Tips To Summer Homeschooling Success

All of our friends are out of school for the summer — and instead of following suit, we are homeschooling year-round. Before I tell you why we homeschool during the summer, let me first tell you why we don’t. We don’t homeschool year-round because we are sticklers for organized learning. We don’t homeschool during the ¬†summer to punish our kids ūüôā and we don’t homeschool year-round because we want to make life harder. We do homeschool during the summer because we believe that learning is simply a lifestyle.

Year-round schooling gives our family much more freedom than a summer break would. Here’s why:

  1. Summer learning allows us to bring our classroom outside.
  2. Schooling through the summer makes us become intentional about what we do and why.
  3. Summer schooling gives our family freedom throughout the entire year to flex our schooling calendars around holidays, family time, new opportunities and adventures that may pop up throughout the course of the year.
  4. Homeschooling through the summer means no jump-starts back to school and no worrying if our kids may have “forgotten” important learning hurdles through the summer.
  5. Summer learning teaches our children that life is learning and helps them become a lifelong learner.

Inevitably summer does look different for us in learning. We flex our schedules in the summer but are still intentional about our goals in learning at the same time. If you are a homeschooling family who is thinking about switching to a year-round schedule, here are some tips that may help the transition become easier and more fruitful.


  1. Get out and learn. Find connections between learning and the great outdoors. Explore the world around you as a family together and make the world your classroom.
  2. Focus on making memories. We can make sure we stay intentional if we focus on making memories during the summer. Learning together can become a family lifestyle if you learn to merge your family goals with your learning goals.
  3. Get outside the box. Summer schooling can be a great opportunity to get outside the learning stereotype you may have in your head. What adventures can you take this summer as a family? What are your children’s interests? What were your interests as a child that you could pass down to your kids?¬†
  4. Give yourself grace. The journey in homeschooling for your family will be a constant learning curve. Embrace it and give yourself the grace you need to fail and succeed at different times in order to figure out what is best for your family.
  5. Know your learning goals. What is it that you want your children to learn? What do you want them to get out of their summer? 

Learning through the summer can be a great gift for family learning. We currently follow a year-round model and use Mother Goose Time Curriculum for our homeschooling needs. We love the way this company makes our learning goals come to life.







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How Year-Round Homeschooling Can Change Your Life


I met a new friend the other day. When they saw it was the middle of the morning and my kids were with me, they asked me, “So, are you a stay-at-home mom?” All I could do was stare at her with a blank, deer-in-the-headlights look and smile and nod. Am I a stay-at-home mom? Yes and no.

I couldn’t answer her with a real answer. The true answer is that most mornings are filled with chaos in our home. The ministry phone is ringing, josh is answering the business lines constantly. The dog is barking at anything but a real emergency. And somehow in the middle of running a business and a ministry, I am there with cold coffee, and in sweat pants attempting to finish the first draft of my second book and teach¬†the kids. So, yes, new friend, I am a mom who stays at home. I am a business woman, a minister, a writer and author, and now a teacher. Life is never as simple as a yes and no answer. That’s why we need community so much.

You see, most people don’t understand what your life is like. Stereotypes are much easier to utilize than getting to know the truth about those around us. That’s the difference between society and community. I’ll save that tangent for another day.

I had another good friend of mine who was celebrating the end of school for her kids. She was so excited to have the summer “off”. Our family doesn’t know what that is like. We homeschool year round. When I used to hear the terms, year-round schooling, pictures of slow and painful death flooded my mind. That just sounded dreadful. Why would anyone put themselves through such a thing?

Until I did.

Our family uses Mother Goose Time Curriculum for preschool and kindergarten. I am head-over-heels in love with our team at MGT. They are a community that invests into one another. You need that if you are going to take the leap into teaching your children. That is the reason our family decided to becoming a homeschooling family. Our one goal has always been relationship. And this road was an organic step to accomplishing that for our tribe.

A couple weeks ago, my mom called me from Ohio and said she was surprising me by flying down south for my birthday. It was last minute. If we were a 9-5 family, her visit would not have been near as much fun as it was. Because we homeschool year round, we were able to take that week off and focus on building a relationship and memories with the kids Grammy, and their Great-Mamaw.

What’s more, we didn’t miss anything. My kids weren’t “behind”. In fact, they are ahead. Tell me again why people think homeschooling is strange? What could be strange about investing in your family? What could be strange about being free? To be your own boss? To use the short time you have with one another? Seems to me like it is strange not to.

Year round homeschooling can free your family for life’s surprises. It can help you juggle the other demands and roles in your life as well, without your children being left behind. Each day I am a business woman, a writer, an author, a teacher, a minister, a wife, a mom, a friend. And more. Instead of becoming burnt out, I can satisfy all of my obligations with excellence.

This summer we are doing a year review. We are also learning to swim and starting piano lessons. I am so excited about our learning adventures.

Year-Round Homeschooling Can:

  1. Give your family freedom and flexibility
  2. Help you prioritize your family over set learning timelines
  3. Learn at your own pace
  4. Get off-season rates on vacations, learning adventures, theme parks, and more.
  5. Help teach your children that learning is a lifestyle


What about your family? Are you living in your dreams together? Are you free?



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Reflecting On Your Homeschool Year

The first year of homeschooling is really just a rollercoaster ride of fear, excitement, and praying you don’t throw up. Well, I know that’s dramatic, but if you’re anything like me, it’s just plain truth. It’s hard being a homeschooling family. For the most part you will be the enigma to the community around you. Your motives are constantly questioned. You even might be the butt of jokes — we have. But in the end, whether you know it or not, you have the chance to embody what I call, the family dream.

Unlike the American dream, the family dream is not about you. Rather, its about building strong families who live, love and learn together. After all, if we don’t have families (marriages and children) to be with one another, what are we really doing anyway? Homeschooling gave our family that gift. And sure, it’s hard and sometimes as a work-at-home mom, it downright sucks. But you know what? We’re living the dream — our dream. And through tragedies and triumph, our family has stuck together.

Schools are wrapping up their calendar years this month and a lot of reflection is going on. As a homeschooling family, it is so very important to take the time to reflect on where you have come from, and where you now are in your journey. Our family uses Mother Goose Time Curriculum to live out our learning journeys. Have you looked them up? You should.

Do you remember the first day that you started asking yourself if homeschooling was for you? Maybe today is that day? Do you remember your “why”? How this all came about? The journey is the tough part, but it really is the gift, if we learn to see with new eyes.

It’s been a tough year for our tribe. We’ve buried two sons in two years. But these two — these two bring me joy in the midst of pain. These two have shown me that no matter what comes our way, our dream is being realized. These two love life. And they’ve taught me to do the same.

So wherever you find yourself on your journey, know this. It’s time to start living our dreams as families. Time will not wait for us. If not now, when?

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Life Science in Preschool Learning

I often receive emails with questions from parents who are starting out in their journey of homeschooling. I love to answer these because I know what it is like to be starting out with nothing but my instincts as my compass. Homeschooling is most definitely a life-long journey of new challenges and new levels as you grow. We love having a team with us to help us navigate our own road. If you haven’t already looked them up,¬†Mother Goose Time Curriculum¬†is an amazing company that can help you navigate your particular family’s learning goals.

How do you see your children learning about things that grow?

May is an amazing month for us each year because it truly represents life for our family. We spent April watching caterpillars morph into butterflies right before our eyes. May, though has been a month of harvest for us. Mississippi is neat that way. We can grow things most of the year because of our climate. This month, our strawberry crop has been producing. We also worked hard to landscape our home with roses and each night, our watering routine is a good 30 minutes long! My two love to learn about things that grow. The best way I have been able to teach them about this is to have them walk out the journey with me. We found an old pallet — and decided to have a lemonade stand, of course. With the money my kids made selling cookies and lemonade, they were able to buy strawberry plants from the local nursery in town. And we watered them for over a month before our first strawberry emerged.

Can you see their delight? 13071883_10153705815903235_3466214052965336737_o
What Mother Goose Time activities or discussions have helped your children realize that they have basic needs and that plants and animals do too?

We love Mother Goose Time life science activities! At this age, preschoolers love to associate their world to the things around them. For instance, while watering the strawberries one night, my four-year-old said, “Mommy, plants need water to grow just like we need water!” She was so excited that there was common ground between her life and those things around her. And she was connecting the dots.

We also have a small white fur ball of a dog named Dove. We love her. Even though she is so ornery. Now that they kids are older, they are responsible for helping feed her and walk her. As they are living out their learning, their realize the basic needs of the things around them.
How are you using Mother Goose Time to grow empathetic and caring children for each other and the environment?

I might be the odd one out, but I don’t really believe we can put empathy in someone else. I do, however, believe we can call it out in others. And that we can do so by living it out. My little ones are still young to have full maturity in their emotions — heck, even I do. But I notice while living out the lessons they learn with Mother Goose Time that they are beginning to connect the dots. The dots between our life and the lives of those around them. It has been an amazing year in learning with our tribe. We’re excited to see what adventure is next!




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Experiencing God Curriculum from Mother Goose Time

My kids love Jesus. But oftentimes, I am leery about integrating someone else’s bible curriculum into our family. Mostly because I want to make sure we keep freedom as the primary atmosphere in our home. As a missionary I have cringed when I’ve received samples of some bible curriculum for preschoolers that makes a point to limit God’s power or push a specific church agenda. That was, until I met tracy at our curriculum company,¬†Mother Goose Time.

From the moment I saw their Experiencing God curriculum add-ons, I was so excited to find a bible curriculum that was vibrant and colorful, but also allowed for me to be the primary teacher when it comes to explaining the heart of God to my littles.

Take a look at what I receive each month for experiencing God in preschool.


Their ability to design a curriculum that is inviting and aesthetically pleasing is one of the greatest factors that sets Mother Goose Time curriculum a part from their competitors. I actually want to learn with my children. And it’s so refreshing to have graphics that match our century. This wasn’t the case for most of the curriculum companies I looked at before teaching my children.

I also love that I am able to laminate and save a lot of the curriculum pieces I am given. For example, these awesome memory verse cards. I laminate and put them on key rings. I know we will use them for years to come.


The layout of the experiencing God curriculum is also great for churches who are looking for a curriculum for their Sunday school programs. There are four main lessons that correlate with one lesson a week for churches. And each child has a pre-packaged kit with most of the supplies needed to complete the crafts that go with the lessons.


The teacher handbook is light and compact, which I love. Mother Goose time is honestly the most versatile curriculum we have had the privilege of coming in contact with. As a traveling family, we can still fit all of our school needs in a small bag. It gives us freedom to explore the world around us, literally, as a family.


If you’ve been looking for a homeschool add-on for integrating bible into your learning adventures. You might be a parent who wants to more actively engage your child in the bible, or a church leader who is looking for a curriculum to work with your children’s department. In either case, Mother Goose Time Curriculum can serve your family or church family’s needs.

Check them out at 



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Hope Is A Four-Letter Word


Our words have power. For so long I dismissed that truth mainly because I was so put off by televangelists who hijacked it with “name-it-claim-it” theologies. I have spent my life chasing Hope. That journey took me through over a dozen nations — I looked for it in so many places. But Hope wasn’t someTHING to be found. No, Hope was someONE. Hope was a Person.

There’s more.¬†

The truth is that our words are not magic. They are powerful. That means that our words do not become spells to conjure what we wish to happen. Sometimes our words are most powerful in tragedy. I’m living proof of that fact.

I found Hope in the eyes of children throughout the world as a young girl. This man — Jesus — the King who left glory for the dirt, He was there. In the chaos, He had turned holy. In the suffering that I witnessed, but didn’t experience first-hand. Until I did.

On a rainy day in August, we buried our little Boy, Beau. I thought Hope had left us. Then,¬†lightening struck twice — and a year later, our most paralyzing fears came true, and we buried our baby Montgomery.

Had I missed something? 

When I was a traveling vagabond of a missionary, a blind man was healed in front of my eyes in the middle of nowhere in the african bush. I found Hope there. People cheered. I thought I had found the answer I had been searching for when I found Jesus in the dirt of the third-world. But I only knew a half-truth.

Most of us spend our lives living out our faith as tamed house cats rather than powerful lions. Our faith has a tendency to become domesticated and supernatural living becomes a philosophy rather than a lifestyle.

It’s so very easy to fall prey to believing following Jesus means adopting wishful thinking. Isn’t that what we’ve done with HOPE? We hope that our lives will matter. We hope that someday our kids will grow up to be happy and walking in the fullness of who they have been made to be. We hope our favorite team wins the game.¬†In the same breath, we hope that our family member becomes a cancer survivor. We hope tomorrow is better than today. We hope. But do we know the Person of Hope?

So many times we use the word hope when all we are really referring to is wishful thinking. We forget the power of who Hope is. We forget the power that blew open a grave and conquered death so that we could know life that is abundant, never-ending, and free. We forget that that same power lives inside of us.

We use the word hope as a way to express our uncertainty. And when our vision of hope is destroyed through suffering, we feel lost and abandoned. When we use hope to describe our own feelings of fear, we unknowingly un-follow the person of Hope. 

Hope is a four-letter word. 

There were many days in the aftermath of our tragedies where I definitely used¬†four-letter words. But Hope wasn’t one of them. I hated the loss of our dreams. That’s when I learned the rest of the half-truth I found with the poor in the third world. Hope is just as powerful in the times of tragedy, death and loss as it is in the times of miracles and greatness.¬†In fact, Hope thrives and is most powerful in our ashes.

The power of Hope — God with us — doesn’t ignore our pain. He is not a God who hides behind the suffering of the world — He is Good, and is not double-minded. This four-letter word of Hope speaks blessings into our lives. It’s not a magical formula for everything to work out right. It’s the same expectation of God showing up in the same way that He did on the day His Son died.

Heaven, too lost a Son. Where was God when He himself needed a miracle? The story of Jesus’ death and resurrected is so revealing on answering that gut-wrenching question of the hurting of where is God in our suffering?

Heaven’s Son was hanging on a tree and all of Hell rested on His shoulders. He cried out for His Father — but the world thought that God answered, “No”. It seemed as if God did not show up. There was no miracle. No gold dust or smoke machine. There was no majesty in the death of this royal. Just great darkness blanketed him.

I remember the day I had to tell the world God had not answered our prayers, and we would not be bringing home our son from the hospital. I still remember the shame that I wore that day. The same cheers that overwhelmed us when the miracles happened, grew strangely silent.

Where was He?

Had God left us?

Had He said “No” to the cries of our hearts?

But just like Heaven’s story, ours does not end there. He always redeems. The resurrected King, resurrects us. By His spirit we rise too! We rise from the ashes of our defeat, just like He did. That’s the power of Hope. Nothing touched by Him stays dead forever.

I think it’s time to use these four-letter words again. Not because we wish for a happy-ever-after. But because we know who He is — and that He doesn’t change.

I struggled for a long time after our boys died not because I lost sight of who God is — that He was Good. Not because I believed God had orchestrated my pain as a “test” and not because I believed God just closed His eyes to my suffering. It was simply because I missed the rest of the story.¬†

I thought it was over. I thought God had answered. I thought our story had ended.

I thought He had left. I thought that I would always have to live with the deep question of why God had “chosen” to heal one of my children, but not the other. I thought it was a Yes – No answer.

But it wasn’t.

He hadn’t said “no” to my gut-wrenching cries as I gripped my babies in my arms and begged Him to breath life to them again. Just like He hadn’t said “No” as all Heaven watched the Son cry-out His last breath and Mary held Him in her arms crying out my same cry — for a son to live once more.¬†

God didn’t fail to show up. This was the precessional to the greatest miracle the world has or ever will know. God showed up when He robbed the grave three days later. You see, God ALWAYS shows up.

He didn’t leave His only Son anymore than He will ever leave you.

For a long time, because of the networks our family is in, I begged for isolation. When people shared miracles of how “God had come through” for their family, I ached inside. Each time I saw a story of God healing a baby, my faith felt beaten. Bad theology — even well-meaning encouragement from friends and ministry friends made me believe that sometimes miracles happen and sometimes they don’t.¬†

But when God showed up in our ashes, I saw His truth. He was here the entire time. God-with-us means God-never-leaves-us. 

Our God has robbed the grave.

If you’ve struggled with the thinking that God didn’t show up when you needed Him most. If the confusion of why haunts you and your faith feels broken, I want to remind you of who He is — and that your story isn’t over.

The resurrected King is resurrecting us. We are rising from our ashes. And we are watching for Him to trump our suffering with His power. And He is.

Our family has an announcement coming soon. Stay tuned.



“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”(Colossians 1:27)


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An Upside-Down Approach to Teaching Your Child

1I receive a lot of questions from moms out there who are interested in homeschooling, and from moms who are trying to take the leap into taking charge of their children’s education. Most of those questions fall into two categories: the help-me-I-don’t-know-where-to-start questions and the I-still-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing questions.¬†

I can relate. When I started the journey of teaching my children, all I wanted was for someone to give me a road map for success. Unfortunately, my tendency in educating my kids was bent towards re-creating my own learning history growing up. I made the mistake early on attempting to re-create public education for my children inside my school. I set up a classroom, I decorated it to the 9’s, and I spent hours making my dining room into our official school room. All of those things were great — and had great motives. I truly wanted to give my children the best education possible. The problem was my only grid for education was in a system that didn’t do much for me as a student. Sure, I was a “gifted student” in school. But that was simply because I was great at memorizing material and decoding tests.

Learning to shape my children’s education meant that I needed to learn with them. I would have first un-learn everything I thought I knew about teaching and learning. And, I had to make the choice to learn alongside my children — to personalize and individualize their learning.

I have friends who have become so burnt out on homeschooling because they have been stuck around a table reading from books and having their children fill out endless worksheets on material they thought they needed to know. I’ve been there. I think all moms know that sense of panic that consumes you as a parent from time to time when it comes to your children meeting pre-set learning milestones.

When our first born was born 14 weeks early and weighed only a little over a pound, I knew that feeling more than most. I obsessed over if she would be “normal”, if she would walk and talk when she “was supposed to” and I panicked most months about the what if’s. Nearly five years later, I have a daughter who is ahead of her age for learning. And guess what, it’s not because I knew the answers to the panic that consumed me in those early years. Her intelligence and wins in her journey in life has been because she is a fighter — and her wins have been because of what is inside of her — not in how good of a mom I was.¬†

My best piece of advice for moms who are jumping into teaching their children is this: be a mom who sees a need and meets it. Forget about making up needs that aren’t there. Forget what the needs of other children are. What does YOUR child need? What do they need NOW?¬†

Individualizing instruction is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children in homeschooling. It means that you can call out the greatness — the gold — in your children. You can meet them where they are at and journey with them on their road of discovering the world around them. And guess what? You can have adventures — you don’t have to be stuck around a table. You don’t have to follow a system that has failed you.

My son loves movement. He is a natural ball of energy and I have had to learn to give him opportunities to live out his learning with all of his senses. He needs movement to learn. Dance and movement is so important to preschool development because they are meant to learn the world around them with all of their senses. 

This month, we raised caterpillars and watched butterflies being “born” right before our eyes. It has been a great learning experience for our family. We have a great curriculum team that helps make our learning adventures that much more thrilling. If you haven’t checked out¬†Mother Goose Time Curriculum¬†click on the link and see what we use.

And if you’re a parent who is struggling with the mountain in front of you of teaching your children, know this truth: you are exactly what your child needs. They need YOU. If you are needing a place to start with teaching your children, I’d encourage you to study your kids. Get to know them. Find out what their needs are and begin to meet and address those needs one by one. Find a great resource team for helping fulfill your goals in learning. And remember to create memories — because those just might be the greatest gift homeschooling will give your family.¬†



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The Lifecycle of the Butterfly: Hands-On Learning For Preschoolers

12991938_10153662066363235_768653696_oSpringtime is most definitely my favorite season down here in the south. If you’ve visited or live here, you’ll know why. Summer is a hellish inferno which I’m pretty sure is hilarious considering we are considered part of the “Bible belt”. And fall/winter — we skip those seasons down here and fall becomes hurricane season, followed by two ¬†months of semi-cold weather. Honestly, here in Mississippi, we have two seasons: hot, and hotter. So springtime, offers us this reprieve from the heat where life seems new and the possibilities are endless.

This month, we’ve been covering the life cycle of the butterfly for our preschool learning adventures. If you’ve followed us, you know we use¬†Mother Goose Time Curriculum. Our curriculum gives me the tools to live out our learning in some pretty amazing ways. For Easter, our kid’s grandparents purchased caterpillars so that they could watch the lifecycle of the butterfly with a front row seat.

Our caterpillars grew and we watched. They morphed into cocoons and we watched. And this past weekend, our butterflies were “born” and we watched from the front row! I was so excited that we actually were able to witness one butterfly emerging from their cocoon in real-time. Check out our video!

When you are thinking of ways to teach your children, remember hands-on learning produces lasting lessons for your child. Not to mention, memories that you will hold onto forever.

Are you having your own butterfly adventures with your children? Check out our recent post on Making Learning A Lifestyle: Preschool Butterfly Adventures


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Making Learning A Lifestyle: Preschool Butterfly Adventures

One of the greatest gifts of choosing to homeschool our family was the freedom¬†to make learning a lifestyle — that is, being intentional about making our learning a process of experiencing the world around us with all of our senses. It’s so very important at preschool age, to integrate all learning styles into your focus in teaching your kids. You can read more about Discovering Your Child’s Learning Style here. We’ve taken a leap and decided to live out our learning this month in preschool.

I’m very grateful to be a part of an awesome curriculum team at Mother Goose Time.¬†They integrate all of our curriculum and even prep most of our activities to streamline our learning process. I appreciate this so much as a mom due to my work load. I am a business leader, writer and published author, and director of a ministry that is becoming international in the next year. Because of this, Mother Goose Time allows me the freedom of being excellent in all areas — and I can’t tell you how amazing that has been for our family.

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Butterflies in April

This month, we have be learning about the lifestyle of the butterfly. My kids have been so excited, because we decided to purchase live caterpillars to watch the life cycle first hand.

We purchased them here.

Each month we post our learning crafts on our class bulletin board. It gives our kids a sense of ownership and they love recounting what they learned and what they made in the process. 12970670_10153662067368235_732463181_o

We have been able to integrate science activities, name recognition and writing activities, number recognition and counting, handwriting, crafts, and fine motor skills in our learning this week. We’ve even been able to continue on our journey of pre-writing skills before starting phonemic awareness (a fancy word for learning the basics of phonics) before pre-reading starts this summer.

We arrived home from the store last night to find a surprise. Our first butterfly was “born”! We are witnessing our learning right in front of our lives and it is thrilling even as an adult!¬†[wpvideo eWiFEzlM]

Interested in Making Learning A Lifestyle in your family? Here are some tips.

  1. Know your “Why”. Why have you chosen to teach your children? When you know your way, it is easier to find vision for the road ahead. Brainstorm by journalling, talking with and dreaming with your spouse – Dad’s are great resources for learning. Homeschooling is a family affair and your “Why” will be different from everyone else’s.¬†
  2. Remember to learn through information and experience. I can remember when I was younger and in the process of starting my first non-profit organization. A coach of mine told me a truth that changed my perspective. He said, “It’s easier to learn from information than from experience. But you need to know when to choose each one.” Sure, learning from information can save us time in re-creating already established wheels in anything that we do. But sometimes learning by experience, equips us better for the journey ahead. My mother-in-law was a public school teacher for over three decades. I have been privileged to learn a lot from here in teaching my kids. But one day I had an epiphany and had to let her know that there were some things I needed to learn through experience instead of through her information or from the information of veteran homeschooling moms. And you know what? Taking the time to go through that process has made me a better teacher to my kids. It also has given me authority that I was giving over to others who had more experience than me. You may be learning from information by way of others – and it’s great to be teachable. But remember that you are free to have your process — those experiences will shape your child’s learning adventures in the days and years ahead.
  3. 3. Learn with all 5 senses. If you think opening a book and reading each day how to homeschool your child is the pathway to a great education – think again. Children own what they learn through experiencing their education with all five senses. You can start this simply by finding supplements to your textbook learning with tactile adventures. For instance, earlier this year we learned about food and fitness and learning where our food comes from. We decided to take the kids to a local farm and began buying locally for our eggs and honey. Simple hands on experiences to accompany our learning are a gateway to making learning a lifestyle in your family.


Take a look at our adventures in the lifecycle of the butterfly this month!


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Father/Son Soccer Saturdays!



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