Program adds opportunities for home school students

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A local home education teacher is introducing new opportunities to children in home schooling programs.

Creston Creative Learning is a Monday morning program for 5-7-year-olds organized by Kristina Leidums, herself a mother of two.

After teaching in the Self Design distance home school program, Leidums said last week she wanted to work directly with children again. With a teaching degree in outdoor education, her program includes science, crafts, stories, games and hands-on projects.

“I wanted to work with kids in person again,” she said. “I love the enthusiasm of kids, and learning what their interests are.”

Each month she selects a theme, but children’s interests influence activities.

“We do a lot of hands-on, messy crafts, because kids love doing science experiments!”

Underlying the program is Leidums’ desire to foster the seeds of self-direction skills, which “gives kids options.”

She started out small in November, putting out posters and using word of mouth.

“Basically it was an invitation to parents to come to my house and see what we are doing,” she laughed.

Parent involvement is vital for the activities, but “every parent doesn’t need to be here every week.”

She describes Creston Creative Learning as “a family oriented learning community,” and parents have responded with enthusiasm.

“Our son has been attending Creston Creative Learning from its first week and he absolutely loves it!” Ellie Reynolds of Gray Creek says. “As a remote homeschool family we really appreciate Kristina’s approach, support, nuanced understanding of the different ways children learn and the thought she puts into these weekly sessions. Our son particularly enjoys the hands on science experiments and the stories. He is excited to attend each week. This is a wonderful addition to our homeschooling calendar.”

“”My daughter just loves all the crafts and science experiments she does at Kristina’s Creative Learning class. As a parent, I love the freedom my child gets to be creative and be herself!” adds Natalie Vance.

“Many thanks go to Kristina Leidums for offering her amazing creative school program on Mondays in Creston,” says Crawford Bay’s Jonas Plaumann. “ My 5-year-old daughter Eira is excited each week to join her friends in this comfortable home setting. Kristina has such a kind way to spark the children’s interest in learning about the world.”

Leidums dreams of expanding her program, and to one day have an outdoor education centre.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about children’s learning – what makes them tick, what their learning styles are, what really drives a child. I’m constantly reading about programs around the world.”

For this program, computers are not used by the students. But she does use the technology to help keep parents informed.

“I keep an on-line journal about how I see their children learning,” she said. “And I have a huge supply of resource books on education and learning that parents are welcome to borrow.”

The monthly fee is $80 and Creston Creative Learning is open to any child in Homelinks or other home schooling programs. More information can be found on the Facebook page, Creston Creative Learning or the web site, crestoncreativelearning.shutterfly.com.