You know how we homeschool moms are trying to facilitate our kid’s rabbit trails and follow their curiosities?
I think that we should be doing that for ourselves too.
Why should we encourage creativity for homeschool moms?
Here’s why I think creativity for homeschool moms is important for us too…
- We’ll make our lives so much more interesting in the homeschool season of our lives.
- We’ll continue to expand our own life experiences (& our kids).
- Our kids will experience us as playful and curious too.
- And we’ll create memories right alongside them.
- We’ll be a model to our kids as lifelong learners.
- We’ll expand our kids’ educational horizons as we discover that everything is a learning opportunity.
- When we get to the end of our homeschool journeys, we’ll have a greater sense of clarity as to what to do next.
Here are eleven tips to help foster creativity for homeschool moms:
The following lessons are from my own creative journey. This is what I’ve observed about fostering homeschool moms’ creativity…
1. Sometimes we need to unlearn unhelpful mindsets.
For instance, you might need to unlearn this unhelpful mindset: that you aren’t creative.
If that’s you, and you’re of the belief that you aren’t creative, can I make an argument against that?
Every night, whether you want to or not, you go into your fridge and look at the collection of leftovers, remnants of last week’s grocery trip, and you find a way to recreate whatever is there and put it on the table for everyone to enjoy (okay, probably not everyone will enjoy it, but at the very least you will give them an opportunity to eat dinner).
You created that from your own mind.
Maybe in the beginning years, it was a challenge to come up with meal ideas. Maybe you had to ask your mom for that recipe she always used or you went online to find a menu planner, but you got creative and found a way to feed your family.
That is creativity.
I believe everyone is creative in some way. Not necessarily in the paints and canvas kind of creative, but some sort of creative.
What kind of creative are you?
2. We need to get out of our own way.
Perfection and “the not good enough syndrome” are internal challenges you need to address to just learn to PLAY in your creativity.
Perhaps, the goal of fostering your creativity is not perfection or production.
The goal of fostering your creativity is just to get curious, play, follow your rabbit trail, wonder if something is fun (& try it), and enjoy the activity at the moment.
Just like you want for your kids.
3. Accept the mess.
Once upon a time, I had to clean the house before I sat to write or create. Though I rarely had these moments, occasionally my husband took the kids out of the house and allowed me time to do something creative at home. When he did I spent the first twenty minutes tidying. This helped clear my mind to prepare for the creative thing.
Naturally, I’ve come a long way since those early homeschool years.
Presently, I am presently writing to you as the emptied vacuum canister sits at the top of the stairs, dirty dishes sit in the sink, unfolded (and unwashed) laundry sits untended, the mudroom needs to be swept, and a thousand little spiders occupy my space alongside me.
How have I learned to do this? I have been doing this long enough that I saw that the unclean would always be with me. (Oh, I have a cleaning routine and follow it like I brush my teeth, but just not twice a day.)
I do the cleaning thing because it needs to be done. But I don’t make it my life focus.
I know now, things in my house will be continuously moved around and not as I like it until at least 2026 (when my youngest is of legal age and possibly moves to pursue his next step in life).
I also know the mess will always be with me and I don’t want to make an 80-year existence mean I had a clean home.
4. Learn important mindsets.
Your creativity has inherent meaning because you exist and were placed here on the earth for a special reason.
I can’t answer why you’re here. (Though if you would like to join me in a conversation to explore that and gain greater clarity, you’re welcome to join me in a coaching conversation.)
Just as each of our children is uniquely them, and we encourage them to become the unique them by offering them an individualized education, I know that you are uniquely you too.
So, You do You, girlfriend. Lean into your creativity so you can become more you!
5. Explore new things.
Trying new hobbies or activities can help you tap into your creative side.
For instance, take a class in a new skill or hobby that interests you, such as painting or photography.
Just as you give your children a wealth of possibilities in their homeschool lives, you can too.
So what would you like to try?
- A drawing class?
- Trying your hand at a vegetable patch?
- Tackling a booklist and joining a Book Club?
- Canoeing, kayaking, or hiking?
- A yoga or pilates class?
- A writing workshop? ps I’d be delighted to offer that to you.
6. Connect with other homeschool moms.
Connecting with other homeschool moms can provide support and inspiration.
Perhaps, consider thinking outside the homeschool box and learn from homeschool moms who might expand your creative options.
Join local homeschool groups or online communities to share ideas and connect with other like-minded moms.
I’ll be offering a workshop in the Homeschool Mama Support Group for Fostering Creativity with Melissa from Pocket Homeschool this month. Want to learn more about the Patreon Support Group?
7. Incorporate creativity into your homeschool lesson plans.
As you plan lessons for your children, consider incorporating creative activities that challenge and inspire you as well.
There’s a reason I have plenty of discussions about art history and fine art learning opportunities. I love ’em.
If you want to learn how I incorporated my interests into my homeschool life, check out a few ideas here:
- how to do homeschool fine arts even if your kids don’t want to
- How to Do Fine Arts in your Homeschool in a Child-Directed Way
- How to do homeschool fine arts study
- How to Engage Art History in a Child-Directed Way
- a readaloud family book list we love (& provides adventure too)
8. Create space or set aside time for unstructured creativity.
Time block your life. (Listen to a discussion on Clubhouse about this topic.)
What do I mean about time blocking your life?
Write a list of the activities you want to include in your life (all the activities).
Then write them into a schedule, hour by hour (make sure to include 8 hours of sleep, or at least block it off if you have young kiddos).
Now pencil in the activities you want to include.
FYI this is a great way to discover if you’re being wildly unrealistic with your expectations on your time ( been there done that and discovered it wasn’t possible for me to do ALL THE THINGS).
Unstructured playtime is important for children (most of us know that intuitively). And setting aside time for unstructured creativity for you can help you recharge and tap into your own creativity.
Set aside time each week for your unstructured playtime too.
9. Read books and watch movies that inspire you.
Something unconventional I learned from Brene Brown (I watched her share it in a YouTube interview): enjoy movies by watching trailers.
My kids don’t understand my penchant for watching movie trailers, but I enjoy learning about all the movies in one minute increments. (And it gives me a whole lotta clarity on what I want to watch, if I want to watch, a specific movie).
Reading books or watching movies that inspire you can help fuel your creativity. Make time to read books or watch movies that spark your interests and passions. Let the others go…
I recorded a podcast season dedicated to the books offered in the Homeschool Mama Book Club:
- How Marie Forleo Informs my Homeschool (& makes it figureoutable)
- How Elizabeth Gilbert infuses our Homeschools with Big Magic
- How Charlotte Mason Can Help you Change & Grow with Leah Boden, author of Modern Miss Mason
- 7 Freedom-Loving Ways John Taylor Gatto Informs your Homeschool
- The Not So Big Life with Sarah Susanka
- How to Use Internal Family Systems for Homeschool Families
- How to Celebrate Diversity & Kinship with Amber O’Neal Johnston
- A Parent’s Guide to Raising Critical Thinkers with Julie Bogart
- Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer
- The Podcast for Homeschool Moms who want to Nurture the Nurturer, YOU!
Books about creativity you might enjoy:
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natale Goldberg
- If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
10. Set goals and challenges to infuse creativity for you homeschool mom.
Setting goals and challenges for yourself can help you stay motivated and inspired.
Set a goal to try a new creative activity each month or challenge yourself to complete a project by a certain deadline.
11. Follow your rabbit trails.
Honour your creativity just as you honour kids’ creativity.
Your creativity doesn’t have to become a career.
In my earlier homeschool years, I signed up for an 8-week drawing class. I wondered if drawing was my thing.
I learned that drawing wasn’t my natural penchant, I did learn that drawing could be learned though, and I learned drawing wasn’t a relaxing activity for me.
In fact, it felt like I signed up for an extracurricular math class. So definitely not relaxing.
But I wouldn’t have known that until I did it, so I’ve got to follow my rabbit trails too.
So why encourage creativity for homeschool moms? In the words of Martina McBride…
You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reachMartina McBride
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway
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