It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you as a part of the Tommy Nelson Mommy team! It is an honor to be just a small part of a company that provides quality Biblical resources for my children.
My husband, Hal, and I have been married for 15 years. He is my rock, cheerleader, mentor and best friend. I feel blessed to have been given the gift of this husband and our two children. Anna is 11 and Grant is 7. Homeschooling takes up the largest part of my life… in addition to that we are very active in our church and our children’s extra curriculuar activities.
I have been a blogger for three years. Blogging also coincided with the start of our family’s homeschool journey. My first career was an elementary music education teacher, but once my daughter was born I felt led to stay at home to raise my family. I began a private piano studio out of my home and have been teaching piano lessons part time ever since.
It’s interesting to be making the transition from very young children to middle grades children. I have learned so much in my time parenting and love to blog about that and all things homeschool at Homegrown Learners. Please stop by and visit!
It isn’t always easy leaving the lazy, carefree days of summer behind.
Summer is a time of wonder, relaxation, and just PLAY for children. For me, it is a time to pray about and plan our path for the coming year. That path is full of so many God given possibilities and joy. Yes, it may also have hardships and challenges, but with God’s grace and guidance I know we are always OK.
We have been back to our school schedule for several weeks now, and this year I felt the transition was the best it has ever been. In addition to scheduling lots of FUN activities for learning, we also put several ROUTINES in place to help ease the transition from “summer” to “school”.
Create a Predicatable Daily Routine That Starts With God
My children know they get up at generally the same time each day. We make beds, get dressed, and have our time with God during breakfast. Two of our favorite devotions are Heroes and Villains of the Bible and the Hide & Seek Devotional. After devotions we recite our memory verses, using a special filebox system we’ve used for two years now.
Start Slow and Praise Often!
Don’t throw too much on your children at once. It’s a shock to everyone’s systems to be back in the groove. We were careful to not overload with unnecessary extracurriculars and outside commitments.
Sometimes it is also hard to remember that we ALL thrive on praise, and our children are no different. Praise them for a successful morning routine, Bible verses memorized, or a good report from the teacher.
Set Them Up For Success
In our house this means eating healthy meals and snacks, keeping a consistent bedtime, and allowing plenty of time to release all of that extra energy. An investment in a thirty minute bike ride or walk when children are antsy can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the rest of the day.
Above all, remember our ultimate goal: raising a generation of Godly men and women to serve Christ in the world. If what you are doing doesn’t fit that criteria, it probably isn’t worth your time.
Blessings to you for a fun-filled, educational, and Spirit-led path this school year!
Mary is a former public school music educator and piano teacher with a bachelor’s degree in Music and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision. She is now a homeschooling mom of two who seeks to learn and share about all things education! Her days are filled with music lessons, baseball practice, church work, and the blessing of time with her precious children. She blogs at Homegrown Learners and is a member of the iHomeschool Network.