“Our job as parents is to help our child discover her spark, awaken it, nurture it, celebrate it, make room for it.”—Peter L. Benson
It’s exciting to think of parenting as awakening your child’s spark, and it’s important to your child’s well-being too. Keep the spark going in your family by trying the simple steps below.
Sparks For Young Children
• The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart, 1997, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
• Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman, 1999, Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick
• Strong to the Hoop, by John Coy, 1999, New York: Lee and Low
• Jamaica Louise James, by Amy Hest, 1996, Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick
Sparks For Older Children and Tweens
Sparks For Middle-Schoolers
• Read a biography of a famous mathematician
• Study the history of math’s development in Egypt and elsewhere
• Use proportions, ratios, and patterns in creating artworks
• Seek uses of mathematics in a daily newspaper or a magazine
• Explore the use of math in music
• Create polls and resulting statistics for the school newspaper or yearbook
Sparks For High-Schoolers
While sparks may be hobbies or side interests, they can also become a career. For some ideas, see the Search Institute book for teens, Life Freaks Me Out: And Then I Deal with It; several chapters speak to finding your passions and finding work that you love to do.
Exploring Sparks Further
We’ve pulled together some good websites based on possible sparks.
Click on one of the categories below to see which links sound interesting. Share these links with young people in your community, or explore them for yourself!* Advocacy, Activism, or Helping Others * Archaeology * Building and Design * Comedy * Computers * Cooking * Creative Arts: Art * Creative Arts: Dance * Creative Arts: Drama and Theater * Creative Arts: Music * Creative Arts: Speech * Creative Arts: Writing * Entrepreneurship * Family and Relationships * Government and Politics * Journalism * Leadership * Math * Mechanics and Engineering * Nature and Animals * Photography and Film * Reading * Science * Spirituality * Sports, Athletics, Health, and Fitness * Teaching and Instructing