Healing through Art

 

 

Today is a lazy October Saturday at our house, way out in a little town in Texas, USA.

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Charcoal drawing “Mr Bones”

 

I  am about to start going through a book with the kids, that is a world renown tool of many art teachers, to develop artistic abilities.

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Charcoal drawing of a man

You read a few pages with them, then do an exercise.

It’s been around since the late 70’s, and is called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” (you can buy a gently used copy online for around 3 bucks.)

For approximately 10 dollars you can get a sketch pad, and a package of drawing pencils at Walmart (the pencils come in different graphite/lead hardness, that then has different look/effect when used)

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So for around $15 bucks total, you get hours of fun, enlightening, quality time with your children, that blossoms into memories and skills they enjoy for a lifetime.

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drawing of a hand that I did on another day

I believe that as parents we should spend as much bonding time with our kids as we can, because they grow up in the blink of an eye, and quickly become “too cool” to hang out with old people, like us.

Btw, the older I get…the farther away “old” gets. (I used to think 25 was old. Now I think you don’t qualify as “over the hill” until you’re 80 plus years; jus FYI…that’s where I stand on the subject)

I know from personal experience that art can have a healing effect on the soul (mind, will and emotions) and as we activate that part of our brain, it actually helps our minds to develop. So IF you or your children have experienced some kind of loss/trauma/pain, I encourage you to give drawing/painting a try.

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Abstract painting “Lazarus”

Here is a link to a great article that discusses exactly how the arts benefit the development of young minds…

“How the Arts Develop the Young Brain”

You can (with the help of the book I mentioned above) move into charcoal, and color.

 

You would be AMAZED at how a young person will let down their walls and talk to you, when you spend time drawing/painting/listening to music/cooking with them. These types of creative activities activate the same side of the brain where we process emotions, so the time spent doing these things with your child opens a door, allowing you to step into their world.

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My advice is to seize the opportunity, connect with them, and catch a glimpse of where they REALLY are. It is priceless! I promise you.

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So whether it’s painting, drawing, or sidewalk chalk, get into your creative, sensitive, childlike state with your kids, and CONNECT with them.

 

Pay attention to what they draw/paint, and the colors they choose to use, then open a dialog.

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Cassiel’s depiction of our house

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with a child’s eye— it’s very beautiful.”
~Kailash Satyarthi

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Jace’s drawing of Predator (he has never actually SEEN the movie of course; he’s 11)

 

HOMEWORK; HOW TO HELP YOUR KIDS SUCEED IN SCHOOL, WITH LIMITED TIME, MONEY, (AND KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THEY’RE LEARNING)

As a parent I am often overwhelmed with ALL that needs to be accomplished in a single day, however one thing that has made life much easier in our home, is the discovery of a website called  “Khan Academy”  a non-profit website that offers academic learning for kids and parents alike. FREE OF CHARGE (although to sustain this worthy organization, when it’s at all possible, I encourage you to make a donation) you can create a profile for yourself as a parent, and one for each of your children. IMG_0665Then your children can log into their profile with their own username and password, and go through exercises, take tests to asses their skill level, identify areas where they struggle, and watch instructional videos when they get stuck. Their school teachers can ALSO create a profile, and log on as a coach, to assist as well. This is a POWERFUL tool for parents from all walks of life, to empower their children to excel academically, for little to no money.

This is an amazing website, that our family has been greatly blessed by, therefore I’m privileged to give Khan Academy  a 5 star review!FullSizeRender-27

 

The website will email you directly to give you periodic updates, on the minutes/hours each of your children has spent working on their academic subjects, and to show you their progress.

 

For me this has been a Godsend!

An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.

~Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for reading, have a blessed day!    🙂