, rather than to think with words. The people with the most powerful of visual minds often have an imbalance when it comes to standardized learning situations. The visual mind swirls with colors, ideas, music, art, and creativity and drives the visual thinker into a state of constant creativity and movement. Standardized systems of learning try to conform the child and make efforts to normalize him through medication, punishment, and control so he will not be a disruption in the classroom.

The visual thinker learns differently, and if you ask me, I would tell you that they can not be taught, they must discover. They struggle with the lifelessness of flat pages, the discomfort of the desk, the buzz of the fluorescent lights, the dullness of flat words on a page, and concepts void of emotion, dimension and wonder. They will ponder the mysteries of measurement and time, but their minds go blank when sitting at a desk staring at repetitive lists of math facts. They create works of art and new inventions from items rescued from the trash can, but can’t hold a pencil correctly when asked to write down their spelling words. They can tell the most amazing stories and their words will take you to far off lands and fill the air with magic and mystery, but if asked to put a sentence on paper, they might just cry. They are brilliant, they are amazing, they are curious and brave… until they are forced to conform to a way of learning designed for children who have no dancing, no questions, no music and no colors in their minds.

The majority of students will be content to follow the instructions, fill in the blanks, and make their lists on paper, but the visual thinker was not created for desks, for charts, for lists, for textbooks, for flash cards, for teachers, or for chalkboards… they would dance on the desk, and challenge the teacher. They would add color to the chart, they would roll up the chart to make a telescope or a musical instrument, they would stack the text books and build houses for invisible people, they would turn the flashcards in to a magic trick and turn the chalkboard into a work of art that belongs in a museum. They are constantly in search of the third dimension, the music and the movement.

Find Part 1 of this series here: How Your Child Thinks (Part 1). Continue to How Your Child Thinks: Inventors (Part 3)

Fun-Schooling: Out with the Old, In with the New!

How to Fun-school

(Be sure to visit the tab on this site entitled “Flip to Fun-Schooling”, which gives lots of detailed information and links.)

Your first step in changing over to Fun-Schooling is to think about what is currently working well, and what current curriculum options and methods are not a good fit for your kids.

Take courage and get rid of all the stressful stuff. Take it out to the car right now, or burn it, or donate it. If your kids really hate it, let them burn it. Celebrate a new beginning and replace everything that didn’t work with Fun-Schooling.

New Fun-Schoolers often need to start with a few of the the smaller more focused journals, or just a Core Journal and stack of library books that the child loves.

The whole goal is to take away what isn’t working and replace it with something that brings your child joy. Some things need to wait, like reading or multiplication. You know these things matter, but your child isn’t ready to master them.  Your child may need an extra year or two to develop the mental skills for certain things. So focus on the skills your child is ready to learn and stop pushing the things that stress the child’s heart and mind.

There are so many wonderful ways to learn, we don’t have to settle for boring or miserable things, just because it’s always been done that way.

Also, celebrate your child’s efforts, talents and small accomplishments. It’s common to just hammer away at the problem areas and make our kids feel like failures. Everyone will have a happier existence if we focus on the good things and not our worries.

No one wants to live under a magnifying glass that is constantly  zeroing in on the flaws, yet that is what traditional education is all about… counting our mistakes and judging us and grading us based on all the imperfections in our work. This is no way to live, or raise a child. This method of education and parenting is the reason most of us to think we will never be good enough because we can’t be perfect.

This is why we don’t have grades and answer keys in Fun-Schooling Journals. They base the child’s education on research, logic, thinking, being resourceful, problem solving, creativity, a quest for knowledge–all based on the child’s passion and career dreams.

My children love learning because it’s a quest for the mystery of knowledge, power, understanding, beauty, skills, and invention. Learning something brings each of us closer to unlocking an ability or solving a mystery.

Remember when your child was four or five and they were so curious about EVERYTHING that they asked you 900 questions a day? Traditional schooling snuffs out that curiosity. Fun-Schooling nurtures it.

Bring back the wonder, the joy, the curiosity. It’s time.