Welcome! My name is Mary. I help parents educate their children at home one day at a time. This site offers LEGO printablesfree music lessonsunit studies,  and much more. Use the tabs above to discover what Homegrown Learners has to offer. You will be equipped and encouraged to travel a most amazing path in your home!


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A Random Act of Culture

I just found this today. It is so inspiring - I wish I could have been there. I hope you enjoy it as well!

This occurred at the Wannamaker Building in Philadelphia, which houses the largest pipe organ in the world... now there is a Macy's in the building. Six hundred choristers from the Philadelphia Opera Chorus spontaneously broke into the Hallelujah Chorus. I love to watch the looks on the faces of the observers!

For more information about the event, click here.

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Favorite Holiday Cards

I've had mixed feeling about Christmas cards the past few years. After all, most people see pictures and news about our family through Facebook, email, and my blog. But, I also know how much we love getting cards, putting them in a basket, and keeping them out to look at and share with guests that visit us during the holidays. So, I'm sending cards this year.

I'm so excited Shutterfly is offering free holiday cards to bloggers! I've used Shutterfly in the past (for cards, individual pictures, and gifts) and have always had good results. I love to send Christmas cards, and this year I'm going to do a photo card through Shutterfly.

In looking at their designs this year (and I always like to keep it on the cheap side), this one was one of my favorites. I love how it could have a picture of each of my children separately, and then one of them together.

When I searched in their "religious" category, I came up with this card -- and the price is right, too!

I also like their traditional folded cards - and even though they are a little more expensive, if it was in my budget I would go for it.

Last year I did New Year's cards, which worked really well, because in the quiet weeks after Christmas I got those out and it wasn't quite so hectic. I love this New Year's card - now, I wonder if I have a cute picture from each month of 2010 to pull it off?

So, if you're looking for some cute cards (and bloggers, maybe some FREE cards!), head over to Shutterfly and check out their selection!
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Learning about Thanksgiving in a Deeper Way - Free Resource!

I think that I, like so many other adults my age (and now children following in our footsteps) learned about Thanksgiving in a very superficial way. You know what I mean: pilgrims, Indians, turkey, the voyage to America - that's it. I could tell you dates and reasons to be thankful, but I don't think I ever quite understood the true motivation behind the first Thanksgiving.

True, our little ones (like my five year old son) think Thanksgiving is all about turkeys and a fancy dinner, but I'm really hoping that through our studies this year we are getting at the heart of what it means to be an AMERICAN, and the importance of Thanksgiving. In our home this year we also have much to be thankful for. We have family coming (who we don't see often) and it is my father's 80th birthday.

Since we have been homeschooling I've learned so much, and I'm thrilled to be learning alongside my children. Here are two of my favorite Thanksgiving resources (and one of them is FREE!):

  • Stories of the Pilgrims: You can read this online at the Baldwin Project for free. It is a beautiful set of stores following the pilgrims from England to Holland (how come I never learned they stopped there first?!?), then on to America. Last night we learned about water barges in Holland. The pilgrims have escaped "scorn" in England and are spending some time in Holland. Each chapter is full of tiny gems about the pilgrims, and also gives us a glimpse into ourselves. The chapters are short and packed with interesting adventures, so a little one can sit through the reading, but an older child will still be interested as well. Both my five and nine year old LOVE it. After dinner each night they ask me to sit down and "see what the pilgrims are up to now". Thank you to Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool for blogging about this resource!
  • The Thanksgiving Story: This book is part of Sonlight's Core 3. It is an accurate, interesting story of the first Thanksgiving. We read it last year and it will read it again this year the day before Thanksgiving.

In addition to these resources, I'm thankful we get to keep God at the head of this celebration. When we were in public school God wasn't mentioned during this holiday. I didn't understand at the time what a travesty that really was and how much my daughter was being deprived of a real education at this time of year. I'm thankful we homeschool.

Now, Our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:13

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