Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I think I've heard my kids say they were bored only a couple of times in their lives. I promptly handed them a basket of dirty laundry or directed them to the dishes in the sink, and they didn't say it again. They are generally too busy to be bored.
We encourage active participation -- in school, with family, in life. Just recently, they all participated in the National PTA Reflections Program
, which asks children to express themselves artistically based on a common theme. The categories are varied -- everything from dance and music composition to all types of visual arts
, photography and film. Parents need to help kids fill out the submission form and mat some artwork. (I used poster boards for mats; they were two for $1 at Dollar Tree. And I printed a photograph at CVS, so the financial commitment was pretty miniscule.)
Parents at our school volunteered to lead free workshops to help the kids, and the school provided some materials. After the competition was over, our school held a gallery reception so everyone could see all the entries. If your school doesn't participate, encourage them to.
The theme this year was "Together we can ...." It was great to see my 5-year-old's crayon drawing, entitled "Together We Can Play Outside," my 8-year-old's pastel drawing, entitled "Together We Can Save the Forests" and my 11-year-old's photograph, entitled "Together We Can Create Renewable Energy." They were so proud of their work -- and so was I.
There's such a focus on academics these days; every child is expected to be an intellectual superstar. I'm thrilled to see something that showcases other talents. Though I was grumbling late last night as my husband and I were making sure everyone's forms were in order, I was feeling so happy that they were all involved in such a terrific project.