Kids Join in NaNoWriMo

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Play is not only our creative drive; it’s a fundamental mode of learning.” ~ David Elkind

child writing. jpgAs a follow-up to last Thursday’s blog, I forgot to mention children are invited to participate in the National Novel Writing Month also. In November, many libraries will have special programs just for children which will promote writing fellowship and fun among the young participants.

Of course, children have a more limited attention span, so parents if you get your child involved in the contest, remember children are more easily distracted. However, there are children who have a natural affinity for writing, and will write with great abandon.

There are many homeschooled children who will participate in NaNoWriMo. Here is an excellent article about keeping children on task. http://bit.ly/1a0pZdS. 

The main thing is to relax, parents, and let your child be their own guide as to how much or how little they want to write. The month long contest is supposed to be fun and not grueling.

Suggestion: Why not make it a parent and child activity? Parents can set a good example by entering in the challenge also. Write till your child’s heart is content, then switch gears, do something fun and reward your child for their efforts.

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Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!

Living and Learning

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“Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.” ~ William Zinsser

I had a lovely afternoon on Friday with a woman who fully embraces the concept of “life long learner.” I met her two years ago at a retreat sponsored by the United Methodist Women. Right away I was inspired by the interesting contributions she was making to our group discussions and wanted to know more about her. I’ve since learned she is an artist and a writer who is still avidly interested in the world and learning at eighty-three years of age. So young at heart, she still is in command of her own life. She swims at our local hot springs pool, volunteers weeding gardens and has a fulfilling spiritual life.

Last week, it was fun to finally see her contemporary paintings and discuss the thought process that she put into each composition. She interestingly explained the symbolism she incorporated into each of her paintings and how it related to where she was along her life path when she created them.

I took along an independently published art DVD to share with her that I knew she’d appreciate, a portrait painting demonstration, called “The Captain’s Portrait” by master painter Richard Schmid
 http://bit.ly/103RYtr. For me watching it brought back wonderful memories of 2001. I was in the audience the day the video was filmed and was attending my first live painting demonstration of a world-renown artist.

elderly paintingFrom our back and forth exchange of discussion as we watched the film together, it was evident that this woman has been a life-long art student. Although her works of art may not hang in top galleries throughout the country, she has won “Best in Show” awards. She seems to have a wonderful grasp of the concepts that were discussed in the film such as shape, form, values of light and dark, line, textures and color harmony. I shouldn’t be surprised, from the moment I met her she seemed very astute.

Just before we parted company , she told me how she has a void in her heart. Some years ago, the group of local painters who used to gather regularly at the Steamboat “Art Depot” and paint together, disbanded. She said “its much harder these days to find motivation to paint, and she misses the camaraderie greatly.”

I was reminded, once again, why art matters to young and old alike and to myself! This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Reaching Multi-Media Crazed Kids

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This generation of digitally obsessed students has challenged educators to find different ways of hooking kids into learning. How to teach lessons through multi-media, that will keep kids tuned in, is an on-going discussion among educators everywhere. 

There is a full service independent publishing and production company, Bluewater Productions, developing educational content by combining innovative storytelling through comic books with high quality art. 

Science fiction, greek mythology as well as biographical stories of authors, super heroes, politicians, notable women and Hollywood legends are all incorporated into the comic book publications of Bluewater Productions. The company aims to publish a fresh generation of educationally fulfilling comic books that will stimulate young minds. For more information on the library and literary initiatives that Bluewater Productions have been involved with, please visit http://bit.ly/oovpvC

The company has full service art and design studios and employs over 200 freelance artists and writers from around the world from a mix of media specialty fields. Their client list includes big name film studios such as Dreamworks, Lionsgate, Sony and New Line Cinema. 

How to motivate students to be active learners is a subject of great debate among parents and teachers, everywhere. John Lubbock once said “The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.”  In this 21st century, teaching goes far, far beyond textbook learning. Reaching children and inspiring them to learn in new creative ways is a difficult and challenging task.

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