Believography: Blog en-us (C) Believography (Believography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:42:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:42:00 GMT Believography: Blog 120 120 Writing a College Application or Scholarship Essay


Unsure of how to get started on your college essays? Let me haven't even started writing because you have no idea what to say and it's easier to avoid it. Yep...I understand. Been there. 


But! Check this out! This is a cool website and essay tool that just came out: Story2. It walks you through the essay writing process, step by step.


Make sure to type the stuff they ask you into the boxes. As you progress along, they'll help generate your story from what you've told them. There's even a point where they ask you to record your story by talking it out loud (You may need a webcam for that part. My computer has one so I'm not sure if you can do it without one...try it and see.). After you record your story out loud, they ask you to transcribe it and type it into the box verbatim (word-for-word). BUT...if you're not a fast typist or that task seems daunting, just click the box that asks them to transcribe it for you. They'll do it and email it to you! How cool is that?!


It doesn't stop there. They walk you through the refining process, have you write several options of story lines, then put them in front of you so you can see them and choose the best one. Really great stuff!


Here's the information I received in my email so I'm sharing it with you. Simply sign up using the link below and make sure to use the code. If you get to work quickly, you could submit your essay for them to review for FREE! (If you miss being one of the first 100 essays, don't pay if they offer to charge you. Instead, find a respected counselor, teacher, or friend, and have them look over it for you.) 


You should be filling out college applications and submitting scholarships now! So now is the perfect time! Get started on the college and scholarship essays early! Then share with other readers. What are some of the story lines you came up with? Post your story lines in the comments below and share with others so you guys can help each other with ideas.


Here's the link and information: 


We've got some big news to share. You might have heard we just launched Story2, an online toolkit that teaches students how to tell their stories to stand out in the college admissions process. And we'd like to share this resource with you for free.

What to do:

Sign up! Here's a registration code you can use and share: VOICE2014

PS: We will review the first 100 essays submitted for free! 

Thank you!

Jack and the Story2 Team

]]> (Believography) College High School college application essays scholarships Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:35:37 GMT
Broaden your Horizons...Visit a Museum (for FREE!) Degas ballerina Museum Day Live...sponsored by the Smithsonian


Smithsonian Museums are free...but not all of us live in Washington D.C. so we can go visit them. So...once a year, the Smithsonian helps make it possible for people all over the United States to visit a museum (or two or three) for free.


All you need to do is go here: Museum Day Live  Find a museum you'd like to visit. Then go to the Tickets tab, register for an account (or sign in if you already have one), click on "request tickets", then filter the tickets by state and choose the museum you want. You will receive 2 free tickets. Some museums allow you to show them the tickets on your phone so you don't even have to print them out.


Rembrandt self-portrait Visiting museums and talking about the art with others was the way I ended up acing my Art Appreciation class in college. Being close enough to touch the art (but not doing that, of course, because touching is often off limits in a museum!) created much more vivid memories for me. When the tests came around, I didn't have to search my memory for the different flash cards I'd memorized. Instead, my mind immediately went to the innocent, delicate, and childlike Degas ballerina I saw...or the funny Rembrandt self portrait that made me chuckle...or the soothing and relaxing water lilies by Monet that I saw. Granted, it definitely helped that my professors made us choose different pieces and write about them. But, I would say having a discussion about them with someone about what it looks like, what materials might have been used, how it makes you feel...that kind of stuff...can do a lot to solidify those memories much better than flash cards ever will!


If you can't get out today, in Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Art is now free all of the time. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is free, too (and they have a GREAT gift shop!). 


Take advantage of some that cost today and enjoy the free ones later! 




Monet Water Lilies

]]> (Believography) Activities Free Museums Sat, 27 Sep 2014 14:14:13 GMT
Getting More Scholarship Money!!

"I'm afraid I won't have enough money to go to college." 


Ever hear that? Have you said it? 


Here's the deal...there is money that is not being accessed and YOU need to take advantage of that! will not drop on your doorstep. You do have to do a little work. But check this out...


A freshman at TWU explained to me yesterday (September 21, 2014) that she was in the top 10% of her graduating class. Her best friend called her to tell her there is a scholarship for top 10% students. She told him she didn't have time to do it. She had to study. He kept calling until she finally said, "Fine! I'll do it!" He even emailed her a letter (which I'm giving you right here!) that she could send to her financial aid advisor to see if she qualified. It took her all of about 3 minutes. The very next day her counselor emailed back and said her award letter had been corrected and they added $1000 to her financial aid package! ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!


How many of you have made $1000 in 3 minutes??? I know I haven't...and, more than likely, never will! 


The student who told me this still needs to pay $2600 per semester. She worked 40 hours a week for an entire summer and earned about $2000. Yet, with a 3 minute email, she was able to get $1000. 


Even if you're not in the top 10%, colleges may have some extra money. Now is the time to go visit your financial aid counselor and see! It never hurts to ask...and if 3 minutes...or even 30...can result in $500, $1000, or more, it will be the easiest money you ever make!


Letter to Financial Aid Advisor

To: FinAid

Subject: Top 10% scholarship


Hello, this is Jane Doe (School ID: 1111111).


I have questions concerning the top 10% scholarship. I was wondering why I did not receive that scholarship. I attended high school here in Texas and graduated top 10% of my class at (Name of School) High School.


I appreciate your help in advance, thank you. I hope to hear back from you soon.


]]> (Believography) financial aid money for college scholarships Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:32:26 GMT
Creating a Homework Habit

Needing something to help your child (or yourself!) with that dreaded (for both parent and child) homework/work time? Think about creating a Homework Habit.

Read the full article here:
Creating a Homework Habit

What are the take aways from this?

  • "Create a 'homework habit' by scheduling 10 minutes a day per grade on weekdays that will always be spent on homework or, if there is no homework or homework is finished early, on reading."
  • "Homework isn’t a punishment." Homework creates a structured, undisturbed time for learning that your child will be able to use throughout life and on into college.
  • Parents need to step back from focusing on the outcome — the completed, corrected assignment — and focus on the effort.” Help your child by helping them realize they can do the work themselves.
  • "Set[s] a timer. And then — and this is key — when the time is up, if the homework isn’t done, you tell your child to close the books and walk away. This creates a sense of purpose for the time frame you've, it creates a sense of life balance as your child begins learning that work, work, work is not the only part of life (though, I would say, our society tries more and more to teach us it is.).
The Learning Habit: A Groundbreaking Approach to Homework and Parenting that Helps Our Children Succeed in School and Life 
by: Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman (Author), Rebecca Jackson (Author), Robert Pressman (Author)
Note: This does not just apply to homework and is not just for elementary children. The same can apply to college students, adults who take work home, or adults in college. Undistracted, limited time frame moments to get things done could be helpful to us all. 
(Making a mental note of this to myself!)



]]> (Believography) homework study skills time management Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:15:00 GMT
Paying off Student Loans  

Are you avoiding your student loans? Do you feel like you just don't have the money to pay them right now? Or, if you're paying on them, do you feel like they never decrease?


Though companies will often accommodate you and allow you to keep deferring your loan, don't be fooled. They are not doing this to help you! While you defer your loan, they continue to add interest to for every month you don't pay, they know they will end up getting more and more money out of you! When you finally start deciding you can pay a little toward it, paying the minimum balance is often just paying the interest that is accumulating each month (and you're not even doing anything to pay down your student loan!).


This video lays it all out and shows you how those loans are affecting you and how you can start getting rid of your student loans and regain your freedom to spend your money how you want! It's going to take some hard work and dedication...but I know it's possible and I know you can do it! Little sacrifices each day can make a BIG difference!


]]> (Believography) college debt student loan Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:37:59 GMT
College Application Fee Waivers High School Seniors (and some Juniors)!! Very important!!

Seniors!! If you took the SAT last year, you will receive four (4)...just FOUR!!! application fee waivers! That means that if you apply to 5, 6, 7, or 10 colleges, you will NOT get fee waivers for any over four (unless the colleges themselves decide to waive your fees...which is a whole different entry). My suggestion...begin thinking now(!) about the top FOUR colleges you want to attend (1 safety, 2 target, and 1 reach school).


There is no need to apply to a bunch of colleges and spend money you could use for college expenses. Save your money! You'll need it for books, food, and all kinds of other unexpected expenses in college next year. (And if your parents or others want to pay the money for the extra application fees, gladly accept their money and put it in a savings account so you'll have extra food and supplies next year. That $40 can go a long way!


Here is the email I received about the College Board process:

New method for providing fee waivers for college admissions applications!! The College Board will now provide 4 admissions fee waivers directly to students who took the SAT/Subject Tests and used a test fee waiver. These waivers can be used at participating colleges and on the Common Application.
Students will receive correspondence directly to them starting now that will provide the instructions about how to access and use the waivers. The Frequently Asked Questions ( document contains excellent information about the process. A few waivers will still be sent to school counselors this year as well. Students do not need the approval from a counselor to use the waivers provided to them. They will need to check the Participating Colleges listing to verify that the colleges they are applying to accept these waivers. The waivers can also be used by students using the Common Application with a few additional steps.
If students are using the testing fee waivers as juniors, they will receive their four college application waivers at the beginning of their senior year.
]]> (Believography) college application fee waivers high school seniors Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:15:00 GMT
Homework Help School is back in session...

The professor goes over something quickly in class, assigns it, and lets you out of class early. Once you get back to your room, you sit down to do that easy assignment and then....

Wait!! None of this makes sense!! How the heck am I supposed to do this?? (call friend #1, #2, and #3...nope...they don't get it either).

But there's hope...and help! Watch the video and learn how you can get the help you need!

]]> (Believography) homework tutoring Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:50:54 GMT
Create Nativities with your Kids Just about every place from November through December has Christmas music playing, but does every place have nativities?? ...I mean LOTS of nativities!


A friend invited me to attend a Christmas sing-a-long this weekend. An added treat were the 700-800 nativities set up so we could enjoy the music while walking through.


Other than enjoying the discovery of nativities from Japan, Bolivia, Africa, and places all over the globe, I also ran across some homemade ones that made me smile. I immediately thought about how fun it would be to create nativities at home with the kids.


Check these out and see what you can do with your kids. Post your results to our Facebook page. We'd love to see them!


popsicle nativityDSC_0598

Popsicle nativity with soap-carved characters


felt and wood nativityDSC_0599

Wood block nativity with handmade felt characters


spices nativityDSC_0600

My favorite: Spices nativity


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to

WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) Christmas activities for kids nativity things to do with my child Mon, 03 Dec 2012 04:12:08 GMT
Klyde Warren Park is a great greenspace for kids!


Since today was a little warmer than yesterday, I decided I'd run down to the grand opening of the Klyde Warren Park for a bit. 


My first clue that I was going to enjoy myself was seeing two whole streets of food trucks. (Food trucks make me very happy!) I do believe that every food truck we have in Dallas was there. I decided to walk through the food trucks to survey what I wanted to eat, get to the end of the park, and make my way back up. 


I walked to the end opposite of the stage and kids' play area. I watched kids playing mini-golf, older people in all-white playing croque, volunteers teaching people to play petanque, a volunteer manning a cart so you could check out mini-golf clubs and balls, people sitting and chatting in the lime green chairs I assume will always be available at the park, people enjoying the mini-dog park within the park, and so much more.


While I was there this afternoon, I learned to play Petanque, a french version of Bocce Ball. The volunteer there taught me how to play...and then I got beat by a 9-year old. Evidently, there's a Pentanque club in Farmer's Branch. They're going to be playing Petanque every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm in Klyde Warren Park...and again on Tuesday evenings. They're doing it throughout the month of November in hopes of generating enough interest to spin off a new Dallas branch. The 9-year old I played against absolutely loved the game. I'm sure it would be great fun for other kids as well.



So what all can you do at the new Klyde Warren Park? Well, if the daily and weekend activities are anything like they were today, you can count on: 

  • croque
  • badminton
  • miniature golf
  • petanque
  • kids playground
  • dog park area


Follow the Klyde Warren Park on Facebook and keep up with their latest happenings.


For any moms (or dads) out there, you might also be interested in the FREE (yes, FREE!) boot camp that they'll be offering every Monday at 5:30 pm. Bring a set of medium-weight dumbbells (optional), a small towel, and water...and join in!


The park supposedly has wifi (I didn't get to check that out, but plan to at some point). Tonight at 8:00 they had a movie screening of Midnight in Paris. I'm sure there will be many more family-friendly as well as primarily adult events. In fact, I'm really looking forward to...and can't wait for...those.


It's a great park and makes me think of all of the other great parks and green spaces I've encountered in New York, Boston, and other cities. It's a great addition to Dallas!

]]> (Believography) Klyde Warren Park activities for kids things to do with my child weekend activities for kids Mon, 29 Oct 2012 03:51:40 GMT
Books for Kids (and adults): The Dot, by Peter Reynolds


The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, is one of my favorite children's books (you'll probably hear me say that a lot...because I always find a new "favorite"). When a friend introduced me to it, I absolutely fell in love. I'm sure you can see from watching it why I love it so much...but just in case, I'll explain my rationale. 


The Dot is a book about a little girl, Vashti, who doesn't feel like she has anything to offer. She's void of ideas (aren't we all at some point?!). The great thing is that this little girl has an adult in her life who challenges her to see herself differently. Her teacher looks for what she can do instead of focusing on what she can't. It inspires Vashti and, in the end, that confidence and encouragement leads her to inspire others. The Dot is great with kids or as an inspirational message to yourself. 


One of my personal mantras is "believe in others until they can believe in themselves." Someone did that for me. I want to return the favor. It's a great message for kids; it's a great message for people who have or work with kids. It's part of the reason I started Believography.


Just the other day I discovered a whole new aspect of The Dot. There's an entire day dedicated to The Dot! It's called International Dot Day. It has already passed for this year, but you and your kids can look at all of the inspirational dots on the International Dot Day website and practice up for next year. They even have a Facebook page so you don't miss the next International Dot Day and a CelibriDot website so you can see what other celebrities have done as they were inspired by The Dot. If you're like me, you want to do things like this with your kids whether or not it's the right day and you like figuring out ways to access different activities. If you go to the Get Started area of their website, you can sign up for the Educator's Handbook. (my personal recommendation is just to act like a teacher and think of your kids as your students so you can get the free guide. Now that I've downloaded it, though, you may possibly be able to get the guide directly by clicking on the Educator's Handbook link). The guide has all kinds of cool activities that you can do with your kids around art and dots. How fun! 


You might want to be like Maryann Molishus (one of the teachers mentioned in the Educator's Handbook, and find people in your community who are making a difference and give them an award certificate designed by your kids. Or maybe you want to have a Dot party and have everyone create their own dot and sign it as they walk in. One of the party activities could be to let people have a piece of large paper and paint so they can paint dots however they'd like. Or maybe you have a large "dot" wall where kids (or adults) can paint dots (on table paper attached to the wall, of course). Maybe you want to create a group dot with your family or with the neighborhood kids. There are lots of possibilities. Download the book and get more ideas! 


Here's an awesome video by the author, Peter Reynolds: 


It's a great video to watch with your kids to let them know that even real artists and authors have moments they need to be inspired by someone else.


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) activities for kids books for kids things to do with my child Tue, 23 Oct 2012 22:38:11 GMT
Things to do with your kids: Create comic strips comic strip creator, art for kids


Technology can be so helpful!


If you have a child who is always trying to create cartoon characters or comic strips, here's a free way to encourage their creativity and actually produce comic strips that can be printed out.


Use this one for younger kids or even for older kids to get used to creating comic strips online: ReadWriteThink


Use this one for older kids or for kids who would like to develop the comic strip in more detail: Pixton


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) art for kids comic strips Tue, 02 Oct 2012 15:15:00 GMT
Art for Kids: Tracing Shadows  

Ever wondered what activity you can give your child to keep them busy while you're doing something else? ...or maybe you're walking through the park and want to make it a meaningful and memorable time with you and your kids rather than saying, "Go play." 


How about tracing shadows?!


I read this Tracing Shadows article in the New York Times. You may have to register in order to see it, but I think you can get up to 20 articles per month free if you aren't already subscribed to the Times.


I love the thought of viewing the world differently. I love the thought of taking my kids someplace to look at what the rest of the world doesn't pay attention to...and then capturing it so that people pay attention. All it takes to do that (in this case) are some pieces of chalk, easily purchased at the dollar store. Then take off and see what you come up with. Draw outlines of parked bicycles, street signs, people, trees... discover patterns from trellises, windows, chairs...  The more you look, I'm sure the more you'll find.


I would love to see what you and your child do with it. As soon as I do it, I'll post my own pictures. If you try this out, take some pictures of your masterpieces and post them to our Facebook Page


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) art for kids things to do with my child Fri, 28 Sep 2012 13:15:00 GMT
Activities for Kids: Join the Cardboard Challenge on October 6


I ran after-school and summer programs for 14 years. The after-school program I ran started in my apartment. I lived in an apartment complex in a low-income community. When I got home from work, kids would come over and hang out. I knew some of the kids struggled with basic reading, writing, and math skills. Yet at my house, they flourished. I didn't do much traditional learning. Instead, I provided writing tools, computer programs, and educational toys. We spent time together. 


After spending time with the kids, I felt the need to go back to school. I wanted to be able to teach some of them how to read. I never did figure out the "silver bullet" of teaching kids how to read. What I did figure out, though, was that the experiential learning that I was already doing was providing a strong foundation for kids. It wasn't the foundation of literacy and direct learning. It was the foundation that provided social skills, knowledge, and an educated voice for them to converse with others. Seventeen years later, many of those kids are either in or graduated from college. 


Watch the video above. Around the 5:50 mark is one of my favorite quotes: "The idea is not only to give the kids the tools to build the things that they can imagine, but to also imagine the world that they can build."


You have the opportunity to inspire that creativity as well. On October 6 people all over the world will come together to have their own cardboard challenges. So far there's only one in the Dallas area. It's in Plano on October 6 at 2:00. You can join it by going here to RSVP...or register to have your own neighborhood event at Unfortunately I will be out of town that weekend or I would host my own. Since I can't, I would love to see photos and videos of what you end up doing with your kids in your neighborhood. Share them on our Facebook page and/or leave comments here.


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) activities for kids engineering for kids imagination things to do with my child Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:15:00 GMT
INSPIRATION: Engineering for Kids

FACT: Kids are naturally creative, innovative, and ahead of their time.


FACT: We live in a world that depends on creativity, innovation, and people who are thinking of the next greatest thing.


I'm sure many of you have creative kids as well. What are they doing? We'd love to know so other parents can think of creative ways to encourage their kids. Share them with us here...


(Then stay tuned for a creative way to engage your kids in the next blog post!)


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) activities for kids creativity for kids engineering for kids imagination problem solving Sun, 23 Sep 2012 22:32:41 GMT
Things to do with your kids for $0: Playpods


You've probably heard (and maybe even said), "When I was a kid, we were entertained by a cardboard box!" 


Here's some, today, can still be entertained by a cardboard box (or two or three). When I saw the above video about Playpods, I fell in love with the idea. How cool would it be to take an entire storage unit of "stuff" and let kids explore, create, and imagine? Watch the video and notice how the kids are entertained for what could probably be hours! Why??


I'll let you in on a little secret (that really shouldn't be kept such a great secret). For some reason (actually, the reason was Industrialization...but I'll save that for a different day), our schools became little manufacturing centers. Because schools were designed that way and we were all educated that way, that's how we think about education. It has it's place, I suppose. In today's world, our kids need creativity and imagination. They need to be able to think about things differently. 


Try this out. Hand your child a math worksheet. It can be simple addition, multiplication tables, whatever. Notice what happens when they finish. They'll come back to you and ask what's next. Or, if they struggle, they often immediately ask for help...because they know you know the answer. They know the goal of the worksheet is to get the "right" answer.


Now...provide them a bunch of "things." For this activity, let's say a whole package of straws...maybe some rubberbands...maybe a few paperclips. Challenge your child to create the tallest structure he/she can possibly create, without it toppling over. Once your child gets used to this you can do other things. Pull out different pots, pans, wooden spoons, etc. and challenge your child to create a city. After a while, you probably won't have to provide the challenges. My guess would be your child might begin asking you, "Mom, do you have some ribbons, tape, and scissors?" Their creativity and imagination takes over. Once that happens, kids can be content for long periods of time.


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) entertainment for kids free things to do with kids imagination problem solving recycling things to do with my child Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:00:00 GMT
Art for Kids: How to Draw Wimpy Kid


If your kids are like I was, I loved to seeing how things were made. I loved my Grammy's ChildCraft books because they showed pictures of how crayons were made. I loved those step-by-step art books that showed me how to draw a face...or a dog...or anything else. These days, we're way beyond looking at individual pictures. That's so last millenium! Now we can see things in action.


So, if your child likes Wimpy Kid (Is there a child who doesn't??) and your child likes drawing, he/she might like watching this video and trying their hand at drawing their own Wimpy Kid. Maybe you guys can each draw your own and create a family of characters. Here's a more step-by-step version: How to draw Wimpy Kid.


Challenge your child to create their own comic strip. Take it one step further and have them create their own cartoon character and produce a how-to video for youtube. We'd love to see it if they do! Let us know the link and we'll spotlight your child here. Or, take a picture of their comic strip and post it to our Facebook page so we can get your talented artist some exposure! 


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) art for kids books for kids things to do with my child Tue, 18 Sep 2012 14:30:00 GMT
There's more to life than standardized tests


Have you ever had that sinking feeling that your child may not pass the upcoming standardized test? A parent once shared that she knew her 7-year old would do just fine but was really concerned that her 3-year old wouldn't pass the test. My eyes probably got wide and my jaw probably dropped. You're worried about that...when he's only 3-years old?! 


The sad reality is that parents are worried. Kids are, too. Everyone wants to do well on what's been deemed the test that proves whether or not your child will make it in life. The truth of the matter is, though, that there are other things that determine your child's success. ...especially in today's time.


Our kids definitely need the 3 R's: Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic. But maybe just as important (if not more so) are the 4 C's: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. 


Watch the video and see if this reminds you of your little one (or big one) who may seem to never sit still, who may always be questioning, who enjoys working with his/her hands, who is always experimenting. Then, start encouraging those talents. In our world of technology and innovation, they may be the ones who create the next Google or figure out the cure for cancer. Celebrate that you have a child who thinks outside of the box!


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) creativity skills for kids, standardized tests thinking outside of the box, Sat, 15 Sep 2012 20:13:15 GMT
Music for Your Kids...and You! Everybody up!

No, really...stand up! Get ready to move, dance, and sing! ...and here we go... push....PLAY!....


Source: via Believography on Pinterest


Ah....didn't that feel good? 


It's one of my latest favorites. But it's not just for you. Use it with your kids. Play this to get them up and going in the mornings. Play it for a dance break on a Saturday while they're helping you clean. Play it while you're making dinner.


Every kid deserves to know they're special, smart, musical, etc. Get that ingrained in their head so they walk around all day telling themselves just that.


This has been a Public Service Announcement from Believography. 


And if you'll excuse me, I'm going to turn my volume up and hit play again...



Verse 1

If what I am is what's in me
Then I'll stay strong - that's who I'll be
and I will always be the best
"me" that I can be.


There's only one me, I am it
have a dream I'll follow it
It's up to me to try.


Chorus 1

Oh! I'm a keep my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit
I'll be getting stronger.


And nothing's gonna bring me down (NO!)
Never gonna stop, gotta go.
Because I know
I'll keep getting stronger.


Bridge 1

And what I am is thoughtful
what I am is musical
what I am is smart
and what I am is brave
what I am is helpful
what I am is special
There's nothing I can't achieve.
Because in myself I believe in oh...


Chorus 2

Gonna keep our heads up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit
Just keep getting stronger.


And nothing's gonna bring us down (no!)
Never give it up, gotta go.
Because I know
I'll keep getting stronger.


Bridge 2

What I am is super
what I am is proud
what I am is friendly
what I am is grouchy
what you are is magical
what you are is special


There's nothing I can't achieve.
Because in myself I believe in oh...


Chorus 3

Gonna hold my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna stop
I'll be getting stronger.


Nothing's gonna bring me down 
Never give it up gotta go, oh... yeah...
I'll keep getting strong--er.


Copied from 


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) activities to do with kids music for kids songs for kids Wed, 12 Sep 2012 14:15:00 GMT
Mud sliding Free activities to do with your kids: mud sliding I have the coolest friends...who have such intuitive nature about great ways to engage their children.


After Hurricane Isaac passed through Missouri, my friend posted these photos of her fully clothed daughter launching into a ditch full of water and mud. No worries about holes in the jeans or mud stains on the shirt. It hasn't rained in months so why not celebrate it and enjoy it...and bond with your child in the process!


Free activities to do with your kids: mud sliding I haven't decided exactly what educational component this promotes other than joy with your child...which is a pretty darn important part of life. I would show her mom sliding as well, but I promised her I wouldn't show her in any compromising positions. :) 


Free activities to do with your kids: mud sliding And just in case any of you are thinking, "I'm way too old for that." No excuses! My friend is 42...which gives me even more respect for her as a parent. Get out there and surprise your kids! Shock them. They'll never know what to expect from you...and that may not be such a bad thing! :)


What's something fun you do with your child? "Share" a photo with us and tell us about it so we can get some ideas, too! 


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.

]]> (Believography) activities for parents to do with their kids free activities for kids things to do with kids Tue, 04 Sep 2012 13:15:00 GMT
The True Story of the Three Little and fantastic! Dallas ChildrenDSC_9039 Anyone else go to The True Story of the Three Little Pigs at Eastfield College last night? It was great, wasn't it!


One of my favorite things to do is to take young people with me to all kinds of different opportunities I can find. It's actually a pretty selfish motive. I love new opportunities...and I love sharing those opportunities with young people. So I grabbed three of my little people friends and we headed to Eastfield College to enjoy the show.


I love anything put on by the Dallas Children's Theater. If you haven't seen any of their plays, I highly recommend you try them out. Their plays are stellar and their actors super-friendly. I'd really like to find out who writes their plays. Each time I go I'm impressed about the values messages they find a way to incorporate, even when they're more hidden in the book. The audience was tasked with becoming the jury so all kids (and adults) of all ages engaged with the legal process. They learned important skills like comparing and contrasting when I asked them what parts of the play were the same as the book and what parts were different. They learned about typical animal behavior through different lines in the play and great values lessons like the importance of hearing both sides of the story before making a judgment. 


After each play, the actors always head to the lobby so the kids can get autographs and photos and they stay until every child is gone. Though the kids always love the plays, I believe their favorite part is getting to interact with the actors afterward. The girls are shown with each of their favorite characters. I love a wolf that stays in character to show off his paws for the camera.


Though I'm not sure about cost and who's putting it on, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be playing at Eastfield on November 30 and December 1 at 7:30. You might want to check with Eastfield closer to time for more details. As soon as the girls heard "Charlie" was coming next, they immediately asked, "Can we go????" I love it when kids get excited about something other than the daily routine. It's already on my calendar. 


If you went last night, share some of your photos with us and tell us which part your child(ren) liked best.


Believography seeks to inspire children's talents and interests by providing themed parties for kids. To learn more go to WARNING: Having fun and learning are inevitable.


Alexander T. Wolf tells his story at the Dallas ChildrenDSC_9035


]]> (Believography) Eastfield College events for kids free activities to do with kids theater for kids Sat, 01 Sep 2012 20:54:10 GMT
Live Your Passion and Help Kids Discover Theirs  


Doctors, lawyers, engineers, ...good paying jobs...or maybe it's not those particular careers, but whatever careers that look promising for hiring now and in the future...that's what we want for our kids, right? We want our children to be "successful." We want our kids to not have to struggle. So we encourage them. We push them. We give them advice. We do what we can to make sure they're able to stand on their own two feet. 


But have we asked them what they love to do? Have we considered where their passions and interests lie? What if they want to be a musician, a beautician, a Classics major, or a skiier? 


I can tell you for certain that my passion and my heart is providing educational programming for children. How do I know that? Number one, I know it is because I love it. I can stay up until midnight or later when I'm on a roll looking for new ideas and planning out new programs (and I'm a morning person!). My brain doesn't get tired when I'm researching new activities and writing out lesson plans (which is amazing considering I can fall asleep standing up during a prayer at church). But number two, I figured it out even more when the kids programming I had done for years dissolved with the economy. I accepted a different position in order to have a job. I had always been extremely passionate and outspoken about my work. But, as Sir Ken Robinson says in the above video, "You can't promote things to which you are insensitive." He's so right.


parties for kids, careers for kids, Believography_DSC0088 I started Believography so that I could create programs/parties for kids that allows them to explore various opportunities and careers that they may or may not be exposed to over their lifetime. The very first learning party I did, Minds Under Construction, I watched a 9-year old boy stay most of the 90-minutes at the "architect" station looking at the blueprints and drawing his own plans in a very detailed fashion. I asked his mom afterward if she knew of his talent in that area. She said she had no idea. I watched another little boy who I knew as a pretty over-active child engage for at least 45 minutes at the "building engineer" station, collaborating with another little boy he had never met before to build a house. 


Each of the learning parties are designed for kids to discover something new--either about a career, an interest, an idea, or whatever else develops out of it. A lot of times, their ideas help me to adjust the party for the next group of kids...because theirs and the parents' ideas are usually something I had never thought about before.


Watch the video above. If you don't have 50 minutes, start at about the 27:20 mark (that's when he really gets going with stories and examples). If you only have five minutes, start by reading the article in Good. I promise you he's engaging and challenges us to think about how we approach our children. At the risk of changing the tone of this to a sales pitch, I would say take a look at the Learning Parties for kids that we offer. Try throwing one as a back-to-school fun event for your kids. Brush up their math and science by letting them cook and create with Kickin' it in the Kitchen, experiment, measure, and blow things up with Blow Your Mind, or draw, imagine, and build with Minds Under Construction...and watch to see what talents and interests they have that might inspire you to engage them in activities they don't even know they'll enjoy. 


]]> (Believography) creativity and learning math activities for kids parties for kids science activities for kids Sat, 11 Aug 2012 15:30:00 GMT


Absolutely brilliant! Adora challenges us, as adults, to truly think about how we approach kids and explains to us, "When expectations are low, we will sink to them."


Adora has done anything but sink to expectations. We need our children: their ideas, their fearlessness, their innovation, their creativity.


Listen to her short talk and dream up how you might inspire your own child to be such an amazing game changer of our future. 

]]> (Believography) BELIEVOGRAPHER power of children Sat, 04 Aug 2012 12:30:00 GMT
IDEAS & POSSIBILITIES: Household Olympics As I started to make my coffee, I lifted the top, exposing the basket, opened the cabinet, and reached up to the second shelf to get the coffee. A wave of air catches the single, last filter, shooting it out of the cabinet. It's floating ...down to the coffee filter basket!


*The crowd gets quiet*


The coffee filter is the other... It's floating down! Is it going to hit the target??? (the announcer asks no one in particular)


Still going...down toward the basket... It's almost there............


Ohhhhh!!!! (*the crowd winces and grabs their head with both hands, hiding their eyes*) It missed the basket at the last minute! What a tough break for Team Coffee Filters!


Ok...yes, I've been watching too much Olympics over the last few days.


But it made me think of something...what kind of Household Olympics can you and your children come up with?

  • Is it ruler flip long jumps where you put a ruler on the edge of the table and gently "chop" it to see how far it will go and how many times it will spin/flip as it goes through the air??
  • Is it coffee filter targets where you drop a coffee filter from a certain height and see who can drop it directly into the basket?
  • Is it fly swatter badmitten where you ball up some tissues or paper towels, wrap them in masking tape and have badmitten championships?


The kids get to have fun and you will as well, knowing that by creating their own Olympics they will be recycling, using critical thinking and problem solving skills, testing out principles of physics, stimulating their imagination, and tapping into their Logical-Mathematical and/or Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligences!


Tell us about your Household Olympics! Video them and show us some of your videos!

]]> (Believography) Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence Logical-Mathematical Intelligence critical thinking imagination physics problem solving Thu, 02 Aug 2012 12:30:00 GMT

I absolutely fell in love with this song the minute I saw the video. The words are great, too, but the video is what makes it amazing. Listen to the timing they have achieved as the spoons clink against the glasses to the music; watch the balls roll and hit TV screens and such...again, right in time with the music. Absolutely amazing.


I know enough about kids to know that even though my brain looks at this and thinks how cool it is that someone came up with that idea, a kid (when challenged right) will say, "Oooh!!! Let's do it like this!!" So, I encourage you to show this to your child(ren) and brainstorm with them. What could they create that has a "domino effect." Maybe it's a domino design like what starts the video and what most of us tried as a child (and hoped we didn't sneeze or shake so that all our efforts went down before we meant for them to). Maybe it's a marble machine (I'll show you an example of some kids who did that later). Maybe it's a set of pulleys and contraptions. Challenge them to use common, household items.


It's these types of imaginative activities that keep kids entertained for hours...days even...and doesn't cost much, if anything. And think of all of the skills they're gaining along the way...problem solving/critical thinking, imagination, scientific method (in trial and error), perseverance, physics. With your musically inclined children, have them do something as challenging as putting it to music (like in the video) and then you include their Musical Intelligence. (my guess is those musically inclined children may even create a song out of the beat that occurs with their contraption...or something more than I probably couldn't even imagine!).


Put the challenge out there to your child. Show them this video then ask them, "What could we do?" You both may need to do a little research, but that just enhances that bonding time.


I'd love to see what you come up with! ...or, for those of you who have already done something like this or have kids that have, tell us about it here or "share" the video and tell the story on our Facebook page. I'd love to add your child's results to my list of inspirations!


Note: If your child likes these kinds of things, you might be interested in our Blow Your Mind learning party. It focuses on creating, scientific method, and blowing things up! 


]]> (Believography) INSPIRATION critical thinking imagination music physics problem solving scientific method Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:54:15 GMT
IDEAS & POSSIBILITIES: Employ your Children

Creating your own business is hard. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. How in the world do you create a productive business and spend important quality time with your kids??


Easy! Employ your children!


As I was walking through the indoor vending booths at the Taste of Dallas, I came across a Skull Soap, a lotion vendor. A girl greeted me and asked if I wanted to try some lotions. After some preliminary discussion on which scent I might like to try, the girl smoothly and easily launched into an explanation of the ingredients in their products, how they were made, and why they were better than Bath and Body Works. "I've been doing this a while," she explained. Blown away by her knowledge and the eloquence and ease at which she spoke, at one point I stopped her. "How old are you??" I asked. "Twelve," she responded. 


Twelve!! I love it! Curious, I proceeded to delve a little deeper. She explained that yes, she helps her mom with the business. She makes the salt scrubs. Her mom makes the soap and other products that have toxic ingredients that aren't appropriate for people her age.


Fascinating. A twelve-year old girl is learning math (measuring out ingredients), chemistry (and chemical reactions), safety and carefulness, assertiveness and public speaking skills (as she talks to people going by), salesmanship and the importance of personality, and I'm sure she's also learning information like cost-benefit analysis, purchasing products in bulk, and other entrepreneurial skills. Soft skills...hard skills...and everything in between.


I'm a big fan of Experiential Learning, but the last place I expected to find it was at the Taste of Dallas. If I'd had my credit card with me I would have purchased product (I believe Scooter Hunny was my favorite) simply because the 12-year old was so amazing.


Do you have a business where you engage your child? What age are they and how do you incorporate them into what you do? I'd love to hear about it!


]]> (Believography) IDEAS & POSSIBILITIES entrepreneurial skills experiential learning parental engagement Sun, 29 Jul 2012 00:18:07 GMT
Impromptu After School Program


These great spring days in Dallas get people outside. The mosquitoes haven't taken over just yet so It's just too irresistible to sit inside. I pulled into my driveway yesterday afternoon to hear a cacophony of kids stop playing for a second to holler, "Janet!" and run over to tell me what they were doing. Since each of them have become such wonderful subjects for me to practice my photography, I asked my usual question these days, "You guys wanna take some more pictures??" I love that they eagerly nodded their heads and say, "Yes!" 


I quickly unpacked the car and pulled out the camera. After soliciting some to be my models and some to be the assistants that held my different reflectors, I started in. Though they were super patient and accommodating, it didn't take long for them to become bored with the few minutes it took for me to set up each shot. One of the kids spotted my notebook and asked if he could draw a bike. The other kids were quick to want to join in. After retreating to my attic to see what I could find, I re-appeared with binders, paper, and pens for each of them. My driveway turned in to a mini-after school program with some filling their pages with ideas from their head and others asking for advice on what they should draw next. Using my Reggio Emilia experience, I thought to challenge a few to look back at their images, look back at what they were drawing, and to look closer for details they could add.


The kids stayed busy until the sun went down. So did I.

]]> (Believography) Spring education outside learning Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:38:13 GMT
Khan Academy may be in my Future

Want your child to have more access to high quality learning? Want your child to have some tutoring on Algebra because you've forgotten all you learned in 9th grade? What about Chemistry? I didn't have to take it in high school so I have no idea how to help someone in that area. Maybe you're in the same boat. Or wait! Maybe your child needs SAT prep and you don't want to pay a huge fee where your child is one among the many in the Saturday morning classes. But what about you? Are you studying for your GMAT? Do you want to know more about banking? Trying to get a grip on Venture Capital or understand Macro- and Microeconomics? It's all there. And you don't have to do some random Google search to pull up all kinds of videos and websites that may or may not make any sense and may or may not be super boring.


Check out Khan Academy. (Oh goodness, I sound like a commercial.) Seriously, though. I had heard about Khan but never actually went to the website until I watched the 60 Minutes clip. Wow. It's amazing. One of my friends says he uses it to learn things they didn't teach us in school. I'm thinking I may do the same thing. The great and amazing thing is, it's all FREE! Now *that's* what I'm talking about! Free, quality education for all. That's the kind of world I want to live in!


Have you tried any of their classes? What did you think? Post here and let me know. I'd love to hear about ones you'd recommend!



]]> (Believography) Khan Academy education tutorials Tue, 13 Mar 2012 12:27:55 GMT
Intrigued Children Seek Learning on Their Own


When I started working with kids 17 years ago, I often heard, "Your expectations are too high!" I never quite understood that since I was cooking with my mom at 3-years old, had a bank account in 1st grade, took piano lessons in 3rd grade, and was exposed to so many different educational opportunities. I was simply providing the kids in our After-School Academy with the same expectations and opportunities I had as a child.


Sugata Mitra obviously believes in kids, too. Watch this video to see what happens when kids are simply provided a new tool...without even giving them any instructions.


Believe in what's possible and work toward that end. ...and enjoy watching and participating in the journey.

]]> (Believography) Mitra Sugata TED education experiential learning Sun, 11 Mar 2012 20:31:18 GMT
Focusing on Infectious Laughter I can't speak for you, but every single time I look at the shots I've posted here, I can't help but smile. I needed some practice on using the focus button on my camera so when my friend, Monique, came to visit, I grabbed the camera. After shooting for 30 minutes, my word for the day?


JOY!...pure joy!!


Keimora's laughter was amazing! She's a natural with the camera. All I did was follow her lead. If you need your spirits lifted come back to this post and scroll through these photos. Loris Malaguzzi, an amazing and inspiring educator, once said, "Nothing without Joy!" Nothing like a child to remind you of that lesson.

]]> (Believography) Joy Laughter focus Sat, 03 Mar 2012 13:02:00 GMT