I’m a kid… at heart. Hey – Maybe that’s why I’ve never forgotten how to have fun! Did you know that if you can draw a circle, a square and a triangle, you can draw a SKELETON? During Halloween week I had fun showing classes of 1st and 2nd graders how to draw one – And then we made him animate using two sheets of paper!
Got KIDS? You can show them, too. Go ahead. Have some fun!
Co- Founder and Director of Edu Designs, a 501(c) (3) Non Profit Fed. Tax ID # 261576531 When you donate to Edu Designs, you help students Build their Brains and Hearts through the Arts. Follow YOUR heart. Click on the seal below to give:
Start SMILING when you think of what you want for yourself and your loved ones. If you already shop on Amazon, did you know that Amazon will donate to EDU DESIGNS when you start from smile.amazon.com? Set up a smile.amazon account free at smile.amazon.com. Then, choose EDU DESIGNS as your charity. Now, every time you start shopping from smile.amazon.com, Amazon will make a donation to the Non Profit that is Building Brains and Hearts Through the ARTS. And it won’t cost you a penny more.
WITH 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN ART, RUTH WILL GUIDE YOU, STEP BY STEP, TO
“SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!”
THIS IS THE BOOK YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!
Don’t worry about going back to school to learn to draw –
No need to. The answers are here, in this ONE BOOK!
Emmy Award winning author and illustrator Ruth Elliott worked at studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera, on shows such as The Tigger Movie, Space Jam, The Smurfs, The Simpsons, The Jetsons – and more.
She’s distilled what she knows into simple language that anyone can understand.
With step-by-step lessons that build on each previous one, you’ll discover a new skill:
SEEING what you’re LOOKING at!
The 90+ pages include tips all the way from how to hold your pencil in the beginning – to life drawing, cartooning, storytelling and animation.
Did you know the average cost of college is more than $20,000 per YEAR?
What if you could get a 30-year education for a lot less than that?
And the GOOD NEWS is: Itwon’t take you 30 years to learn!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HELP A CHILD’S BRAIN AND HEART
IT WILL GET them THINKING.
And CARING about the world around them.
The character values of compassion and persistence are imparted throughout the book, with anecdotes from the true story of Roscoe the squirrel Ruth rescued as a baby. How wonderful to enjoy a good story while you learn!
When she heard that children involved in the arts improved their math scores by up to 15%, Ruth worked relentlessly, taking years perfecting the system that could teach the brain and hand to work together.
Using the techniques in this book can increase awareness and improve manual dexterity.
Why is it that some people seem to have more empathy than others? And some seem to have none at all. How did we get this way? Is it nature? Is it nurture?
Neuroscientist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, author of “Mirroring People, the new Science of how we connect with others” tells how scientists have discovered the brains’ capacity for what they call ‘mirroring’: the ability to feel something that happens to another as though it’s happening to us!
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]According to Dr. Iacoboni, “…whenever you expose kids to any form of violence, through media, through video games or through films, then you put these kids at risk of expressing violence with their own acts because they’re going to imitate that.“[/dropshadowbox]
What we call ‘empathy’ happens when our brains light up in the same areas in our brains that mirror what the other person is feeling. One of the earliest scientific observations found a monkey’s brain fired up seeing someone licking an ice cream cone as though he were eating it himself!
Dr. Iacoboni says, “All in all, we come to understand others via imitation, and imitation shares functional mechanisms with language and empathy.”
To me that sounds like: “MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO!”
Most of us are innately wired to feel for each other.
It’s no wonder that most spiritual faiths embrace some kind of teaching that expresses “Treat others the way YOU want to be treated”.
Our kids will only be teachable for a little while, and they are learning from YOU things that are ‘more caught than taught’. Dr. Iacoboni said, ”The way we understand other people’s feelings is by simulating in our brain the same activity we have when we experience those emotions.”
Turn off the TV and involve them with the day to day things that you need to do. Let them ‘mirror’ what YOU are doing. It’ll be more fun if you work together. They’ll learn to help and their fun will be so much better when they are done. And they’ll be proud of themselves.
I know you care about educating children for good character, or you wouldn’t be reading this.
If you ARE a parent, here are some links you can use to help you find things fast on GoMommyGO®:
Before you get worried wondering, the quick answer is:
“NO”. You CAN’T spoil a baby.
There are many reasons.
Babiesneed consistent Loving Attention. Not only for physical survival but for the emotional security and intellectual development to build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.
BEING A BABY CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL
I remember. Here’s one of my memories of infancy at around a month old:
In a dimly lit room, lying on my stomach in my crib, I awoke to sounds of people laughing in the other room. I wanted to go out and enjoy the fun, but I couldn’t get up. Just lifting my head took a huge effort, so I called out for someone to come and get me. Sadly, no one heard me. I cried out over and over, to no avail until I became so exhausted I fell asleep again. I awoke later as my Mama was coming into the room.She picked me up and smiled. I was exhilarated and thought, ‘Finally! Now I’ll get to see all the people and find out what made them laugh!’But when we got to the other room all the people were gone! I was disappointed.Funny how a baby can be aware of more than we realize!
Remembering how it felt to be a baby made it easier to identify with my children’s needs when I became a mother. Especially their need to be seen, heard and known.
I found scientific affirmation of my impressions from Dr. Gabor Mate. He calls the instinctive hunger to be SEEN, HEARD and KNOWN the need for ‘Attunement’.
If we are ‘Attuned to’as infants, we will have greater inner security, an all-important anchor to keep us steady through hard times, and an increased ability to comfort others. Attunement can prevent ADHD in children as well as Anxiety in adults.
Carl Rogers calls it, “Unconditional positive regard”, wanting the best for our offspring from the deepest part of ourselves.
That kind of love can never ‘spoil’ anyone.
The joy on this baby’s face demonstrates the happiness and emotional security kids can experience when they have good communication and feel ‘attuned to’ by their moms. (Thank you to my friend Candi Alvarez Matz for allowing me to share this lovely photo.)
Dr. Claudia M. Gold, best known for her work promoting children’s mental health, writes, “the science of early childhood tells us that the brain grows in relationships.“
“When a parent gazes into her baby’s eyes, she literally promotes the growth of her baby’s brain, helping it to be wired for a secure sense of self…” 
“The brain makes millions of synaptic connections every minute. It is in infancy that the parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation have the most rapid development.” 
Whoever is taking care of the baby should give that baby everything it needs. In others words, feel free to ‘spoil’ your baby.
When it feels loved and wanted, given “Unconditional Positive Regard”, the person that emerges from that child will succeed in relationships through all of it’s life.
And long before, you, the caregiver, might even find yourself smiling like the mom in the picture above.
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 originalaspirations 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!
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”380px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” rounded_corners=”false” ][/dropshadowbox]My 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 Constitutionnot 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.
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.
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 Iever 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.
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.
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,
Founder of EDU DESIGNS
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!
“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.”
I’m doing the best I can before I ‘croak!’
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. Just fill out the form on this page: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/artbook/
When I hear the words, ‘MILK TRUCK’, three uncanny stories come to mind. Absolutely true. Two are from my own life. Take the next ‘step beyond’ to see what happened.
Milk Man in Houston, Texas Saves a 7 year old Girl
One day at the ripe age of 7 years old, I got out of school an hour earlier than my brother and sister, and walked home to an empty house. I went to my neighbor’s, hoping to play with them, but they weren’t home, either. Thank goodness their swingset welcomed me, remembering how they had always told me I could use it, “…any time”.
Having just seen the movie, Trapeze, with Burt Lancaster, I figured this was my big chance to practice what I had seen him do. Sitting on the trapeze bar I’d get a good swing going, then hang by my knees and then slip down with my ankles wrapped around the chain so I could hang swinging by my feet. I was getting pretty good at it, when I got tired. Normally I would just drop to the ground onto my hands and knees. However, this day I was wearing sandals, not my usual sneakers, and as I tried to get off the trapeze bar, the strap of my right shoe caught the bottom loop of the chain, and I was stuck – hanging upside down by one foot!
Terrified, the sudden realization hit me: I was alone. Who could help me?
Without my siblings or neighbors, I yelled and cryed out to God or anyone who would listen, hoping someone would find me.
Within minutes, someone did. A Milkman driving by saw me!
He helped me down, and as I was thanking him profusely, my brother ran up to me, sweating from head to toe, huffing and puffing, “I was two blocks away… when all of a sudden I saw a picture of you… like on a TV set… in front of my eyes! You were hanging upside down from the swings, screaming!”
I couldn’t believe it! My brother Mike and the Milkman had each unknowingly ‘heard’ my prayer.
Milk Man in NYC Saves a Lady from Bleeding to Death
The second time a milkman came to the rescue was years later when I moved with my pregant sister into in a 4th floor walk-up apartment in New York City. We had no electricity and no telephone. One night, she suddenly started miscarrying and hemorrhaging profusely.
“Oh, God!” I thought. “What should I do?” The neighbors across the hall were gone, and I had no way of getting her to the hospital.
In a panic, I flew down the four flights of stairs to the street, waving frantically to cars going by, but no one would stop. In desperation, I went out into the street and yelled to the next vehicle I saw, a Milk truck! I told the driver in tears that my sister was bleeding to death and needed a ride to the hospital, a couple of miles up the street. He got right out and rushed to help her into to his truck, and took her to the hospital in time – and she lived!
I never knew his name, or saw him again to thank him in person, but I can’t count the many times I thanked him in my heart. I know God answered my prayer through him that night.
In the early 1800’s, an orphanage ran out of food. They had nothing to feed the 300 children under George Müller’s care*. It was time for breakfast, and the children were hungry, so he told everyone to sit down, fold their hands and pray, thanking God for what He would provide.
Soon there was a knock at the door.
It was a Baker, who said that God had woken him up at 3 in the morning telling him to quickly bake bread for the orphanage. Could they use it?
Why, YES, they could!
Shortly after that came another knock at the door.
A Milkman’s cart had broken down right in front of the orphanage – and without refrigeration the milk would spoil before he could fix the wheel. Would they please take the milk?
Why, YES, they would!
That morning, a Milk man and a Baker had unknowingly been the vehicles to answer the prayers of those children. Each with different gifts he was given. One Bread, one Milk. But both with the ‘Milk of Human Kindness’.
Whatever your image of a Creator, God or Heavenly Father, no one can deny that, the ‘Milk of Divine Kindness’ is active in our lives, listening and answering when we cry out. You never know when you may be called upon to deliver some of that ‘Milk’, too!
– EDU DESIGNS is bringing Art back into the schools, providing materials for children’s character development and education through: http://www.edudesigns.org/
– Free Parenting Tips and Illustrated Behavior Charts through GoMommyGO. We are listed as a Resource on Autism Speaks for children with special needs: http://www.gomommygo.com/
My earthly dad used to say that folks accused him of being a generous man. But he would say, “Oh NO! I’m NOT generous at all – you see, it makes me FEEL so GOOD to give, I feel like I’m being VERY selfish!”
I’d like to share something with you today. The download of my Artbook for kids, called, “SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!” normally sells for $9.99, but I’d like to give a copy to anyone making a donation of any size. After you donate through the button below you’ll get your free download!
Please make the best of what you have TODAY, especially those (human) treasures that are asking you to pay attention to them!
EDU DESIGNS is the non profit I founded to help children’s character development through media and education. We are all volunteers, and none of us gets a dime for what we do, but the rewards are OUT OF THIS WORLD!
Can you help a little?
If you are struggling, too, then don’t feel pressured. I don’t want to give a load of guilt to anyone, but if you can spare a little, we need your help!
All 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!
Here’s wishing YOU the BEST, EVERYDAY…
Ruth Elliott, Founder/Director of EDU DESIGNS, Creator,
I heard a story once about an experiment with two mice to see how long they could swim in a bucket of water…
When the first mouse was put in the bucket he drowned after just a few minutes.
When they put the second mouse in the water they saw him start to flounder around the same time the first one had. But this time they reached down and lifted him up out of the bucket for a second – just long enough to let him see over the bucket – and then returned him to the water again. He swam for almost a half hour more before he finally lost strength.
It seems cruel to even think of doing an experiment like that.
I do hope they let him live.
But the message that came out of it was clear:
The second mouse, that was LIFTED up, was given a moment of HOPE, where he was able to seeABOVEthe bucket, and that made all the difference.
We MUST have something better to look forward to, or WE WILL sink.
Do you remember how much fun it was to do art and music in school when YOU were a kid? New pathways were growing in your brain as your imagination was stimulated!
Due to budget cuts today, many children in schools don’t get that chance to do art anymore, despite clear proof that the arts improve cognitive development – and make an impact FAR greater than having a picture to put on your refrigerator door.
Here a wiggly group of PreSchoolers gets to learn about Art AND Music!
Lifting people up – ‘above the bucket’ is something EDU DESIGNS does with tools to Improve children’s character through the arts and stories.
Have you heard the saying, “THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, RULES the WORLD”? We really DO have the power to influence the next generation to be better human beings. It is idealistic. And being a parent can bring out the best in us. But when you ARE a parent, you know that raising children can bring out the worst in YOU at times, too. WE NEED HELP!
Notice the word ‘STRUGGLE‘?
Raising my own seven children proved to me how much structure and support children need to be able to develop to their best ability, and how much I needed to learn. When I first created my behavior charts it gave me the structure I needed not to yell and scream at my kids. And when it DID work so well I thought, “Why isn’t someone doing this for all the mom’s out there who can’t draw?”
Nobody can do it alone. We all need each other.
If we struggle together it will lighten the load for all of us.
Imagine This: If just ONE person was made happier today because of something YOU did, and and if each person helped ONE OTHER person, everybody would touch EVERYONE’S life eventually. So don’t give up.
Do your best. Don’t worry about the rest.
“Everything comes out in the wash”, as my mom used to say…
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” ~ Peter Marshall
Never miss an opportunity to do a good deed. ~Ruth Elliott
So much has been happening I haven’t had time to let you know – from the art classes for kids with Special needs (see pic below) and many schools locally to the outreach to other countries (even Ghana and India) who are benefiting from our materials thanks to those who have found us via the internet. I’ll be in Connecticut and reaching out to schools and organizations there as well. This map shows just a few of the places we are reaching. The reaction from grateful teachers and parents is like bringing water to thirsty travelers along a lonely desert road. There’s so much need for what you and I are doing!
Please continue your support and tell others – I know they will thank you.
Everyone benefits from what we do. If you know a parent, student or teacher, tell them about GoMommyGO® andEDU DESIGNS.
I know you care about investing in CHARACTER as well as INTELLIGENCE. You want to give children more of what really matters. SO DOES CHRIS ZURBUCH!
Chris Zurbuch is not only a phenomenal RUNNER – he runs for a good cause: To help children achieve their goals and become productive citizens in society.
The Nanny Goat Race in Riverside, CA, raises funds for Charity each year. On Saturday May 25th 2013 Chris ran in the 100 mile race to help raise money for EDU DESIGNS, our non profit that creates and distributes media for the education, motivation and character development of children.
A devoted husband to his beautiful wife Messina and proud Dad of three wonderful children, 11, 9 and 18 months, Chris explained why he chose to run the 100 Mile race to fundraise for EDU DESIGNS:
“I feel it is very important for our youth of today to have some sort of Creative arts and Books in all forms which are crucial to shaping Children’s enrichment in their overall education. EDU is a wonderful non-profit organization that does just that for many less fortunate children. Every little bit helps to create a positive culture of growth and learning so these children can have some of the same opportunities as others to utilize their talents specifically in the arts…I have wanted to use my love of running into helping kids gain additional resources whether, food, housing or in this case, education.”
Chris Zurbuch helped CHILDREN by RUNNING for EDU DESIGNS. And you can help too! No running required. You can keep up the good work he started by helping us get our educational materials to children who need it. For a limited time, donate any amount & get a FREE Download of my Art Book, too! Such a deal. The Instant download is normally $9.99, but until May 31st it’s free to everyone who makes a donation of ANY amount. Emmy Award Winning Animation Artist Ruth Elliott’s Art Book increases creativity, spatial reasoning, cognitive development and references the CA Math Standards. Read more here…
Each donation allows us to provide our materials to schools that need them, along with tools for better behavior. Can you help?
“The need for what you’re offering is growing stronger by the day, the schools are in crisis, seemingly everywhere… Bless you guys for what you’re doing.” ~ Justin
Please donate – we need your help to reach children who need the arts and tools for character development.
When my son Jon was 11 years old he wrote a letter to Mr. T after seeing ‘The A Team’ on TV. Mr. T wrote him back a long personal letter, telling him to study hard in school, stay away from drugs and alcohol, take good care of his body and trust in the Lord!
I was so impressed with his kindness and generosity to take the time to write him! Somewhere in the recesses of our garage I still have that letter.
Years later in 2003 I was working at Cartoon Network and got to meet Mr. T. personally. I thanked him and told him how much his letter had meant to my son, who had taken it to heart at a time when he was receptive.
As soon as Mr. T. heard I had 7 kids he couldn’t stop telling me all about his mother who had 12 kids!He was thrilled to share with me how she kept him on the right track by consistently being a source of encouragement, wisdom and strict discipline to all of them.
Such enthusiasm and energy! He went on to share how he was so happy to be alive after overcoming cancer, and proud he had gotten his hair back. He kept pointing to the top of his head and rubbing his hair, saying, “Look at that hair!” You can read more about the amazing struggles Mr. T had to overcome here.
I was so happy I got to meet him. What an inspiration he is, and proof again of the powerful impact a mother can have on her children.
I made this little sketch of how I managed to get through it all when my kids were little…
How wonderful! Just rediscovered! Can’t believe it took me this long to share it!
Back in 2010 Shirley Smith’s TV Show, “Talk About Parenting, LIVE” welcomed me to talk about EDU Designs and GoMommyGO. Though it aired a while back it has a lot to say about what we are doing to help kids!
What is ’emotional connectedness’? And how does it help our brain power?
In Dr. Gabor Mate’s book, SCATTERED (How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What you can Do About It), he reveals how children engaged in an activity that includes emotional connectedness display higher levels of activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where self regulation and intellectual ability develop.
This means they will develop better concentration and self control!
In simple terms, when our emotions are engaged and recognized by another, we feel connected and can absorb information faster.
Art has a magical way of helping us relax and feel our emotions.
That’s exactly what happens at my Art Presentations! The children have a wonderful time drawing and participating – and learning! Recently, some teachers came up to me and remarked that they had never seen their students so FOCUSED and ENGAGED.
The ability to ‘focus and become engaged’ in an activity is the opposite of Attentional Deficit Disorder.
Dr. Mate says:
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#f2f9f9″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]“…many children with ADD are capable of focused work in the presence of an adult who is keeping them company and paying attention to them… attachment promotes attention, anxiety undermines it. When the child is not concerned with seeking emotional contact, his prefrontal cortex is freed to allocate attention to the task at hand… The warmth and satisfaction of positive contact with the adult is often just as good as a psychostimulant in supplying the child’s prefrontal cortex with dopamine. Greater security means less anxiety and more focused attention… Where this need is satisfied, ADD problems begin to recede.”[/dropshadowbox]
This is something I have instinctively felt for years, that children need engagement from others in a positive emotional context. Seeing it in action, and getting confirmation from the teachers was tremendous!
It’s nice to know we’ve been on the right track all along.
I want all children to develop better self control and focus, as they increase their intellectual ability. I feel so strongly about it that I created an art book that includes everything I learned in 30 years – and it won’t take you 30 years to learn it! Share it with a teacher or child you know!
Did you know that our non profit helps build character in many ways? Our Art presentations inspire not only the children and their parents but the teachers who are empowered to bring art (and joy) back into the classroom.
Thanks to your support, we are able to do this.
I’m so grateful for any help.
Director, Edu Designs
Kids NEED Art! When it’s added to their Educational ‘Diet’, EVERYONE WINS!
In the report of the National Council on the Arts 3/30/2012, Dr. James Catterall presented conclusive evidence that “High arts kids considerably outperform Low arts kids” in every area.” His work revealed why students engaged in the arts do better academically, linking art and cognitive development and leading to pro-social behavior later on in life. “Why?” to paraphrase Dr. Catterall,
“Doing art is solving problems, is stimulating, and helps brain function in a variety of ways… It helps spatial reasoning, cognitive development, engagement and motivation…which also adds to social and cultural engagement in school.”
Since the removal of the Arts from low income schools, children in the U.S. have fallen behind in math and critical thinking skills. People say that “children are our future” – yet few know what to do. That’s why EDU DESIGNS is determined to lend a hand in a practical way. Donating EDU DESIGNS Art presentations to schools, plus our character building books, (includingSEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT, the first Art Textbook to reference the Core Standards) allows Art to once again be back in the classroom where it belongs, inspiring kids to learn and increasing their creativity.
His report clearly confirms earlier findings which reveal:
“More and more emphasis has been placed upon performance in the standards testing process today. Unfortunately this has created an atmosphere of greater stress – on the student as well as the teacher. Ironically, it is a well-known fact that Stress inhibits learning . Fortunately, Art is a stress reliever , utilizing the parts of the brain that increase memory and higher thought.  With this in mind, ART employs a hands-on approach to logical reasoning, using relevant objects in our environment to connect us to the need for mathematical and spatial understanding. This book is unique in correlating concepts of ART and MATH. By developing creative and critical thinking skills, children gain confidence in their problem-solving skills. “Students with high levels of arts participation out perform “arts-poor” students on virtually every measure. 
Music may help children with “behavior problems”, too, acording to Claudia M. Gold, MD, writing in Psychology Today. Quoting Berklee’s Music Therapy Department Chair Dr. Suzanne Hanser, about a program fo music therapy for autism spectrum disorders, she shares:
“There is scientific evidence that music therapy influences children on the autism spectrum in several ways, like enhancing skills in communication, interpersonal relationships, self-regulation, coping strategies, stress management, and focusing attention,” and “… children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders are often overwhelmed by sensory input. It makes perfect sense to me that music would help them to organize their experience and engage with the world around them.”
The ARTS help EVERYONE develop!Learning takes place best when the spatial areas of the brain are awakened, which is why children engaged in art have been shown to improve their math scores by up to 15%! Since research clearly shows that studying art actually increases one’s ability to learn, EDU DESIGNS created the first Art Textbook that references the California Math Standards. Through our experience in Art and expertise in education, we have created a program that develops analytical skills and builds character.
The MISSION of EDU DESIGNS
As our mission declares, “EDU DESIGNS is dedicated to produce and distribute multimedia materials for the education, motivation and character development of children”. Our all volunteer Board of Directors has invested time and energy to create program substance that will inspire children to be positive members of society. When we visit schools, we experience an enthusiastic response from appreciative parents and teachers who applaud our efforts to provide educational materials that teach virtue and integrity.
EDU DESIGNS offers ART and storytelling presentations to schools (limited to Southern California at this time) and donate materials that can be used in the regular or afterschool programs to schools upon request.Since Edu Designs is run entirely by volunteers, 100% of contributions are used to reach students who would otherwise miss out on the programs we present! We acknowledge each donation with a receipt for tax purposes.
The founders of EDU DESIGNS have been active in program development with an emphasis on character, compassion and arts education since 1999. EDU DESIGNS gives children opportunities to engage their analytical skills, develop their creativity, and motivate them to make a positive impact in the world now. We are determined to to bridge the gap during this time of economic hardship for the schools.
As a Registered Trademark of EDU Designs, GoMommyGO® also helps provide tools for parents to aid character development children. Providing illustrated behavior charts and over 90 images free of charge, GoMommyGO® is a resource listed on Autism Now.
Never miss an opportunity to do a good deed! There are many character lessons we inspire children to learn. Each person’s life impacts others, for good or ill. Every child we reach today, will bring a change for the better – and YOU can help make it happen! Please Donate, NOW:
 Researcher Paul MacLean, chief brain researcher at the National Institute for Mental Health. Plus, David Sousa, author of How the Brain Learns: A Classroom Teacher’s Guide and Learning Manual  Professor Terry Looker and Dr. Olga Gregson, of the Department of Biological Sciences at MMU.  In the 1999 article: Linking Brain Research to Art, Perry & Janet Rettig indicated, (quoting Goleman, 1995), that “students are more likely to recall information when it is embedded in an emotional context.  (from the research by The Imagination Project at UCLA, by James S. Catterall, Richard Chapleau and John Iwanaga, July 1999). “…gains for arts-involved youngsters …become more pronounced over time…this pattern also holds for children from low-income and low parent education level homes.” Plus in Nicholas Bezruczko’s Study, “Links Between Children’s Clay Models and School Achievement” (1997), Art trained groups had 15% higher reading and math scores on standardized tests than did students without arts education. • The arts have a measurable impact on students in “high-poverty” and urban settings. • The arts in after-school programs guide disadvantaged youth toward positive behaviors and goals. • Learning through the arts has significant effects on learning in other domains. • Arts experiences enhance “critical thinking” abilities and outcomes. • The arts enable educators to reach students in effective ways. Taken from Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning and Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons From School Districts That Value Arts Education provide arts education supporters with both evidence of why the arts are critical to teaching and learning…
Both studies were developed with the support of the GE Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Arts Education Partnership, and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Every day in Elementary school I ate the same thing for lunch: an apple and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which of course would get squashed by the apple before I could get to it.
At lunch I sat next to a chubby little red haired girl who, along with her frown, always had a gourmet meat sandwich she would nonchalantly pull out of her fancy designer lunch pail with a huge dessert of 2 hostess cupcakes, Twinkies or Ding-dongs.
At home we would have to share if we had dessert. So, seeing that she always seemed to have extra and wasn’t getting any skinnier, one day I mustered up the courage to ask her,
“Since you have two cupcakes, would you share one with me?”
But she recoiled in horror, saying,
“NO! There’s only enough for me!”
No matter how politely I would change my phrasing, each time she would consistently reply in the same manner. Day after day this hurt me terribly, as I pondered her insensitivity and the cruel injustice of the world.
But it did teach me two things:
1- There are mean people in the world.
2- Your job is not to become one of them
And when the light bulb went off in my head, I knew what I had to do:
WALK AWAY and
SIT somewhere ELSE.
I found some nice kids to sit with. They didn’t share their lunch either because they only had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too! But we all smiled, and shared laughs instead.
Hoping to get that other girl’s goodies had been a trap for me that ruined my happiness for as long as I hung out with her. You don’t have to HATE your enemies, but you shouldn’t have to hang out with them either!
So – What did I learn from my new friends?
1- IGNORE GOODIES.
2- Choose nice PEOPLE to hang out with instead.
They may be hard to find, but not impossible!
BEING one of the nice people? Well, that’s harder.
However, being RIGHT all the time is even HARDER!
Yeah…like that’ll work…
If you’ve already chosen PEOPLE over GOODIES – the Next CHALLENGE is:
How do you spot REAL love from others when you see it?
1- Real love is a ONE WAY street – which means it goes in ONE direction – from the inside OUT, expecting nothing in return.
2- Real Love is KIND, FORGIVING and PATIENT with our shortcomings.
3- Real Love looks out for OUR best interests.
4- Real Love never gives up on us, even when we DO make mistakes
5- Real Love tells us the truth.
LOOK for those LOVING individuals to hang out with.
Learn to recognize them hidden in the crowd of ‘me-first’ types out there.
Then WHAT TO DO with the SELFISH ones?
They are probably already ignoring YOU. Giving more won’t help.
They paid attention to what you could give them, not what they could give you.
And WHAT TO DO WITH the PAIN?
Ouch. It still Hurts.
I read somewhere that people who are truly loving or very funny have usually been hurt deeply in their lives.
It seems so unfair.
But think again:
We’ve ALL been hurt at one time or another!
So why isn’t EVERYONE very funny or truly loving?
BECAUSE WE All make CHOICES in how we react!
How Do YOU React When YOU Are Hurt (and don’t get YOUR own way)?
That doesn’t work EITHER!
Here are a few reactions to choose from (See if you can guess which DON’T work!):
1- Become angry and mean yourself. (Like in the picture above, my daughter once said: “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping the other guy dies.”)
2- Conclude that ‘love isn’t worth it’ – and build a wall to sheild yourself from your need to be connected with others. Call it ‘strength’.
3- Become a doormat. Go along to get along, hoping the mean ones will stop hurting you if you are ‘nice’ to them.
4- Retreat into a fantasy world where you imagine if only you were perfect, then you would deserve to have your needs met. Strive for that unattainable daydream.
5- Immerse yourself in work, activities, food or substances to try and numb the pain.
In case you haven’t figured it out, NONE of these work! Wasting our energy trying to protect ourselves from the pain actually ‘protects’ us from FINDING the nice people in the world who DO exist and who WOULD love us, warts and all.
Though PAIN is unavoidable, there IS an AUTHENTIC secret to HAPPINESS you can take hold of NOW (even if you don’t get the Ding Dong or Twinkie for lunch).
(Pay attention, parents, so you can spring this on your children the next time you’re in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart):
It’s called: ‘GRATITUDE’.
It’s already been Scientifically verified that GRATITUDE makes you HAPPIER, but here is MY analysis of the 2 step process, (proven by years of not getting my own way)!
I love what Tim Hansel once said:
“Pain is inevitable, but Misery is Optional”
Well? Now YOU have a CHOICE to make!
Director, Edu Designs