Columbus arts educator, author and all-around inspiration Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld shares more of her wisdom about raising happy, healthy, creative children.

Columbus arts educator, author and all-around inspiration Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld shares more of her wisdom about raising happy, healthy, creative children:

Snap of fingers! Summer over and here's September! We definitely need supplies for the school year, but you won't need cash or credit cards, or environmentally friendly bags to haul these supplies away. To maintain a more stress-less school year for ourselves and our children, let us gather these supplies:

PATIENCE: Humans are unique individuals. We have our own mix of learning styles and abilities. Sometimes it takes some of us longer to "get it" - to comprehend, to read "on level," to make sense of lessons. Let us have an abundance of patience with our precious children, to listen to their questions, help them fathom puzzling lessons, refuse to contribute to stressful situations.

HUMOR: It's the best antidote to anxiety and frustration. Sometimes when our kids are feeling self-critical when they can't keep up, instead of joining them in the angst of disappointment, keep it light, joke, laugh! PERFECT should not be an academic goal for any child (or adult): When I went into a third-grade class to celebrate creative writing activities with the children, their teacher put her arm around one of the boys and, with a smile, she announced, "Mimi, these children are the most talented writers. Now sometimes Thomas has to have his work translated from the original, but as soon as we can read it, we love his originality!" Thomas nodded his head and, with a smile, he said, "I'm trying." In that class, stress was minimized, not maximized!

ENCOURAGEMENT: The old song, "Ya gotta accentuate the positive…" is a good reminder to find something to affirm in whatever your children do. Be specific: "I like the way you tried to answer all the problems." Or "You spelled six words right! Let's try for another six! Way to GO!"

IMAGINATION/CREATIVITY: Despite the research on Multiple Intelligences, many curriculum areas (yes, test-driven) are presented in limited ways, but other ways must be explored. For example, my friend Rose decided to learn Korean. She became frustrated and anxious. Ready to quit the course, she poured her heart out to a Korean friend over lunch at a local McDonald's. He ordered French fries and proceeded to demonstrate the Korean letters with the French fries. Laughing and relieved, they shared the fries and she thanked him for helping her learn her alphabet letters! Keep all options open: We learn through songs, movement, symbols, food, tee shirts, labels, signs, etc.

These are just a few of the supplies we truly need this school year and all years. With ample reserves of patience, humor, encouragement and creativity, we and our children will have a lot to celebrate this new adventure! Good luck!

-Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld