The Impact Art Education in Schools Have on Your Kids

Well Helloooo there!! It’s been a little while since I last wrote a post. But not to fret, ‘cus I’m baaackkk! ;)

So, today, September 14th*, marks the first “official” day of National Arts in Education Week. But I declare all of September National Arts in Education Month! Why? Because the arts are important! And I feel strongly about this topic.

I was that nerd growing up in the public school system who did all of her homework, participated in class and even tutored her older brother and some of her friends. I was the nerd who cried when I was sick, in fear of having to miss school (yes, I was that girl – *chuckles). But I also was a regular kid. A kid who sometimes was too antsy and too hyper to listen attentively to monotone teachers and boring movies for 7-8 hours a day, 5x/week (well 6x/week, if you include Saturday tutoring at Cal State Long Beach). Nevertheless, I needed a break. I needed some excitement. I needed balance.

Arts education gave me that balance.

The harsh reality is: sometimes being in the public school system means one have to deal with bullies, gangs, drugs, overcrowded classes, poverty and an array of other distractions. This is not to say private schools do not have similar issues. I am only giving an account of my experience in public schooling. That being said, arts education provided and currently still provides (for as long as law and state budget-makers will permit), an outlet to students who not only need an escape from monotony, but also students who need an escape from their harsh realities, in and away from school — for example, personal psychological issues (like eating disorders and depression), abuse, gang affiliation, bad neighborhoods etc.

Arts education encourages and damn near forces the participant to use his/her imagination. How, you ask? Well, much, if not all, of the arts require some form of creativity. And in my opinion, creativity comes from seeing something done and using wisdom + our imagination to push the envelope even further. Creativity comes from actual dreams. Its the result of being inspired. And we all know inspiration is all around us, from our environment and life’s events to magazines and museums, inspiration is everywhere and comes in many different forms. Like reading a book, arts education is a swell way to invoke innovation and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.

Still question if arts education is worth your tax dollars?

Why not ask your little ones how they feel about art, dance, music or theatre class? I mean, hey, I’m just a creative person who has always made everything art-related in order to enjoy and appreciate it enough to comprehend and retain the information…

Hey, it makes even more sense now that I further think about it. I was always pushed to be an excellent student and trained to earn good grades. But more often than not, getting that ‘A’ was easier said than done. So I learned to apply what I loved most and excelled in – arts education – to just about every subject in school. Even today, I pull from my days of arts education. I mean, who cares if by playing the violin for 5 years helped developed my auditory skills which enabled me to effortlessly spell tricky words and learn a new language… not to mention is responsible for the countless number of compliments I receive on my excellent, confident posture (to name a few examples ;).

But don’t take my word for it. Ask your kids.

xoxo

*Note: some organizations proclaim National Education Week to be September 7-13

Photo Cred

  • Top Photo: NaeA website
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Notes to all the Special Mothers out there on Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day… Ce’Marie and I would like to wish all of the fabulous mothers out there a wonderful, happy day and year!

Here’s a special note from Ce’Marie to her mother:

“To my pretty, caring and hardworking mommy, I love you! :) :) You are shapping shaping my life to grow up and become a fun fierce, brave Queen, like you. You are our #1 fan – always going above and beyond to help us pursue our dreams. Thank you for believing in me and all of my bright ideas. I’ve been told my imagination is stupid and dreaming is for losers – and I believed it for 1 second until you told me it’s actually pretty unique and a good sense of wild. You taught me to not worry about what mean people say and to just enjoy being free in my imagination. I thank you mama for never belittling my dreams and instead telling me to shoot even higher than the stars… Momma, I hope you like my our card I we got for you – I really really hope so because I spent all of my allowance on it. ~ ♥︎ ~ P.S. it was alot of my idea to get you the bamboo plant, thought it would brighten up your desk while at work. I hear you sometimes talk to daddy about the stress of work, so this should help alot tremendously. I got Rewo [Ce’Marie’s older brother] to pay for it – I told him he owed it to us mommy ;) Ms. T [Ce’Marie’s school teacher] always says, ‘Keep up the hard-work, because someone is taking notice and another is always watching while the other is taking notes.’ I never really understood what that meant, until now (well more like 42 minutes ago when I asked Rewo). Well, I’ve taken notice of your hard-work and now I’m watching you while I take my notes :) xoxo, Ce’Marie Your Kids”

~ ♥︎ ~

And a note from the author of Ce’Marie books to all the responsible, great mothers out there who are making a positive difference in the lives of their kids and others:

I thank you.

I thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in raising strong, confident, smart, and loving children. We need more people, and especially more mothers, like you in this world! It is no easy task to not only birth a child but to also raise a child. Raising children takes strength, determination, money, PATIENCE and a good heart. So to all the mothers out there who are taking care of business and making it happen, I applaud and humbly thank you. And those of you superwomen who have to do it alone, I take my hat off to you. Today was designed in honor of the mothers and your persistence in making sure when it came to your family, sh* got done correctly, each and every time!

So… a toast to you, a beautiful future and a blessed year of happiness. Cheers! *clink *clink *clink

backgrounds-cute-happy-mothers-day-card-screenshot-hd-wallpaper-for-desktop~ ♥︎ ~

And lastly, the most difficult note to compose – a note to all the Nigerian mothers who are awaiting the return of their innocent daughters:

We are all praying for you. We want our girls back. We want our daughters back, and we want this NOW!  So #BringBackOurGirls!

I pray that they are safe and unharmed. I pray that God helps them get through whatever it is they are battling. And when they do return (I am talking this into existence), I pray they suffer no more. We love you all and wish you comfort in God’s word. You AND your daughters will overcome this.

Your daughters will remain in our prayers until they are declared well and in your loving arms.

Written with so much love, empathy and concern,

xoxo

R.

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Thank you for the beautiful pictures! (Picture Credits)

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

I read an article from the Huffington Post that spoke directly to me, because it was about me; I felt like it was a brochure educating people on what to expect from working with me or being around me… yes, me, Huffington Post wrote an article on me. Haha :) Anyway, I found it interesting, maybe you will too. Parents, if you ever notice your children doing one of the following things, don’t be alarmed – they can’t help it… they’re just creative ♥♡

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently (an article by Carolyn Gregoire)

1. We Daydream

  • Creative types know, despite what their third-grade teachers may have said, that daydreaming is anything but a waste of time. (Excerpt from the article)

2. We Observe Everything

  • The world is a creative person’s oyster — they see possibilities everywhere and are constantly taking in information that becomes fodder for creative expression. As Henry James is widely quoted, a writer is someone on whom “nothing is lost.” (Excerpt from the article)

3. We Work the Hours that Works for Us

  • Many great artists have said that they do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. (Excerpt from the article)

4. We Take Time for Solitude

  • “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone,” wrote the American existential psychologist Rollo May. (Excerpt from the article)

5. We Turn Life’s Obstacles Around

  • Many of the most iconic stories and songs of all time have been inspired by gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak — and the silver lining of these challenges is that they may have been the catalyst to create great art. (Excerpt from the article)

6. We Seek Out New Experiences

  • Creative people love to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind — and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output. (Excerpt from the article)

7. We “Fail Up.”

  • Resilience is practically a prerequisite for creative success, says Kaufman. Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally. (Excerpt from the article)

8. We Ask the Big Questions

  • Creative people are insatiably curious — they generally opt to live the examined life, and even as they get older, maintain a sense of curiosity about life. (Excerpt from the article)

9. We People-Watch

  • Observant by nature and curious about the lives of others, creative types often love to people-watch — and they may generate some of their best ideas from it. (Excerpt from the article)

10. We Take Risks

  • Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off of taking risks in various aspects of their lives. (Excerpt from the article)

11. We View All of Life as an Opportunity of Self-Expression

  • Nietzsche believed that one’s life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creative types may be more likely to see the world this way, and to constantly seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life. (Excerpt from the article)

12. We Follow Our True Passions

  • Creative people tend to be intrinsically motivated — meaning that they’re motivated to act from some internal desire, rather than a desire for external reward or recognition. Psychologists have shown that creative people are energized by challenging activities, a sign of intrinsic motivation, and the research suggests that simply thinking of intrinsic reasons to perform an activity may be enough to boost creativity. (Excerpt from the article)

13. We Get Out of Our Own Heads

  • Kaufman argues that another purpose of daydreaming is to help us to get out of our own limited perspective and explore other ways of thinking, which can be an important asset to creative work. (Excerpt from the article)

14. We Lose Track of the Time (all the time…)

  • Creative types may find that when they’re writing, dancing, painting or expressing themselves in another way, they get “in the zone,” or what’s known as a flow state, which can help them to create at their highest level. Flow is a mental state when an individual transcends conscious thought to reach a heightened state of effortless concentration and calmness. When someone is in this state, they’re practically immune to any internal or external pressures and distractions that could hinder their performance. (Excerpt from the article)

15. We Surround Ourselves with Beauty

  • Creatives tend to have excellent taste, and as a result, they enjoy being surrounded by beauty. (Excerpt from the article)

16. We Connect the Dots

  • If there’s one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it’s the ability to see possibilities where other don’t — or, in other words, vision. Many great artists and writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think to connect. (Excerpt from the article)

17. We Constantly Shake Things Up

  • Diversity of experience, more than anything else, is critical to creativity, says Kaufman. Creatives like to shake things up, experience new things, and avoid anything that makes life more monotonous or mundane. (Excerpt from the article)

18. We Make Time for Mindfulness

  • Creative types understand the value of a clear and focused mind — because their work depends on it. Many artists, entrepreneurs, writers and other creative workers, such as David Lynch, have turned to meditation as a tool for tapping into their most creative state of mind. (Excerpt from the article)

To read more about each, click here to view the original Huffington Post article from Carolyn Gregoire.

Stay creative, my friends. xoxo

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Work Cited:

Gregoire, Carolyn. “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.” Huffington Post 04 Mar. 2014. 05 Mar. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular&gt;.

  • All information (outside of the first paragraph) in this post is from this article. All rights reserved to the Huffington Post.