CORE KNOWLEDGE (teaching art is teaching reading)


the point of this post is two-fold.
#1- i am trying to imbed a link into something, which i have never done before.
(I know, vicki, hard to believe, but true. now we'll just see if it works!)
#2- because i found this video to be quite interesting.
now, of course, i take it all in, chew it up, digest, and then regurgitate it into something more suited to our 'unschooling' lifestyle; but i still think it's very useful info. so, any homeschooling/unschooling parents out there who might be sweating the 'reading skills' stuff, take a look. and those of you who have no worries about it, due to either incredibly gifted and advanced children, or a natural cool-as-a-cucumber confidence that everything will fall into place when and how it's ready to; watching the video will still give you some technical statistics and psyco-babble lingo to use if ever you need to defend yourself, your kids, or your family's lifestyle and educational choices! kind of a one-up in the pocket, just in case!



i have fallen off the nablopomo blogging challenge after only 3 consecutive days.
but, oh well. to look on the bright side- no more pressure, so any blogging now will be purely for just because reasons.
i dont do well with ultimatums, maybe the challenge is too challenging for my don't push me into a corner tendencies?
i must have bucked it subconsciously and intentionally screwed it up! okay, so now i can just have fun.
i want to change the look of my blog; lighten it up a bit, make it prettier, and hey, it is still with the theme of change!
and it will also be a challenge, because i am in no way a techy. not even a little. it takes me forever just to upload a picture!
any comments containing tips and tricks for quick uploads will win a prize! okay, maybe not, but i might send you a thank you note!



Okay, first of all, let me clarify a little from my last post. I am not a completely friendless hermit who is afraid to leave the house, although there was a point in time when i wasn't too far from that. I have recently been 'stretching my wings', so to speak, socially, by reaching out to try and develop some friendships in my life. I started online, making cyber friends on sites like flickr, and then sought out yahoo groups based on unschooling hoping to find some people who are more like me.

I have a few friends that i have had for decades, and will always have as very dear friends, but with the 'alternative' choices that we have made in our family, i haven't been able to connect with my 'old friends' about so many issues in my life, or just our day to day lifestyle. So the online friends really helped to boost me to the next level, which was attending a few local meetup groups; some organized through the yahoo group boards, and some through meetup.com. And most recently, I had a 'meetup' with an online friend, and we hit it off instantly in person as well, and i just know that we will be great friends, and am so excited about it because we share so many things in common as far as 'alternative lifestyle choices'.
But, this for me is the exception, not the rule. And it is just something i would like to CHANGE in my life.

So... I googled "overcoming social awkwardness", and the very first thing that pops up is this article about how this person has been affected, both personally and professionally, his entire life by varying "...levels of social awkwardness..." which tells me that i am not the only one with this issue.
Here is a little snippit which perfectly explains the affects social awkwardness can have on one's life:
"... from the very basics of having enough courage to talk and knowing what to say to start a conversation to understanding how to read people. From the vantage point of today, I now see how this social awkwardness has cost me in the past, causing me to lose out on promotions, lose out on at least one amazing opportunity with a startup, and fail to take advantage of at least a few opportunities to really wow a room full of people with a presentation.
Let’s face it - I’m a strong introvert and the nuances of making friends, communicating well with others, and speaking to others is sometimes a challenge for me."

He goes on to explain: "Over the last several years, I’ve found a number of ways to overcome this problem. Most of these require significant practice, but the truth is that you can practice almost all of these any time that you want. If you’re socially awkward at all - and you probably know it if you are - just give some of these exercises a try.
Where did I learn these exercises? These came from countless books on public speaking and human relations. Of my more recent readings, I particularly recommend How To Win Friends And Influence People"...
(guess i was right on with that one!) "...and Never Eat Alone... both were chock full of useful tips for an introverted fellow like me.
So let’s get started."

And the first thing to do is: "SMILE AT EVERYONE YOU MEET"
and there is actually a link to an article on how to be an expert smiler at www.wikihow.com/Smile
But i prefer this brief instructional from the blog of a dear online friend of mine who is always so eloquent and inspriational:
So, all day today, I will be a smiling fool!
I'll let you know what happens!
oh yes, and...


The Weird Kid Syndrome.

Social awkwardness... the overriding thought on my mind tonight.
Not very uplifting i suppose, but there it is just the same.
In sticking with NaBloPoMo January theme of CHANGE, I'm just going to put it out there,
even if that means being boring or depressing.
At the age of 33, I still feel so odd sometimes in social situations.
Maybe everyone does, maybe it's just me?
Unschooling park day today, lots of really cool moms that i would love to have real friendships with,
but even though i have been attending functions for a couple months now, I had not exchanged phone numbers with anyone in the group yet. I saw a commercial for the biggest loser tv show for the upcoming season, and this former model is crying that she hasn't been asked for her phone number for three years. I can't remember the last time anyone, male, female, or otherwise, asked me for my number. It's really kind of depressing. Makes me feel like the biggest loser. (Pun absolutely intended) Maybe I have some extremely annoying trait that i am unaware of? Maybe it's being whiny? Maybe it's making cheesy wordplays? This sounds so pathetic, but I have struggled my whole life with social awkwardness, and not really knowing how to handle myself in a calm, cool, and collected manner in a group setting, and i feel like it is affecting my ability to move forward in life. Not just in a being successful in life kind of way, but more so in a having lasting, meaningful friendships kind of way. Why is it so hard for me to make friends? Is there an art, a specific method of making friends? Maybe i should read my husbands copy of HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie? Maybe I should sleep more, or listen to classical music more, or change my diet, or take mental clarity herbal supplements? I am going to do some research on this, see what i can find to CHANGE this issue.



The theme for January is CHANGE.
That seems appropriate for the start of the new year.

Change can be such an intimidating word; just the word implies so many expectations.
Expectations can lead to so much stress and disappointment.
The idea of something new, the hope of something better, the thoughts of the ideal.
The fear of failing to meet expectations, the possibility of disappointment, the idea of nothing changing.

Change can happen is so many ways; instant, lifelong, lasting change; or slow, subtle, almost unidentifiable change.
But the very idea of changing something, anything, whether it be the way we interact with our kids, the way we handle conflict with our significant other, taking care of our health, changing our eating habits, or simply taking the time to look up at the sky everyday; the idea of making a change in our lives inspires us. With the intention come new and creative ways of viewing things, of reacting to people, of taking in life. Only the intention is required, an honest, sincere intent, to begin instituting change. So, I, for a change, will not expect of myself to have a completely different life by midnight on New Years Day. I will accept that change is a process, possibly without an identifiable end. My resolution for this year, will be to hold on to the intention of change; because with that intent will come all the creativity, determination, and hope, that i will need to make a real and lasting change in my life. And i absolutely believe, that with creativity, determination, hope, and intention, change will come.