Fostering Creative Play in 2e Homeschooling

When planning out a homeschool plan, it can be easy to think of creating and making things as nice extra, but creative play is also essential for brain development, as it helps foster problem solving ability as well as a whole host of other great things, like out of the box thinking, adaptability, and flexibility, as well as enhancing the ability to retain ideas. Which for our family, means it is bumped up pretty high on the ‘must-do’ list.

Due to the imaginational OEs often associated with gifted/2e kids, some kids ooze creativity and imagination and everything becomes an elaborate story or creation. Anything in their reach becomes part of their imaginative world. Other kids (particularly those with some types of special needs, like ASD), might also exhibit large amounts of imagination and creativity, but it will come out in more unusual ways that might be easy to dismiss or miss. Having lots of different ways for kids to express their ideas, with materials ready to hand for practical creations can really help with spontaneous creative play.

But an adult’s idea of creative play doesn’t always match up with the way kids like to create and explore. Which can be a challenge for parents and other adults. But letting go of expectations of finished products or following the instructions can have huge benefits for everyone! Creativity can come in many forms and for my family, fostering my kids ideas has been far more useful than trying to bend their ideas to fit preconceived ideas about creative play.

So, how to foster creativity with gifted or twice exceptional kids? Here are some ideas we have used to foster creativity in our home:
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Unconventional Learning;

We’re a geeky kind of family. With me being a mathematician and my DH an engineer, it would be hard to not be geeky. We’re also not going to score high on the ‘doing things conventionally’ test, if one of those existed. But sometimes, just sometimes, the paths my kids take to learn are so unconventional that they leave me with a feeling of stunned awe (and a little bit of ‘where in the sweet unicorns on a pegasus did that come from‘?).

Being the kind of family that we are, we were never going to let our kids going to coast through on understanding how computers work. And being the kind of homeschool mum that I am, I had grand plans of my kids learning how to program, helping them navigate through learning the basics of making computers ‘do things’ – I had plans.

And then the kids got sick. And then they got sick again, and again . . . and just when I thought we’d have a week free of illness, another nasty virus took up residence. So instead of doing all the fabulous strewing I was planning, I ended up with two very sick little children who spent the next few weeks in and out of bed (and yes, it’s still ongoing, sigh). Now we have one very important rule in our house – sick children get to rest. And with kids whose minds won’t stop, both embarked on a long, bandwidth hogging binge on streaming videos.
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Dinosaurs and Concrete

School holidays have just finished here in Victoria, which for us meant that there were a lot of wonderful holiday activities designed for kids on during what would be normal school hours (you know, the hours when it’s daylight and you can do something). Usually these activities are so flooded with kids and parents that the noise level is more than C can handle – or that I can handle, truth be told. But none-the-less we braved the holiday crowds to do two awesome activities. And they’re both within spitting distance of each other. Continue reading “Dinosaurs and Concrete”

Campervanning Across New Zealand on the 2e Bandwagon: Strewing Education

One of the greatest experiences about visiting NZ was a chance for all of us get some hands-on learning that would not be available in Australia. Knowing my kids and their preferences and attention spans, I had to carefully select what we visited – so good-bye long guided tours, talking heads or demonstrations. We would need something a little more hands on. And being science people, there was naturally a focus on science education. And boy was it fun. Here are some of the great places we visited – in roughly the order we visited them.
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