July sure went by fast

I know time goes fast when you are having fun, but what if it goes by fast when you are definitely NOT having fun? 🙂

Time has flown for me the last few years, and this last month, July 2005, has been quite the fastest, by far, in my estimation of historical events in my life. It’s now officially August. Wow.

August is a month that has historical attachments to it for me. I guess I was ingrained with the “school year” calendar in my younger days, and I view July and August as pure Summer days of freedom, with it all beginning in early June at the latest, if not May.

In my own lifetime and school “career” I saw that idea taken and smacked up and torn apart. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s the idea of freedom from tyranny which I have, it’s a beautiful picture in my head that is connected to the idea of Summer and that is what this part of the year is.

We homeschool, and are not on any sort of schedule as the public school’s have. I felt horrid when I opened up the Ads in the paper around the last weekend in June or first weekend in July and saw all the “Back to School” ads … really I felt bad. I understand that most schools around here start this very week that we are just beginning on the calendar. That just messes with my internal summer clock.

We “officially” begin a new year of homeschooling in September, but that’s only in the eyes of the school board. We do our thing year round, but nothing formal. This coming year I’ll be doing more with our eldest. He’s 9 and reads well, can write, needs more practice there, he has an electrical experiement set that we can get an upgrade for. There are other things in that realm of electrical and computer that we’ll be looking at. He likes Bionicles and is collecting them all. Also into K’nex. The other two children love the K’nex too. They follow directions to build things, and also make things on their own. (I would have loved K’nex when I was a child!)

The two younger are 6 and 4. I’m working slowly to get them reading. That’s all they need, it’s the code to open up learning in any way they want to. If I push them, they won’t get it any faster than they could by doing it slowly. I do it slowly and punch up whatever they seem ready for.

All the children draw and color. Eldest draws intricate scenes: boats, houses, cross-sections with all kinds of things going on. Sometimes people are in the scenes, often robots, bionicle-like things, dinosaurs, etc. He’s not fastidious, but fastly draws things in, and spends time filling in with lots of things. His “coloring” is hurried too, and it’s sloppy.

His younger brother is 4 years younger. His coloring is really good. His drawing is simplistic. He’s opposite of his brother in that way. He’s also an extrovert, whereas his older brother is an introvert.

The middle child is our girl. She’s into drawing faces. She has some neat things she’s done lately, on a regular sheet of paper, plain 8.5×1, she has faces started landscape at the top left edge and uses up a couple of square inches for each face, one after the other, then down a line and continuing.

She’s had an interesting way of drawing people, usually going for frontal format. Her elder brother is the one that does cross-sections, and makes people/things from different angles. She herself does make people from the side, but likes the faces so much I think, she prefers to make them so that their faces can be shown. 🙂

I’m a doodler, I draw things that flow from my pen. I have never stretched my abilities and done much more. In school I did have “instruction”, in 6th grade more so than not, that I recall best. My teacher there was very strict. She was art and English teacher. My homeroom teacher in 5th grade too. Most people didn’t like her much. She’s one teacher I was sort of afraid of in my lower grades, but when I ended up in her class, I started to see something, and I am thinking of it now, and think she saw something in me that others did not. I think she’s the one who got me to be tested for the gifted program. I didn’t get in, my math stuff was all too low. I felt a softness of lovelyness in that teacher though, when everyone else saw her as hard as nails. Hmm.

So anyhow, I did drawing there in her classes, more formally in 6th grade. She insisted that all English things, like stories and poems, have art included with them. 🙂 You must know that I hadn’t considered her in a long time. She was an older woman (probably only in her 50’s back then 😉 ).

I never had considered myself good at replicating actual life. I am able to draw things I see, but I don’t LIKE doing it. I see it too nicely to reproduce it with my poor hand to my own perfections faulting.

So I doodle. I doodle graphical-like. Just shapes of meaning or nonsensical creation. I’ve done a particular type since childhood, mostly then on bookcovers for certain. I still do it today and realized not too long ago it really is like tattoos I’ve seen on people IRL, TV, Print, etc. I’ve not copied it from anything, it’s only natural doodling. Nothing new under the sun, you know. 🙂

One of my most favorite simplistic graphics is what I have on this site in use as my “gravatar”, which is “globally recognized avatar”, something I’ve enabled for comments on this site … you sign up for a free account on the gravatar site, and upload your avatar, and it’s associated with one email address. So anytime you comment on a site that uses the gravatar service, if you use an email address that is registered with gravatar.com then your avatar will load on that comment. You can see mine on any thread of recent time here I’ve commented on. I don’t always comment with that email address on other sites, so I do have a colored version of that graphic I’ll associate at a later time with my other email I use.

I have graphics from very recent years in books and on a few pages of things, and have scanned a few into the computer, and want to get them all in. I don’t really have many that are that good, but some have potential for working on further, and some are standalone pretty good, IMO. Some I have to take into a graphics program and remove lines behind them, seeing as I do often doodle on lined paper. Something I truly want to get away from doing. I want to take my doodling more seriously. It’s actual an art form that I didn’t consider art. It is art. Bowl me over with a feather when I realized that finally. 🙂

Along these lines I’ve been encouraging the children to draw what they want to and to be as careful doing it as they can, making it as nice as possible, without pressuring them to make it perfect. There is a book I have, but haven’t really read it. It met with the Green Incident and I need to replace it. The Green Incident is an Asa Event. He found something that I had under the sink and poured it over a bunch of my stuff, back when I had my old laptop in the kitchen, and had just put a new pile of books that I was going to do stuff with, out. A bunch of good books. The stuff he poured was thick green pungent smelling concentrate to kill worms on tomato plants, etc. “BTKiller”. I was not happy, to say the least. So anyhow, that book I referred to is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, or something similar. It’s about learning to really use your right-brain to draw, whether you are left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant. Some of it I gleaned, and it’s what made me realized that I do draw with the right-side of my brain. My designs come from my hand, straight from the right-brain, as I don’t design things I think of, I just let it flow. So my thoughts are that someday I can better myself through drawing if I get that book in good form again, and use it with the children and see what can develop.

I often make things with hearts in them, as my gravatar is. I use gel pens, I have a large set of colors, and many of my designs are full of color, and it’s my choice as to what they look like, but I turn my left-brain off entirely and just do it. If you aren’t “right-brain”-ish, you might’nt know what I mean, it’s just automatic for me, not something I have to turn off. It’s particular of me that my left-brain is able to be turned off and on, but my right brain is always on. My left-brain functioning isn’t 100% useful either, just part of it. Well this is part of the whole thing about my family, we are all VS, that’s Visual Spatial, that’s “right-brain dominant”. So I know that my kind of learning is theirs, and we just “do it”. We learn through many things, and I think that reading and artisticness and nature are the best things to learn via. 🙂

So Summer is freedom to me. I hate the thought of formal school in August. (It was hard enough to think it right in September back in my youth! The lure of new supplies is what drew me usually.) It’s stifling of breath to me. It’s stifling to think of learning being something to go to school for. I learned in school a bit, but learned much more outside of school. I learned on my own from the start and never stopped. Summer was the best learning time, reading, reading, reading, no interference from school work; and climing trees, running, exploring the hills, and woods and cemetaries and … ah, just really living and learning from everything around. Drinking it in.

That’s the idea I have of freedom in the first place, real freedom, freedom from tyranny. The Summertime ideal is written of in literature, like The Penrdragon series (King Arthur) by Stephen Lawhead.

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