Monday, July 28, 2014

We continue here on Planet Smarty Pants with our summer approach of enjoying summer slump instead of fighting it. Unstructured days give our children a chance to access the biggest power at their disposal, the power of imagination, without feeling pressured to do something else.


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Dreamers and Real Life

Our daughter is a dreamer. Quite often she can be found just sitting there with a faraway look on her face, lost in the world of her own. She can “go away” in the middle of having breakfast, getting ready for school, and I saw her daydream during school hours too when I volunteered last year in a classroom.

Smart But Scattered

Some time ago I stumbled upon the book Smart but Scattered in the library. It talks about children similar to Smarty, and I recommend it to other parents of dreamers and parents of children who are intelligent but lack practical organizational skills – these skills are called executive skills in the book. Authors Peg Dawson and Richard Guare give some practical advice on how to help children strengthen their executive skills, but also caution that for children younger than 9 parents sometimes have to step up and serve as their “executive brain function” in important situations while these executive skills are taking hold.

And, as responsible parents we do that. During a school year we are “mitigating” her trips to other worlds, usually to the worlds of her favorite books. We set an alarm earlier, we say, “hurry up”, “Earth to Smarty”, sometimes we lose it and raise our voices. We have consequences for her leaving things in school, we have set times for cleaning up and packing her bag. We remind her to focus and pay attention when she is on task. There is this constant cloud of “must”, “hurry”, “do” hanging over our heads.

Freedom to Dream

Redwood Stump

In summer there is freedom. The burden of expectations has not disappeared entirely as we don’t believe in permissive parenting, but greatly reduced to routines and a few chores. She has freedom to be who she is. Sometimes I worry that my daughter is not creative, but then I remind myself that I shouldn’t judge her creativity by “measurable output”. She has a hard time getting started on something, so a lot of her projects remain firmly in her head. But I think that dreaming without guilt gives her a gentle push that she needs to get some of her dreams out into real world. Stay tuned as tomorrow I share her take on a pirate ship for this edition of Poppins Book Nook.

Poppins Book Nook

Poppins Book Nook - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Every last Monday of the month bloggers of Poppins Book Nook are bringing you books and activities about pirates this month. I will be sharing ours tomorrow, but you can check out my co-hosts today.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

2014 After School Link Up Hosts

Share Your Summer Learning Week

School might be over, but lifelong learning never stops. We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your summer learning including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives. When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board or feature on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks! Don't forget to follow along and join our After School Enrichment Community.


min said...

Ah! We finally found something in common! We are big dreamers here and we are all working on our organizational skills. I find it helpful when I make up my own organization and there is pressing need to stick to it. Checklists help a great deal. It is a privilege to be able to dream freely. Smarty looks so blissful...reminds me of the "Thinker".

I purchased that book. Now, I need to read it.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I have been meaning to read that book but keep forgetting to get a copy. Thanks for the reminder!

Ticia said...

I need to see if our library has a copy of that book, it sounds interesting to me.