My heart for art and creating was very full this weekend. When our kids were young,we had a dedicated art room full of supplies and they were always involved in some sort of art, craft or creative play. Now that they are adults, I love seeing that each of them still enjoys spending time making and doing.
I was recently invited to speak at a private school in Cleveland to share some thoughts from Being Visual. Having the opportunity to speak about Being Visual at a private school in Cleveland proved to be an amazing opportunity to witness first-hand how vital the role of art education is to a child’s successful academic career. Agnon is a wonderful school, with evidence all around that the arts are highly valued and considered key to a strong educational experience. While talking to the Headmaster, Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, I also found out about their integrated curriculum and commitment to minimal testing. The parents at this school are involved in their children’s education and seemed as committed to their own education, as they were to their children’s.
Recently, I met with a group of parents to share information about learning styles and ways to help our visual children do better in the classroom. We had a great discussion afterwards with several parents sharing their observations and asking questions. I sincerely enjoy these talks and being able to share the important role that learning styles play in a child’s academic and overall development and success.
A mother seated in the front row raised her hand. She asked a question about her 9 year old daughter that touched upon the emotional side of learning that so many young visually oriented children experience.
I’m back from vacation and getting ready to travel again. This time I am en route to Cleveland to promote the Being-Visual philosophy on Art Education in a live taping of a segment at Fox 8 Cleveland and to present a speech on “What Every Parent Should Know About their Child’s Education” at the Agnon School.
First stop Fox News. I have been invited to appear on WJW-TV – Fox News in the Morning on Wednesday, October 3. During our session I’ll talk about what it means to be a visual learner, ways your child may be struggling in school and how you can help. I’ll share some ideas for making learning more visual and tactile.
As children we have so many ideas about what we want to be when we grow up. As parents we know our children’s dreams and plans will change as they grow and get to know themselves better. We strive to provide our kids the education and opportunities that will prepare them for whatever they decide to pursue. When children participate in the arts, music, dance or the visual arts, it’s not necessarily because they’ll be artists as adults – but because it’s key to a rich educational experience.
As an art kid, I spent hours and hours drawing, making and creating. To this day, I love art. Throughout elementary, high school and college, I took as many art classes as possible. Yet, while I was passionate about drawing, there was always a bit of frustration that accompanied the experience. I discovered that instruction in art education is essential to empowering children to communicate visually.
Writing Being Visual and bringing it to market has been a long process. The research, writing, editing and design processes have been an adventure ripe with self-growth and revelations, but I must say – I’m exhausted! My friends, family and professional associates are excited to see Being Visual on Amazon, but now they’re asking, “What’s next ?”
So, what is next…?
We’re going to Disneyworld! (do you see the Super Bowl confetti pouring down around me?)
A few years ago I met Barb, a high school special education teacher. Barb had heard about Young Rembrandts and wondered how her special needs students would respond to our step-by-step method of teaching art. After some conversation about her students’ needs and our philosophy, we agreed to teach a series of four weekly classes. The classes surpassed all of our expectations. The students were fully engaged, successfully completed every drawing and were pleased to have been participants in art class. In Chapter Five of Being Visual, I share details about the initial fears of the teaching assistants, the experiences in the classrooms, our observations and our teaching method.
We had some fun when we headed to the WGN-TV news studios in downtown Chicago. After reviewing my newly launched book, Being-Visual, I was thrilled that WGN invited me to appear on a “Focus on the Family” spot, to share tips on helping visual kids do better in the classroom. Originally, the segment was scheduled to be taped live and I must admit, knowing the large audience that WGN reaches, a bit of nervousness settled upon me. However, news about the Chicago teachers strike forced the station to make some changes to their schedule, so we taped our session to be aired at a later date this month on September 25.