THANK YOU FOR PURCHASING the music!
Click on the image below to access your download!
Thank you so much for supporting positive media and educational resources for children!
Your donations help us to provide for schools in need.
Your receipt is tax deductible, too!
Thank you for helping!
HEARTS ARE MELTING!
Hit the Play Button to hear:
“All Hearts Are Home For Christmas”
From the musical theater adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s
Wind In The Willows!
Performed by 6th grade students from Westchester Lutheran Church!
William Elliott’s beautiful Christmas Carol
Warms our hearts and lifts our spirits!
THIS SONG IS FOR YOU!
Click the DONATE button below to Download the sheet music (suggested donation of $4 or more.)
This beautiful song is reaching the world!
Created by middle school children from Westchester Lutheran Church as a community project.
What a thrill it was for them to perform in the studio and sing professionally for the first time!
And now you can learn it, too and share it at home, in class, choir or group!
Make a joyful noise this season!
Thank you for helping provide the Arts for children!
For more information about the impact this music is making in the schools and how the arts matter to the world, contact NEO’s director,
Bo Lebo, at 818-742-5099.
Don’t get me wrong. Even the REGULAR price is an amazing deal.
Think of it: How much would you pay for 30 years of EXPERIENCE?
The average cost of college was more than $20,000 per YEAR in 2018.
When this book goes back to the regular price of $37 it’s like paying only $1.23 per year for a 30-year education.
And it won’t take you 30 years to learn it!
Click on the image below to begin your download of all 4 of Emmy Award Winning Artist Ruth Elliott’s Building Blocks of Character posters, plus the 3 Bonus Posters:
DID YOU KNOW?
For only $1 (+ S&H), you can also get all 7 of the PRINTED VERSIONS of these high quality posters –
Only $1 plus $7.99 for shipping!
Many thanks for helping kids!
Award Winning Artist Ruth Elliott created these Posters of the 4 BUILDING BLOCKS of CHARACTER to remind kids of the life giving foundations these essential character traits make in our lives. Watch the video and keep reading below, to download them for FREE!
The Four Building Blocks of Character can be boiled down to these:
BUILDING BLOCK # 1– We learn to ASK or ADMIT
When we learn to say, “PLEASE?” we ASK. In ASKING, we ADMIT our need for others! From the moment we were born we began asking – crying – for our needs to be met. The very fact of our existence is proof that someone answered that cry – cared about us enough to nurture, feed and protect us – or we wouldn’t be here. Sometimes we hate to admit we need other people. But relationships are the stuff of life! We ALL need each other, so it’s OK to ASK. Hopefully we learn to ask POLITELY!
PLEASE – teach kids to say PLEASE!
BUILDING BLOCK # 2 – We learn to THANK!
When we realize we need others, we begin to be THANKFUL for what has been given us. We wouldn’t have anything, not even life itself, if it had not been first been GIVEN TO us!
THANK YOU for teaching kids to say“THANK YOU!”
BUILDING BLOCK # 3 – We learn to APOLOGIZE
Being human we all make mistakes. To APOLOGIZE requires humbling ourselves and ADMITTING we are not perfect. We can never grow further in our character until we can learn to say, “I’m Sorry.” (See my little story ‘THE LAND of I’M SORRY’!)
BUILDING BLOCK # 4 – We learn to FORGIVE
After we admit we are not perfect, we can then say, “I FORGIVE YOU”, knowing that we also need forgiveness. How else can we get along in this world?
The habits we learn as children will stay with us a lifetime.
Giving kids THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER will lay the foundation of a good life.
How many gang wars, world wars, marriage conflicts and sibling rivalries would be avoided if people just learned these four things:
ADMIT we need each other,
APOLOGIZE for our mistakes, and
FORGIVE one another!
“Habits are actions built up strong and tall.
Like bricks laid together to form a high wall.
When once they are built it is so hard to break them,
you’d better be careful about how you MAKE them!”
– Mr. Stevens (My son’s 5th Gr. teacher)
Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.
As an all volunteer non-profit, we need YOUR help to do that!
Have you ever heard the saying, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes”?
Well, in our case, the COBBLER himself needs shoes!
We are in dire need of funds to keep up the good work we do. I’ve been terrible at asking for donations, and now I have a choice to make.
Either give up the work entirely, or ask for help.
So I am asking. Can you spare just $3?
One thing you can do is to make a donation through our GoFundMe campaign here.
Please share with as many folks as you can.
It will help so much!
One of the directors of Edu Designs is a First grade school teacher.
I love that she has the kids version of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (by Steven Covey) on her walls and always reminds them it is their responsibility to choose wisely:
These important habits are just habits.
Like brushing your teeth or saying “Please” and “Thank You”.
And with repetition, they become second nature.
It’s great that even the school shirts are promoting reminders of good behavior to kids. It’s bound to sink in if we keep it up!
Please help us as we spread the word to other students, teachers and schools about character education. I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there are so many children out there needing positive media resources.
Your donation is needed and appreciated.
Your support allows us to nurture little ones with high ideals of good character. This will help ALL of us when THEY become the adults in charge!
Thank you for caring!
Please click the button below:
LOVE IS A DECISION – not a FEELING.
Feelings are important and shouldn’t be ignored. We may cringe at someone’s outward appearance and feel repulsed. Or sometimes our instincts may say we should run in the opposite direction for safety.
But you can still choose to ‘love’ a person you don’t ‘like’.
I’m not talking about romantic love (‘eros’ in Greek), or even brotherly love (‘philia’), but the kind of unconditional and universal love our creator has for us. In Greek, it’s ‘Agape’ love.
That kind of love is a choice we make.
HOW CAN WE DO THIS?
Three things are needed to objectively and unconditionally love and respect one another. We must:
1- Acknowledge the inherent worth of every human being.
Regardless of appearances, no one life is essentially worth ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ another human life. Other talents and attributes may be acquired, but we can never lose our inherent value.
2- See past outward appearances to the person underneath. Realize that they are an individual on their own journey through life, and just as important as we are.
3- Put yourself in ‘their shoes’. This is basically the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.”
What if we are forced to be around people we dislike?
Sometimes our in-laws can be ‘outlaws’, our friends can be ‘frenemies’, and relatives can behave badly. Then what do we do?
1 – Understand it is not your fault if they choose to act the way they do. Remember you are still worthy of respect.
2 – Create, nurture and cultivate your own inherent worth and value and love yourself for everything you are.
3 – Sometimes you may need to actually disconnect from others. Tell the other person when they are behaving badly. Perhaps something like: “Ouch! It really hurts my feelings when you say things that way.” Or, “That behavior is not going to work if we’re going to stay connected.”
4 – If they are truly toxic, and continue acting badly, you should minimize your exposure to them except for times when it’s absolutely necessary.
To find out if you are being abused, FIND HELP.
You can stay within your own bubble of peace and self-respect by remembering the truth: That YOU HAVE INHERENT WORTH AND VALUE.
I wish I had been taught these simple truths as a child! Thank goodness it’s not too late for the kids growing up now!
I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there were many children out there who needed positive media and educational resources to lift them up. Your support allows us to nurture little ones with high ideals of good character that will help ALL of us when THEY become the adults in charge!
Your donation is needed and appreciated.
DONATE by clicking the button below.
Thank you for caring!
HATE CHANGING DIAPERS?
THIS LADY’S CHANGED 36,000 OF THEM!
I must confess there were times in the beginning, when the constant pressure of motherhood (and the smell!) could have gotten me down. But looking into the fragile and impressionable little faces reminded me their emotional security was more important than my momentary inconvenience. I told myself that only a finite number of diaper changes would be needed until this little one grew up. From that moment on I embraced every opportunity to relate with smiles, coos, laughter and assurance that this precious little baby not only came first, but was an important person worthy of my time and attention. One day the phrase came out of my mouth, “Changing Diapers are Mommy and Baby’s chance to say “Hi!” to one another!”
The idea hit me – what a great thing to remind moms of:
Forget the TOLL and remember the GOAL!
ABOUT the AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR:
Her 7 kids are grown (and yes, she’s changed over 36,000 diapers in her time). As an Emmy Award winning animation artist, author and illustrator and director of the non profit charity Edu Designs, Ruth gives Art presentations to schools and enjoys sharing ideas to help busy parents with the challenges of raising their kids to be productive and positive people! She offers parents tools for positive behavior through Spirit-Led Supermoms.
The breakdown of the parent/child relationship can affect us as adults. And stress is a big culprit. I’ve come to realize that a lot of my own personal anxiety can be traced back to my early experiences as a child.
Was I important to my parents?
Now that I AM a parent, I KNOW how important I must have been to them. But back then as a kid, I couldn’t always tell.
Kids only know what they FEEL.
For example, I remember how lost I felt when my mother went to work outside the home. And I was 10 years old when she did!
After I grew up and had kids of my own, I anguished over needing to work outside the home, and tried my best not to until my kids were around a year and a half old. Nowadays many mothers feel compelled to go back to work after only 6 weeks or so – right about the time mom and baby are just getting to know each other.
Stanford based psychologist Robert Stopolski states we are affected by our environment as soon as we have one. And where is our first environment? In the womb. Studies show babies whose moms are stressed while pregnant had higher levels of Cortisol at birth, and the more stressed the mother is in pregnancy, the more behavior problems are seen by the time their child is 3 or 4… And this is a lifelong affect.
According to Dr. Gabor Mate, it creates a subconscious feeling of abandonment in the child, and that rising cortisol levels can predispose them to ADHD.
A lack of real attunement to our kids can rob them of the thing they need the most: A secure beginning to give them a firm footing in life.
So how can we get RID of the STRESS once it’s there?
Stress can be greatly alleviated by a feeling of attunement from others. In other words: We need people to BOND with!
Dr. Claudia Gold says, in her book, Keeping Your Child in Mind,
“When our feelings are validated, we know that we’re not alone.”
Even if we can’t control the world, we STILL have the power to choose to create LOVE in our OWN home.
Paying attention to our kids is what they really need. Especially the few short years when they are most vulnerable.
I wrote a blog about how it feels to be a baby, here.
Do you have kids?
Tell ’em how much you love them.
They won’t know unless you do!
Today is the only day we have.
NOW, is a NEW NOW!
“We can’t change the past, but we can ruin a perfectly good PRESENT, by worrying about the Future!”
Kids live in the present.
No one is perfect. I know I’m not, as my little cartoon below clearly shows in my daughter’s actual words to me once!!
If you DO have to go to work outside the home, don’t feel guilty. Just treasure whatever moments you DO have with your kids. They are amazingly resilient. They will survive. I did! Luckily, my mom was an artist, who inspired me to draw. And art has been shown to be a STRESS-RELIEVER! That is one reason why I am so passionate about introducing kids to art – “While they are still young, and there’s still HOPE!”, as my mom used to say.
EDU DESIGNS is the non profit founded to help children’s character development through media and education.
We help parents, too.
Are you struggling? Don’t make the same mistakes I did! Join our free weekly sessions, and catch up on some of the replays for ideas to keep you centered.
And – Keep coming back for ideas to help your kids!
Wishing you love,
PS – Donations go to help create and provide resources and media to those who need it.
MY GIFT TO YOU:
Please make a Donation Today and receive a Complete download of my Art Book – all 120 pages!
 Check out this talk by Dr. Gabor Mate:
These kids were just a smidgen of the 549 students who attended 24 classes I gave in one week! At the end of the lessons, each was given a flip book I printed and bound myself, plus a blank one with instructions to make their own flip book. They LOVED it!
It’s just one of the many ways EDU DESIGNS is helping thousands of kids each year. If you believe in our mission, please support our non profit so more underserved kids in low income areas get the art exposure they need.
WILL YOU HELP, TOO?
It’s EASY to give! Just click on the picture above, or this link to go to Paypal’s secure servers. All donations go towards our nonprofit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education, and not for salaries. If you believe in investing in education, please give. As soon as you do, you will be redirected to our thank you page with free access to 11 of our awesome educational resources!
EDU DESIGNS inspires kids in schools and helps their parents at home, too. Moms – Take advantage of free weekly group sessions with Spirit-Led Supermoms!
What a fun time we have at Ruth’s Art Workshop at the Library – We all gain drawing tips – learn about animation and link to Ruth’s Art book that shares everything she’s learned in 30 years about art!
Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a FLIP BOOK, too! Which FLIP BOOK will YOU Choose? Check them out at this link!
Learn more about how to have Ruth come to YOUR school, Library or event here.
When children are taught to calmly express themselves in a ‘safe’ environment, and to listen patiently as they give others the same courtesy, it will go a long way to growing them into more thoughtful adults who will be able to work out their problems peacefully! This simple technique called Resolve or Report* helps them learn how!
The Strategy: Resolve or Report is a method that teaches kids how to work out their differences. By giving them choices, they are empowered and not left feeling helpless.
The PROCESS: When children have an argument or fight, take them aside. Tell them that this is not acceptable behavior and that we must learn to work our our problems peacefully. Give them a CHOICE: Do they want to Resolve it between them peacefully? Or do they need to Report it to an adult to help referee? If they choose the RESOLVE option, they will agree to try to resolve the matter between one another. If they cannot do it on their own they can choose to REPORT it to an adult to help facilitate.
With EITHER OPTION, they agree to FOLLOW THESE RULES:
1: TAKE TURNS TALKING and LISTENING
They will each get a chance to tell their side of the story. Choose who talks first by tossing a coin (heads or tails) or throwing dice (the highest number goes first), or something similar.
2- TALK CALMLY when it’s your turn, and LISTEN POLITELY when it’s the other person’s turn to talk.
3- When it’s YOUR turn, make “I”, not “YOU” Statements:
——> For instance, “I felt _this_ when you did _that__”
4- SHARE these things:
- How YOU felt
- What YOU think happened
- What YOU could have done differently
- How you think the OTHER person felt
- What you feel they could have done differently
This technique helps them to see each other’s perspective, making it easier to solve the disagreement. If they cannot RESOLVE the issue between them by themselves, they can choose to REPORT their side of the story to an adult who can assist in helping them see the other person’s point of view.
Resolve or Report is a way to give kids an understanding that they have options to work things out. Either by resolving issues between them -or- asking that another sit with them while they each take a turn reporting their story. Giving children a choice in resolving their own problems can immediately de-escalate behavior and decrease incidents in the future.
STAY ON TARGET – For GOOD!
Everyone wants to think they are right. Right?
Or do we just want to be the only one who is right?
The only way to really be ‘on target’ for good is to AIM for what is really right. For everyone.
And that means PEACE between us.
The only problem is. . .
We may be aiming for peace, but the other person may not want peace. They may want to fight.
Fighting and arguing are like a fire.
Imagine that our Self is like the house we live in.
What do people DO to protect a house from fire? One way is to create a ‘fire break’ – an area around it, cleared of all debris that would ignite.
If a fire should start outside that area, it will stop when it gets to the ‘fire break’, and will not get close enough to burn the house down.
In the same way, the technique called “Resolve or Report” creates a safe area around both parties, in which they can express themselves without fear of getting ‘burned’.
Lovely song, “In My Paper World” by Jas Hilsdon, singing with his daughter, Mavis!
5 Essential Creative Skills Your Child Can Learn in 2019
Art sharpens the brain, but if you thought that all artists were born that way, think again! A study published in the journal NeuroImage has found that beginners’ classes in painting or drawing literally change the brain, improving fine motor skills and creativity as a whole! With art it is often a case of ‘If you can start it you can become it’, and that means that all children, not only those with a natural love or ability for art, can hone qualities like originality, artistic fluency, and creative uses of images, if they are taught artistic skills. To cater lessons to kids, try to think out of the box. Classes don’t have to be traditional or even involve drawing at all. Why not try these 5 skills in the New Year, joining your child in discovering the artist within?
Sewing a Decorative Piece
By teaching a child easy beginners’ stitches like cross stitch, running stitch, and back stitch, you can inspire them to sew a beautiful image or message they can later frame and hang in your home as artwork. Older kids can use a beginner’s sewing machine to create more complex designs, following a pattern or even drawing their own design to embroider over. Even little kids who are still too young to thread a needle can use plastic ‘baby needles’, which have an extra large ‘eye’ to string yarn and other thicker thread types through. Sewing is a craft that lowers stress so it is deal for anyone facing anxiety.
3D printed decorative pieces in bright colors like yellow, fuschia, and emerald green sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars at top designer stores. Advances in the technology have made machines far more affordable. For less than $200, you can have your own machine that kids can use to design and create personalized gifts and décor pieces for family and friends. 3D design and printing is a great way for kids to learn about perspective and size. Those who love to draw can take it a step further by hand-painting their designs after printing them.
Sites like Scratch (which teach code using a games-based approach) are fantastic for creative kids with a passion for technology. Far from simply moving characters from Point A to Point B, kids can create a beautiful maze or backdrop for the characters they create. That is, games should be beautiful to look at as well as functional. Introduce them to complementary and contrasting colors and unique shapes, and see how they can use these in the games they design.
From around middle school onwards, children will normally be asked to prepare printed projects at school. The task can seem less daunting if they master programs like Photoshop, PowerPoint or (for teens and older kids) InDesign. There are many free tutorials you and your kids can use to learn the initial steps of more complex programs. Use the next homework task they have to help them present their work in a stylish way.
Kids who love writing or designing can create a webpage by relying on free website templates, uploading any existing blogs, articles, or poems they have written. Older kids can try their hand at WordPress, which has a host of plug-ins they can put to good use in their future professions. One of these is Yoast, which guides users in matters such as SEO keywords and meta descriptions – key elements of a page or content with a good SEO rating.
Some people are born artists, but they definitely don’t represent all people who enjoy making art. Because art has such a powerful effect on the brain, kids should be encouraged from the word go to use all the materials and applications they have at their disposal, to show their creativity. A bevy of apps, programs, and free online tutorials mean that no skill is a mystery these days, so long as you are interested in discovering more!
This is a true story!
One Christmas night many years ago, I was driving our old station wagon in the pouring rain. Among my seven kids in the car, 10 yr old daughter Lisa was very excited. For years she had begged us for an umbrella of her very own. “I want a big sturdy one, Mom, like you and Dad have”, and that day, in the rain, we finally got her the umbrella she had always wanted!
We passed a homeless man on the other side of the street – no hat, no raincoat, soaking wet. I couldn’t find it in my heart to keep going.
“Oh that poor guy!” I exclaimed, “We have to do something.”
I stopped at the next light and began fumbling in my purse to see if I had anything I could give him. All I could find was an old inspirational tract that said, “God – I’ve made a mess of my life – can you help?”
As I turned the car around, and drove closer, I prayed silently,
“God – please help me! Give me the right words to say!”
Then I saw the fellow. He was a young man, probably in his early twenties, but looking more like a 50 year old, stooped over, rain dripping from head to toe.
As we approached the corner, I rolled down the window and stuck out the tract,and said, “I wish I had something more to give you. I can’t believe you’re out here in this weather! You should go to one of the churches down the street. They can help you!”
He cocked his head and said, “They can?”
“Of course,” I answered. “That’s what they’re there for!” His eyes brightened up as he said, “Thank you.” Then I heard my daughter’s voice from the back seat. “Mom – give him this” and she handed me her treasured umbrella! He thanked us heartily, and we wished him a ‘Merry Christmas’ as we drove off. We prayed for him that night and I thought it was the end of the story…
Months later, I was driving again down the same street, right by the church I had told the young man about. I spotted him, raking leaves and talking to the preacher outside. He was dressed in better clothes, and looked healthier. ‘Wow! He really did it!’, I thought.
Later that year I found myself Christmas shopping – again in the pouring rain. Looking for a parking spot amid the hustle and bustle of people, I saw one of the employees. He looked vaguely familiar. As I searched my memory, I suddenly realized it was the same young man I had seen those few Decembers ago! As he helped a customer into their car in the rain, he had a big smile on his face while holding a large, sturdy umbrella over them.
Wow. A sudden rush of astonishment came over me. Could an umbrella and a heart of compassion from a 10 year old have made a difference in his life? What if we hadn’t stopped that day in the rain? I’m so thankful I didn’t turn away. It sure made me happy to be a part of the story!
We find character in ALL kinds of places, especially in KIDS!
Students are expressing character and loving kindness through the many classes given by EDU DESIGNS volunteers.
They are learning to respect life while they are learning to sketch, analyze draw and animate birds.
Ever since then, I determined to do something about it. If they couldn’t afford art in school, we would volunteer our time to help. And we began our non-profit to bring art back to the schools in 2007.
Teachers (and moms) have known all along that that ART is as VITAL to growing a child’s intelligence as other disciplines. It’s taken a long time, but finally the importance of the arts is being recognized by those who took it out long ago. Now that schools are slowly beginning to implement the STEAM curriculum (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), the problem exists that teachers still don’t have the money to do it all, so we are helping as best we can.
I’ve been doing my best, but there isn’t enough of me to go around!
Are you able to help?
If you have a bit of artistic skill and a few hours a month to volunteer, I need you!
If the spirit is moving you, and if you are chosen to be part of this great work, you will be personally mentored in my easy-to-learn, step-by-step method of teaching basic drawing skills to elementary students.
It’s an opportunity that you will never regret. And so much fun, you will wonder why you didn’t start yesterday!
Are you willing to help?
PS – Isn’t it true that everything we have is because it was first given to us? Whether life, health, a sound mind, it is a gift. Along the line we get a chance to give back. Will you join us? That’s what Edu Designs is doing.
Peter Marshall wisely said,
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned!”
Our all-volunteer Board of Directors generously donates their time, so EVERY contribution helps, whatever the size.
Never miss an opportunity to do a good deed.
I am grateful for you. ~Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon