March 10, 2012
I write about it in “It Takes a Village“.
After realizing that we would have to come up with a plan to finance the next version of Arithmetic Village. We decided to apply to Kickstarter and we were accepted!
Kickstarter is a crowd funding online community full of very artsy movies, artsy projects, ideas and books. It’s very hip, it’s very young. I know that I am a middle-aged, mother of three, educator, and none of those adjectives are hip. In fact I know the word hip is not hip, but I have no idea what the new words are my teenagers wont share them with me. (it’s just wrong, they say).
I know my audience for the Arithmetic Village project, a sweet old-fashioned positive, playful introduction to math concepts, books and iPad applications might be laughed at by the other campaigners. When you are young and in your twenties, the last thing you are thinking about is math programs. This means I will have to educate a new demographic about crowd-funding. The busy parents, home-schoolers, educators who are just surviving day-to-day. My plan is to teach them something new, something hip. Just think, I can pave the way to creatively fund the fabulous projects of millions of other stay-at-home moms and educators!
It is so exciting, so inspiring to be a part of this new way of being, please have a look at our Kickstarter campaign and please help spread the word!
October 8, 2010
I think I need to repeat that… I’VE JUST DECLINED AN OFFER FROM A PUBLISHER! Wasn’t that the goal? Wasn’t that the whole entire reason I started this blog from the beginning? Didn’t I spend years trying to get a publisher, before deciding to self publish? What am I thinking!?
Some information that you might need to know…
- The publisher is South Korean.
- The books would need to be translated. (Rhyme is one of the main components in Arithmetic Village- Using a right brain activity for a left brain function and I’m not sure this could be recreated with the translation.)
- The transaction would be handled by my amazing South Korean illustrator and the contract would not be in English.(I would have no way to know what I was selling and what the terms were, except through the illustrator and unless I had it translatedand brought to a lawyer.) Read the rest of this entry »
September 6, 2010
The web site is up, the activities are ready, the videos are loaded, the books are ready to order! Really. Ready or not, here comes Arithmetic Village.com !
August 29, 2010
The good new is – you can order ¨Arithmetic Village¨ online on amazon now! The bad news is the photos aren’t up. The good news is – you can order the books though me much cheaper. The bad news is – it is impossible to sign them. The good news is – if I signed them they would be a collector’s item. The bad news is – there are two glaring typos (one in Arithmetic Village and one on the back cover of King David). The good news is we are fixing them. The bad news is – I have a debilitating inner ear infection. The good news is – I am recovering.
My goal is for everything to be working well (including me) the first day of spring, September 1st. Now, that would be really good news!
August 27, 2010
As I approached the door, I could hear ¨Kim’s here! Kim’s here!” My ego wanted to take all of the credit for this enthusiasm, but I knew that “Kim here!” meant we get to have a PARTY! It was the last day for Arithmetic Village and a great celebration was planned.
Everyone was dressed up. The teacher was a fairy, three children were King David, one child was Tina Times, one child was Polly Plus, one child was Linus Minus, one child was a villager, and one child was Rover.
The children went outside and the teacher and I prepared the room. We set up the desks like a long table and decorated with lovely cloths and flowers. Each childs treasure chest was on their plate. A special store was set up. It had lots of mystery boxes, food and goodies.
When we opened the doors and the children floated in, the boys in front said, ever so softly, “Awesome…” I could have died and went to heaven right then, for when you can get a couple of eight year old boys to walk into a room filled with pretty materials and flowers and get an awesome, you know that you are standing in the middle of a miracle.
August 20, 2010
My keyboard is covered with chocolate finger prints, my jeans are tight and the tedious process of documenting 25 activities is now finished. Well, the rough drafts are done and going to my friend to edit. I am now calling them “activities¨. That and “vague ideas” and ”suggestions”. The idea that one single person can create an entire curriculum is absurd. Another reason it takes a VILLAGE…
August 11, 2010
¨How much do you love me?¨ I asked James.
¨More than all the grains of sand and the clouds in the sky etc. ¨ he answered.
¨Good, I want you do something for me on Monday….¨
The home school tutor suggested we mix things up this week, and I was happy because the school room is limited for space for large games, and setting up plays with the allotted time slot is difficult.
So, James graciously agreed to come and read King David Divide.
Here he is reading the story with his handsome British accent..
August 6, 2010
I don know why, but yesterday, I didn’t want to go to the home school to help with Tina Times. I wanted to do nothing. I wanted to sit in the coffee shop and talk about life with my friends. I didn’t want to walk up the muddy path to the little school in the dreary rain. I was ready. I was wearing red (color associated with Tina) I had a lesson plan. I liked the lesson plan. But I didn’t want to go.
But I did.
And when I came to the door, the teacher was already reading. And the kids turned around. And they smiled. I relaxed fully and suddenly, there was nowhere else I would rather be.
July 29, 2010
So, I take it back.
I actually do work well with others. In fact, I learn a lot from them and am very good at sharing.
Helping out with arithmetic village today at the home school was a Blast! The teacher is so incredibly amazing. She read Linus Minus then made up a whole different story afterwards about Linus going to one of the children’s birthday parties. The children followed along with the jewels in front of them working out each equation. They laughed as Linus kept loosing jewels in the car, his mothers pocket, on the swings.
It made me reflect and get excited about our on-line village for parents and teachers to share ideas! I was inspired to run quickly down to the beach to do a little beach math video for the site just to start it out. I know more ideas will emerge.
So, today,I digress. I work with others and firmly believe that we are all smarter collectively!
July 25, 2010
Arithmetic Village has been a long time coming. I held the idea for years. It wasnt until Zuva was 4 months old and a writing workshop that a facilitator looked me in the eye and asked, ¨Are you ever going to do this? (pause) I mean, really do this?¨.
I hesitated, knowing that if I committed to this project out loud, I would have to follow through. (I like my freedom – following through is not my specialty.)
I answered her a solemn but clear - ¨yes.¨ The group cheered. A young man named David demanded to be king.
I started to write. Writing mostly right before bed, during bed (pen and paper on nightstand helped), in the early morning and while driving. After 4 months, I had first drafts. Another 4 months was spent refining.
I had encouragement along the way, one person, who was planning a sailing trip with her two daughters whom she would home school (or boat school), insisted I finish before she left. I was so charmed by her demand I took it as a challenge and finished a set of dummies before she set sail.
The enormity of the whole vision of arithmetic Village was (and is) overwhelming. After a year of focus just on the books, I was feeling exasperated by the project one day and I asked my partner, James, “Do you think I will ever finish this project?”.
It was supposed to be a rhetorical question. I wanted reassurance. If he had a script, he would say, “Of course darling, it is destined”. But he didn’t have a script. He had honesty.
He looked me in the eye and said ¨no¨.
That comment rocked my world (in an un-good way). I almost walked out. Really. I agonized over this answer. How could I be with someone who does not believe in me? I thought his job was at the very least to be a cheerleader. (although English men have little knowledge of such a thing.)
He went on to explain he was projecting his own doubt. blah blah blah. In the end, I decided that it was not about him, it was about me. I needed to toughen up, get my act together and finally finish something that I started.
The thing is, in publishing, it is not that cut and dry. You can say you are a writer and you can actually write books, but until a publisher gives you a contract you are officially considered delusional. So I submitted. I learned to query. I listened. I followed directions.
And waited. I researched. I waited. I sent. I waited.
After another year, I regrouped and hired a life coach to keep me on track. We made a plan. I stuck to it. The publisher’s didn´t. I provided workshops, I wrote lesson plans. I started this blog.
Barefoot books sent me the most wonderful rejection after sitting on it for one year. Scholastic sent me a lovely note after shortlisting my unsolicited query.
Will this ever happen?”- ¨no.¨
My real author friend, Tanya Batt encouraged me to host some workshops at her story center. I took her up on it. The children loved, it which was a relief. So with more confidence I submitted.
After a while I decided that there were two choices: continue to query or self publish. I chose to self publish. ¨It will be easy!¨ I thought, and planned on getting the books out before Christmas 09.
Well, learning to self publish, hire an illustrator, learn about layout, costing, web sites, social media etc. took six months longer than I thought.
In few days, we will have all five books. In the end, James was my technical guru and project manager. He can even almost cheerlead a bit. He is at times, more excited than I.
I am glad I kept him. We are a team. James, Narae, Sharon, Lightning Source, friends, family, teachers and children and all working together. I couldn’t do it, James was right, but we could. It takes more than one person to form a village. It was a long (almost four-year long) road to that realization.