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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is this weeks Carnival of Homeschooling

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving break

My kids are home and I am thankful. There are more dishes, and I have done a lot of laundry (I know they can do it themselves, but I didn't want my laundry room taken hostage for their entire visits).  I have cooked a bit, and I have driven a bit, but they add a great kind of energy to my home.

That is all I am thankful for though. I am mostly sad.

Bill Cosby.


Comments sections.

Politics in general.

I am very disappointed America.

After the break, I am going to start doing one piece of artwork each week.  The daily sketches were more to get me warmed up and to work on some techniques.  Sketchbooks can have some very bad days, and some very good days.  You have seen both. From now on I will be showing a piece that I have conceived, sketched, developed, and completed.  One a week.  Please help me stay motivated!

I am including some of my favorite pieces from my sketch a day series.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let talented children be talented

sketch a day #27 - 10 minutes
Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Elaine Stritch, Casey Kasem, Robin Williams, Geoffrey Holder Joan Rivers, Oscar de la Renta, and many, many other deeply talented people died this year.  Mike Nichols, who died this last night influenced the last Seven decades of televisions and movies. His death had me thinking... who are we replacing these people with?

Kim K. West? Miley Cyrus? Justin Beiber?  Basically, we are replacing these talented, talented, icons with people who are just as infamous as they are famous. The media is more full of narcisists, and dysfunctional stars than talented ones. Sure each has something about them that makes people swoon, and some even have staying power, but they attract more idolatry and admiration. That is a problem.

As an artistic person, and as a parent of artistic people, I feel like my parents generation did us a disservice that we have to reverse. I distinctly remember my parents telling 13 year old me that black females won't get anywhere as architects, so I should keep my sketching as a hobby. They instead pointed me towards law.  It was interesting enough, but when I changed my major in college to art, I remember, a cousin who I respected being called on to brow-beat me into changing my mind. It didn't work, but it did nothing to my confidence as an artist. I feel like this is why I have stopped and started so many times over the years. When your parents don't support you as an artist, will the world? How will you know.

This is why I have always done my best to support my kids as artist. Even though the boy is now more into programming than art,
I believe that he should integrate his talents into whatever he wants to do, and praise his work whenever he cares to show it. So what, my daughter may never make it to the Broadway stage. She may never design a costume outside of community theatre. She may not write the next great novel. She may not get her work in a gallery.  But she might.  Who am I to discourage her, especially when it is clear that her work is very good. (This isn't just me speaking.  Do you know how hard it is to get A's in creative courses in college?  Near impossible.)

I pray homeschooling parents will continue to raise children in the way they should go, and not in the way that we parents envision them. Sure, their argumentative nature as children may have us dub them little lawyers. Sure, we would love for them to be doctors, or pastors.  But, God doesn't gift EVERYONE with talents. That is quite evident based on the "talents" put before us today by the media. If your kids are talented, encourage them to pursue it, in whatever way they can and don't discourage. You will never know what dreams you are breaking.

We need hope for a future where creative people are more positively influential then negatively, don't we?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Famous homeschoolers have people saying ... huh?

Sketch a day # 26  - 10 min 
What set of homeschool siblings are probably the most famous and least understood?  No. Not the Duggar kids.  It is the Smiths.  Jaden and Willow Smith, children of Will and Jada.

I'm not even sure they consider themselves homeschoolers, they went to school for a year after being officially homeschooled, and now they are lifelong learners.  According to Jaden, "School is not authentic because it ends. It’s not true, it’s not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to."  Since they are still minors and bound by education laws in their state, I consider that homeschooling. 

So people are weirding out because these famous and talented (some might disagree) children gave an interview and spoke about subjects that is not typical of children.  Gawker magazine tweeted "Every single thing about this Jaden and Willow Smith interview is nuts".  E Online says that the "interview will either blow your  mind or give you a headache." I say that they are just kids being kids... well read kids, and I don't have a problem with that.  

Willow's book list includes a book on Quantum Mechanics, and Osho, which is about meditation and unleashing creativity. Jaden is reading The Ancient Secret of the Flower of life, and other ancient texts. These most certainly were not on my children's most-read lists, but I can promise you these titles on their college applications... if they go to college will give them an instant acceptance letter. 

Ok.  There is some other stuff in the interview that most adults would consider goofy. But who of us were not goofy as children. I remember reading "A Tale of Two Cities" and in my essay assignment that followed, I put myself in the foot of the Surfs, and wrote "the crunching of their bones was music to my ears".  I got an A and my mother called the doctor to make sure I was alright in the head. Another time, I decided to speak only in the voice of the school librarian, who we were certain was drunk, all. the. time.  Eventually, my mother threatened to choke me and I stopped.  This is what 14 and 16 year olds do. Their minds are developing. They put information in... they give information out. 

Maybe their minds aren't mature enough for some of the more sophisticated books, especially if they believe they can control time.  Or perhaps the interviewer didn't care to understand their words from the viewpoint of a kid. Who knows, I wasn't there. 

I certainly don't agree with a lot of the things more traditional homeschoolers do and believe in, I still support everyone's right to educate their kids as they choose. And so, I support the efforts of the Smith kids too.  You certainly can't accuse them of not being well read, and able to digest advanced books and subjects.