Inspiring Education?

Violence, Sex, Drugs, Obscenities, all those things that fill movie theatres and overflow box office coffers, are they harming our children in real life, in schools?

Strangely, it was not the major consideration when I chose to homeschool my children. I believe children learn best when secure in a loving home environment, with a strong family bond. Schools, in response to much research, try to replicate this bond, calling it a sense of belonging, and include it in their curriculum. The best teachers create this family bond with their students. As a child, did you ever accidentally call your teacher “Mum?” I did once, and blushed.

School teachers like E. R. Braithwaite, Ron Clark and Erin Gruwell inspire me. Anne Sullivan who taught within Helen Keller’s home also inspired me. They didn’t give up on kids who battle daily with circumstances beyond their control. They came up with innovative, creative ways to transcend those circumstances.

Each to their own. I have great respect for the school teacher’s ability to maintain control over a crowd of thirty-odd children. It was hard for me to do that for half an hour with a classroom full of five year olds. I am not a school teacher who sets up a classroom at home. I am a parent, who sets up a home environment to cater for the voracious appetite for learning that children are born with.

What inspires you about your children’s education?

Homeschool work-at-home single parents

I am in search of moral support and a look into how others manage in a similar position. Here’s a few of my findings.

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Examples of types of work done by folk who work while homeschooling. There’s a wide variety!

http://a2zhomeschooling.com/main_articles/working_from_home_while_homeschooling/

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Some interesting statistics, and how to fit homeschooling into weekends and holidays.

http://a2zhomeschooling.com/main_articles/single_working_parent_family/

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Single, but not Alone. An article on the difficulties faced when homeschooling as a single parent, and how faith fits into the picture.

http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V27N1/V27N101.asp

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Working outside the home full-time, while homeschooling. It was interesting to learn how this family took their child with them to work.

http://homeedmag.com/HEM/193/mjwork.php

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The Real Reason Parents Don’t Homeschool… And I will investigate this further a bit later on, as I see the writer has three startups under her belt. And lots of links to explore in her article.

http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2013/01/24/the-real-reason-parents-dont-homeschool/

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This weekend, I am actually going to have a “weekend.”

Hope you all enjoy your weekends too!

I will be up at 2.30am Sunday for Twitter @Artist_Chat on the #ArtistChat hashtag, for the interview with author/artist Arthur H. Browne of the Pouring My Art Out Blog.  Apparently that’s 7.30am Pacific Time, or 10.30am EST Saturday. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Transferable Skills

This is a huge list that wouldn’t really fit on a CV, so I will have to decide what to put on and what to leave off. Notably I left out the entire section on “Dealing with Data.” I pretty much burnt my brain out with analyzing data and facts, investigating, locating answers or information, classifying, comparing, inspecting, recording facts, counting, observing, compiling, research, detail-oriented… and it would not be a good job match for me at present. I can deal with it in the doses required in my home-life, and that is my limit.

Here goes – my transferable skills:

All of the Creative, Artistic section

artistic, music appreciation, dance, body movement, perform, act, draw, sketch, render, present artistic ideas, play instruments, expressive.

Working with People section

patient, care for, pleasant, counsel people, sensitive, supportive, help others, insightful, teach, anticipate needs, open-minded, kind, take orders, listen, serving, trust, working with others, understand, adaptable

Most of the Leadership section

Motivate people, plan, delegate, run meetings, direct others, explain things to others, self-motivated, get results, think of others, direct projects, team builder, solve problems, mediate problems, take risks, empowering others.

(Must note that this is the natural position of a homeschooling sole mother. Whether it transfers to any environment is the question. Those I direct and motivate are my own children.)

Some Key or Other transferable skills

Customer service oriented, accepted responsibility, desire to learn and improve, solve problems, team player, work independently, computer skills

Use my hands, assemble or make things, safety-conscious, follow instructions

And lastly, the Using Words, Ideas section

Innovative, logical, research, create new ideas, design, understand the big picture

I’ve bolded the skills which stand out to me the most. That is; artistic, draw, sketch, render, help others, adaptable, self-motivated, get results, work independently, computer skills, use my hands, assemble or make things, innovative, create new ideas, design, understand the big picture.

I will list the computer skills in a separate post. This is a different kind of CV than I have made in the past. Interesting process of looking at myself and seeing what is there which might be of use outside of the home. Apparently I can enter my CV into seek.co.nz and it will pop up with ‘suitable’ or ‘appropriate’ job vacancies relating to my skills and interests. I feel a bit weird about this, as it also puts my CV in front of possible employers, whom I do not know. This is different to what I am used to, where I have either been introduced to an employer by someone I know well, or I have searched for, and sent a letter with a CV to them, after doing some research, and choosing an employer within the field and position I wish to work in.

What seems to be overlooked by those who know nothing about homeschooling, is that it is a whole bunch of skills in itself.

The latest article I read on homeschooling: http://www.connectthethoughts.net/blog/2011/10/hard-questions-about-homeschooling-part-seven-%E2%80%93-the-world-seems-to-hate-homeschool-part-i/

Colouring books

~ an update ~

The last four days have been quite intense. I have a system for uploading colourful and colouring artwork for sale. (At wildersoul.wordpress.com) The mix of black and white, with colour in some of my previews appeals to me, and I have a feeling that this colouring book style is going to affect my paintings… Everything is set up for me to start painting.

The plan is to take Friday off from the usual routine, and spend some time perhaps painting, and following Job Leads. Or self-employed Artist leads… The blog may be updated with the next letter of the alphabet, U.

It seems like no problem at all to carry on producing a colouring book pic every day. Each one is hand-drawn and I think of it as my Artist’s Sketchpad. A place to show sketches that may turn into paintings.

The pain in my left shoulder/neck has disappeared. And some Playground Therapy yesterday did me a world of good. The stress had started to build up, and going for a really high swing helped to defuse it, and I found I could breathe properly again. Then a few slides down the bumpy slide for kids a lot younger than I, and I could giggle again… and again…

I highly recommend Playground Therapy.

It also does wonders for the self-esteem. Nothing like hearing you’re amazing, from the mouths of babes. I wonder how high they will attempt to swing tomorrow!

That’s the physiological de-stress. Here’s my mental de-stress technique: If I am pressured to desert my kids with the threat of losing half of our current income, then I will go bush. This is my mental “escape hatch.” It is my way of accepting the worst that could happen, and be totally prepared to face it. An interesting novel caught my eye, which has a colourful description of the slums of India. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. People made their dwellings out of whatever was on hand. And there was a huge community all living together in the same conditions. The “happiness” is found in everyone being in similar circumstances. It is harder living poor in among the rich. I remember Gandhi wearing his large white sheet, and it didn’t matter where he went, or what dignitaries he met with, he wore what he wore. A man in uniform asked him if he felt underdressed for the occasion. To which Gandhi asked if the heavily decorated and uniformed man felt overdressed.

Full steam ahead. I want to be earning at least some money from my colouring book, and other art, within the next two weeks. Then I have an appointment where I will need to bring evidence of the work and learning I have put in towards setting up this online business. As well as, at the same time, showing that I am looking for any suitable/appropriate work available.

That means writing a CV. I will post it, and link to it on all my blogs. And I will think up a list of things I could possibly offer to do for others for money. Sounds serious doesn’t it! I am required to be working part-time, or in some sort of approved training course, in addition to homeschooling. I am working and learning. The only missing ingredient is the money. Any tips are much appreciated.

I have been told that doubling my price and offering different ‘levels’ of product could work. My introductory prices for September are to get the ball rolling, and make sure that my system works. I intend to aim next for the Fine Art – Digital Art market, and get serious about painting. While retaining the colouring book theme, and the therapeutic angle. I have some leads for places to display or promote my work.

That’s my life update on colouring books for tonight. It’s been a long day. Hope you enjoy the splash of colour at the Wildersoul Colouring Book.

Draft Only – what do you think?

I’m sharing my business adventure as I go along. This is the basic format for my email and/or blog page invitation, the referral registration form, and Sellbox/PayPal link.

——First Draft——

Hi,

Offer – subscription and downloadable files. Buy now, $12 for 365+ artworks, and a year’s subscription for 2013.

Statement of benefit – Colouring in is good for the soul. It helped in my healing from PTSD. Quote, “asdkfjalsdkjflajsdf,” Testimonial, “a;soldklakdsjflakjsdf”

bio – Anasera Trifonoff, Wildersoul artist

background – helped with PTSD

Vision – colouring pictures available to the whole world

Mission – promote understanding of benefits of colouring in, daily uploads of artwork to blog, affordable subscriptions, available offline. Target market/s. All adults and children in general. Specifically: Mental health service providers and users, hospitals, disability service providers and users, physical and intellectual disabilities, addictions, drug & alcohol, counselling, prisons, older persons in rest homes, retirement villages, activities directors, alzheimers, social development, child, youth and family, family and community, older persons, disability, hospice, ADHD, restorative justice, victim support, adoption and foster care, sexual assault, brain injury, community services.

Promotion – 1000 invitations to subscribe during September for only $12

Invitation and Buy Now button/link to Sellbox

More info…

Join the Wildersoul Referral program, Link. Give a gift of 10% discount to the person you refer.   And earn a discount for your next year’s subscription, calculated at the end of the year. You may also be eligible for bonus discounts on special promotions, if I think up something interesting to offer! (Suggestions are welcome.)

01 – 10 referrals 20% discount

11 – 20 referrals 40% discount

21 – 30 referrals 60% discount

31 – 40 referrals 80% discount

40 + referrals 100% discount

You are welcome to refer individual people, or an organization, no problem.

Please register here, and I will give you a promotion code. Give this code to your family, friends, business contacts – anyone at all who could benefit from colouring in. All they need to do is enter the promotion code, to receive a 10% discount on their purchase at this link here. The code they enter will show up on my financial statements, and I can then keep count of how many referrals are yours at the end of the year.

I will then email you at the address you give on the registration form to give you a discount coupon to purchase the next year’s colouring book and subscription. It may even be 100% FREE.

Please encourage your friends to join the referral program to receive future discounts too.

—-

Email Form

Name

Email

Website

I would like to register for the Wildersoul Referral Program.

—-

Sellbox Form

Please enter your promotion code here:

Buy now, $12 for 365+ artworks, and a year’s subscription for 2013.

Sample of some colouring pictures as a preview.

——end of First Draft——

This is probably going to end up at wildersoul.com

It’s taking longer than I thought to get it all written up. I’m going to take a break and have a warm drink. LoL the links don’t exist yet, so please don’t be tricked into pressing the coloured text!

When I come back, I will search for the info I have already written for a short bio, and on my business plan, and in the profile I wrote up for Project O, at Harsh Reality.

~WilderSoul

Business Therapy

Or Business School. I’m going to share what I’m up to, and then ask you a question at the end.

  1. Free colouring book with fast, easy drawing. Low time, low (no) cost, low quality…
  2. Sellbox shop with listings on Wildersoul.com. Medium time, low cost, higher quality.
  3. Spoonflower designs made to order, medium time, higher cost, higher quality
  4. Etsy shop with handmade one-off artworks created from Spoonflower designs, on fabric. Highest time, highest cost, highest quality.

To work on next:

  • Keep loading up daily artwork for free colouring book. In a way, this is absolutely free promotion of anything else I create. It is literally a look at the artist’s drawing board, with scribbles and sketches of ideas that may blossom into something later.
  • Create a beautiful and intricate artwork from my Spoonflower design. (Butterfly design on fabric – using beads and fabric paint, and who knows what else. It may turn into a beautiful bag of some sort…)
  • Figure out how to have all my blogs on Wildersoul.com, so I have only one point of contact. The trick is to make it so it is text only, mostly, on the front page, so that it loads quickly and easily. And also have all of the colouring pictures display as a gallery with no text. I think I can achieve this by carefully adding categories, and putting them into a menu. Or else I will have to figure out some coding, and how to use shortcodes.

Other ideas brewing:

  • A regular radio broadcast
  • A regular tv channel, you know, YouTube channel. With broadcasts, perhaps via Google+
  • Twitter poetry – 140 character poems. Perhaps it could make a good e-book, with photos and/or artwork added.
  • Skype or Gmail video chat available for face-to-face video chat.

My drive to share freely is in gratitude for the wonderfully supportive bloggers on WP, and also in a spirit of passing on what has helped me to heal.

My drive to start a business is to make money to support my family. Call me old fashioned, it kind of breaks my heart, as I believe in the Man having the role of providing for the family. The way I frame this in my mind, is that I am giving my kids the direct experience of seeing and being involved in a business start-up. Gotta be good for them. I love it when they come up with something better. I like to stimulate ideas, and head them down tracks they may not have considered. And then watch them run with it, in directions beyond my imagination or ability.

In the meantime… I am thoroughly enjoying the art I do with my own hands. Finally I am really starting to add colour. Somehow my mind is also tuning in to what other people want or need, that I could perhaps provide.

For now, here’s my question to you: What are your dreams, plans and goals? What is important to you in life right now? And what are your challenges, or disappointments, and how do you frame them so as to get on with things? (Big question…!)

The Connection Between Art and Literacy by Susan Striker

The Connection Between Art and Literacy by Susan Striker.

Susan does some amazing work with art, kids, and education. I like her views on colouring books, and the Anti-Coloring Book® series she created.

There’s nothing like a good SCRIBBLE.

Happy Scribbling!

~WilderSoul

via The Connection Between Art and Literacy by Susan Striker.

Businessmen and Colourful Art

Today I meet with a businessman. I’ll show him what I’m doing here at Wildersoul, and he will tell us what his association can do for us.  I am wondering if all this might come down to grants and sponsorship, rather than making a profit.  We’ll see.

I would like to fund it myself with sales of my own artwork. That would be pretty cool.

So – here’s a start to doing more colourful artwork: I have started colouring in my own work, and this will hopefully lead to many more colourful adventures!

celtic triangle coloured 300dpi scan

 

This was coloured from the Celtric triangle artwork on my Wildersoul Colouring Book.

STAR FRAME CELTIC TRIANGLESpng

 

 

I am still on track with uploading free artwork for the year. Only 8 months to go…

If you would like your own 6 x 9″ paperback with pictures to colour (they are quite small, so easy to colour in a short space of time, giving a sense of completion quite quickly.)  Then pop over to Amazon and search for Wildersoul Colouring Book. 🙂 The book is quite portable, ideal for whipping out and colouring a pic on a lunchbreak, or while waiting for public transport…

Catching up with the housework

My life seems quiet from the outside.  And peace pervades my home.  Generally.

On the inside, there is busy work and thoughts that crowd each room.  There is a castle built in my mind. It’s under re-construction. And the guards have received orders to let the drawbridge down and allow people in.

I invited a man in for coffee today.  I must have been reasonably certain he would not come in. (She says withholding a grin!)

Twitter seems a friendly place, and ideally suited to the friendly business I want to thrive in.  (Hope you got my good morning and welcome tweets!)  I may use it to let people know when I am in, and available for coffee and a chat.

My colouring pictures seem to be left till the evenings lately and that’s cool.  I have a room full of laundry to do, and it’s a grey cold day.  Our hot water has run out, so I’m boiling up a great big pot on our new stove.

Here’s my day ahead – which I will no way get through completely.  It will spill over to tomorrow.

Wash all the clothes.

Get a chicken and veges to roast in our new oven.  That includes a half hour walk to the shops in the fresh air and a mini endurance-training stint on the way back, lugging the food.

Look up public domain pictures of native pollinators and plants for a certain State in the US.  Look up which State…

Practice drawing the pollinators and plants.

Think up a design for a poster for kids to colour in.  Keeping in mind the aim of raising awareness that butterflies sipping nectar means food on our tables.  No butterflies, no food.

Re-read children’s nonsense poem and break into pictures.  Then figure out what I need to learn to draw.  And then find public domain images to practice on.  Create a collection of colouring pics and send them to wonderful author.

Sit down and plan out priorities for learning how to setup a small business.  I might as well list what is hanging over my shoulders:

  • Prepare for Chamber of Commerce appointment next week, with outline of business, and questions to ask.
  • Prepare for IRD appointment the week after, with questions on tax for items sold outside of NZ, and about special tax codes to avoid being charged tax twice.
  • Make appointments with Creative NZ, and Arts Access Aotearoa
  • Read BizInfo.govt.nz
  • The rest can wait…

Find silver dampguard stuff to lay on the sleepout floor so the underlay and carpet don’t get damp and mouldy…

Turf everything out of the sleepout again, and lay all the dampguard, underlay and carpet so the room is usable. Fix the broken windowpane in the door, with a bit of money and a phone call.  Hurf some things back into the sleepout and the rest out on the street.  Or somewhere…  (Oh how I long for a bonfire…)

Step 519: Clear moss out of cobblestones, and seriously clear out the garden. Hah. Not likely today.

I am pleased to see the sun has come out, so I going to go and sit in it, on the back step.  When I come back, I hope to have finished everything on the list… hahaha…  Still doesn’t include checking in on the kids making their movie for the next Cut! Secondary School competition, learning how to use Twitter, finding out how the WooCommerce Subscriptions, Groups WooCommerce, and Groups plugins work. And making new collections of artwork to sell in my shop. (sigh).

Never mind vacuuming the floor, and washing the windows, and figuring out why on earth the toilet overflow pipe randomly leaks all over the floor!

And I still haven’t gone next door to meet the new baby, and give them my present.

I do all right when I find I have a lot on my mind, and I write up some sort of plan to tackle it.  I am in the stage just before that where I feel totally overwhelmed.

This was meant to be a short post to say – “Hi everyone – bit busy catching up on housework – will be back later today!”

I feeeeeel good…. like I know that I should….

Two more wonderful moments – the man delivered the underlay, which is clean, soft and smells nice. And the people who pay to keep me alive called and are more than happy with the work and study I am doing.  So we live on another day. 🙂

Sending sunshine and peace your way…

~WilderSoul

PS – please don’t ask often how I am… giggle and chortle…

PPS – and I didn’t count contacting new blog followers, interacting in comments, reading blog posts, and writing my own…

PPS – nor any kind of focused and directed spiritual pursuits!

New sit-uation

I am sitting, actually crouching, hunkered down on the floor, at a low bedside table typing.  New plans ready to be hatched tomorrow.  And family to catch up with over the weekend.

My thoughts turn to how best to continue with my colouring pages.  I want the pages to be accessible first of all, and affordable to the masses.  The problem I face is how to make my book accessible to those of you who are in my own country.  (Or any country where the shipping is not free.)  Many of us here add enough Amazon.com items to our shopping carts until the shipping becomes a smaller proportion of the price.  Or we buy gifts for friends in countries that have free shipping!

The other problem, is that I would like you all to be able to choose which pictures you would like in a book.

I would like to offer poster sized artwork, at A4 or US Letter size.  (Easy to print out on your printer at home.)  And thought that downloadable PDF files could work well, with a very small price of say 84 cents per book.  These won’t have the same beautiful printing and binding as found in trade paperbacks.  I could design a cover page to print out at home, and you could choose your own way to bind the collection together.  Also, you could print out on card, or textured or coloured paper if you wish!

This is my hope for my new blog shop.

I notice we have lots of visits from Romania, and hope that the children at school there are enjoying colouring in their choice of pictures.

Folded A5 booklets could work out for schools, if the children wanted to collect their favourite pictures and bind them easily into a book.  I would put two pictures per A4 page (or US Letter size) that can be folded in half.  Then design a cover which folds in the same way, and they can all be stapled together along the fold.  If available, the cover could be printed on to thin card.

The same could be good for offering a supply of colouring books to helpful healing places who do not have a lot of funds to provide free colouring books.

So, that is what I will start solving and working on tomorrow, and for the next two weeks.

Hope you all have some moments of joy over the weekend.

~WilderSoul