Saturday, June 13, 2009

Home schoolers Medieval Dance Party

Have you ever wondered how homeschoolers spend their summers? Well, this is a fun video created by Amanda Read a newly graduated homeschooler who just finished her first semester of college on the President's list with a 4.0 and edited by her sister Rachel Read who is in High School.

Yes, right brain activity is what homeschooling is all about! While most public school children spend endless days exercising their left brain thinking skills, homeschoolers are actively developing right brain skills of imagination, synthesis, design, storytelling, play, caring and purposeful meaning of living. Homeschoolers are very high in emotional intelligence, not only IQ (genetic/academic). Truly the best is a blend of learning that is using the whole-mind, both the right (creative/emphathizer/high concept) and left (knowledge/information/high tech). The strong development of both sides of the brain are paramont in today's world that is global, faster and quickly moving to purposeful, non-material needs in eco-friendly design, creative out-of-the-box solutions and seeking for spiritual/ emotional satisfaction in life.

This past week was so fun for our children, who have been working on a Medieval Drama Movie this past year. Since we live in different states we have to wait for time to visit. The Read's have eight children. The Abbott's have three. We are two homeschool families binded together by the Dads who went to high school and college together. We have been family friends for 25 years, and both are lifelong home schoolers.

It was special on filming night to hear the laughter of 9 children busting up on the 4th, 5th and 6th take of one "actor" continuing to mis-state his name. Also the evil villain actor caused several fun times as he walked robotically across the room or twirled his necklace chain while sitting in his corner table waiting for his part.

I have been reading a lot of wonderful books about brainscience! A new field of study that sythesises many scholarly disciplines together to study the brain. I am thrilled by all the discoveries uncovered by scientist about how the brain is sculpted in the womb and throughout life, but rapidly during childhood. Tell yourself or a mom you love that they are brain scultors. Never knew we had so much skill or influence.

And this is good news for adoptive parents. Everyone really has two moms - the birth mom that give the child her genetic and "in uterus" brain and the daily mom that sculpts the function, and structure of the brain as the child grows. Of course for many blessed children one mother does both mom roles.

Now, 16 years later, I can see one reason God prepared so many families to school their children at home in non-traditional, emotionally/spiritually nurturing, non-textbook, narrative learning styles. We have been on a quest to find joyful living that is not in the rat-race pace of a world spinning out of control. We teach our children to develop solid learning skills that will enable them to be whatever God desire for them to be and encourage them to find their unique bent/giftedness. We understand that no two children are alike and that subject matter can be taught in a variety of ways to make sure your child masters it.

So if you have been wondering, is my child being properly prepared for this 21st century of change - "change you can believe in"? Ask yourself,
  • Is my child's right brain being developed skillfully to meet society's changing needs?
  • Are they able to express themselves creatively, develop opportunities and giftedness and
  • Are they emotionally sensitive to others in the world?
I can say, "YES!" We are far from perfect, but in our mess we have given our children a right brain environment and unconventional/non-institutional education. My children have learned to be thinkers that can articulate their thoughts and beliefs about life and a vas variety of topics. Praise God! For the first time in my homeschool mom life, I feel like a total success!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coming Out of The Closet - Mental Illness

The door is opening! My heart is heavy....I am coming out...time to come clean, be real, face reality. Time to not be ashamed, to be able to explain, to be understood. Time to open up the door and let the guilt fall to the floor (hey, I made a rhyme).

I have a MENTAL ILLNESS! Whew! I said it...I said it...I said it!

Now, get ready, I have DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder........wait, don't leave, I am not really crazy....I am not like Sybil or something....I am really normal most of the time, well, some of the time.....And when I am, I am a whole lot of fun to be around. I love life! I love to laugh! And cry! I love to hug and be held! I love to dance, and sing, and run through the real fresh cut grass without my shoes on (except for those sticky little hard ball like things and those pointy, thorny thistle weeds).

Oops! I got a little lost there!

I love my family- my dear husband of 25 years, my three children, my faithful few friends who have hung in there with me, my siblings, and my Holy Family (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)!

I love daydreaming, journaling, pretending I can draw, fingerpaint, sandcastles, gardens, digging my hand in dirt, being surprised by flowers coming back each year and forgetting they were there and how beautiful they are. I love birds, butterflies, little brown furry rabbits, my cats, and seeing the deer in our backyard along the farm edge.

I love that (as a friend long ago told me) I own as far as I can see in my backyard....that extends way into the open farm field all the way to the thick line of trees way ahead of the river.

I love skies!

I love reading, writing, reading, writing, and a little more reading.

I love photos...even more than videos...because to me pictures speak more.

I love quiet, being still, pausing to hear my own thoughts and those of the Lord.

I love fresh baked bread, and peach cobbler, reeses chopped up in chocolate ice cream and a glass of milk with fresh baked cookies, and my coffee...oh, so many fun ways to enjoy coffee.

So, I have come out of the closet! And you know, I don't think I am that really different from other people....yeah, I may not always be "myself" and respond "appropriately" and feel liked I can take on the world with a smile on my face.....BUT

I have a clear conscious, a right relationship with God, a tender heart for people, and peace...yes, peace - that one quality that everyone around the world is trying to get...World Peace. I have it! And if I just had the chance, if people could just not see what I do wrong, how I act weird at times, I would love to share with anyone how to get it!

That is the kind of person I am! Mental Illness, it is not so bad....and life is certainly brighter on the outside of the closet than when I was hiding inside.

Have you ever needed to come out of the closet or someone you love? Can you relate?