Summer Reading Fun!

Whether you’ve made the decision to take a break for schooling for the summer or go ahead and continue lessons throughout the season, reading should be a big part of your summer. After all, everyone knows that reading is a great way to gather new knowledge, explore the world, and even improve writing skills.

That said, reading should never ever be a chore, especially during the summer when kids should be having fun. Fortunately there are tons of ways to make reading fun. One of the best ways is through reading rewards programs, many of which just so happen to take place in the summer.

Wondering where you can sign your kiddos up to win cool prizes in exchange for fun summer reading? Try these options.

Metropolitan Library System Summer Reading Program

Perhaps the most well known option in the OKC metro area, the MLS Reading Program is a great place to start. Badges are earned each time a child reaches a milestone. These milestones include 5, 10, 20, and 30 hours of reading. In order to win prizes, participants must read a total of at least 10 hours at which point they earn a free book. Children who read 20 hours receive two books, and those who read 30 hours will have a book donated to a needy child in their honor.

Pioneer Library System Summer Reading Program

This program is very similar to the MLS program, and is likely more convenient for Norman resident. The prizes and goals do tend to vary from year to year, so we will have to wait and see what the details happen to be for 2018.

OKC Dodgers Summer Reading Program

The OKC Dodgers have teamed up with Sonic to offer an awesome summer reading program that baseball fans will adore. Every participant will win two tickets to a Dodgers game for each month long segment they complete. They will also be entered to win the VIP treatment at a Dodgers game.

The goal of this particular program is to read 20 minutes a day for 5 days each week, so it’s pretty easy to keep up with.

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program

Think your kiddo can read for 15 minutes a day all summer long? If so, you should definitely participate in the Half Price Books Summer Reading Program. By reading a total 300 minutes in June and July, you child can earn a $5 HPB gift card to spend however they wish.

Chuck E Cheese Reading Rewards

Okay, so this program isn’t really a summer-only program, but it is tons of fun. We especially like this one because it allows you to set your own goals, meaning it can be tweaked for each child. Simply print this chart, check a box each day that your child meets his or her reading goal, and take the completed log to Chuck E. Cheese for ten free tokens.

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading for Kids

If you’re not a fan of logging reading minutes, you might prefer the Barnes and Noble reading program. This one requires participants to read a total of 8 books. Once those books are read, the child will be presented with a free brand new book to take home and read. Super simple and super fun!

We love reading, and we know your family probably loves it as well. Why not make it even more fun by lining one of these awesome programs?

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Strum Into a Passion for Music with Cory

Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.

“I’m a guitarist in Oklahoma City. I teach guitar lessons in the OKC area and own and operate GuitarLessonsOKC. My credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Guitar Performance from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma as well as an M.A. in Leadership emphasizing business management. In addition to my education, I have also played around the country with various artist that include Grammy award winners a country music hall of famers.”

View More: http://twosticksphotography.pass.us/corymoon2015

What classes do you offer at The Loop?

“Private guitar, private piano, private ukulele, and occasionally group guitar and/or piano.”

When did you find your passion for music and playing the guitar?

“I have always wanted to play the guitar since I was small, I bought my first guitar at sixteen and have been playing since then.”

View More: http://twosticksphotography.pass.us/corymoon2015

What was it that triggered that passion?

“I got ahold of my dad’s tape collection in the late 80’s when I was very young. I listened to all sorts of stuff from The Cars to Chuck Berry to Iron Maiden. I fell in love with rock music at a very young age.”

What is you favorite thing about playing guitar?

“The flow. When you experience the flow of an activity of your passion, there really isn’t anything that compares.”

View More: http://twosticksphotography.pass.us/corymoon2015

What do you hope the community gains from your classes?

“Lots of kids who are passionate about the guitar and music.”

What would you tell someone who was considering joining your classes?

“Do it! Music is a gift that keeps on giving.”

Would you or your child be interested in learning to play the guitar? If so, contact Cory for more information today!

Explore and Express Through Art with Sandra Pruitt

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Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.

“I am just someone that loves making pictures. I got into art a lot later in life than I wanted. I played around a bit as a child, but thought that things need to be perfect. Now, I know better!”

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What classes do you offer at The Loop?

“Art classes! Explore the World Through Art, Great Works of Art, ceramics, and who knows what else in the future.”

When did you find your passion for art?

“I’ve loved art from afar for my entire life. I was in my 20s before I really began studying and experimenting with art. I was a perfectionist as a kid, so I never really thought I could do anything art-wise. I thought it had to be perfect to be good. Now, I let myself be me.”

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What was it that triggered that passion?

“Art is fun! There are so many different mediums, types, and ways to express yourself that, honestly, there is something for everyone. What you make doesn’t need to be “perfect” or a great work of art. It just needs to be something that you enjoyed making.”

What is you favorite thing about art?

“Did I mention it is ridiculously fun? I absolutely love trying new mediums and styles. I find new favorites all the time.”

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What do you hope the community gains from your classes?

“Confidence. I had a student once that came to get his artwork from me. He asked me ‘What did you want with this piece of junk?’ I told him that I thought it was wonderful and had used his art in an art show. He paused, stood up a bit straighter, and smiled. He continues to paint to this day. He told me he never would have painted again if it had not been for that day.

Understanding. My hope is that by focusing on art and cultures from around the world, it helps to educate and create more understanding about how other live.

Curiosity. Hopefully, working with a variety of mediums and techniques will whet your appetite to try more and more art forms.”

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What would you tell someone who was considering joining your classes?

“It is not about making something that looks like mine or anyone else’s. It is about you trying something new, learning about a new place or culture, and above all having fun making your artwork.”

Find info on Sandra’s classes on our calendar page and join in the fun right away!

Making Money as a Homeschool Parent

For many parents, the idea of homeschooling is wonderful, but seems to be out of reach. The vast majority of these families simply cannot imagine a way to make ends meet without both parents working. Others are single parents and must work hard in order to care for their children.

That said, there are ways around this problem. Some parents choose to leave their kids with a sitter during the day and do school work at night. However, more and more parents are finding ways to work from home, meaning they can set their own hours, homeschooling when it’s most convenient to them and working while the kids sleep or amuse themselves.

Are you wishing you could find such a gig? Whether you’re trying to contribute a small amount to your family’s current income or you want to make a full-time income, there is something out there for you.

Here are a few of our favorite work at home ideas for homeschooling parents.

Writing

Do you have a way with words? If so, writing might be just the job for you.

There are many ways to make money while writing. Many choose to start their own blog, working hard to grow their readership and making money from ad revenue, affiliate links, and memberships. Meanwhile, some writers prefer to write blog posts for other websites and businesses through websites such as Blogmutt, getting paid per post or per word. Still others go the old fashioned route and write books both in print and in eBook form.

Check out all your options and figure out what works for you, but go in knowing that this isn’t a way to make tons of money right of the bat.

Babysitting

If you’re planning to be home with your kids, why not add a few more into the mix and make some money while you’re at it? There are always parents looking for in-home child care.

Legally, you can keep a friend’s kids for up to 15 hours per week in your own home without becoming a licensed daycare facility. Alternatively, you could go to the child’s home to babysit and work as a nanny which does not require any special certifications.

Amazon FBA

By now we all know that Amazon is here to stay. Have you ever thought about getting in on the enormous amount of money made through this website each day?

Amazon FBA is an awesome way to make some money while staying with the kids. Simply source low priced items at local stores or source wholesale products, send them in to Amazon, and watch the money roll in. Of course, there is a bit of a learning curve involved, but there are plenty of websites out there to help you get started.

Teaching

Of course, staying home with your kids means you’ll be teaching them, but you could choose to add a few paying students to your line up too.

VIP Kid is a great agency that gives eager individuals the opportunity to teach Chinese children English. Tutoring local kids is also an option, as is teaching a special skill such as playing piano or dancing. In fact, The Loop is an ideal facility for teaching just such classes.

Think about your strengths and use those to your advantage, you may have more other offer than you realize.

These are just a few of the great ways you can make money while staying home with the kids. Need more ideas? Simply run a quick web search and you’re sure to find plenty of great information.

Want to start teaching for The Loop? Hoping to get involved in the homeschooling community? We’d love to hear from you! Please contact us today.

Find Your Rhythm with Stephen Henesian

Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.

“I’m Stephen Henesian. I’m 28, married, and have one child. We moved here from California beginning of 2017. I graduated from Sonoma State University in 2015 with my B.S in Finance. I currently work at Ford Audio Video in Oklahoma City in purchasing.

I’ve been a musician for most of my life. My family is very musical. My siblings and my Dad all play guitar, and my mom has taken a few years of piano lessons. Since we’re Armenian and go to the Armenian Orthodox Apostolic Church, my family has been playing Middle Eastern music for around 40 years. The band has always been my Grandma Ronnie on keyboard, my Grandpa Aram on clarinet, and my Dad used to play Alto Sax, but now plays the Oud (My dad was in the jazz and pep bands at Santa Clara University during the late 60s/early 70s and played Alto Sax), and a close family friend played doumbek. My parents actually met because my family was playing on-stage at a church function, and my Dad saw my Mom in the crowd.

I started taking piano lessons at 7 years old, and started in Band in 5th grade in percussion. I thought that you had to either be in choir, orchestra, or band, so I chose percussion because I didn’t want to learn how to play a wind instrument. I played percussion in band all the way from 5th grade to high school, and on and off in college, as a non-music major.

My Dad got me a drum set when I was in 6th grade, and I started to learn how to play the drum set, which is still at my parent’s house today. I was also learning how to play doumbek at the same time on an metal doumbek. The first time I remember playing doumbek was at St. Andrew’s Armenian Church in Cupertino, CA.

Every year, we played around 2-3 times for the various Food Fairs/Bazaars. We have also played for Arabic belly dancers a couple of times. We have been doing that every year until I left CA for Oklahoma at the end of 2016. I’ve gone between playing Middle Eastern rhythms on full drum set to playing doumbek, and back and forth many times.”

What events do you offer at The Loop?

“I offer a free drum circle to the community every other Sunday from 1-3 PM. I am not interested in using it to earn money, unless I have to. It is facilitated in a structured fashion that is different to other groups. Everyone has a chance to play a rhythm that they want, if it has a solid downbeat that can help keep us all on the same page. Everyone also has a chance to play a solo during every round. During the rounds, I call out everyone’s name, and they have several phrases to solo, while we all quiet down to hear their solo.”

 When did you find your passion for drumming?

“I think I found my passion for drumming around Middle School. I was always a nerdy kid, and found my real joy in music. When I was in High School Band, I marched in drumline for the Fall season of parades, and football games, then another set of drumline competition in the Spring season. Having music tremendously helped me get through school. Playing in pep band during football games was sort of like a drum circle. We brought the old set of drums, and toy instruments, then played around and switched instruments every song. Sometimes, I was on a drum, or I was wailing away on a cowbell or shaker playing a Beatles tune.”

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What was it that triggered that passion?

“I guess just the feeling of having somewhere to belong with like-minded individuals who enjoyed drumming and whom also were striving to get better and better every day at drumming.”

What is your favorite thing about drumming?

“My favorite thing about drumming is that it is an activity that is incredibly fun and enjoyable that connects all of us to each other at a deep emotional level while escaping from the woes of society. It can be said that drumming is like an active meditation, because there is no more room for thoughts in your mind when everyone is in the groove and playing together.”

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What do you hope the community gains from your classes?

“I hope the community gains an appreciation for the positive impact that music can have upon you. Even though it is a no-stress environment, and completely open to beginners, I hope that people are interested in progressing and expanding their musical abilities and talents. I know that most people just want to come and jam, and aren’t too interested in becoming a more skilled and well-rounded musician, but I hope to stir that in people.I encourage getting out of the comfort zone of the drum that they brought with them, and pick up someone else’s drum and the different toy instruments that are available to play.

I’ve also found that it brings like-minded individuals together. At our class on April 15, two students met and learned that one of the students’ husband works with the other student at the same hospital. Two other students connected because of the mutual professional work that they do.

One of my goals is to grow the Norman/OKC ethnic drumming community and provide more events for people to get out and play.”

What would you tell someone who was considering joining your events?

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, or an experienced musician, this drum circle is an environment where you can come in and learn as much as you want, and have fun at the same time. The goal is to have fun, but I also encourage people to learn about and experience different instruments and music from different cultures.”

Want to join this amazing drum circle? Check out our calendar for upcoming meetings and come on out for a fun, social event you’re sure to love!

Effective Communication in Homeschooling

Do you clash with your child? Do you find they are constantly ignoring what you say? Do you struggle to understand their actions? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you and your child are likely struggling with ineffective communication.

This may sound silly. After all, you are very clear when giving your child instructions and you don’t make unreasonable demands. However, the trouble is usually not that you don’t speak to your child, but rather that you don’t always listen and respond empathetically.

Let’s break this down a bit.

Children are People

You see, children are people just like you and me. They have thoughts and feelings, and they want to be heard. All too often however, they are pushed to the side, punished for expressing themselves in the only ways they know how, and not taught better ways to communicate their emotions.

As the child grows older, they become more and more frustrated with their inability to communicate. Different children develop different ways of coping, but many of these methods will make the child appear to be naughty or out of line.

How this Affects Homeschooling

Obviously, this cycle is never a good thing to have going on in your family. However, because homeschooling families spend so much more time with their children, they tend to notice the effects much more acutely.

In fact, parent/child relationships that suffer from poor communication can make schooling almost impossible. A child who doesn’t receive emotional validation is more likely to resist school assignments. A student who isn’t listened to may not want to listen to anyone else.

Obviously, this leads to a completely unproductive school schedule. Additionally, because such behavior usually results in punishment and negative reaction from their parent(s), the student may begin to associate learning with punishment, leading them to believe they hate learning.

What Can You Do?

Obviously, no parent wants their child to avoid learning. After all, learning new things is what makes life interesting and helps propel us forward. Therefore, avoiding this situation is key, especially for homeschooling parents who are striving to instill a love of learning in their children.

So what can you do? Well, the first step is to listen to your child. Validate their feelings, use their ideas, and include their interests in their schooling. Instead of demanding certain things of your child, try discussing why you’d like certain things done and why other things are necessary. Giving the child a “why” will likely motivate them to get things done. These simple changes in the way you assign schoolwork to your child could make a world of difference.

Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of what poor communication can mean for your family and how you can work to turn things around. Therefore, if you and your child are really struggling in this area, you may want to sign up for an Empathetic Communication class here at The Loop.

This class helps people learn ideal ways to communicate and show empathy in all of their relationships. It’s perfect for any adult who feels they are experiencing a communication barrier with anyone they spend time with.

To enroll, contact us today!

Express Through Music with Gus Weaver

Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.

“I’m a violinist/violist performing and teaching in the Norman and OKC Metro area.  I enjoy teaching because I have the opportunity to share what I’ve learned in a positive way.  It is exciting to make a connection with students and observe their progress.

I have always enjoyed singing and playing music, and I began playing the violin in an afterschool program in Palm Bay, Florida when I was 9 years old. Since then I’ve played in youth, amateur, and professional orchestras in Florida, Indiana, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Oklahoma. I earned my Bachelor of Music from Idaho State University with Chung Park and Keum Hwa Cha and my Master of Music from the University of Oklahoma with Hal Grossman.  Now I play in the Amarillo (Texas) and Fort Smith (Arkansas) Symphony Orchestras, as well as in Mariachi Orgullo de America (OKC metro area).  I also have my own violin duet, Norman Classical Strings.  We play for weddings, parties, and other family events.

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What classes do you offer at The Loop?

“For students ages 8 and up, I offer private violin and viola lessons.  I also offer beginning violin classes one semester a year or so, depending on interest.”

What was it that triggered your passion?

“I sang with my mother when I was young and have always enjoyed music.  When afterschool classes were offered in 3rd grade, something sparked my interest and I signed up.  I find that listening to music enriches my life, and playing music enriches my life while enriching the lives of others.”

What is you favorite thing about music?

“I appreciate the expressive quality of music.  It can express concepts and feelings that can only inadequately be put into words.  I also appreciate the ambiguity of music, especially instrumental music.  I can make it mean anything I want it to mean at the time.  It is also mysterious, like dance; it is gone as soon as it is created.  It cannot be grasped, yet it can change those who hear it.”

What do you hope the community gains from your classes?

“I hope to spark an interest in music and help students gain basic playing skills so that they can enjoy and appreciate it.”

What would you tell someone who was considering joining your music classes?

“Whatever is attracting you to play is worth investigating in a beginning class or private lesson.  We never know what will be revealed to us until we explore it.  It is worth the time, dedication, and financial investment.  Just as in sports, regular practice and perseverance in learning skills will help you use those skills to express yourself while performing music.”

Would you like to join Gus’ classes? Contact him at j_a_weaver@hotmail.com.

Easter Fun for Everyone

Easter is almost here, and that means it’s time to pull out the craft supplies and cooking utensils. After all, Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without egg hunts, sweet treats, and pastel bunnies, and these things don’t just appear out of the blue.

Fortunately, your Easter fun doesn’t have to be an ordeal. In fact, there are tons of adorable, yet simple crafts, recipes, and game ideas out there. Because we know how valuable those easy peasy ideas can be, we’ve gathered a list of our top 4 super simple Easter fun ideas.

Egg Hunt Pudding Cups

This super easy snack idea is sure to be a hit with all pudding lovers. To make, place half a cup of shredded coconut into a zipper baggie with 2-3 drops of green food coloring and shake the bag until all coconut is covered. Open 4 pudding snack cups and top each one with the green coconut “grass”. Place 2-3 candy eggs on the top of each cup and serve.

Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt

For nighttime fun that even the adults will enjoy, put together a glow in the dark egg hunt. Start with several dozen plastic Easter eggs. Place one activated mini glow stick in each egg and snap them shut. Hide the eggs outside in the late evening and go for an egg hunt in the dark.

Paper Plate Bunny Masks

If you’re looking for a super simple craft that kids can do almost entirely alone, you’ll likely love these masks. Begin by cutting the center out of a plain white paper plate. This will be the face hole. After the cutting is finished, let the kids go to town with a pair of construction paper bunny ears, some pipe cleaner whiskers, and a popsicle stick for holding the mask up.

Cereal Eggs

Rice crispy treats are delicious no matter what shape they come in. That said, egg shaped treats are always the best option, especially around Easter.

If you’d like to make your own egg shaped rice crispy treats, grease the insides of several plastic eggs and set aside. Next, mix 6 cups of crisp rice cereal with 4 cups melted marshmallows and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Place the mixture inside the greased eggs, making sure to fill both sides completely and snapping the eggs shut. Allow the treats to set for at least 2 hours before removing from the eggs.

To finish, add icing decorations and enjoy!

These easy ideas are sure to make the days leading up to Easter a blast without a ton of effort on your part. Considering how much work being a homeschool parent can be, this is always a good thing.

Would you like to learn more creative ideas from awesome homeschool parents? Join any one of the activities here at The Loop to meet some new friends and learn some new tricks of the trade.

Heal and Connect with Cheryl Jazzar

Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.

“I am a mom to four amazing young people, ages 16-26. My husband and I blended our families over 20 years ago and have lived in Norman ever since, with a brief stay in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m the luckiest Mom around because of the nuclear and extended family I have. Together we own La Baguette restaurants and wholesale bakery, WellPostpartum Consulting, The Loop, Scissortail Travel Stops, Jazztech Consulting, and a vital Young Living Organization called Oil Royalty.

My husband’s passion is photography. His work can be seen here.”

Why did you open The Loop?  

“When we were in Atlanta there were great homeschooling communities and cooperatives everywhere we went.  We saw all kinds of successful groups and really admired the creative sparks that many of them seemed to generate.

After we moved back to Oklahoma my health started to suffer. Four years ago I was paralyzed with Lyme disease. But I was fully healed in a seemingly-miraculous way with cutting edge, quantum physics-based techniques. In only two weeks I wanted to sing, dance and do art, but I didn’t know how to do any of those things, so I visited a place I knew had dance classes. When I got there they had closed! But the sign in the window inspired me to open the space for all kinds of creativity and The Loop was born. Within only two weeks we were up and running with people in classes! Now I do know how to do all those things thanks to the wonderful people who offer classes there. I’ve found a huge love for all kinds of percussion and adore drumming!”

What classes do you teach at The Loop?  

“My passion is helping people experience radical shifts in their health without the use of medications. My two youngest kids have never used an antibiotic and I’ve found that there are many empowered ways to address issues at home.

Among my favorite classes to teach are anointing classes using Young Living Essential Oils. I teach people how to release negative emotions with oils, introductory oils classes, Raindrop and Vitaflex Technique, Ancient Holy Oils, and a variety of other specialized topics both online and in-person around the country.”

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When did you find your passion for helping the homeschool community?  

“I’ve always known that homeschooling mommas are the sharpest people around when it comes to natural health. After decades of being in that arena I thought I knew a lot!  What I learned was that I was missing important foundations of healing because I didn’t know the power of plant oils and anointing. After learning the importance of approaching healing from a physical/emotional/spiritual perspective I was on a mission to share these rare gems of knowledge widely!  When we are calm and healthy everything in the home functions more smoothly.  Providing simple tools to Moms brings me joy! I understand the many challenges people are facing from anxiety to autism to allergies. Helping people find effective and inexpensive ways to support the body through these challenges is my superpower. Everyone deserves to thrive and live a happy and peaceful life.”

What was it that triggered that passion?  

“When we first opened a sweet Momma approached me and shyly said, ‘I guess you could tell I have social anxiety.’ I was stunned because I sure didn’t see that! Within a few minutes she changed into the kind of friend that grabs you by the hand and paints the town red with two coats! None of our friends really believe how badly she struggled before but she continues to tell the story of how she became almost famous for canceling activities with other families due to stress. When I realized kids could come in for great classes and Moms (and Dads and Grandmas) could support one another I knew we were on to something special.”

When and how did you first discover your love for essential oils?  

“After moving back from Atlanta the very first thing I did was attend a Postpartum Support International event. I was a volunteer and Oklahoma State Coordinator for them for over 12 years and was very committed to helping women find non-pharmacological options.  An old friend, Dr. Catherine Rott was at that event and she came into my life with a tremendous amount of knowledge, care and love; pouring out her wisdom to me in ways that made a deep impact. I could never repay the countless hours she spent training me and providing for me physically, emotionally and even financially, but I do my best to model her approach to others so they have everything they need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

Her impact has turned a rather miserable, ill-effective and sickly woman into something completely different. My life now has greater impact than I could have ever imagined.”

What is your favorite thing about running The Loop?  


“Honestly, I love that it runs itself. It’s a special thrill to me that I can go off for weeks and teach classes in different states, vacation with my husband, or go work with refugees in Lebanon and come back to the beautiful atmosphere in The Loop. When I see the faces of the people there expressing themselves through art, or play, or more seriously life-changing classes it just warms my heart!

There is something intangible about the space- it’s a sense of security, a place to belong (no matter your what your views are), and a place to really be yourself. The acceptance and love that flows from the people that grace our doors is like nothing else.  It’s very rare and I think we all come to realize how good we have it there.”

What is your favorite thing about teaching classes about oils?  

“When I see a large family facing an emergency room visit with no health insurance begin to understand how to take spiritual authority over their issues and learn to turn things around for themselves I’m just over the moon!

My favorite thing is to lay hands on people and do bodywork, but my organization is large now so I have to focus on teaching large groups for the most part.

It’s an immense honor to witness someone in need being vulnerable enough to come into a space and pour out their heart. When people are unburdened, THAT’S when healing happens automatically! The body is so very beautiful in that way. Teaching people to work with nature’s design is pretty humbling because the results can be so drastic.”

What do you hope the community gains from The Loop?  

“Acceptance. There is so much guilt that comes with being a mother and I’ve learned to reject it outright. There is simply no place for that kind of bondage in a home.

I like to think The Loop is the kind of place where we all accept and love each other. We can be free to let our kids be kids- to spill stuff and break stuff (it happens) and NOT STRESS over it! When we accept ourselves and our families as human beings we begin to relax into who we were created to be.

It’s cool because I find that if someone uptight comes in, they either usually edit themselves out of The Loop because they don’t vibe with it; or they change for the better.  THAT is the secret sauce to what this community has created for itself!   Openness, kindness and everyone doing their thing together!”

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What would you tell someone who was considering joining a class at The Loop?  

“Oh my gosh, fence-sitting hurts!  Just go for it. You’ll thank yourself later. The people who have been attracted into this space are nothing short of Works of a Really Good God!  Now I have to stop or I’ll cry. Seriously, I love the people there!”

What would you tell someone considering using essential oils?  

“Same!  We in Young Living have a saying, ‘If you haven’t tried Young Living, you haven’t tried everything.’ But, be sure the oils you are trying are from Young Living.  There is no other brand available in the U.S. that follows our purity standards.  Join a class and begin discovering the difference. There are many heart-forward oilers in The Loop.  Become friends with them and join their team!  Come to the classes and see what happens. Then you’ll know.”

To learn more about The Loop, have a look around here or visit our Facebook page.

To learn more about Oil Royalty, click here.

Express and Communicate with Cielja Kieft

1. 3-11-2018 007Who are you? Tell me a bit about yourself.

“Hi, I am Cielja Kieft, and originally from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am wife to metaphysical teacher Emahmn, mother to two wonderful adult sons and their wives, and grandmother of three young grandchildren who I adore. In fact, they are the reason my husband and I moved to Norman from Las Vegas, but not before spending almost 2 years hanging out and teaching on the dreamy Caribbean beaches of Mexico.

In Amsterdam I was a Theatre Director, Voice Coach, Drama Teacher and Parent and Teacher Trainer. I have incorporated all I taught before, and more, under the Empathic Communication Academy that I started here in Norman. I am also the founder of the group Norman Alternative.”

What is your affinity with the homeschooling community?

“When my youngest son opposed the regular school system strongly, we became part of developing alternative education in The Netherlands. Homeschooling was at that time not allowed.

It was such a relief for my son that we could start unschooling when we came to the USA and we were part of a great homeschooling resource center, where I was teaching. I quickly found The Loop when we arrived in Norman. I continued supporting alternative education families and further developing my passion for communication in understanding what we want to express.

I am now representative for Alternative Education Revolution (Resource) Organization (AERO).”

IMG_1877 (1)cropWhat classes do you teach at The Loop?

“I offer Pretend Drama for children 5-8yo, Teens and Hats for preteens and teens, and Empathic Communication for adults. I also offer private voice lessons.”

When did you find your passion for helping children express themselves?

“Ever since I had my own children I have been active in schools to give children a say in their education. By listening to them and teaching Parents and Teachers peaceful resolution skills I was more and more convinced how crucial it is for children to express themselves.

As I do promote to walk the talk, I wanted to show parents and teachers how a different communication could help the child taking charge of their own learning and happiness. That we need to use their innate communication blueprint and learning capacity, which is play.”

9-23-2015 072What was it that triggered that passion?

“Well, this was one of those moments: ‘Here I am, sitting in the classroom of my pre-schooler as a parent-aid for the morning. I feel bored and bullied. I see kids wiggle and being reprimanded for not sitting still. If I already feel this un-easy, what must all these children feel? And I am only a few hours here. I can leave when I want, and this is even the class with one of the nicest teachers…’

That was the start of me pushing for parent and teacher education. At the same time I realized that, as a drama-teacher, I had developed a way of communicating that honored the child’s being. People know that children need to play, but nobody seemed to see what I saw: Children have an innate way of learning the world they live in, and acquire the skills necessary to survive and evolve from an innate need. This they show and develop through play.”

When did you first discover that you loved sharing parenting and communication techniques with others?

“After an upset with my 2 year old, I read Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon. I wondered why every parent didn’t know these things! I was eager to get certified and started teaching the skills to parents, teachers and leaders.

When people tell me already after the first few sessions, sometimes in tears, about amazing breakthroughs they had that week with their child, with their spouse, student or employee, I get goose bumps of joy and relief. I still do, after 27 years of teaching communication skills!”

refresher PET July 2013

What do you love most about working with adults?

“Helping them through their pain of not connecting with their child, spouse, family, co-workers and most of all helping them (re)-connect with themselves!

It is really one on one time, even in a group of 12. They can totally be themselves, finally talking about heartfelt things, role-playing, knowing they will get concrete tools to apply straight away when they go back home after class.

I love teaching in groups, as we recognize a lot with each other. In a group it helps to get also on the ‘goofy’ side, to lift up heavy situations. But I work one on one with a person too. Online and off.

4-22-2013 018 cropWhat is your favorite thing about teaching your children’s classes?

“Hearing in the closing circle from them how they liked the play, whether they got to do what they wanted, and how they feel at this moment. When they can hardly contain themselves and jump up with ‘super the super’ or something like that. That is my most rewarding moment.”

What do you hope adult students gain from your classes?

“Understanding of themselves on emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level. How they can take responsibility for their own happiness and well-being with actual using empathic communication skills. Understanding of others and that someone else is not against them, but for themselves.”

What about the children?

“Being honored in being themselves, being child. Being seen and heard while their creative mind is working full 100%. An understanding that we can go through a conflict in a way that all have an equal say. As well as the fact that a teacher or adult does not need to be the boss over you, nor over how things are supposed to go, or how you should behave. I hope the children come to understand that teachers can be enthusiastic about the things they want to show and teach, but their best role is being a facilitator in helping students learn what they want to do/know/experience next.”

Your adult class is called Empathic Communication. Are you still teaching parenting classes?


“I merged the parenting class with the Empathic Communication class. It seems to be hard these days for parents to commit to 10 or 12 weeks. So I created 4 Modules that can be purchased and committed to separately:

  • The Basics
  • Comprehensive
  • Advanced
  • Practice

After each module we can see if there are evolving subgroups, that can then go more specific their route, whether this is parenting, teaching, leadership, health-support, students, network-marketing. This has to do with the objectives of the participants.”

Snapshot 6 ITS
What would you tell someone who was considering joining your Empathic Communication class?

“If you sigh, feel awkward, feel upset or hurt when you think about one of your relationships —whether this is with your child(ren), your spouse, family, neighbor, friend, or work-relations— come to class. You will gain tools and learn what to do. You do not need to stay in the mindset of ‘That’s how it is’.

If you feel all is going fine in your relationships, but also feel things may evolve and get more difficult in the future, come to class. You can think of the teen-years, changing jobs, moving, divorce, etc. Being proactive is the best. Let me know if you are not sure.

If you want to know more about how we communicate on a spiritual level. If you are interested in seeing ‘The bigger picture’ of how we operate as human beings together, come to class!”

What is specific about the class?

“As role-play is involved and the use of the energies of the emotions, the participants get a chance to test out knowledge and insights in how it actually feels and can be done. This way it is not only cognitive learning, but the learning will be on the cellular level as well. They will be able to make lasting changes.”

What about someone who was thinking about your Pretend Drama or Teens & Hats class?10-3-2012 007

“If your young child is dressing up and full of stories at home, they will love Pretend Drama. But also if you feel your child is somewhat shy, or on the contrary, more ‘bossy’, they will benefit so much from the class, as it is all up to them. They will choose to express themselves and cooperate to make it work.

Regarding the Teens & Hats: If your teen likes drama and improvisation, they will love this class that gives them the chance to give their ideas and opinions from a character they choose according with a hat they have on. As with the Pretend Drama class, the teens will get the benefit of masterminding, creating together, getting conflict resolution skills, besides expressing themselves.”

Want to learn more about Cielja’s classes? Contact her today!