CHECKLIST CHARLIE

Creative kids and the written word

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Award-winning author and Amazon best selling Sandra Merville Hart brought her imagination and love of history to Fireside Talk Radio recently to talk about creative kids. To understand how excited I was to have her as a guest on the show, you have to understand how much I love the idea of educating about history through story-telling. Sandra writes some of the best historical fiction I’ve read lately.

Whether you call it the Civil War or the War Between the States, I bet you’ll enjoy her latest book, A Rebel in My House. Wrapped in a romance novel book cover, the story is fast-paced entertainment with dramatic flair.

Sandra did her homework in this perceptive telling of the battle around Gettysburg, so we can relax. I love it when a fun read educates me.

To me, this is one of the best uses of imagination: enhancing empathy by letting folks try out other perspectives in an engaging story. My family loves the arts, like the written word, mixed with imagination.

World-class imaginers, my kids and their friends inhabited a world where pirates captured space ships floating in the canal across from our house. Canoes were patched with duck tape until the next capsize. Indians and cowboys defended our tree fort. Kings and queens issued royal decrees to knights prepared to defend honour to the death (by plastic sword).

Sandra endorses being alert to all the ways your creative child may already express their imagination. “I expressed a strong interest in writing as a child,” she says.

If you’re raising a natural-born story-teller Sandra shares these thoughts on how to best encourage your creative child’s gifts.

“I would have loved to visit libraries when authors were speaking. Author events at bookstores, museums, or schools might have allowed me to meet others who achieved my dream and encouraged me. Look for writing classes for kids at the library or school,” she says.

Of course, don’t overlook simple encouragements. “If my parents had given me a desk, writing supplies, and a quiet place to write, I’d have been on my way,” says Sandra.

Art museum visits, painting parties, birthday party at pottery places; Sandra’s imagination begins to tick off ideas about how to encourage the creative child who tends to be visual or tactile.

“What if your child draws cartoons in their free time? Parents can research the creative journey of someone like Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown and Lucy and Linus, to find ways to help them develop his or her abilities,” says Sandra.

Finally, Sandra closes with this wisdom: “Encourage them. Praise their efforts. Allow them to try something new and fail and learn how to pick themselves up to try again. Your attitude makes a HUGE difference.”

For more of our interview, look for our podcasts on CathyKrafve.com.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are joyfully welcomed at CathyKrafve.com.

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