Valentine's Books for Creative Writing. Use these writing prompts to encourage kids to consider creative ways to express love to others. Team V's Top Picks!

Valentine’s Books for Creative Writing

The days surrounding Valentine's Day are such a wonderful time of year to practice words of affirmation with children and to reestablish an atmosphere of love and kindness in their midst.  These five books are wonderful to read throughout the year, but are especially great to use as Valentine's books for creative writing.     This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Team V Education!   I sought out to find stories that are beautifully illustrated and that provide an excellent framework from which children can develop creativity in their thinking and writing.   Use these writing prompts around Valentine's Day to encourage children to think of creative...

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DIY Pirate Swords are perfect for kids who love imaginary play and all things pirates, knights, and fairytales. These can even be made by using scraps of materials from around the home. A great child-led learning activity.

DIY Pirate Swords for Imaginary Play

Imaginary play is often the driving force behind our learning. Stories, drawings, and group play are all derived from the interests of our children. And lately pirates, knights, and fairies have dominated our play. I should have known that with creative kids like ours, DIY pirate swords for imaginary play were bound to happen eventually!     This is a simple yet engaging art activity that uses scraps of cardboard and various tapes and stickers to create a masterpiece that not only looks great, but is useful too.   Related: How to Recognize Creativity in Children   Here is how we did it:   DIY Pirate Swords for Imaginary Play   Materials   ...

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Creativity is at the heart of our kids. They are a masterpiece of ideas, interests, and individuality. How do we recognize creativity in children?

How to Recognize Creativity in Children

Creativity is at the heart of each of our children. They are a masterpiece of ideas, interests, and individuality. With such diversity in their passions however, how do we recognize what creativity in children truly looks like?     Recognize Creativity in Children   See your child, or another little one in your life, and imagine them in their element.   What is it that they love? How do they express themselves?   Maybe they are building with Lego and designing a castle for the King and his family to protect them from the dragon.   Perhaps you see them at the art easel, happily immersed in the feeling of their...

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What do Reggio Emilia, Child-Led Learning, and Unschooling have in common? With this common denominator, it doesn't *really* matter which style of learning you use in your homeschooling/alternative education.

Reggio Emilia, Child-Led Learning, and Unschooling

Reggio Emilia, Child-Led Learning, and Unschooling have gained traction as popular methods of instruction, especially in homeschooling.  And with such a great variety of educational methods to choose from both in mainstream schooling and in homeschooling, it can be disconcerting for parents to know what is best for their children.   We too have struggled to give name to our homeschooling methods, bouncing from a Reggio Emilia approach, to child-led learning, to even unschooling. This was until I recognized that these three methods, and truly all methods of educating, share one common denominator: intentionality.     The argument that one style of teaching prevails over another is...

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Believe in the importance of free play in athletics! Can we begin to develop a growth mindset in children at an early age? And what is "executive function"?!

The Importance of Free Play in Sports

Free play is all the rave these days.     From unschooling methods to play-based learning, students all over the world are benefiting from this style of education.  But how can we bring this into our physical education programs?   Providing a structured environment for children when trying to teach them a new concept or skill is often seen as a good thing. Children know what to expect and can prepare themselves for a change in activities, and it allows anxiety levels to be maintained when working within a challenging task.   And yet, when it comes time for the physical education aspect of your...

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14 Brilliant Books to Inspire Creativity

    Scott and I consider ourselves creative parents, always with a project on the go. Our children are naturally keen to create as well, and because of their desire to tinker, draw, paint, and build, we enjoy gleaning loads of inspiration from other creative educators.   Related: How to Recognize Creativity in Children   I myself have a well known love for collecting beautiful texts that provide activity after activity for our children (and their parents!) to engage in. Writing centre ideas, activities for outdoor play, tinkering, creating stories, dramatic play, arts exploration, and more.     This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Team V Education!   While so...

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Eclectic homeschool kindergarten curriculum for child-led learners. It is possible to find a balance between the two.

Eclectic Kindergarten Curriculum that Supports Child-Led Learning

There seems to be a growing trend amongst homeschoolers to identify oneself with not just one style of learning; however, to gather up bits and pieces of various learning styles and models to create this glorious masterpiece that we have come to describe as “eclectic homeschooling.”  An eclectic kindergarten curriculum allows the parent/educator and student to dabble in various learning styles to develop a feel for what is right!     It is difficult to argue against taking the best of the best to guide the learning of our most precious little ones.   Each one of our children, while most definitely created in the image...

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Do you have a creative learner? This fun and open-ended literacy activity provides your child with the freedom to demonstrate their understanding of the alphabet in a creative way. Drawing the alphabet - try it out!

Drawing the Alphabet – A Child-Led Learning Experience for Creative Learners

As early educators, whether as teachers in the classroom or as mama teachers at home, I would be willing to assume that you are much like I am, constantly considering how to intrigue our children with various learning activities, and enticing them to move forward in their learning!   And as a mama who is passionate about child-led learning (or the “Reggio Emilia Approach” with which I often associate our learning style), I am beginning to understand the importance of providing materials and tools that can facilitate my children’s learning in a positive and natural way.     WHAT 'READING' LOOKS LIKE IN KINDERGARTEN   Our five-year-old...

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How to deepen your child's understanding of the world around them. Observe & document with children! Children seem to notice everything around them and share an excitement that can even be overwhelming at times. Use these tips for observation and sketching to help children to see and understand their world as it functions.

How to Deepen Your Child’s Understanding of the World Around Them

Is it just me, or do children seem to notice everything?   They notice the beauty of the leaves blowing in the trees on a windy day. They notice the fans spinning overhead in church, and pause in wonder at their speed.   They notice the flatbed truck 600 metres down the road and ask what it is carrying before you even recognize that a truck is approaching!   They recognize a change in your hairstyle, or that you wore a skirt today instead of pants. They recognize the intonation of your voice and become more deeply immersed in the story you are reading with them.   They recognize that...

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Looking for Preschool Curriculum, but not sure where to start? These three steps are your keys to success, and your bank account will ultimately thank you! | The Prudent Homeschooler

3 Keys to Success for Creating the Perfect Preschool Curriculum

The other day I shared a very short history of our family’s journey of how we came to homeschool our children, from beginning as classroom teachers, to attempting to recreate “school at home,” to fully embracing the belief that our children are designed to learn and do it naturally and in their own time. It has been years of adapting our philosophy of teaching to the apparent needs of our children, and simply being open to change, no matter how unchartered this new territory of education may be.   Together my husband and I believe that learning is natural, organic, and simply...

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