Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen these almost everywhere: at the bookstores, on Social Media posts, on your officemate’s desk and maybe even in your sister’s room. If you guessed that what “these” are being referred to as coloring books, then yes, you are right. Coloring books are what people are going crazy about these days.

To be precise, these coloring books are called adult coloring books. The designs of these adult coloring books vary, from botanicals, flower gardens, under-the-sea creatures, and even cities all over the world. Unlike when you were still in school and there were “right and wrong” ways to color things, this time, you can let your imagination run wild and you get to choose the colors you fancy.

Materials: coloring books or pages, colored pencils, colored pens.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

There are other activities we can indulge in to bring out the artist in us.

Doodling
Doodling seems like a mindless task but it isn’t so. To doodle is to draw while doing another task like listening to a lecture or music. Although doodles are usually simpler versions of objects, they may be as creative as other artistic pursuits. Doodle designs are used as wall paper and gift wrap designs among others. Doodle books are also popular as coloring books.

Materials: sketch pad or sheets of paper, pens or pencils.

Hand-drawing
Artists who draw are content providers for those who love to color. Drawing by hand gives the artist a purpose, a vision and an outlet for creative energy. Hand-drawing requires concentration, creativity and imagination to be able to present ideas in images that will be understood by others.

Materials: sketch pad, a variety of pens for different strokes, colored pencils or pens

Zentangling
Zentangling is not like doodling because it has specific styles and structured patterns. Zentangles are easy-to-learn, fun and relaxing. This art form was founded by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

Materials: sketch pad, pens, Zentangle book for reference

Paper-cutting
Paper cutting is one of the more difficult art forms to master because it needs precision and control especially when using the sharp blades of cutters and scalpels. This art, though a bit difficult, can be rewarding too. The wonderful images and messages being cut are awesome to behold.

Materials: Cutting mat, metal ruler, pencil, scalpel, blades, tracing paper, backing material

Painting
Painting is an artistic pursuit that may be difficult for some. This entails a considerable amount of concentration, planning and organization of ideas. It is worth the time and effort, however, when one is able to execute a masterpiece or two.

Materials: easel, chair, canvas, brushes, oil paints, acrylic, watercolor, mixing disn

Chalk art
Chalk art is writing on dark surfaces or at times, on streets and outdoors. These days, newer restaurants and cafes have their special menu for the day written on a small blackboard that the clients can easily see.

Materials: blackboard, different colors of chalk

Mandala
A mandala is a word derived from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Translated to mean “circle,” this is more than a simple shape with intricate designs stemming out from one focal point.

Mandalas represent wholeness and is illustrated as a model for the organizational structure of life itself showing our relation to the infinite beyond our bodies and minds. In various religious beliefs a mandala symbolizes different things: timekeeping, visions, beliefs and religious expressions as well as meditation.

There are several coloring books featuring the mandalas which are deemed therapeutic to draw and color. Many attest it relaxes the mind.

Materials: sketch pad, pencils, pens, ruler, pencil compass

Art stamping
Stamps are fun because these have already been crafted and ready to be put together to create a vision. Stamps can be made up of letters, words and things. There are artists who make their own stamps using rubbers erasers where they carve their designs. These can be incorporated in different art forms like calligraphy, journaling,and drawing.

Materials: pre-made rubber stamps, ink, paper, colored pens, pens.

Calligraphy
Calligraphy is the art of decorative handwriting. Mostly used to write quotations, these can be interspersed with drawings. Hand-written invitations are usually made using calligraphy.

Materials: calligraphy pens, ink, papers or sketch pad, pencils, erasers, ruler, calligraphy books as reference.

Journaling or journal-writing
Journaling is akin to diary writing, only better. Journaling is like a visual board where dreams and goals can be put in written perspective. One doesn’t have to write in these journals daily, but regularly updating is a must.

Materials: a good journal notebook, stamps, colored pens, fabric tapes, colored papers, stickers

It is apparent that people these days want a break from digital stimulation and would rather work using their hands while at the same time honing their imagination and creativity. They are also able to relax and meditate while doing so.

Benefits of Relaxation and a few words of caution…

Taking endless photos and videos are the things people do to record, remember and share baby milestones with family and friends. Photos and videos show babies’ developmental new tricks and other developmental progress.

People with social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram usually see these baby photos and videos posted by relatives and friends. Of course, there’s no denying that we love “oohing” and “aahing” these photos of the little ones.

On the other hand, there are times when it feels like there is over sharing and too much “exposure” for the baby. This is called “sharenting”.

If you parents, however, feel that you need to share these photos and videos on your Social Media accounts, there is no stopping you.

Here are guidelines which may help you ensure you do not endanger the baby’s safety and privacy from exposure to social media:

1. Tinker with the privacy settings of the Social Media accounts to make sure photos are not shared indiscriminately.
2. Turn off geotagged photos which show locations.
3. Only share with people you really know.
4. Ask yourself if you want people you do not really know see the photos you are sharing.
5. Ask yourself if you are willing to take that risk to have your baby’s photos used in other sites without your knowledge and permission.
6. If still you want to share, put watermark on the photo or least blur the baby’s face a bit.
We should value our privacy now more than ever especially since social media accounts are vulnerable to having its contents used by people of bad intent. This has happened and is happening. At this very moment, who knows that photos of your little ones have already been posted elsewhere?

Read more on Sharenting.

Exploreum’s 3-Day Summer Camp 2015 is a learn-through-play experience which aims to stimulate children’s curiosity through memorable activities while encouraging camaraderie through interactions with other explorers in the summer camp program, and exposing the children to the wonderful world of Science particularly Marine Biology.

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For this year’s Exploreum Summer Camp, the children participants got the privilege to be Marine Explorers by earning badges for each quest that they accomplish. For three afternoons, the children learned,, through different activities, concepts about the ocean and everything related to it. They were able to utilize the different SM Lifestyle venues like the IMAX, XD:4D cinema, and the skating rink. They did a lot of exciting activities to enhance their learning experiences: painting, playing, skating, watching movies, solving puzzles and catching fish, all these geared towards learning the foundations of Marine Biology.

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Some of the Exploreum’s jam packed activities were the following:

1. Deep Dark Sea Painting – painting posters using glow in the dark paints
2. Away From Home – fishing fishes stuck in slime-o-mania and putting them back to where they should be
3. Feed the Marine Creature – getting to know the food web and apply your knowledge by feeing the sea creatures
4. Aquarium Secret Message – looking for hidden messages in the aquarium and putting these together to find out what it says by using a spy camera
5. Into the Deep Treasure Hunt – completing the time list by searching in the dark room with minimum light
6. Water World Obstacle Course – jump, climb, reach,many crawl to find “EXPLOREUM” letters around the course
7. Save the Whale – fill the pool with balls so the whale can roll back into the ocean

The Different Sea Creatures: the Exploreum Summer Camp 2015 is divided to three different groups, depending on the children’s needs and learning capabilities:

1. The Dolphins – ages 4 – 6 years old
2. The Orcas – 7 – 9 years old
3. The Sharks – ages 10 – 12 years old

The Marine Explorer’s Kit

Marine explorers get to take home the following:

1. Amazing Race Passes
2. Take-home Experiment Kits
3. An Exploreum Summer Camp Shirt
4. Microscope for 7-12 years old
5. Marine Explorer Badge
6. SpongeBob Poster

 

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Upcoming Activities for Exploreum
The Exploreum Quiz Bee is a nationwide competition engaging about 90 schools per level in a test of wit, intellect and speed. The Exploreum’s National Quiz Bee will run from July 2015 to February 2016. The winning school gets Php 1 million to fund and encourage varied school programs.

Today I finally took the time to sort though our school supplies plastic box to see what I can put back and what I will consider as trash.

So far we still have a lot of these things:

• Pencils and erasers
• Unopened big box of crayons
• Art/colored/construction paper
• ¼ and ½ sized lined papers
• A pack each of long & short envelopes and long & short folders
• Colored folders
• A lot of used but still ok to recycle folders and envelopes
• A few graphing or Math papers
• Long and short bond papers (we use A4 so we still need to buy these sizes)
• Folder fasteners, staple wires and a few rolls of tapes
• 1/8 illustration boards
• poster paints that dried up a little but can be remedied with some water
• Paint brushes
• 1 drawing book
• 1 ruler
• index cards
• 2 pairs of scissors but one had to go to trash because it just got broken the other day
• 2 file folders

Into the trash went dried up markers, crayons that look tired and worn, scrap papers, broken rulers/scissors, almost empty tape rolls and other stuff.

The plastic envelopes for art supplies just need to be cleaned, otherwise these are still ok to use. TIP: do not scrimp on these, buy the ones that look sturdy even if these are a bit more expensive than others.

For the coming school year, we need to take note of whatever stuff we still have to avoid overbuying. The stuff listed above pretty much sums up what children need for school, unless the teachers ask for specific things like a here folder or a notebook with pink cover. As for the “color coding” notebooks, no sweat for these, just use colored papers to wrap the cover to complete that requirement.

As I have written in another post, having your own school supplies at home, though at first seems a bit too expensive to invest in, would surely make a big difference once the school year starts. Why? You just need to get that long brown folder from your supply rather than go out of your way to buy one from the bookstore or the nearest store that probably sells it. This way, you not only saved on resources you will use for that ONE folder or envelope, you save your sanity too.

It has been months since I’ve written anything in this blog. I’ve been busy with family matters and catching up on my reading and watching of missed TV series favorites.

There are so many changes that has happened in our family and these, like when we used to answer scrapbook questions, are just too many to elaborate.

Blogging, though at a standstill as opposed to real life events that are not posted online, is not a forgotten passion. I still write. I still submit published articles online. Truth be told, I don’t like to call myself a blogger anymore because in some instances, others tend to attach something negative to this “title”.

Year after year, I tell myself I will write more. I still have a lot of ideas and I really have to find time to write because I am bursting with ideas I want to share and not because I have a deadline or a blogging event press release that has a time table.

I like to think I can challenge those few people who come across my blog reading not just about special education but about how to be good parents to their children or how to bring change to themselves and the people around them.

Pretty big to aspire for, right? Right.

Anyway… for this coming school year, I don’t have a child in elementary school anymore and because of that special event, I wrote about Graduation and the Pinoy Family in this article. The son is an incoming 9th grader under the new Philippines K-12 program. The eldest is an incoming Junior in another university. Yep, my children all go to a university that has basic education level.

Professionally, I have several former students who are now college graduates and even a few have PRC licenses. I currently have three former students in college. For this development in the lives of my students and in my standing as a special Ed teacher, I wrote an article on the alternative courses for college students.

I promise to write more and hope to inspire myself to do just that.

Compassion is a word that spans a whole wide range of concepts. Compassion is an emotion, a (deep) awareness people feel when they see the sufferings of other people. This compassion fuels the motivation and the desire to help relieve others of these sufferings.

“Compassion is often seen as the foundation of morality”, according to the author of “Just Babies, The Origin of Good and Evil,” Professor Paul Bloom of Yale University. “Compassion is what you could call caring, concern, fellow feeling, the idea that other people matter to us,” he further adds.
Nature of Compassion
One of the characteristics that distinguishes psychopaths from “normal” people is the lack of fellow feeling or lack of compassion. One may be highly intelligent and exhibits the same emotions and desires other people, but if he doesn’t care for others, he is a deviant. He will get something from another person like money or a possession and does not care if he hurts anyone when he does. He will even kick a dog when he feels bored, for example. If he is given a pep talk about him hurting others, he wouldn’t be convinced about changing his ways because he just doesn’t care at all.

The nature of compassion, of being compassionate comes from the feeling that other people matter to us and that we have a sense of what is right and what is wrong. What is right and what is wrong are debatable at times, depending on cultural and religious beliefs and practices among other things.

People are inherently fundamentally kind.

Despite having differences with other people, there are basic concepts and situations that are deemed universally acceptable as needing compassion or feeling a degree of caring and compassion.

Compassion starts at home

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