Why ‘Shimmer the Glowworm’ makes your homeschooling easier
The lives we once lived have been completely disrupted thanks to Coronavirus. People are stuck at home a lot more than they used to be, and kids are now forced to take their education outside the classroom with varying degrees of success. But parents having to become homeschool teachers overnight is a struggle.
Even in the darkest of times, there’s a light to be found from all this. Shelby Herman created the Shimmer the Glowworm franchise to try and bring a little magic into kids lives through education. The hit book series is now a mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play for purchase.
Told through music, Shimmer’s story has been helping students find the simmer inside each of them, while giving parents an interactive medium to enrich their child’s education. We spoke with Herman about the franchise and what inspired the series.
Tell us all about Shimmer the Glowworm? What’s your aim with the series?
Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow is a musical story with five songs, each in a different genre unique to the character that sings it. It is available as a book, an interactive book app that includes the songs and character voices. There is a curriculum that supports the story themes. It is also available as a stage performance Jr. musical.
The main arc of the story is that Shimmer has a low glow and sets off on a journey to find her glow. She meets different new friends and helps them realize how special each is. When she helps them, her glow grows brighter. She realizes that by helping others find their glow, she has found hers. In examining her own struggle to find her inner light, Shimmer feels what many of us have felt – lost.
She shows us that although we may lose sight of what makes us unique and special, we can always be uplifted by helping and uplifting those around us.
How can Shimmer the Glowworm help parents struggling to be teachers this quarantine?
This quarantine offers a perfect opportunity to reflect on our values and share them with our children. The story is weaved with several themes, the cornerstone being self-love through the use of I AM. It celebrates our uniqueness and the significance of our individual qualities as an integral part of the whole of society.
The curriculum explores these themes, some of which are wisdom: What is it? Where is it? Our answers are within, and our wisdom can help others. Uniqueness; that our individual qualities are a necessary part of the whole. Embracing our talents, not downplaying them so that others won’t feel uncomfortable. Curiosity, the importance of perseverance, and that discovering new things can enrich the lives of others.
The curriculum doesn’t impose ideas, but merely touches upon topics, raises questions and allows children to formulate their own ideas. It opens the door to meaningful discussions through activities and discussion questions. It includes a coloring sheet ME TREE that children fill in with their own special qualities as the story progresses.
If our readers have never heard of Shimmer the Glowworm what’s the best place for them to get started?
The best place to learn about Shimmer the Glowworm is on our website showyourglow.com. There are also some preview videos on our YouTube channel and all social media. My favorite way to fully experience the glowing world of Shimmer is to download the app where you can hear the characters talk and sing in this interactive book. I’m so proud of the children that were the voices of these characters who brought the story to life.
Tell us how our readers can show their glow?
Everyone can show their glow in both big and little ways. When you’re doing that thing you love, it shows, and that uplifts others. When you hit a home run, or nail that presentation or bake the perfect cake or happily hold the door for someone, you are showing your glow. People feel that and are uplifted by you.
It makes them happy. Have you ever seen your dog run and play with exuberance or your child when they draw something special and they are so proud? How much joy do we get from watching them? They are showing their glow. It’s contagious and that is worth spreading around.
What future adventures can we expect from Shimmer the Glowworm?
The second story Shimmer the Glowworm Lights Up Spark is in the process of being illustrated. The voiceovers were recorded along with the first story and includes two more songs. I can’t wait to share this next adventure that introduces some new glowworm friends, and another important theme. Ollie, Cray, Kiki, and Scout make an appearance, too.
I’m also always open to new opportunities and collaborations to share in this journey.
What future projects can we expect from you?
I’m developing a third Shimmer the Glowworm adventure and currently designing figurine toys of the characters. I think kids need to have a Shimmer they can hold. She will glow in the dark. I am also illustrating another rhyming story that will appeal to both children and adults with a plush of the character that I hope to complete this year.
It centers around yearning for more. I have a novel that I’m starting to develop that is a character study with a surprise twist. I’m also working on a product line about freedom in all its forms designed for adults.
Tell us about your creative mission and vision?
My mission for Shimmer the Glowworm is to unify us globally. Children know they feel better when they uplift each other rather than tear each other down. I hope to instill that vulnerability and empathy are true strengths and that focusing on what is wanted instead of what is unwanted will create change, such as inspiring instead of anti-bullying. Shimmer the Glowworm is a global mascot who reminds us that to SHOW YOUR GLOW is your purpose.
My vision is to see the musical performed on stages everywhere, by kids, for kids, through schools, afterschool programs, theaters or even backyards as a community event. Kids get to show their glow by performing, which uplifts the community, and the revenue they generate can be used to contribute to others in the community, their school, or further any other cause they are passionate about. This empowers kids to get involved and make a difference.
How do you want Shimmer the Glowworm to help children learn?
Shimmer the Glowworm recognizes our inherent value and that we each have inner wisdom, especially children. Rather than imposing her own ideas, she uplifts, empowers and encourages children to go on their own journey of self-discovery. Shimmer reminds us all that we have within us everything we need to follow our dreams. . . and that the world needs us to do so.
I’m so very grateful to be able to share Shimmer’s world with everyone and hope your day is filled with butterflies and rainbows.