Saturday, October 3, 2009

And the journey begins.....

I've tried numerous times to start a blog, but for some reason or another I have never followed through on it. I decide now is the right time to chronicle things going on in my life. I will start by stating that I am a mother of two who is VERY happily married. I do mixed media collage work with found and vintage objects. I just had, for the first time, my first group gallery show. It was at The Curiosity Shoppe on 529 S. 4th street in Philadelphia,Pa. I was so excited to be included with a group of other talented artists and crafters. The Curiosity Shoppe is a thrift/gift shop that supports local artists in all forms. They are a wonderful store, with some really great things for sale, besides the great artwork. Well, some of the artists who were also there, included Jessica Rodgers, Dogbone Art, Poison Holly, Boto Designs, HoboArona, and Lemon Twist. There were three local author's books there, as well:Philly Fiction II, Lili Bita's ...Sister of Darkness, Vincent Ancona's ...Introspection. Then there was a great solo musician. Her name was Monica McIntyre. Here is a link to her music, , which I think everyone should hear. She plays a cello like a guitar and has Ani Difranco style lyrics and intensity. Another band call Solo Dr. Zero played and they were definitely hardcore. Ska guitar riffs with raunchy lyrics, is my kind of fun. I wasn't able to stay long, because my "darling" children were with us and they don't do well at parties:) My family came to support me, all the way from Scranton, Pa. That was really awesome!
At the time of the show, I sold one piece called "ART SCHOOL". I was really excited to know someone appreciated something I created. The hardest part about putting your artwork out there, is being able to accept criticism from the public. I was so afraid to even put my artwork on Flickr and that actually went over quite well. I had a lot of good feedback, which gave me some necessary confidence to continue to promote my artwork.
Now, I have one more subject to get off my back. I have a seven year old (soon to be 8 on October 12th) and a 4 year old. My 4 year old, Kyle, is Autistic and will be starting KenCrest preschool the week of the 5th. He is going to be in intense therapy for multiple issues. Now my 7 year old, Jacob, is very gifted. He is a sponge, as we call him. I never saw a young boy so eager to learn. For first grade, he went to Alexander Adaire Elementary School in the Fishtown neighborhood of North Philadelphia. While going there, he continually asked his teacher, "When will I get science and social studies?". No answer was ever given. The most history he learned was a handout on Martin Luther King for black history month. He was never really explained to about Martin Luther King, nor did he get a proper background on Black History Month. We live in Philadelphia, which has a large African American community and I would love for my son to have a good understanding about why black history month is so important. I would also expect him to learn history in general, as well as science. Now the debate on Arts and Music in schools has been going on for years. The most art my son got was manila drawing paper and crayons to draw pictures with no real art basis. Being an artist myself, this was hugely disappointing. My son is in a very creative environment at home and craved this creativity in school. Now due to the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, there is a major emphasis on Reading and Math test scores in schools. Now we chose to opt out of the "act", but regardless, my son had those two subjects shoved down his throat with no emphasis on anything else. We complained with no results. So for Jacob's second grade, I decided to homeschool him. Before cries of him being socially inept come out, I would like to state, that besides my son being extremely outgoing, most of his friends that live in this neighborhood go to different schools. He was more than happy to agree to this decision, as well.(If he didn't, we never would have done it.) I did all the paperwork that was necessary and got curriculum from his school and now weekly, I set up a well rounded education for him. Now I have been getting a lot of flack from people telling me that I am doing my son a huge injustice by not sending him to public school. I feel I am fully capable of giving him a good education. I know that teaching is a two way street and the parents have to do there part at home, as well as, the teachers doing there's in school, but I can guarantee we did more than our part. If a child is calling out for help, should you ignore those cries? No. I just hate the fact that so many people have an opinion and they don't respect ours. We weighed the pros and cons of this before we did it and there were far more pros than cons. Jacob is responding amazingly to this and he loves it,too. He has a bit more homework than before, but in the long run I know in my heart that my son is getting a great education. We live in a city that has so many educational resources, such as museums and historical landmarks, it makes it easy to have him interact with these resources. That being said, I will also be documenting the trials and tribulations of homeschooling an 8 year old. To all have a creative day!Au revoir!

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