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Sep 21, 2016

Sunshine Coast entrepreneur Jo Rosengreen is on a mission to change the way we look at educating children.

Through her new business School Stuff Sorted, her work in the Protecting Childhood Advocacy Group and her training as a presenter with The Point TV, Jo is sending a message that our children would be better served if we looked at the whole child rather than the intense focus placed on getting good marks.

“Nurturing a child’s true nature, encouraging creativity and teaching emotional intelligence will lead to a more well-rounded adult. One who is likely to head down a career path that not only matches their personality but also lights them up inside,” Jo said.

“Too often, especially now with the move away from play-based learning, children are being taught in a one-size-fits-all approach.

“We are not all the same. As the mother of three kids, I know each of them is unique.”

Over the past few years, Jo has been on a journey to better understand
her kids and build a strong connection.

“I have devoured books, videos, seminars and TED Talks specific to the mindset of children and how patterns setup in the early years carry through to adult lives,” she said.

Armed with this new knowledge, she began looking at her own choices in life.

“I never considered myself to be a creative person, in fact as a bookkeeper, I didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body,” she said.

“Yet, as I began exploring business options, I found a hidden vein of creativity. Tapping into my ability to be extremely organised and my passion to nurture creativity, I developed School Stuff Sorted – a system to store a child’s reports, awards, artwork and memorabilia.

These precious memories are often discarded. After the initial celebration and obligatory display on the fridge, those magnificent artworks – symbols of our child’s development – are shoved in a box and rarely seen again. When our child asks what happened to a drawing or painting we’re caught out, showing how little we value this creativity by throwing it out.

“My learnings made me realise the importance of allowing a child to express themselves in a supportive environment. That could be verbally, through the written word, art, dance, sport, the list is almost endless.”

Jo said we celebrate our children’s creativity for such a short while and then focus on academic achievements. “There needs to be more of a balance, more of a holistic view of a child’s natural talents and areas of interest.”

“This is my favourite quote from Einstein (well it’s attributed to Einstein but there’s no proof). Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”