outdoor projects, we can set a large tote
filled with soapy water just outside the
door with rag towels nearby so kids can
wash off before coming in. And if we anticipate that their clothes will be dirty,
we can leave another tote out with clean
clothes so they can take off dirty clothes,
wash up, put on the new ones, and leave
the dirty clothes in the tote. That way
they won’t track the mess into the house.
We have to give our kids freedom to
Control Creativity Assassins
play, get dirty, make messes, experiment,
explore and make mistakes, but there are
ways we can do it without harm to the
kids or to the house.
Television, social media, and even video
games all have their merits, but as homeschool parents on a mission to cultivate
creativity, we are wise to limit screen
time for our kids.
We should also be careful about laughing when our kids perform or say something “cute.” Many children refuse to ever
take the stage again because the adults
laughed when they sang or danced.
Rewards can also stifle creativity. The
excessive use of prizes and praise deprives a child of the intrinsic pleasure of
creativity. Also, when we overly praise a
child, we can make her afraid of disappointing us or damaging the image we
have created for her. As a result, fear of
failure may prevent her from taking the
kind of risks that innovation demands.
Over scheduling is another creativity assassin. When we fill every free moment of our kids’ lives with schoolwork
and chores and extra-curricular activities and social events, there is no time for
creativity. Innovation and imagination
take practice, effort, and a lot of time.
Be on the lookout for friend addiction.
Friends are important, especially in the
middle school years when kids are first
beginning to figure out where they fit in
a social structure. But time with friends
can be addictive, and no other generation has had the same opportunities to
stay connected to friends.
By deliberately cultivating creativity in
our children and weeding out the things
that can stifle it, we are raising the problem solvers and the innovators who will
one day have new answers for our expanding population.
Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman are
homeschool moms with nine children
between them, from a toddler to an attorney, and one on the autism spectrum.
Together they host POP Parenting with
Jenni and Jody, a one-hour weekly talk radio show. Jenni and Jody are keynote and
featured speakers at homeschool conventions throughout the United States and
in Canada. Syndicated weekly newspaper
columnists and freelance writers, their
articles have been featured in a variety of
national and regional publications. Visit
them at jenniandjody.com and be sure to
visit the shop for homeschooling tools and
Innovation and imagination take practice, effort, and a lot of time.
Each lesson provides kids with
progressive, hands-on tools to
learn everything from basic art
skills to more advanced topics
3 FREE TRIAL LESSONS
available online at
“This program truly has it all and most importantly, is totally and completely
Biblical in its approach.” -Mom, online review