Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home Schooling - In Touch With Nature - In Touch With The Soul


Song:  Gymnopedie #1

Composer:  Erik Satie







Alex, and I, went to Calaveras Big Trees for a day trip.

This was his first time in a large forest.

When we got there, the air was filled with the heavenly scent of
Fir and Pine gently mixed with the aroma of a distant campfire...
the silence of the forest interrupted only by the birds in the trees.

Alex had a look of wonderment and excitement in his eyes.

He is standing on a stump of a large tree...he hadn't realized 
it at first.  After I had told him what he was standing on...
his eyes grew big and his mouth gaped in amazement.  


A small stream

We had walked a couple of trails with nary a person in sight.


While walking down one of the trails...we heard
the machine gun rat-tat-tat of a woodpecker.
I told him to listen and tell me which animal
in a forest would make such a sound...
his face brightened and he said "Woodpecker".

I could see his mind working... absorbing the sights and sounds
of his new environment.






As we walked down the trail...he would hurriedly move
to a new sight and want to explore it.



Although the altitude here was mild (4,800 feet)...
it added a wonderful crispness to the air...
that, coupled with the sunlight filtering through the trees...
the new sights, smells, and sounds of the forest...
all gave a surreal...magical effect.

There was a deep sense of solitude and peace.

Alex, and I, walked hand in hand...
and talked of our dreams for the future...
and for the first time I had ever heard him 
mention this very important concept...
he had asked me what the meaning of life is.

Not in the scientific sense...
but in an inner sense....a philosophical sense.

There is nothing like the great beauty of nature...
to bring a person in touch with his soul.


This whole trip was a complete success because of 
that one question.


You see...
my wife, being far more detailed oriented...
specializes in Alex's academic portions of learning.
His academic success is almost totally due to her
efforts in guiding him through the learning process.

I am more of a generalist.
I specialize in conceptual understanding...
and the application of Philosophy, Psychology...
Science and the Arts (both creative and the physical)...
by tying what he experiences, in mind and body...
 to that of the world.

My son specializes in being a bottomless well ...
a person who has a mind deep enough
to gather, endlessly, the wealth of knowledge
all around him.

His whole function is to observe...
to experience...to reflect and ponder...
to conceptualize and apply.

Together, we are a team...
our mortal enemies are...
 ignorance...
immorality...
a stagnate soul.

To get him in touch with the world...
I get him in touch with himself.

It is to this end that I use these means...
physical environments to stimulate the 
mind, body and soul.

We have planned, many more trips...
the high mountains...
the desert...
the beach...
the forests.

Our future trips will include overnight camping
to ensure complete immersion with the environment...
the pure magic of a night with the stars, a campfire, and a loving family
to help guide him on his inward journey.

It is through the experience of the true beauty that unspoiled nature is...
that he may explore the true beauty of his soul...
and so, to see and experience the true beauty of life.

The training of the mind...
through the greatly positive experiences of the world...
leading him to develop Optimism and a lust to explore
life unhindered...unafraid...
is what I consider to be...
an essential Life Skill.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Home Schooling - Foreign Language Study - Japanese


Alex Practicing Japanese
(Ahchan is our nickname for him)


Learning a foreign language is, I believe, still a prerequisite
for many higher learning institutions.

While we have not been including much foreign language 
study in his curriculum...
we have now included it in his daily studies.

He will need it in his future...
he also wishes to visit Japan again.

It is also his wish to marry a Japanese girl from Japan one day...
although he is still too young to really consider marriage at all.

Still, if it will provide incentive for him to learn another language...
especially considering most of his ethnicity is Japanese 
(he is 75% Japanese)...
then it is for the good of his future that he has long range plans.

He is using a free language site called LiveMocha.


Although he is merely reciting what has been said and what the text says...
so long as he practices the usage of the correct phrases at the 
appropriate times...he will advance.

We will get more advanced programs for him later.

He can also practice with his mother at anytime.

This is a good starting site for anyone wishing to be introduced into 
a foreign language.

It is especially good to start it early on.

We shall be getting him Japanese books for children also.

This is a great way to learn as the Japanese children learn...
through level appropriate books.




Home Schooling - Free Supplemental K-6 Fun E-Learning


Song:  Hijo De La Luna

Artist:  Sarah Brightman


This is a similar set up as my previous article...except it is further in depth
and breadth.   


It is free for all to use to supplement while motivating children to learn.



(picture captured from their site)




Although Alex is far more advanced for most of these topics...
the Life Skills and some of the Health topics are still
of some interest to him.


(Alex's old laptop finally gave out...he really likes his new one)

Quote from Alex: "This is a really good site.  I really like it!"

He also sees the value of the site for younger children.

This touches upon various topics which help ignite 
curiosity in children while giving them fundamentals.

For much more in-depth study you could then transition them
into such programs as Plato or Thinkwell.

This is very useful for the establishment of study habits very early on
(the most important lesson to learn...
with this mastered...
all other things become possible).

It will help make learning fun...
which will give them the drive for the adventure
that learning is supposed to be.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Home Schooling - Academic Skill Builders For Young Children - Arcademics


Song:  Could It Be Magic
Original Composition:  Barry Manilow
Rendition By:  Take That



Just as upbeat and fun this rendition of Could It Be Magic is...
Learning can also be for young children.

The following link is to a free educational web site:


It was initially funded by...
the National Science Foundation...
to develop and test multi-player math programs for the classroom
(2009).

They have since expanded into Geography and Language Arts.

It has some 43 mini games that teach a particular concept.

The skill levels are for children from Preschool to the low Elementary School Level.

It is a fun way to build skill levels in the very young...
it also provides incentive to do well by giving immediate feedback...
as well as virtual peer status through ranked scores.

By starting as early as possible...
you'll be getting them used to concepts years ahead of their peers.

Most importantly...
it is a great way to have them get used to the habit of daily study.

This is one way of making learning exciting...
for, they, the young and impressionable.

With plenty of Positive Reinforcement when they do well in the exercises...
the stage will be set for their continued growth...
and for their love of learning.


Alex and the "Low Down on a High I.Q." - An I.Q. Test Question.


Song:  Rocket Man

Artist:  Elton John


My wife had looked at this article in Psychology Today (on line)...
read the Intelligence question, and tried to answer it.

Read this article up to the end of the question...
and try to answer it....
then read on.




It took her several minutes and she had to write down the relationships
and had to keep a running total...she finally got it.

She then had our son, Alex, go to her computer screen and read 
the first part of the article and then the question.

She said he just read the article up to the end of the question...
and then had answered it correctly...
all in about 30 seconds.

He hadn't written anything down.

My wife had asked how he had done it.

He said he just kept a tally of money lost or gained for each
as the question unfolded...
the ending total for each was the answer.

He had naturally simplified the question to only the necessary components.

He had done similar things all his life.

When he was in pre-school...
he was multiplying triple digit - double tiered math problems 
in his head in a few seconds.

We would play impromptu math games while we were driving places.

We would take turns asking each other similarly structured...
random numeral math problems
(such as 347 x 496 = ?)

He would sing out the answer in a few seconds...
and he would laugh at us because it always took us so long to answer
his problems.

We had asked him his involved thought process.

I realized he naturally thought how the book Mathemagic
tries to teach others to think.

We had never taught him this way.

We also didn't have to teach him Phonics.

He naturally saw the correlation of the sounds, as pronounced
by his Mother as she read to him (since birth)...
and the printed words he saw, as he followed with his finger 
(since before age 1)...
as she read.

Now, you may be asking yourself...
does this invalidate our teaching methods?

Such a child would do well regardless.
What we are doing is not necessarily the key to his growth!

Or even worse (you may be thinking)...
You are leading us down the wrong path!

No...

While he is definitely a strong strain...
a hardy and robust seed...
would even a robust seed grow in infertile ground?

It would, most certainly not grow, nearly so well,
as it would otherwise in a rich soil base...with plentiful watering...
 and lots of sun

  (an environment conducive to growth...
a lack of undue stress...
healthful habits (healthful diet/exercise/deep rest)...
plentiful amounts of academic stimuli
(advanced books / puzzles / concepts -
 explained through Parental involvement)...
consistent study habits...
structure in life...
Positive Reinforcement as a rule...
lots of affection and love).

There are many children out there who aren't reaching their potential
because, almost certainly, they are not being challenged enough in school.

With consistent Parental involvement after school...
 with conceptual explanations and advanced work...
so they may always be ahead of the class learning curve...
they will see learning as what it is meant to be...
wondrous....
exciting...
a true love.

This is the real strength of Home Schooling.

However, should that not be possible...
the next best thing is supplemental home schooling...
after school advanced work - everyday...
learning must be a daily occurrence...
smaller amounts on the weekends and summer...
daily nonetheless.  

Should they complain that none of the other kids are doing it...
explain to them that they are not trying to be like the others...
that is shooting for average...

an average attitude...
an average job...
an average life.


Explain that their life is to be extraordinary....
and that extraordinary efforts now... lead to...
extraordinary results throughout life...
which ultimately leads to being...
extraordinarily happy for life.

They are to live a charmed life...
not because of luck...
not because of fortune...
but because of a love of learning
engendered by their study habits
(give them the concept of Deferred Gratification vs. Hedonism)...
and because the key to true happiness lies in 
 living their life on a Positive Spiral.


Post script - You may have noticed I have not said how I had done
on the question....
I told you I am not nearly so intelligent as my son.  :)



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Home Schooling - Leisure Reading - Book Review by Alex


Song:  Bolero

Composed by:   Ravel

Rendition Conducted By:   Andre Rieu


This book review is by my son Alex.

It is from his blog.

He loves to write book, video game and movie reviews.




























































I cannot emphasize how very important reading is for children.

Should children be forced to concentrate on the words because of a lack
of practice with reading...they miss out on concepts and implied meanings.

Having to interrupt the natural flow of reading due to a lack of vocabulary...
as what happens when a child doesn't read enough...
soon becomes an exercise in frustration.

Anything that is frustrating...is not done willingly.

With plenty of books that are at their reading level...
and that are exciting to them...
they will soon pick up more words and meanings.

With more words at their disposal...
their reading level and fluency naturally increase.


Alex also really liked the book:  Les Miserables.

Although it was assigned reading (last year)...
he really liked it.

We try to introduce the classics for him to read...
in carefully measured portions.

We don't want reading to seem like a chore to him.

We always get great satisfaction when we hear him laughing
over a funny passage out of one of his leisure reading books.

I also love to hear him ask questions as to why characters...
in one of his books, had behaved in a certain manner.

We will often times discuss motives and human drives
as a direct result of his reading material.

Alex will sit next to his mother at the computer...
and pick out books to buy...with a glow on his face.

He awaits their arrival in the mail with great anticipation.

We know the importance of reading...
and so, we make everything as conducive to the enjoyment of
reading by ensuring he has a quiet and comfortable setting to
fully experience his books.

If at all possible...
try to set aside one special place just for him to read...
as reading is so important to his development.

Below gives an example of what we have done.

Alex's Library And Refuge

Alex loves reading because we have consciously structured
and reinforced his drive and love of learning through early
introduction and Positive Reinforcement throughout.

Through the association of great comfort during reading

(his Mother's constant reading to him while cuddling him
when he was a newborn...on to her reading to him...and he to her...
at bedtime ever since...as well as our ensuring his reading time is one of
peace... a quiet house...a cool temperature setting...
 a variety of comfortable sofas or chairs to lounge in)...

and of great praise when he finishes a book of more complexity
and with full comprehension of the presented material...
he associates reading with nothing but positive emotions.

With nothing but positive stimuli tied to a specific task...
there is a positive drive to repeat that task.

Give them every reason to love reading...
and they will read often.








Sunday, June 19, 2011

Alex's Blog II - A Father's Day Reminiscence


Video concept and images by:   Cristobal Vila

Song:   Often A Bird

Artist:   Wim Mertens


I rarely repeat videos in my blog...
however, this song is so much like my son, Alex.

This is my Father's Day special.


My wife called my attention to my son's Blog
(He has a private blog on Blogger)

He uses it as a sort of diary.

He has been busy lately...
free writing about events and interests.

These typify my son's speech and thought pattern.

I laughed when I started reading these...
these are so him.

Just reading this was a journey into my son's mind.

It was a great Father's day gift.



He wrote this in January 2011

His basic thrust here is that Feminism is not what many take it to be.

It is not about special treatment.

It is the notion that...
along with equal rights...
come equal responsibility.

I have to argue this point with adults.

Alex, at ten years old, fully grasps this concept.

Feminism is misnamed...
(too many believe Feminism is about putting Females first...
as the name would suggest)
it is in essence, Humanism...
a meritocracy...
fairness applies to all...
no matter the sex, race or other inane attributes.

If this is truly what Feminism is in today's world....
I would disagree with the name only.



This was written when he was caught conversing on an Algebra forum.

He was on a forum with much older people and some of his remarks were
not appropriate (we don't want him on a forum with adults).

He was talking about his scores and times.

He is still a child in many ways...
the others didn't know how young he was...
and so, thought he was acting...well...childish.

He was previously chastised for editing and contributing to Wikipedia.

Although he had good intentions...
he simply doesn't have the experience and maturity...
to write on sites for much older persons.

Sometimes when he gets upset...
he will write an article about his feelings.

Besides this being a positive release for him...
it allows him to practice his writing.




He loves to write product reviews.

His style of writing is as he talks...
it is so funny because I can just picture him speaking
as I read these.





He used a translation application which converted Hiragana (which he knows) to Kanji.




Ever sense he was very small...
he loved to write stories and instructional papers.


(He actually does math using Thinkwell...
he got confused because for all his other courses...
we use Plato)

Ah...the infamous Wikipedia case....
he was right...
he couldn't wait!

As I have previously stated in an earlier article...

Blogger is free...
and a great and interesting way
for children to practice their writing skills.


I shall be including more book reviews from Alex...
not so much to give you insight into the book...
but to give you insight 
into his wonderful and interesting mind.


As you can see...
he loves Home Schooling.

We love his progress with it.


Post note:

We have just come back from a late night showing of
Kung Fu Panda 2.

It is a great movie to take your children to see.

We had dinner, then went to the 10:00 PM showing...
a perfect ending to a great Father's Day.






Saturday, June 18, 2011

Home Schooling - Leisure Reading - Diary Of A Wimpy Kid




Song:   Safety Dance

Group:   Men Without Hats


Alex loves the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series.

Although he reads many advanced books...
he is still an innocent child in many ways.

Every so often, he likes to read light hearted
books with a comical theme.

He has seen two of the movies and has read many of the books.



The first movie he had seen at home.

He really enjoyed it.

He even enjoyed writing about it.

He had written a movie review as a writing assignment.



When the next movie came out a few months ago
(Dairy of a Wimpy Kid...Roderick Rules)
Alex said he wanted to see it at a movie theater.




I hadn't been to a movie theater for close to fifteen years...
I hate crowds.

However, my wife explained that we could go to the late showing
on a weekday (10:30 pm start time) and that it 
probably wouldn't be crowded at that time.




We were the only people there for that showing!


When we got out...
there were not even workers to be seen.

Now that is what I call going to the movies!

No crowds...
no noise...

Perfect!

We shall be going to the late shows from now on!

Alex enjoyed it...

I, of course, found it to be light hearted and a little silly...

but then again...
so is this posted song...
and I like it...
so...

I really cannot complain.




Friday, June 17, 2011

Combating Inattention / Hyperactivity / Impulsivity - My Journey


Song:   Comfortably Numb

Group:   Pink Floyd



Inattention / Hyperactivity / Impulsivity

Although these are some of the hallmarks of ADHD...

I was such a child...
along with Tourette's (numerous physical and verbal tics)
 and an especially high dose of daydreaming.

I hesitate to say Inattention only because
I was very much paying attention...
to my dream world.

Of course, I wasn't paying attention to the real world...
especially in school.

My grades were atrocious...
not only because I never paid attention
while in class...I also rarely did homework.

I am ashamed of my academic misadventures
earlier in life.

I was constantly plagued by physical sensitivities...
ex...tags on my shirts drove me nuts...
unless it were cool to cold in temp...
I would feel on the verge of passing out.

I was feeling overheated and constricted in class...
and for some reason...my feet were unbearably hot
(for awhile in High School...I went barefooted to school...
Bell Bottom Jeans were in...my feet were hidden by the bells).

I felt too enclosed sitting in the classrooms...
I had to constantly bite down...flex my toes...
clench my fists...or differing parts of my body...
just to distract myself from my surroundings.

In the meantime...my mind wandered...
to my inner world of great happiness...
a world where I explored and experienced
high adventure.

Very often...
I would entertain myself by just watching 
the movies of the mind.

Often times I would be watching a 
great comedy...I know I must have looked
strange to others when I would try to stifle a 
laugh in the middle of class...

or when I would reflexively jump
because in the movie...
I had reacted to being struck by an object.

Especially as a young child...
certain translucent colors would send me to
an inner world where I would be transfixed for hours...
only realizing it because the sun, which had been  
shining through it, had set.

It is what changed me part way through life, however....
that this article is focused on.

I was thirteen and in High School...
and although I had been in regular sports
for a few years...
it was only when I had begun to really train
with earnestness and true dedication in physical activities...
in which I had to bring up inner reserves to make it through 
the training... that I had seen any real changes come about.


I looked forward...while in High School...
and I realized that at my rate of achievement...
I was in real danger of failing to graduate.

Even then, I realized to fail at High School...
is to fail at life.

I started to grow up at that point.

I was involved in a very vigorous training regimen at the time
(after school)...
it was when I really started to take it seriously...
by looking at each training session as a life or death scenario...
and by also supplementing the training by Jogging before school...
that I started reaping the real benefits.

My physical sensitivities and Tourett's disappeared
with true training
 (although I was also at the age where it sometimes subsides naturally).


However, it was the real inner changes, in my mind...
that the training had helped so dramatically.

It was a time of high levels of Skill / Stamina / Endurance training...
along with a beautiful philosophical view of the world engendered
by my training,  that had started to change my life.


It doesn't matter the art form or sport...
so long as it is vigorous enough...
of such high intensity and for long enough time...
to leave the participant half dead from exhaustion.

There should be butterflies in the stomach before each training session...
in anticipation of the great growth you will achieve...
and of the great amount of pain and effort necessary to achieve it.

After each training session...
I felt as if I had died...
both, physically and psychologically...
as I was a new and better person coming out of it.

There must be partial dehydration...
from the intense and extended effort...
sweat must drench the clothes or uniform...
it is merely going through the motions otherwise.

It was when I had reached this level...
that the Physical / Mental / Emotional
all had become calm...
I could not only concentrate...
I had improved my whole outlook on the future.

The almost constant anxiety and physical discomfort had disappeared...

I had become...

Comfortably Numb.


Just as this song's lilting and floating rhythmical substructure...
it was how I had felt after training...
and it went on for days afterward...
(I usually trained every day...but in the event
of non training for vacations and such).

This allowed me to put things into perspective...
to not only concentrate on the here and now...
but to be able to look into the future with 
great anticipation at the adventures to come.

I knew enough of myself that I was still too immature
to go right into College...

I also knew I had to experience the adventures I had
always daydreamed about if I were ever to live without regret.



I, at seventeen, and two weeks out of High School...
went into the Army (Light Infantryman / Scout).




I had experienced many great things through the Army.

I simply loved Basic Training.

I loved the structure...
the plainly laid out goals...
the physical nature of it...
the plain high adventure to be had.

I had also learned the meaning of endurance.



Not only through our (Army) training
(especially the specialized military schools)...
I had started long distance running...
I had also run a full Marathon

(not jogged...but had run the whole way...
keeping just this side of deep nausea)

I had but two goals going into the Honolulu Marathon...

1:  To run the whole way without once stopping.

2:  To run it in under 3 hours and 30 minutes.

I did both...

Time at:  3 Hours and 25 minutes and 46 seconds.


After four years...
I got out and put myself through College.

Although, I was no stellar student by any means...
the fact that I graduated at all from a University...
considering what I was in High School...
astounded me.

I am now retired from a job that provides a good retirement.

I stuck it out...
I made it as fun as possible while at work...
I controlled my impulsive side through training.

Although, still now...
I can get impatient...
a little angry...
a little impulsive...

It usually only happens when...
for some reason...
I haven't trained for a while.


I had...
as a child...
a plethora of nervous energy.

ADHD?

Perhaps (unknown in the 60s and 70s)...

I had found a way to use it to further my life.

To have a surplus of energy is to be blessed.

All one needs is direction...
a positive outlet...
and the freedom to fly.

Without my discovery of how to use
my debilitating level of energy to good effect...
I would have, no doubt, essentially dropped out of life.

Life is now sweet because of my training...
and the balance it has given me.

The key is not just a modicum of physical training...
there must be an appropriate level of intensity to it 
to bring about the positive changes.

Very few sports are practiced to that level that aren't combative 
in nature.

There must be at least one to one and a half hours of 
almost constant physical activity...
where the sweat drenches the body...
the heart pounds in the chest...
the breathing is full and deep.

They must push themselves to just this side of nausea

(the greatest training effect is gotten at this point...
go to the intensity of nausea...back off slightly...
maintain for at least one hour).

to reap the positive effects.


As the body adapts...the bar is set higher...
as conditioning greatly extends the endurance.

By going to just this side of nausea...
the intensity level is self regulating.


The Physical greatly affects the Intellectual and Emotional.

Ensure your child is not deficient in the physical conditioning
aspect of his life.

Whether it is to help him regulate an abundance of physical energy
 to help him focus his mind...
or if it is to help him build his energy levels to that of the gods...

Correct Physical training is the key...

I know...
from life experience.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life In Profile - Fiona Barnes: Inside View Of Asperger's (Autistic Spectrum)


Video:  What Is Asperger's Syndrome?

Video By:  Fiona Barnes


I had first learned of Fiona Barnes' existence about a year ago
when I first learned of her Forum...
and I have since been a participant in it.


I was impressed with the overall thrust of her forum.

It is a place where those on the spectrum...
and those who are not...
may gather and discuss...
to not just support and give an avenue of emotional release...
but to give a way for people to learn about the condition...
and how to better themselves through advice given and taken...
for both, those whom are of the Spectrum...
and of those whom are not.

Her Forum offers a safe haven for those on the spectrum...
as she, and others, moderate it through respect given...
and through respect expected by all of its members.


Video:   People Who Use Asperger's As An Excuse

Video By:   Fiona Barnes


What I had found so refreshing about her, was her...
quite clear sensibilities...her common sense approach...
combined with her great sense of compassion and gracious style.

As she has Asperger's...
she offers a unique view from the inside.

She makes no bones about it...
she pulls no punches...
she tells it how it is.

Just as there are differences among people
who are not on the spectrum...
there are differences among those who are.

What I get from her central message...
is that each person...
regardless of condition...
is not only worthy of basic human respect...
each is an individual to be treated as such...
measured by their actions and inactions...
and not by any societal stereotype.

She does not espouse special treatment because of 
any condition...neither for...nor against....
just to the true needs and merits of the individual.


Video:  Asperger's Being Bigoted Against Neurotypicals

Video By:  Fiona Barnes


Through her numerous videos...
she attempts to educate people on both sides...
as to the condition...to allow those on the spectrum...
to be viewed through the eyes of true brotherhood...
and to view, equally as much, the rest of the world.


She has a Web page:



Her Twitter page:



Her YouTube Page:



Should you be in the Autistic Spectrum...
or know anyone on it...

I highly recommend Fiona Barnes...
in all of her differing methods of reaching out...
(Videos - YouTube / Forum / Twitter / Web Page)

She is a very open individual...
very honest and forth coming.

Her maturity is rare in someone so young.

Through her clear vision into the human condition...
into the hearts of those with Asperger's...
from the mind of someone with Asperger's...

a deeper understanding into the condition comes about
 through her self knowledge...
and so...her knowledge of others.

Her actions...driven by a heart of true compassion...
and guided by a strong sense of correct reasoning...
lead all those who are touched by her...
to have a greater understanding of those in the Spectrum...
and of those in the Spectrum to themselves and the rest of the world.

She does all of this, not only without pay...
but at an expense to herself...
both monetarily...
and in time and energy.

She saw a need to be filled...
a calling to be heard...
she answered.


She attempts to...

 strengthen the weak...
 embolden the timid...
 educate the ignorant...
prepare the unprepared...

all with the grace and heart of

a leader of honor...
of times long ago...
an age of chivalry...
a queen of yore.






Friday, June 10, 2011

Alex's First Karate Tournament




Song:  Learning To Fly

Group:  Pink Floyd




Alex's first tournament.

He had participated in the Kata (forms) competition.

I actually hadn't pushed him to do it.
He said he wanted to do it...
he said he wasn't nervous...
either before, or, during the competition.

Although it was a small category he was in...
and he had gotten second place (only 2 competitors)...
it was still a learning and growing experience for him.

He did well...
yes, in physical performance...
as I knew he would...
(I had him do 25 Katas a day at home 
to fine tune it 10 days before the tournament)

however...
it was his mature attitude...
 his performance under the loud music that was playing...
and him having to perform in front of a crowd...
which he had done masterfully...
that had made me so happy.

His mother, and I, were very nervous before the competition...
we just wanted him to have a good experience.

He felt good about the whole experience and had said that
he wished to do it again.




Video:  Alex's First Karate Tournament

He has gotten more coordinated due to his training...
loves the structure, exercise, discipline and his progression
in something he enjoys very much.


Seeing his maturity...
takes away one worry...
and adds another.

He is spreading his wings...
he is learning to fly.

While it is every parent's dream to have them 
be fully able to do so...
it is also portends of his... 
too soon to come... 
flight from the nest.

We have but another 10 years or so of preparation
before he takes flight...

We will miss him so...
but we wouldn't trade his happiness for ours...
and so, all we can do is fully enjoy our time with him
as much as possible while we can.

All we can do is keep adding strong feathers to his wings...
with our knowledge and life skills...
and perhaps... 

end up living near enough to his nest...
 so we could visit every so often  :)
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