QUICK! PLEASE HELP KIDS! OUR AUCTION ENDS MARCH 22

auction-pic

‘MONEY’ SHOULD NOT BE AN OBSTACLE WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING KIDS.
You do whatever it takes to help your kids. I feel the same about other people’s children too.
I want to do even more, but I don’t have much money on my own.
I don’t get a salary from EDU DESIGNS, I live off my Social Security.
So I’ve sacrificed a high-end vintage guitar, priceless Sterling Silver Spoons, rare jewelry, a prized handcrafted chess set from the 1800’s, and more, to auction off to help the kids who need us.
DISNEY also donated  4 Park Hopper Tickets to Disneyland, Anaheim, worth $600!
You can help too!
Bid on these and other amazing treasures to make sure EDU DESIGNS has funds to keep going forward in 2015!
Check out our AUCTION ITEMS HERE. Prices range from $3 and up!
ALSO look at our Tab above, DONATION ITEMS to see a few!
The auction ends Sunday night, March 22, so hurry!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
ruth_prest_HB_2010_c
ruth_prest_HB_2010_b
And thank you so much for helping!
ruth-sig.jpg
Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director, EDU DESIGNS
Creator, GoMommyGO
Posted in Art, Character Development, Child Development, Children, creativity, Education | Tagged | Leave a comment

MOONLIGHTING AS A MOM

perfectmotherhood_

One of my kids said one day, “Mom, how come you never yell at the baby?”

Before I could answer, my oldest girl piped in,  “That’s easy. When babies are little you need to be nice to them, so when you yell at them when they’re older,  they know you still love them!”

At first I laughed, and then it made me stop and think. Had I been yelling, then?

I MOONLIGHT -  AS A MOM

All I ever dreamed about was being a mom, changing the world one kid at a time through love and understanding.  But after the first two kids, financial pressure forced me out to earn a living.  I eventually found a job in animation.

It was fun drawing Scooby Doo and the Smurfs. However, my new career was taking a huge chunk of time away from my relationship with the kids and my duties at home. I cried every day I had to leave them at my mother-in-law’s. I was giving my ‘all’ to someone else’s celluloid dreams, while my original aspirations of child-rearing got squeezed into a corner.

SHOVELING MUD UPHILL

By the time I was a mother of four, just getting out the door in the morning was a big challenge. But after a full day’s work at the office, I’d come home to the other full-time job of meeting the children’s needs. Fatigue gave way to dread as the never-ending cycle of mealtimes, dishes and laundry piled up before me.

“How do OTHER mothers DO it?”, I agonized.

DON’T DO THIS!

how_to_get_doneMy mind raced down the ever looming to-do list in my head. I became a task oriented robot, numb to my feelings, and everyone else’s. But I could only hold back the pressure for so long.

One day I finally exploded at the kids and then ran into the bathroom, horrified at myself, “I USED to be such a NICE person!”

In my desperation, I knew I had to figure out a way to organize myself.

Afterwards, I apologized to the kids. “You don’t like it when mommy yells, do you?”  They all shook their heads.

I don’t like it either. I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to stop yelling. But I’m gonna need a little help from you guys.”

GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW

My husband, the kids, and I had our first family meeting that night. We brainstormed, we discussed our goals, what we all wanted as a family (peace, no yelling, sharing chores, etc) and how we should be treating each other. We agreed on a set of rules for good behavior.

This became our family ‘Constitution’, which was taped to the wall for all to see. Our Constitution  not only expressed the crucial needs we had as parents, but it included important concerns the kids themselves came up with. Chores were one thing. Gripes that needed to be aired were another. “Don’t stick your tongue out at people”; “Don’t kick each other”; etc, were suggested by the kids themselves.

We continued adding to and refining our constitution with each weekly meeting. As time went by, the additions taped to the wall were becoming too numerous. We eventually boiled good behavior down to one phrase, “TREAT OTHER PEOPLE THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED”. This turns out to be a thought even young children can appreciate.

Do-unto-Others_72dpi

LET THE CHART BE YOUR GUIDE

When it came to chores, we wrote them all down on pieces of paper and put them in a hat. We took turns drawing them out one at a time (even me) till all the chores were handed out. If a child got a chore that was too hard for him, we exchanged it with someone else’s, until each person had a chore or two they could actually handle.

For instance: 4 year old Mike was too little to vacuum, but he was able to pick up around the house. Johnny, who was 6, could then do the vacuuming.

I created a chart for each child showing which task they had, with spaces to mark when it was completed. It too was taped to the wall. Time proved that some fine tuning was needed. We’d assess our progress at our weekly meetings, and switch or add chores as needed. And the charts would be updated.

As an incentive, at the end of the week we would all go to the 99 cent store or the Dollar Tree and they’d each get to pick out ONE thing. Any thing they wanted! No one would get ‘paid’ unless they had done their ‘jobs’. For me this method was enormously helpful. It was always necessary to be the CEO, but I was now able to stay cool, calm and collected and simply remind each kid of what they had agreed to do.

I’d say “Oh, I see you left your shoes on the floor. You want your treat this weekend, right? Go put them away so I can give you your good mark!” Then I’d smile. Reminding them was enough. (At least until they became teenagers.) ;)

NO YELLING NEEDED

The reason I invented the Good Behavior Charts on GoMommyGO® in the first place was to keep myself under control, along with the kids. It became a guideline to follow, a system that SHOWED the kids what I needed from them in a way THEY could understand and remember.  They learned what it was to feel needed and important, while I got the help I needed so I could pay attention to what I really wanted: A good relationship with the kids.

GET YOUR OWN PLAN:

After the kids grew up I put my charts on the web so every parent can use them too. 

Here’s how to get the charts you can customize from 90 different images. My gift to you.

Go to http://www.gomommygo.com/thankdontspank.html

My next article will have secrets to improve your relationships.

CHEERS!

Ruth

Posted in Character Development, Child Development, Children, Education, Ethics and Character, family, guilt, moms and babies, parenting, School | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to do the Travis Pick

Many friends have asked me over the years, “HOW DO YOU DO THAT?”

So I finally decided to put this up.

Now I just send them the link!

To understand the pattern even better, here’s a little illustration to see it written out:

travis pick

Hope that helps!

Posted in Character Development | Leave a comment

BUILDING BRAIN CELLS THROUGH MUSIC!

All kids LOVE music!

We’ve been adding Music to enrich our Art Presentations. 

There's nothing like Music to brighten your day and activate brain cells.  

mark-jas-ruth-atMontessori_03

(L to R) Mark Hisdon, Jas Hilsdon and Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon activating brain cells!

At a recent Fair at Cobb School Jas and Ruth Hilsdon performed for 3 hours. The joy and energy from sharing music with the kids was infectious. Here's a VERY short video from that day.

A BIG THANK YOU to Mark and Jas Hilsdon for investing their talents in children.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

Would you throw this precious one away?

Would you throw this precious one away?

Mark and Jas Hilsdon have a special place in their hearts for kids with Special Needs.

Why?

Their sister, Diane, was born with a hole in her heart and Down Syndrome. The doctor's told their mom and dad she wouldn't survive, so just "leave her at the hospital and we'll take care of it".

But their parents refused, and brought her home, and she lived to be 53!

Diane LOVED music, too.

Jas Hilsdon wrote a song for her you can hear at this link 

You can even hear a tiny bit of her singing in the very beginning of the song!

More of Jas Hilsdon's songs: JasHilson.com


 

Read another article about our school visits to Kids with Special Needs here: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/edu-designs-progress-report/

GreatNonProfit-2014-Seal

Posted in Art, Character Development, Child Development, Children, cognitive development, creativity, Education | Leave a comment

KIDS NEED ART IN GHANA TOO!

Eric-Ansah-cropped

Eric Ansah, Director

THANKS to ERIC ANSAH, the director, and others from the Reward Foundation Ghana, this Non Profit Org is helping kids expand their opportunities through Art, Music, and other cultural and educational activities in Ghana.

EDU DESIGNS founder, Ruth Elliott’s, donated the use of her Art Textbook, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT to help kids! They need your help, too! Contact Eric at: info@rewardfoundationghana.org

SEE OUR LAST ARTICLE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING HERE: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/school-kids-in-ghana-are-using-our-art-book/

 

Please check out their new website, too.

http://rewardfoundationghana.org/

All of us are very proud to be a partner in their great work.

I hope you’ll be inspired to help them too!

Volunteer opportunities are listed on this page:

http://rewardfoundationghana.org/?page_id=61

Contact Eric at: info@rewardfoundationghana.org

 

Posted in Art, behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Ethics and Character, Ghana, School | Leave a comment

“Harriet Beecher Stowe Inspired Me As a Kid!”

hbs-quote

When interviewing the founder of EDU DESIGNS recently, I learned a lot. Here’s a transcript of what Ruth Elliott said about her early childhood:

“Both my parents families were from NY. After moving to Texas, my mom would tell us stories about how valiantly our ancestors opposed slavery, among them Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher, and how bad she believed segregation was.

Harriet’s brother, Henry Ward Beecher, famous for his preaching, secretly aided the fight against slavery by sending rifles to the South in pine boxes marked “BEECHER’S BIBLES”.

Mrs. Stowe was a friend of Hattie, the kindly wife of the plantation owner that Hattiesburg, Mississippi was named after. Hattie had many slaves. However, she held a reputation of being nicer to them than most slaveowners. What could Harriet, a sworn abolitionist, and Hattie, a veteran slave owner, have in common? And could they possibly have been in cahoots?

It was later revealed that Hattie’s home concealed hidden rooms, leading people to suspect her home may have been a stop along the Underground Railroad that carried runaway slaves to freedom in the North.

Growing up in Texas, my sisters and I were so stirred by stories like these, stories of courage in the face of injustice, stories of determination, that we learned to protest unfair treatment wherever we found it. We’d make friends with the kids from ‘Colored’ town, even though our white neighbors sternly warned us not to. I remember one day sitting in a packed bus with standing room only. A pregnant black lady came on board, and none of the white folks would give her a seat, so I gave her mine, despite the sneering looks from the white folks near me. I was a kid. So, they let me live…”

Historic times to grow up in.  Read how it inspired her to write her first book!

WE ARE BUILDING BRAINS AND HEARTS THROUGH THE ARTS

100% of every donation is used to create media for children’s character.

Please help!

We need to print up books for schools and teachers. Each book we donate to schools costs around $3 to print. Can you help?

WE NEED YOUR MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS!

Read the Article here and get a digital download of Ruth’s art texbook for kids when you donate!

 

Posted in Character Development, Child Development, Children, overcoming obstacles | Tagged | Leave a comment

GET YOUR ILLUSTRATED BEHAVIOR CHARTS

Kids usually WANT to do what’s Right – if you give them the chance to, and explain the advantages to them!

arrowbox3

Customize your own Behavior Chart with pictures – it’s easy:

Go to GoMommyGO!

behavior Pics

This is a FREE public service from EDU DESIGNS, the non profit that creates media for children’s Character Development.

Take advantage of it!

It worked with MY kids!

00_ruthsign-sm

 

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder of EDU DESIGNS 
Creator: GoMommyGO®

EDU DESIGNS is BUILDING BRAINS AND HEARTS

THROUGH THE ARTS



 Since we are an all volunteer organization, we get no salary. 100% of your donation is Tax Deductible, and is used to create media for children’s character.  Please help! When you do, you’ll receive a free download of Ruth’s Art Textbook for Kids!

GreatNonProfit-2014
Posted in behavior, bullying, Character Development, Child Development, family | Leave a comment

HELP! It’s Halloween!

froggy-croak-anim-GIF-tinySUGAR, SUGAR, EVERYWHERE, and not a drop (of WATER) to drink…

What’s a Mother and Father to do when they have no plan for their children’s great expectations on Halloween night?

When the excitement of costumes and candy wears off and the sugar rush is over –  then come the TEARS, the WHINING, the FIGHTING over who got MORE CANDY, and NO SLEEP for the WEARY (kids or parents).  

Can excesses can be a good teacher?

YES… of what NOT to do next time.

I am experienced in this, because when my kids were little I did it the wrong way many times, until I contrived a PLAN!

SET UP RULES BEFORE TRICK-OR-TREATING. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY UNDERSTANDS WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE.

These were MY rules. Adjust them to suit your needs.

1: There will be NO eating of candy while Trick-or-Treating without permission. (Well – I had seven kids to deal with.)

2: Bring along water for everyone to drink while you’re walking through the neighborhood.  (The body’s first reaction to dehydration is STRESS)

3: Whoever is in charge WILL inspect ALL CANDY upon returning to the home to remove whatever they feel is not safe to eat and will have the last say as to how much is eaten at that time.  (For my own kids, I would only allow the equivalent of one candy bar at night, knowing the sugar highs and subsequent lows would cause mayhem throughout the house for hours.) 

4: Whoever is in charge will oversee when and how to dole out candies after that. At first this may seem MEAN and CRUEL, but let them know you will be fair.

If you make the rules strict at first, and let the kids know YOU ARE IN CHARGE, then you can bend the rules a bit as needed, and show how merciful and ‘sweet’ you can be when you allow for any adjustments after that!

When done Trick-or-Treating, give everyone a BONUS GOOD MARK on their Behavior Chart! (NOTE: Get your FREE Illustrated Behavior charts HERE!

AND DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

00_ruthsign-sm

PS –  If you are late reading this and are full of remorse that you have failed as a parent yet again, just remember that teachable moments abound!  There is a way to learn about the body’s reaction to high blood sugar here.  

bonus_goodMark

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder of EDU DESIGNS 
Creator: GoMommyGO®
BUILDING BRAINS AND HEARTS THROUGH THE ARTS



 

Since we are an all volunteer organization, we get no salary. 100% of your donation is Tax Deductible, and is used to create media for children’s character. Please help!

 

GreatNonProfit-2014

Posted in behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, Happiness, parenting, stress, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harriet Beecher Stowe Wrote A Book without A Washing Machine!

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

I felt a creative ache inside of me for years. I wanted to write a children’s book. I had an idea, I had the talent. But with seven kids, and laundry my constant companion, I felt constantly discouraged.

“When will I ever get a chance to write?”

Then came the year my 11 year old daughter Lisa had to choose an author to research for 6th grade. She picked Harriet Beecher Stowe*. And what a lot I learned from Lisa’s report. 

 

large_Stowe-quote-410x341

Harriet Beecher Stowe, like me, had seven children. Unlike me, she had NO running water, and NO washing machine! And yet, she still managed to write over 30 books, including ‘UNCLE TOM’S CABIN’. Without a typewriter or computer.

Then it hit me.

“What’s MY excuse? If she can write a book, I can too!” 

And that’s when I started work on my first children’s book:

THE RICHEST KID IN THE POOR HOUSE.  In the story, a boy is disappointed with his family until he gets a hamster who doesn’t appreciate him. By the end of the story he learns a lesson that changes his attitude from Greed to Gratitude.  

THE RICHEST KID IN THE POOR HOUSE

Read more by clicking on the picture of the book.

There are only a few copies left, so if you’d like one, order it before they’re gone. 

Stories can inspire us to overcome our obstacles.

Maybe someone needs to hear YOUR story.

Thank you for struggling,

00_ruthsign-sm

struggle

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder of EDU DESIGNS 
Creator: GoMommyGO®
BUILDING BRAINS AND HEARTS THROUGH THE ARTS



 Since we are an all volunteer organization, we get no salary. 100% of your donation is Tax Deductible, and is used to create media for children’s character.  Please help! When you do, you’ll receive a free download of Ruth’s Art Textbook for Kids!

Posted in Art, Character Development, Child Development, Children, creativity, Education, Ethics and Character | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Will They Say When You’re Gone?

nobodyliveshere-02

 I suffered panic attacks when my mother-in-law came to visit.

She was a perfect housekeeper and I wasn’t.

With my seven kids to take care of, I’d always put their emotional needs first. The house could wait. But she never quite understood that, and I could always feel her judging me for it.

One day, in a moment of inspiration, this came to me:

tombstone

 Around Halloween that year I gave a talk to a Middle School youth group.

I told them about my predicament and showed them the joke.

I asked, “I wonder if we died today, what people would remember about us?”

I showed several cardboard tombstone ‘cutouts’ with sayings on them:

“He was Good at Video Games “

“She had lots of friends”

“She was Pretty”

“He was Tough”

Then I showed them a photo of a beautiful young lady and asked if they knew her.  They all said they didn’t know.

“Actually you do know her,”  and I revealed it was Wilda, the elderly receptionist in the front office.

They were shocked.

One girl said,

“I LOVE WILDA! But I never knew she was so pretty once!”

So I asked. “Why do you like Wilda so much?”

“Because she’s so nice.”

The other kids agreed.

Next, holding up a blank tombstone, I said,

“Maybe it’s a good idea to think of the end from the beginning.

What do you want people to remember about YOU after you are gone?”

They all got the message –  that externals don’t last.

But that’s not the most important part.

The kids appreciated Wilda a lot more the next time they went to the office.  And a few years later she went to be with her Lord.

But she left a mark:

That LIFE IS PRECIOUS. 

WHY? Because she made us feel we were.

The time seems to be flying by.

A year ago my sister died suddenly.

And this week one of our friends died.

They will be missed, too.

You never know when we will be ushered into eternity.

I like what John Jolliffe said:

“The way you feel about yourself is both your punishment and your reward. YOUR job is to become the kind of person YOU can love.”

 Wishing you the best,

00_ruthsign-sm

PS – Incidentally – if you know someone who loves art –  there’s still time to get a complimentary copy of “SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!” my Art Textbook for Children, when you leave a review of our non profit.

Just click on this link to leave a review, and I’ll email you a free download. Make sure you send me an email to let me know you did!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

froggy-croak-anim-GIF-tiny
Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder of EDU DESIGNS 
Creator: GoMommyGO®




 

Posted in anxiety, behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, creativity, Education, Ethics and Character, family, guilt, overcoming obstacles, parenting, School, stress, Uncategorized, victims | Leave a comment