Kalin Art & Spirit

Homeschooling is not School at Home!

We Homeschooled for 8 years. It was a wonderful family experience that I hope many families, will try to implement, now that they’ve had a sampling of mandatory school-at-home due to the Corona19 virus pandemic stay-at-home orders.

TIP #1: HOMESCHOOLING IS NOT SCHOOL AT HOME

Our goal of ‘Homeschooling’ was to teach our children HOW TO LEARN~ How to embody virtues, and to live full, enriched lives. Homeschooling became a way of life that empowered our children to employ their curiosity, perseverance and knowledge toward a self-directed definition of personal success.

LEARNING STYLES

There are various methods of encouraging your kids to learn away from a school environment. The premise of ‘Multiple Intelligences’ by Howard Gardner is that each person has a mix of ways in which various personalities naturally learn.  They are Linguistic, Logical-Mathematatic, Musical, Kinesthetic, Spatial, Interpersonal and Interpersonal and Naturalistic learning.

Matching the senses to learning styles of Visual/Spatial, Verbal/Auditory, Reading/Writing, Physical/Kinetic and Embodiment via play-acting. All senses should be engaged with learning so that information registers, is retained and can be recalled.

I used individualized teaching methods for each of my kids, because I had insight into each of their motivations, preferences, and native abilities. The added benefit of homeschooling is that you, as a parent, will know (or will learn) what strategies work best with each of your children.

UMBRELLA SCHOOLS & REGISTERING IN YOUR STATE/CITY EDUCATIONAL DISTRICT

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 US States but you must register your children at their local school district prior to each school year so they are not counted as truant. You must pick up their forms that list the state’s requirements and fill in an end-of-year report that the requirements were met. Alternatively, parents can inform the school district which ‘umbrella school’ you are registering with in lieu of giving these reports to the school district and give them to the umbrella school.

SCHOOL AT HOME: One popular choice of schooling is to use the materials packaged by your school district. They usually supply a computer and have teachers who grade students work and confer with parents. To me, this was way too stressful! This is why the great joke about current situation of parents and kids both being exasperated with Homeschooling exists today!! :O

Teachers work ‘in loco parentis’ which is Latin for “in place of parents”. This is the original concept that allows parents to work outside the home and the state to take responsibility for educating youth, however, it regiments creativity into one-size-fits-all boxes and, imho, creates lazy and bored students. When parents have the luxury of matching learning options to individual children, the results are magical! When there are no imposed age restrictions in place, older kids play with and assist younger ones and generations happily mix and learn from each other. This is the great FREEDOM inherent in learning at home; It is a lifestyle that liberates the mind & spirit!

UNSCHOOLING: It’s a fairly radical idea to entertain and is legal in all 50 US States (and territories). People learn all the time, if encouraged and given direction via a question. Some of our friends enrolled their children into an “Umbrella School” that took responsibility for organizing the learning opportunities that children participated in over the year and created documents from the year-end reports that parents turned in. This was the least stressful way that allowed children’s youthful inquisitiveness to direct the learning process. Eventually, all the kids learned to read, write, calculate maths, play instruments, present dramatic entertainment, raise money for charity and become well-adjusted, kind and respectful people. It seemed a bit disorganized for me, but worked wonders when the children were naturally inquisitive and parents were confident that their kids would work things out on their own, or ask for help.

CHILD-LED LEARNING: Another, rather ‘open’ model of Homeschooling, is child-led learning, that is outlined by the State requirements but is left open to parents to co-create with their children and is used mostly in primary grades. Curriculum and educational materials can be purchased whenever the student is ready for a new subject. This one-at-a-time subject method works well if parents are committed to homeschooling over a number of years but can leave gaps in material covered if the parents decided they couldn’t continue with the 1:1 face time. I found it more expensive and decided to write my own curriculum. (Not as hard as it sounds!)

DIY CURRICULUM: Our studies were based on Sequential History, specifically, the History of ‘Western Civilization’ and later ‘Non-Western Civilization’ that integrated science, math, inventions, literature, art, music, culture and civics into each time-period of History. Our education range was from preK-middle school and middle school-high school.

HOURS:

This is probably the biggest stumbling block for many people. They don’t believe they can afford to homeschool or have the skills. Juggling teaching hours with work, or work-at-home can be tricky. Parents can work from home or trade schedules teaching and working with a spouse. Older kids can be educated by a single parent if they are convinced that it’s in their own best interest to do well and be responsible for themselves. In the era of school shootings, unworkable IEPs, and bullying, it was our choice to keep our kids safe and learn from home.

We lived below our means and had a very tight budget. I taught most of the hours but had help in the evenings and weekends with math, science and music. Local vocational schools, bookstores, homeschool networks and outreach programs offered field trips and enrichment opportunities.

I believe anyone can teach. Supplement what you know with what you learn while researching your subject. You only need to stay a week ahead of the kids to be able to ask pertinent questions. Your life experience counts for a lot! It keeps you on your toes and you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is to learn alongside your kids. Look things up together. Enjoy the adventure!

In a few hours a day, I spent the months of July and August researching materials and making reading lists from our local library. I’d outline a topic, research and learn more about each epoch in history, pencil in major events, and create a ‘Teacher’s Guide’ of the required subjects into outline form. Then I’d ‘integrate’ that information into activities and supplemental reading lists. This took a few weeks of research and plotting onto Week at a Glance “Teacher Guide” notebook for each student. ~This was BEFORE the age of online resources. I think the prep time today could be greatly reduced. There may even be software available for teacher planning!

We would cover ‘book learning’ in the morning between 9am and noon. The kids would wash up and set table for lunch and clean up after. Then they’d read historic fiction for an hour or two after lunch while I prepared hands-on activities for the afternoon, including chores. Once a week, we’d take the afternoon off to meet with other homeschoolers for outdoor games and social time. There, parents would brainstorm ideas and discuss strategies while kids would play. We kept our own schedule for field-trips to museums and cultural events that we’d attend as a family or a small group. Evenings were spent doing projects that pertained to some aspect of the overall theme or family game nights and educational movies. As the kids grew, they became more responsible for reading selection and had more time for individual study with a weekly review of their projects.

WHAT WE STUDIED: History based Social Studies

The first year of in-home learning we studied 9 week segments entitled, Egypt, Greece and Rome. We studied  the geography, climate, history, food, lifestyles and literature of each of these cultures. We studied the indigenous flora, fauna, and foods of each of these regions. We learned about and either drew, built models or presented read-aloud papers on scientific discoveries, biographies and short stories. ~ie. The kids really enjoyed cooking favorite foods of Alexander the Great, wearing togas and building catapults with a group of homeschoolers. It was great to wake up with an enthusiastic curiosity of what each day would bring!~

We studied Non-Western Civilizations for a year, although information on Russia or China was limited. We focused on the countries within Africa, India, the Middle and Far East in the same way that we did European History. We studied famous leaders and people of influence, ate more interesting foods and spent time listening to indigenous music, dress and customs, writing papers and doing creative presentations.

HOMESCHOOLING CAN BE TRAVEL

We were very lucky to be able take 3 months traveling the US in an RV while we studied US History, while my husband took a university lecture tour. That time we spent visiting State and National Parks and 32 State capitols. Speaking to locals and eating regional food, studying the State birds, trees and State historic sites topped our educational highlights. It took years to pay off that bill, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. (We didn’t take other out of state vacations during our homeschool days.) TRAVEL IS A GREAT EYE OPENER & EDUCATION!

HOMESCHOOL TIPS & SECRETS

~The secret for successful HOMESCHOOLING is to have fun with it! Ask questions and don’t be afraid to question authorities. Dig into author’s perspectives and world paradigms. Discover for yourselves what is important for your children to learn. Encourage growth and changing of interpretations as your kids mature. Require honesty and responsibility.

To avoid boredom, I presented material that was at least 2-3 grades higher level than the public school used, with moderate expectations. More often than not, my kids rose to the level of the material and went off in their own directions of SELF EDUCATING. You see, when kids figure out HOW TO LEARN, they are set up for life!

For example, in 6th grade, my son was reading Socrates, Plato and Aristotle…because he was curious about philosophy and began teaching himself Trigonometry two years later. When there are no set boundaries placed on learning, anyone can become a life-long learner and exceed expectations!

RESOURCES

Books like ‘The Well Educated Child’ give material lists to follow using ‘Great Books’ and Children’s Literature. I used some of their material and crafted it to suit my children’s learning styles. I also incorporated Catholic school curriculum as it seemed the most rigorous material, and off-set it’s doctrine based rhetoric with US History books by two other publishers. We would read these three accounts of the same material and hold discussions as to the viewpoint of the authors. The fact that “History is written by the Winners” was made obvious, and we were able to understand a more inclusive perspective of what actually may have happened. This was our version of ‘debate’ class.

Used Book Sales are great places to discover well-loved ‘hand-me-down’ texts like Saxon math, Rosetta Stone language sets, and educational games. Local homeschool groups hold one or two sales every year so these purchases are actually more like ‘rentals’ of material. This makes it affordable.

Book Fairs– I especially liked the DK trunk shows, where they sold books and family games. These were held on an irregular basis, so I would stock up on material I felt was going to be useful. Many of these books I still have and refer to on occasion.

A BASIC READING LIST FOR EDUCATORS:

‘Multiple Intelligences’ by Howard Gardner.

‘The Well-Trained Mind’ by Jessie Wise & Susan Wise Bauer (many educational books/series)

The Great Books – world class literature and curriculum

‘A Timeline of World History’ by E.L. Mellersh (Excellent resource to understand History)

Reference; Books like ‘London; A Cultural History’ by Richard Tames.

Historic Fiction; ‘Sarum’ by Edward Rutherford, a novel of London through eras.

‘From Sea To Shining Sea’ series by James Alexander Thom – US History

DK books for children – wonderfully illustrated themed books on sciences and the arts

…and SO many more! Once you get started, let your imagination run wild~

Best wishes on this new lifestyle adventure!

~K

 

 

Posted May 17th, 2020.

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Aleph – the silent letter

#Hebrew #Spirituality #Kabbalah #Aleph #Language #PersonalGrowth #Peace #Creation

#Words #ReformJudiasm #CoCreation #G-d #Creativity #DailySpiritualPractices

Did you know that the original letters of the English ‘Alpha-Bet’ come from the Hebrew letters “Aleph” and “Beth”? Each of the letters are considered sacred and have many meanings and numerical equivalents. This alphabet is the basis for many written languages and great care has been taken to keep the proper brush strokes that create the Hebrew letters exactly over these many centuries!

As more people learned to read and write, the sacred mysteries continued to be passed down orally from Master to Student privately. These students had to have been adult men, over 40, who were married property owners. These requirements maintained that the secrets remained safe and unaltered, by wise elders, in order to help generations understand the codes of creation, the function of society, spirituality, and each persons place in the world.

Think of it! This is a secret code, hidden in plain sight, and used daily without awareness by most people, actually as hidden entendres to those who can understand them! 😉 It is exciting to learn that these secrets can be easily applied to your life~ for more ease, understanding and eventually, to gain the wisdom to be able to create a life of your highest aspirations~

Because NOW the wisdom of the Kabbalah, the Hebrew mystery tradition that originated with the pre-Judiac people long ago, can be shared with everyone! Are you ready to learn more??

~Each of the 22 Hebrew letters have esoteric qualities embedded into them. I will explain some of the basic meanings that I use in my metaphysical work with you over the next few months. I will also share some ideas about how you can become more familiar with the power of these spoken letters. Here we go!~

ALEPH is the first of the Hebrew letters.

Aleph – the first, yet unspoken, Hebrew letter tells a story of the creation through the word.

Aleph, when pronounced slowly, consists of the intake of breath and it’s exhalation, ‘ah’.

The tongue touching the front teeth, becomes the second part of this letter, ‘el’.

And the breath exiting the mouth as the sound ‘f’ is created with the lips against the teeth.

A           L          F

There is no need to add the vocal cords to this word. It symbolizes the exhalation of breath with an unspoken thought. This ‘ideation’ was the first step in the creation process.

The movement of AIR from the lungs to the center of the mouth, the roof of the mouth and the front of the mouth, demonstrates the process of sending an idea from within to the world without. This parallels the maxim, “As above, so below. As within, so without”.

Each time you speak, your Ideas, as sparks of thought, come from within your mind and will. When these thoughts are put into Good Orderly Direction, you are using your innate talent as a co-creator with G-d.

*Choose your thoughts and words carefully, because the vibration of the sound of words uttered, creates a frequency force upon the matrix of the web of life. What you think upon, you create, because as attention goes, so energy flows. Words act like boomerangs, they return to us wether we want them to or not!

*Consider this- What do you spend your time doing throughout the day? Hygiene, is taking care of the temple that is your body. Preparing food is similar maintenance of the vehicle you live in. Cleaning and maintaining your body, your home and your workplace are all basic upkeep that allows your body-mind-spirit SELF to function with greater ease. They are good practices. Being PRESENT in the current moment allows you to accomplish more with less effort.

*Do you walk mindfully throughout the day? As you grow older, it becomes more obvious that you need to pay more attention to your movements in the world. Walking can become a meditation that balances the right and left hemispheres in the brain.

*How do you spend your free time? Things you think about are what you worship. Some people worship football, others worship baking, and yet others their pets, their children, their spouse. The things you focus attention upon, are what you worship. What do you worship?

*Do you select entertainment to increase your wisdom and understanding of the world or to KILL TIME? Most tv shows are based in dictated “popular culture” and are based in violence and drama? Why? Because adrenaline sells.

Whatever you take into your psyche becomes part of your SELF. At my home we live by the maxim that ‘Violence is not entertainment!’. Of course, this limits what we watch and participate in, but it adds a sense of peace and calm as our home is an oasis from the frenetic energy of the outside world. There are lots of great shows on Science & the Arts, Music, Song, Dance and romantic comedies have no violence, you just have to be selective in finding them.

*The letter ALEPH, reminds us to engage in practices that bring joy, amusement and awe. AHHH, the sound of Aleph is a helpful way to remind yourself of what you are grateful for in your life. Gratitude adds a lot to the quality of life, so practice it often. Namaste’ ~K

 

Posted January 16th, 2020.

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Healers Overcoming Rejection

“When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything.” –Andrew Boyd

When you see the pain in the world you may want to ease it. It may grieve you terribly to see it- and you may even feel it within your Body and Soul. You may feel it is your responsibility to erase it or ease it. We must do what we can, but we must also be ready to acknowledge what is ours and what is not ours. There are boundaries to our energy and unfortunately, who we can help. Some people choose not to heal.

You may find it hard to turn away because you know your destiny is bound with the destiny of others. You have crossed paths for a reason. We are here to teach each other life lessons. And when we reach out to others and they refuse to take our hand, it’s confusing and hurtful.

Don’t take their rejection personally. You are only responsible for your Self. You must allow others to take responsibility for themselves. It empowers them to do so and to claim it as their own.

You must grow strong enough to realize that everyone walks their path at their own pace. Although you’d like to reach out and hold their hand and walk with you, where you are~ Not everyone is ready for that.

If you look ahead and see others ahead of you on the path you may want to be with them. That also hurts. You must hold compassion for yourself and honor your march as your own. Believe in your journey and keep moving to your own music.

Keep shining brightly. Be the light in the darkness, so that others who catch a glimpse of your love and light have a direction to follow.

We are ALL headed to the same light.

We will ALL get there, eventually.

We learn as much as our souls can handle in this life. At our own pace and timing.

It may take a few more lives to master.

But know this….. You are loved…… You are part of God.

You WILL find your way home.

Namaste’

#SelfCare #Patience #Solo #Caregivers #HealingHealers #Healing #Allowing #Peace

Posted January 18th, 2019.

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Protected: Shadow work 9: Receiving

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Posted October 30th, 2018.

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Protected: Shadow work 8: Projection

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Posted October 25th, 2018.

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Protected: Shadow work 7: Authenticity

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Posted October 22nd, 2018.

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Shadow work Oct 5-Nov 15, 2018

The Shadow is the ‘unclaimed’ part of our psyche that is alert and aware 24/7 because it resides in our Subconscious Mind. As children, we are programmed into our view of the World; it’s language, customs and our place in it. As adults, we can reflect on these programs and become “Aware” of them.

If you start to feel like a victim of your programs, stuck in a rut, without possibilities, I want to tell you that you can change ANYTHING, at ANY TIME!

If you’re interested in doing Shadow work, investigating this phenomenon via inward reflections, let me know.  Send me your Email request at KalinArtAndSpirit@gmail.com and I’ll send you the password. (Passwords keep out bots)

Thanks!

Posted October 21st, 2018.

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Protected: Shadow work #5: Taming the Mind

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Posted October 16th, 2018.

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Protected: Shadow work 4: Envy

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Posted October 15th, 2018.

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Protected: Shadow work 3: Sharing Sacred Space

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Posted October 12th, 2018.

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