Welcome Back!

Corona Birthday

It is that time of year already…yet it looks and feels so different.

Some children will continue to work online this fall, or for some portion of it, and teachers have been working hard to improve their skills, as well as create creative and robust lessons for their students.

Other young people will begin the year in a face-to-face situation, so glad to get back into the classroom and see their friends and be “normal” again.  We do know they will be disappointed by many aspects of their experience.

And once again parents/grandparents/caregivers are challenged with making everything work.  Family time, meal time, online schedules, work…etc.  Let’s not forget that our pets have been used to having us at their beck-and-call for quite a while, and some may even develop separation anxiety.

The key to success right now may lie in the powers of kindness and patience.  And this includes for yourself.  My goodness, these challenging times are enough to try the minds and souls of people.  But we can rise above any of the frustrations and logistics. and the inconvenience of wearing a mask WAY more than we ever thought we would.

There is power in remembering the Greater Good.  Past generations have done it, and so can we.  So, keep your spirits up and your capes on – we are all asked to find our inner super powers right now.  Let’s do it!

How are you doing as we prepare for this coming school year?  We would love to hear from you!

Wonderkids and Wonderfamilies

img_0057

We love to travel and have met some pretty wonderful people over the years.  This winter we have ventured to warmer climates for a couple of months and are astounded by the number of people who are living, and raising families, in RV’s.

One such family we met a week ago.   Mom, Dad, Golden Retriever Puppy, two children, and a babe in a stroller, were walking by our campsite.  We took time to meet them, pet the puppy and talk with the kids a minute.  The newest member of the family was just 4 days old!  And they were full-time RVers.  Dad worked at a job that took him on the road a lot, so they decided to travel together.  Mom was just beginning the homeschool process with the oldest, who looked to be about 1st grade age, maybe a bit younger.  Wow.

Another mom I met in the laundry room as she was finishing a load of her son’s school sports uniforms.  He needed them for school Monday.  As we talked I found out the family was also living in their RV, and had been since June.  Her son was probably late elementary or maybe middle school, and they knew they wanted to locate here but didn’t want to buy a place until they checked out the schools, and various areas around the city/suburbs.

These are only two examples of people we met who are spending their time as families, and who are raising their children in what most of us would consider an alternative lifestyle.  The kids were well mannered, outdoors most of the time, in the pool, hiking, walking the dog, helping with chores, or just hanging out.  I never saw  any of them on any sort of technology, or asking to be on a computer or gaming system.  I am not saying technology is a bad thing, only that it didn’t appear to take up the bulk of these kids days.

The time spent out of doors is much more doable in a warm climate, but the focus on family and time spent talking and playing with others can be created anywhere, at any time of the year.

Food for thought – Have a great day!

Storytelling

I had a great time on Thursday when I shared W is for Wonderkid with a group of young people during a community event.  They participated in a number of art and music activities, were filled with pizza, then sent to me for a story.

Instead of simply reading the rhymes in the book, I created a scenario based on some of the character-building traits, then had these rather sleepy youngsters talk through the problem, and what were a few ways to solve it.

Storytelling is both an art and a science, and we all have strengths and weaknesses in these areas.  Each time I “perform,” I tweak my presentation based on past experience, as well as how my audience is responding.  Perhaps 2 hours of activity hindered this particular event, as the children were not as responsive as some audiences have been.  But in spite of the circumstances I think the event went well.  At least the parents were smiling and nodding! 🙂

IMG_4361

 

Away from the Desk too Long

IMG_4326

Sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn’t it?  I could NOT believe it had been so long since I last updated the website!  During the summer we tend to wind down and reboot.  Learning and growing, both professionally and personally, sound like Wonderkid traits, don’t they?

We continue talking with kids, teachers and parents, and working to find the niche for our book.  It is not simply a story book, it is much more a resource book.  Kids do love to be read to, and the photographs in the book are engaging, but the discussion that goes with growing Wonderkid-skills makes all the difference in teaching kids how to make positive choices, and handle uncomfortable situations.

Today I have the opportunity to do another book reading at a community event.  Each time I do a reading I change the program, based on trial and error…like any teacher does!  Today I am planning something more interactive and am looking forward to seeing another group of growing Wonderkids.  Look for details in my next post…coming SOON!

IMG_9270 (2)

I am planning on being back at “the desk” now, and posting more regularly.   You should see more activity on Instagram, FB and Pinterest, as well.  We are all learning in this process, and now that we are readying for the start of a new school year…it is time to build classroom libraries, and get this book into the hands of school counselors and social workers, as well.

Happy Fall – here we go!

New Years Resolution

thumb_Eye_08-512_1024

It is totally amazing to me that we are starting a new year.  I can remember when the year 2000 was a distant joke…something out of a science fiction novel.  And now here we are at 2018.  And we are still faced with a climate of bullying, in an environment of social and cultural issues.

thumb_emoji_521_1024

The prevalence of cyber attacks is absurd.  And bullying has grown in magnitude with the relative anonymity of the Internet.   Not only a problem with youth, it is a growing concern at all ages, in all walks of life.  But if we can reach our young people and give them the skills they need to grow and develop and make good decisions along the way, maybe we can help combat this problem in society.

thumb_https---blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com-uploads-card-image-181536-Apple_Emoji_1024

Springing from a movement titled “I Am a Witness,”  is a new emoji which is installed on the updated iPhones.  It is an eye in a speech bubble, the first ever emoji designed for a  social cause.   Look for it in the symbols area of your emoji list.  It doesn’t look powerful, but it is becoming so in our cyber-driven world.

thumb_eye-emoji-hed-2015_1024

The CEO of Ad Council , Lisa Sherman, told an interviewer for the Huffington Post “this emoji felt like it could give teens something to say when they didn’t know what to say.”    Use of it is a way to call out bullying in text messages or online communities.

thumb_witness-thumbnail_1024

So, in our schools and in our homes, we can help young people find a way to recognize and support those kids who are struggling, or who are being singled out in some way.  We can help them find that superpower within to feel good about themselves, and know they can be a part of positive change in the world.

a13314f180b85b33dff06045098768aa

Look for the “eye” emoji on your phone, and download the images from the Internet.  Go to http://www.iwitnessbullying.org for more information.  And teach children to say:  “I see that and it’s not okay.”

thumb_Untitled-1_1024

What a great resolution to start the New Year!  Let us know what you are doing to teach character education to your children and students, and let us know student response.  We would love to hear from you.