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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /

Table of Contents
Creativity, Part 4: Guiding and Applying Creativity
 •  12 Ways To Guide Creativity
 •  Applying Creativity
Recommended Resources
     Rhea's Education Days
     AVKO Multi-Sensory Approach to Language Arts
     Audio Memory
     Enlightened Democracy by Tara Ross
     Calendator by Frigemates
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     Home schooling is the ideal environment for encouraging your
children be creative.  It is rich with opportunities and free of
the pressures of time that tend to sidetrack and thwart

     In this issue we conclude our 4-part series on creativity.
Our considerations cover both the creative thinking processes and
creative skills.

     Many of the ideas presented in this series come from a
special section on creativity in the December 1992/January 1993
back issue of The Teaching Home magazine.

     You can read our whole series on creativity in our
newsletter archives or print it out and place it in a notebook for
future reference.

Creativity, Part 1: Exploring Creativity
Creativity, Part 2:  Preparing for Creativity
Creativity, Part 3: Facilitating Creativity
Creativity, Part 4: Guiding and Applying Creativity

     Creativity is a powerful tool that can be a great asset to
our children's training and lives.  Therefore we have an
important responsibility to guide our children in its development
and application.

     As Christian parents, we need to teach our children that
creativity should be used to honor the Lord and help others.  New
inventions, methods, and styles should always bring improvement,
true beauty, or moral and spiritual betterment, not just
something different for the sake of novelty.

     May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business
operated in our home since 1980.


Help Your Children Develop Leadership Abilities
and Achieve Financial Stability to Minister to Others --
Through Entrepreneurship!

     Learn how, at a new one-of-a-kind educational weekend
     get-away for parents who want to include financial life
     skills in their children's education.


Home-Schooler Wins $100,000 College Scholarship

      Michael Viscardi, 16, found new way to solve a 19th-century
math problem known as the Dirichlet problem.  His innovative
approach won him the top individual prize in the Siemens
Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology
(, and could help in the design
of airplane wings. 

     The competition that Viscardi won was one of more than 55
national contests listed in our E-Mail Newsletter, #135:


12 Ways To Guide Creativity

     Here are a dozen ways that you can guide your children in
the process of creative thinking and skills.

1.  Help Your Child To Hone a Skill

     Discipline is needed to hone a skill so that it can be used

     A person who knows all about color, balance, form, and
proportion may be able to accurately visualize the painting he
wishes to make.  He cannot, however, produce the painting unless
he has honed the skills necessary to apply brush to canvas in the
proper way.  Nor can a craftsman build a cabinet, even through he
designs it, if he is undisciplined in the use of a saw.

     Creativity, like any other ability, must be cultivated and
practiced.  Improvement is bought at the price of disciplined

2.  Teach Your Child To Learn, Seek Answers,
     and Apply Solutions

     Creativity looks at a problem, imagines a solution, and
brings the solution into being.

     Our children can be taught to be diligent in whatever task
they choose -- diligent enough to learn, diligent enough to
imagine, diligent enough to put their ideas into practice.

     Our children can be taught to seek answers to those things
that puzzle them and to learn as much as possible about whatever
they do.

     Additionally, our children can be taught to practice their
creativity in ways that honor God, are in accord with His Word,
and are considerate of others.

3.  Teach Constructive Copying

     One person's original creativity can inspire another's.

     Reproducing of another's creative work can be a valid part
of the creative process for your child.

 •  Carefully copying a famous painting
 •  Imitating a voice
 •  Learning calligraphy through precise imitation
 •  Copying good writing: prose or poetry

4.  Encourage Experimentation

     As your child matures, he begins to use his powers of
reasoning to figure things out, e.g., blocks can be stacked if
placed just so; puzzle pieces will only fit in certain places.

     Giving your child the opportunity to play with Lincoln Logs,
Legos, etc. involves more than his motor skills.  Through trial
and error, he discovers what works and what does not.

     Do not close the door on this ongoing reasoning process by
always insisting that things be done a set way.  Part of the
beauty of childhood is watching little ones explore new avenues
to attain the desired results.

     For example, if your young child helps fold laundry, it
really makes no difference how he folds the clothes.  He has been
given a problem to solve, and after one or more attempts, has
managed to fold even the most awkward piece of clothing.  Thank


AVKO Educational Research Foundation

AVKO (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic, and Oral) Offers
a Multi-Sensory Approach to Language Arts
through Phonics and Word Families.

 •  Individualized Keyboarding teaches reading and spelling skills
     as your child masters the keyboard.
 •  Let's Write Right teaches reading/spelling as the alphabet is learned.
 •  Sequential Spelling builds self-esteem.
     To try it before you buy it or for information on dyslexia visit:


12 Ways To Guide Creativity (continued)

5.  Guide Experiments

     Experiments can be valuable ways to enhance creativity.  Use
a guide sheet with the following steps:

 •  Describe the experiment's procedure.
 •  Try to predict what will happen.
 •  Watch the experiment carefully and record your general
 •  Record results and measurements.
 •  Check whether your prediction was right or wrong.
 •  Analyze why your prediction was right or wrong.

6.  Value Resourcefulness

     Children that have grown up in an environment that has
provided them with a balance of structured and nonstructured
learning activities will display the quality of resourcefulness.
They will discover how to make substitutions for needed items to
obtain similar results.

 •  Do not let your children give up easily on each dilemma that
     comes along.  They will become lazy and too dependent on

 •  Offer suggestions without giving solutions.
     When they begin to see after a few successes that they
really are quite capable of working things out for themselves,
they will take on greater challenges.

7.  Promote Creative Thinking

 •  Ask your children lots of questions.  Be sure to wait for
     their answers!

 •  When your children ask you questions, encourage them to think
     up a possible explanation before you answer them.

 •  When solving problems, ask if there is more than one solution
     (e.g., ways to organize a room) or more than one way to
     arrive at the solution (e.g., a math problem).

 •  Use "mistakes," such as science experiments which don't quite
     work, as opportunities for your children to creatively solve
     the problem and "debug" the experiment.

8.  Provide Practical Problems

     Let your children solve practical problems.  Give them a
chance to fix things that they can fix, such as:

 •  Repair things around your home, hang things on the wall, and
     mend clothes.
 •  Plan and buy for family meals
 •  Prepare and plant a garden or plan family trips.
 •  Take responsibility for daily chores

     Explain that there any many ways to solve these practical
problems.  Ask your child to find a way that would:

 •  Cause the least amount of labor, cost of supplies, mess,
     disruption to family life, etc.

 •  Give the most beauty, usefulness, strength, longevity, and
     benefit to your family.


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12 Ways To Guide Creativity (continued)

9.  Brainstorm Together

     Brainstorm for solutions to problems and ideas for family
activities.  These can be fun things as well as practical things.

 •  Have one person write down all your ideas.
 •  Taking turns; don't interrupt or criticize ideas.
 •  Encourage as many unconventional and unlimited solutions
     suggested as fast as possible in order to help you find new
     ways of looking at things.
 •  After the session is finished, organize and analyze your list
     and evaluate ideas.

     For further information see

10.  Challenge Your Child's Thinking

     Children need to be challenged to higher intellectual
thought and continued creative development.

     Help your young people to understand their thoughts and
thinking processes.

 •  Ask your child to explain to you what he is thinking and how
     he arrived at his conclusion.

     Sometimes conclusions are made based on emotions, peer
pressure, or what your child thinks you want, rather than on
well-thought-out grounds.

11. Discuss Issues in Everyday Life

     Use current events as a source of discussion to build moral
and spiritual applications.

 •  Evaluate the actions of people in the headlines according to
     biblical principles.

 •  Discuss what your children would do in similar circumstances
     or others that they are likely to encounter.  Role play as

 •  Help your children build a strong foundation of thinking by
     practicing at home before they are faced with the real thing
     when out on their own later.

12.  Teach Your Children To Weigh Options

     Teach your children to weigh options in making decisions or
solving problems.  Most problems in life do not need an immediate
response and allow time for this process.

 •  Help your child to think through problems with friendships,
     jobs, and personal struggles.

 •  Weigh pros and cons of the different options.

 •  Seek biblical principles as the basis for the ultimate

 •  Let your child know that in most cases it is all right, or
     even necessary, to sleep on the decision until tomorrow.

 •  Demonstrate the importance of praying for God's wisdom and
     guidance for all decisions.


Enlightened Democracy
by Tara Ross
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Constitution and save 5% off our already
low price.  Details available at


Applying Creativity

     Once an idea is formed, it must be brought into reality --
it must be implemented.

     Creativity needs a practical way to express itself.  You can
use the following list of ideas to:
 •  Present a need or opportunity for creativity
 •  Foster an interest in being creative
 •  Provide a practical and useful way to apply creativity

     Take time to evaluate your children's abilities and
interests to see where and what encouragement would be most
fruitful for them.  Plan for the needed attention each individual
child will need.

Provide Outlets for Your Child's Creativity

     Rather than develop contrived projects, use your children's
creative abilities for practical purposes.  This list is intended
to offer suggestions; you can add more.

     Cross-train your children in skills that are not their
strongest and that a sibling may do better.  This will give each
child skills and confidence they can use when they establish
their own homes.

 •  Make birthday and other greeting cards
 •  Illustrate a timeline or chore charts
 •  Design bulletin boards or paint signs
 •  Decorate cakes and cookies
 •  Decorate your home for special celebrations
 •  Make games, picture books, visuals, and worksheets
 •  Take pictures and make a family photo album

 •  Accompany or lead family singing
 •  Brighten lives at rest homes
 •  Minister in the church
 •  Compose songs for special occasions
 •  Sing to the baby
 •  Record music tapes to give to shut-ins
 •  Join an orchestra or choir

 •  Keep diaries and family journals
 •  Submit work to publications
 •  Publish a family newsletter
 •  Write letters and cards
 •  Compose poems for cards or songs

 •  Grow food for your family or to share with others
 •  Set up a greenhouse
 •  Raise produce or flowers to sell
 •  Dry herbs
 •  Start plants from cuttings
 •  Care for others' gardens when they are away


The Reusable Calendar --
Calendator by Frigemates
     Post all your family's plans,
activities, special days, and holidays
in a central location -- the fridge!
This cling vinyl calendar is durable,
colorful, and easy-to-use with 72 reusable images and dry
erase pen.  See more at


Applying Creativity (continued)

 •  Do research work for family
 •  Keep records of utility use and cost
 •  Care for pets and farm animals
 •  Invent better systems for tasks such as watering the garden
     or washing the dishes
 •  Keep bees for honey

Drama and Speech
 •  Put on a skit, play, or puppet show
 •  Teach Bible stories to younger children
 •  Record reading tapes for siblings and elderly folks
 •  Read aloud to your family
 •  Make videotapes to send to family and friends

 •  Bake items for gifts
 •  Make breakfast for the family
 •  Cook a meal for someone who needs help
 •  Help plan menus and grocery lists
 •  Assist someone with cooking or canning
 •  Organize a recipe file
 •  Prepare refreshments for a party
 •  Pack a picnic for a family outing

 •  Construct a bird house, dog house, or cat "tree"
 •  Repair household items
 •  Put together items purchased with "assembly required"
 •  Frame pictures
 •  Make toys
 •  Erect garden trellises or fences

 •  Make napkins, baby bibs, pot holders, aprons
 •  Make, mend, or tailor clothing
 •  Design costumes or doll clothes
 •  Piece quilts
 •  Knit or crochet baby blankets or afghans
 •  Embroider or cross-stitch wall hangings for gifts

Interior Decoration
 •  Design bedroom decor
 •  Help choose home decor
 •  Assist with painting or wallpaper hanging
 •  Arrange centerpieces
 •  Rearrange living room furniture
 •  Decorate for special occasions

Other Opportunities
 •  Apply skills in church, a rest home, hospital, or any place
     you can serve and minister to others
 •  Talent shows, recitals, and programs
 •  Science fairs; state and county fairs
 •  National contests


Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise in them and in the accompanying
e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.

A Life of Faith: Books, Dolls, and Accessories
The Bible in Living Sound
Bethany House
"Keepers at Home" Annual Calendar/Planner


Sunnyside Up
     One day I received a phone call for my husband, and at the
end of my conversation, I said, "Thanks, Bill.  I'll give him the
     Our 4-year-old son very seriously asked me, "So, that's
Bill, huh?  Is that the guy you have to pay all the time?"
     Submitted by Kim S., Portland, Oregon


God Loves You.
     Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again.  If we trust
Him as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
     "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).


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