A Pirate's Resources

Benefits of Creativity

Making the Transition to Homeschooling

If you're making the transition from public school to homeschooling, you might be feeling overwhelmed. You're not alone! First of all, welcome! The homeschooling community is wonderful, and when you find your tribe, you'll have support, encouragement, and hopefully, playdates when you need them.

There's a lot that can be said about how to get started. As someone who has homeschooled for 16 years and graduated three students, I've tried many different methods, including Classical, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Charter, Montessori, co-ops, and "let's just try this and see what happens." But no matter what method you choose, my advice is always the same: figure out what habits you want to establish for yourself and your child, and work on those before diving into the curriculum.

What strengths do you want to develop? What weaknesses do you want to minimize? What character issues do you want to address? Sometimes it's as simple as working on perseverance or establishing a morning routine. Other times, you may need to foster a love of learning or help your child undo negative habits from their previous schooling. By focusing on developing life skills in the beginning, you'll create a well-rounded and wonderful adult. Once those skills are strong, you can focus on the curriculum and achieve excellence in the subjects you choose.

As you begin and continue on your homeschooling journey, be encouraged! It can work, even when mistakes are made (and they will be). Homeschooling provides a unique opportunity to tailor your child's education to their specific needs and strengths, including their creativity and imagination. Encouraging your child's creativity and imagination not only enhances their educational experience but also equips them with important skills for the real world.

To help with this, consider incorporating opportunities for your child to explore and develop their creativity and imagination, whether through art, music, or imaginative play. With your support, your child can thrive academically and creatively as they continue to grow and learn. 

(and of course, here at A Pirate’s Guide, we think creativity is important - and our workbook is a great resource for building creativity, brainstorming ability, and thinking outside the box - all great life skills!)

The Captain of My Own Story :: Benefits of creativity and storytelling.

I’m writing this during the 2020 Covid-19 “lockdown.” Today, I watched a video of John Krasinski and “SGN” - Some Good News. Ironically, at minute 20:20, guest Jon Stewart is giving advice to a 2020 graduate.

“You have no idea what is about to come at you … Embrace that … This is a world filled with possibility, and I am steeled and ready for the challenge that lay before me. Now what? I am the captain of my own ship, and
I will write this story.”

I share this because this is at the heart of why
A Pirate’s Guide (and Wondertale Press) exists - to help people write their own stories. This is your life! This is your student’s life! Write your story. Get the tools you need to tell it with confidence. And then go live life and write your story, both in how you live, and in how you tell it. It’s a miraculous thing.


The Path of Creative Living

“Because creative living is a path for the brave.” (Author Elizabeth Gilbert).

I saw this today on the Facebook feed of one of my favorite creative spots,
Let’s Make Art. This incredible company creates kits and provides tutorials (FREE!) for watercolor, art journaling, and lettering. They were sharing this quote from their company book club read by Elizabeth Gilbert. And it struck me, because I’ve been thinking a lot about our students, those who dive into writing projects because they LOVE to write and can’t help putting the stories in their heads onto paper, and also those who loathe writing, because it’s scary, hard, or just feels like too much. Sharing our stories requires bravery, and bravery is made stronger in creative living. Today I encourage you to be brave, build bravery, and be creative. Encourage your children to walk that path of creative living, not only in storytelling, but in whatever way they find to express themselves. Get to know them better through their creativity, and watch you all flourish!


Exercising Your Creativity

I read an article today about the importance of exercising the creativity each of us has. Paul David Tripp makes a compelling argument that the “bulk of humanity never realizes their creative potential.” He attributes that to fear - something we can all related to. Is it good enough? Will someone make fun of me? Will someone make fun of my art (which feels an awful lot like someone making fun of me)? Do I even have creativity in me? What if someone sees my creative product? What if no one sees it?

Tripp provides several meditations on allowing the creativity within us to be expressed, and to find grace in the making. I’ll leave you to read the article, if you choose, but thought I’d share here, because it got me thinking.

What’s stopping our children from expressing their creativity? We are a storytelling enterprise, so of course, I often think in those terms, but we could just as easily be creative with paint, music, sport, our bodies, our voices … you get the idea. Yet so often, our children immerse themselves not in their own creativity, but in the creativity of others. They consume the results of others creativity - movies, books, youtube or tiktok videos, music, board games, and video games - yet rarely take the time or effort (or risk) to create for themselves.

Much of this is caused by the ease with which we can consume versus the effort it takes to create. And yet the results of that effort, over time, are so rewarding, and fill us with life that mere consumption just offers a glimpse of. I encourage you to find what gets in the way of your child from being creative - of yourself being creative! - and work to take a step towards creativity. Maybe it’s just the arrangement of dinner on the table, tonight, or the way they make their bed. Find the ways that you and your children ARE expressing creativity, and celebrate that. Then work towards creating even more. Every act of creativity is a way to express something that is uniquely you. Don’t be afraid.


Creativity - True Play for all of us

I read this quote from a Dr. Gordon Neufeld recently: “Remember…children at play are insulated from the alarming world around them. Play is a sanctuary of safety. … In true play, the engagement is in the activity, not the outcome.”

I love this, as it speaks to the essence of our goals for
A Pirate’s Guide - engagement, not outcome. And it reminds us that, during these potential stressful times (I’m writing this 4 weeks into the US quarantine resulting from the Covid-19 virus), creativity provides all of us with a level of play and safety that we deeply need. Whether you are 3 and building a block tower, 10 and creating chalk art on the front driveway, 14 and art journaling your experience, 47 and taking a moment to tell a story, paint a picture, or create a lovely meal - creativity can be true play for us all. Take a moment, and slip into the “sanctuary of safety” that playing creatively allows. Whether that’s doing an exercise in A Pirate’s Guide, arranging some flowers in a vase, making up a story alongside your child, or even just plating dinner in a beautiful way, being creative is important for each one of us, parents included. Encourage your children to play today, in some way, and then join in yourself.

Rest in the engagement, and don’t worry about the outcome.