art by Jennifer Trafton

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the kitchen trying to help Lucy come up with an online writing class she would enjoy. Claire and Grace were both signing up for some classes and I knew Lucy needed something to keep her going too.

And when I came across this class by Jennifer Trafton called “The Brave Artists Club” it spoke to me.

And when I watched her introductory video it made me cry.

For reals.

The things she said were SO BEAUTIFUL! Here are a few:

“Art helps me to be calm, and peaceful…and joyful.”

“Playing, whether with words or colors, gives me hope!”

“Some people wonder: why should we waste our time making art when there are so many big problems out there? But that is completely backwards! It’s when the world is darkest when we most need artists, who teach us to be playful, to imagine, who will remind us that we were created to be creative!”

“Artists are pretty brave people. Because what are we doing when we sing a song or we paint a picture or we tell a story? These things are battle cries. we are raising our fists or our paintbrushes and we are saying, ‘you’re not going to win, darkness!” Because there is still beauty and color and light in the world. And whenever we create something, whether it’s a lovely water color or a crayon doodle or an imaginary creature with four heads, we get to be part of that color and beauty and light pushing back the darkness.

Watch the whole video HERE, preferably with your child, because it is SO GOOD! (if that link doesn’t work, you may have to go into the introductory page HERE, and press “start class” which will bring you to that introduction video).

I just love that thought of pushing away the darkness with creativity. Whether it is writing a story to get our feelings out or creatively helping a friend, or finding an interesting way to learn something new, we are using our minds for goodness.

Creativity is a beautiful thing.

If you want to check out these creative classes all the info. is HERE. I’m a new big admirer of Jennifer Trafton!

And I figure as long as I’m on this thought, there is so much creativity in some of the things my parents offer. From the imaginary adventure series of Alexander to a “secret code” to help families with communication, my parents have got ideas galore. Here’s a little “guest post” from them with some links to other cool things:

Dear Parents,

As we continue through this time of isolation and “being at home” we wanted to make 6 things available to you for free that may help you to make this a family-strengthening and relation-building time for you and your kids:

1. The values series Alexander’s Amazing Adventures is immediately available. It is a series of audio adventures that will keep your kids interested and involved for hours and provide endless opportunities to talk together about 12 key values that all of us want our children to embrace. Until June 30, the first two adventures in the series are free.

2. EyresFreeBooks brings 25 of the Eyres’ books instantly to your phone or computer for free and some of them may give you a chance to study and think about some aspects of your plan for your family.

3. There are several free previews that we invite you to explore on valuesparenting, including a “secret code” for better family communication and a dialogue for talking to your children about sex

4. Or, you might have time to work a little on setting up a family economy or a family legal system, or on reviewing and modifying your family traditions.

5. You can follow the Eyres on Instagram @richardlindaeyre where they give a parenting tip each Tuesday and a meditation on Christ each Sunday (because eternal families are the end and Christ is the means).

6. You can Listen Eyres on the Road podcast every week on your favorite podcast app.  The most recent editions are about finding “virus silver linings” for your family during this crisis. And please also look at where we have posted our favorite parenting and marriage tips.

All the best,  Richard and Linda Eyre.

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  1. So fun to run across Jennifer’s name on your blog. I went to school with one of her younger brothers and loved hearing her dad lecture (he was a professor at our local college, in the religion department). He hosted a club called The Loyal Order of Faithful Narnians. Such a great, creative family!

    Thanks for sharing ways to encourage our children.

  2. What a fun class! I didn’t see that when we went to Jennifer Trafton’s website a few months ago. We LOVE her books. They are fabulous, especially Henry and the Chalk Dragon. I read them aloud to my kids last summer and we all just adored them. Highly recommend them.

  3. I love this post! I taught children’s art classes for a few years from my home and always had a wonderful feeling with the completion of every class. I will check out Jennifer Trafton’s video and probably share it with my kids.

    We have a system we use at home that helps my children work regularly on creative pursuits. We have a poster titled ‘Imagination Points’ which is loaded with ideas for a creative activity…painting, drawing, drama, music, sewing, etc. Each activity has a corresponding number if minutes a child can earn for screen time with the completion of the creative activity. I’ve noticed that these activities combat stress as well as boredom! We’ll be using IP a lot this summer.

    1. Great idea on the “Imagination Points”! I agree, it does something wonderful to the brain for kids to use their imagination.

  4. Hey Shawni

    I saw that the ellingson family just last a son and I know Grace is friends with him!!

    1. Thank you. It is so heart-breaking, and so beautiful to watch Grace and Claire join in the throngs of people who love him.

  5. Thank you! I would be interested to know what classes your older girls signed up for, since I also have kids that age that are looking for something. Thanks for sharing so much with all of us.

    1. Claire is doing two online history classes through her school for summer school, and Grace is doing two community college classes that are fascinating (through Rio Salado) and an institute class. I have been loving joining in to learn with them when I can.

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