Also loving Poppytalk Market, an online market full of handmade loveliness. Check it out fo shizzle:
Handmade Charlotte is another site that blows me away. This mother of FIVE somehow finds time to blog about and post the most beautiful things. Trust me and take the time to scroll down, down, and further down. You will not be disappointed. http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/category/in-the-kitchen/
Recently an old high school friend started posting pictures of her delicious looking culinary endeavours on Facebook. I thought to myself, she should be doing a blog. Now, she's paired up with an artist friend and indeed, they've launched "Pepper and Paint." Brand new, but looks promising and has lovely photography. Check them out: http://pepperandpaint.squarespace.com/ .
On another topic, I know MANY parents out there are dealing with the persistent and ubiquitous plight of kids wrangling with ADHD. A friend of mine recently pointed me to this amazing blog post, written by one such mother. I highly recommend you read her letter to the BC Ministry of Eduation: http://jacks-10.blogspot.com/2011/05/letter-to-ministry-of-education.html
Classroom teachers are usually doing their best (not always, but that's another talk show), but the truth is that a lack of funding and a complicated "categorization" system means it's extremely difficult to get the one-on-one help many students need.
This goes way beyond just ADHD. Every student has their own unique way of absorbing information. Some have high IQ's and some have lower ones. And I don't dare forget to mention "The Spectrum," which now consists of an inordinately broad range of labels, including but not exclusive to autism. Asperger's syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, general sensitivity to audio and visual input and a wide range of other developmental and biological issues reside here. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome also falls into a spectrum category because the list of possible outcomes are vast. There are the "gifted" or the "limited" students, who either aren't being challenged enough (and usually acting out as a result) or are completely overwhelmed by a full curriculum if not provided with full-time, one-on-one support - the funding for which is usually allocated to those with more severe learning and/or physical challenges. Sigh.
My advice to students who can't seem to find a focus or function comfortably in the classroom: When one person won't listen to your plea for help, ask again. If they don't listen, ask someone else. Call a help line, go to a teacher you don't even know, ask a friend's parent if yours doesn't know what to do. Yes, this can be frustrating and you may feel judged or embarrassed. Swallow that down and remember that the adults in your community work for you. We are your employees, in a true sense, so call upon us to help you find your path.
This is not about blaming the things that haven't worked up to this point, it's about knowing there is a way to make a learning experience a positive one. Tools for eliminating stress, streamlining or breaking down assignments in to manageable chunks, these are all available when you find the right resources. There will be hoops to jump through, but you absolutely can find people and gain learning tools to help you both manage whatever you feel is holding you back and even accelerate your enjoyment and productivity in learning.
On the topic of medication I am cautious. As an educator I have seen students benefit from prescriptions to drugs like ritalin, if only in the capacity of functionality in their school experience. That said, long term side effects are not yet known and as an educator I would probably not recommend medicating a child who might benefit just as much from alternate teaching methods or environment. No blanket statements here; I am not a physician or a psychiatrist, just an educator and parent who would probably do everything under the sun before I would medicate my kid to calm him down.
Yes, I realize not all parents have unlimited access to high performance education models, or the time or money to seek them out. But any parent with the motivation and tenacity CAN facilitate change. In than vein, my kudos of the day goes out to Jacqueline Laprise, author of the above letter to the BCME. I am also sending out a big shout to the amazing educators out there. Most of you ARE trying to make a difference, even within the restrictions I've mentioned here. Finally, a "holla" to the students out there who motivate us to do better for you. You are our future, and I respect you.
That's it for now! Hope to post more housey photos soon or at least something more creative than more talk of no sleep and the wonky bedtime routines of my chitluns.
I sign off with a quip I heard somewhere years ago, and loved, and sign my most special letters with to this day:
Until our next joining of hearts ~