Okay mamas, time to do a little hand raise… where are my crafty mamas?? That is awesome! High-5 to you!! My hand is definitely not raised. Did you know this world is full of non-crafty mamas doing this homeschool thing?? Oh yeah! So where are my non-crafty mamas?? I’ve got both hands raised high! I hate play-doh. Oh I loathe that stuff. Yet, we have loads of it. I hate glitter. Oh man, it’s the worst. Yet, we have tons of it. It’s everywhere. My couch is permanently shiny. I suppose the truth is, I don’t like stinky things and I don’t like messes. Crafts are so messy.
My Haley girl is a little artist! That girl’s brain is wired to create! She doesn’t much care about the end result, she just loves the process. I refuse to squash that passion.
I search Pinterest often to find fun ideas that coordinate with our lessons. We have all the supplies and I get them out as often as I can stand it. Like yesterday, it was watercolors for the younger kids and super sharp colored pencils for Keith. He was channeling my need for perfection. They all had so much fun in their own ways! I don’t love crafting, but I do love to let the kids use their imaginations and tools to get creative.
Also, our school room is now in our basement and no longer at the kitchen table and they are responsible for cleaning their own messes! So, I’m making it through. 😉
Outsource the Crafts
I am no art teacher and my daughter really wants to develop her skills. Luckily, we have three art studios in our little town! Taking advantage of what’s available near us has really helped. Here are a few ideas you may find helpful…
- Sign them up for single art classes whenever it fits in your schedule.
- Find an Art Camp they could attend for a week in the summer or over a school break.
- You Tube… artforkidshub is awesome and I’m sure there are many other “how-to” videos that are appropriate and helpful! https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtforKidsHub
- Cut corners where you can. I found solar system kits, some already painted, on Amazon. The uptight 2 can just put it together, while the creative one can paint hers however she wants. Everybody wins!
Skip Some Crafts
Do what you can and never feel guilty for what you simply can’t do. It’s totally okay that you can’t do everything. It’s also totally okay if you don’t want to do everything! Not every project (or lesson for that matter) has to be done.
I want to encourage you not to believe the lie that you have to be and do every single thing or they will miss out or fall behind. The truth is we are simply called to do our best, not to be perfect, not to do everything. And our kids don’t need us stressing ourselves out over doing it all. If any of us are going to enjoy this journey, we are going to have to let go, calm down, take a breath, and rest in Jesus. He will carry us through, fill every gap, and equip us and our kids for whatever He has called us to.
So often, we think that whatever we are setting out to do has to be perfect. Okay maybe that’s just me. I tend to set such high expectations for myself that I don’t have fun creating a mess. If I go in to a craft with that attitude, I will ruin all the fun for my kids. So I brace myself and set the bar to reality…
- It will be messy
- They’ll probably get frustrated in between all the fun
- Grady will definitely try to eat or drink or shove the supplies up his nose
- It won’t look like Pinterest… Our results tend to need the #nailedit label 😉
- I may not even get one Instagram worthy photo
Jump in Anyway
If my kids didn’t like crafting, we would never do any. However, they love it! Well, not my oldest and I don’t make him. Since the younger kids love it so much, I choose to let them. It is so beautiful to see them light up and show me something they made. It’s amazing to watch them use what they have to create something adorable. It makes them feel like they’ve accomplished something and I love seeing those smiles! Plus they have so much fun getting messy and digging in. I won’t take that away from them simply because it isn’t fun for me.
So jump in anyway. Remember messes can be cleaned, especially if they are old enough to do it themselves. 😉 Crafting is good for so much!
- Lower those stress levels (little kids get stressed too)
- Brighten our moods… Happier attitudes <3
- Learning! Crafting is mentally engaging, so they are learning and using skills. Not every lesson has to have a worksheet.
- Empowerment – they have something to show us for their efforts and they can be proud of that with our encouragement
- Independence – even the smallest kids can do so much on their own and mine are so happy when I let them.
- Responsibility – you spill it, you clean it.
- Their chance to express their thoughts, feelings, and unique ideas
- Quality time together
It all matters
It’s easy to schedule our school day around what is “most important” especially when we are spread so thin, but don’t forget other things matter too. Sometimes those other things, like crafts and play time and reading aloud, matter more and have a better impact on our kids than anything else.
Let’s just work together to find the balance. It all matters! All the lessons and all the breaks, all the books and all the play doh. It. All. Matters.
One reason I chose our new curriculum is that it frees up time and allows us to do more together. I want to use that time for things we can enjoy!
A Challenge for us all
My kids are going to make some crafts this week and I’ll share them on my Instagram and Facebook. I may even jump in and make something of my own! Show me what you made with your kiddos! Let’s celebrate those little blessings and all their creations and maybe reduce our own stress by making stuff with them!