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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Christmas Poem Copywork

Christina Rosetti

Today I'd like to share a poem my nine year old is copying - she will be finishing it this week, then giving it to her grandmother for Christmas. She copies a stanza and illustrates that stanza (I printed some paper from Donna Young's website for this purpose). It is a beautiful poem - last year we just memorized the last stanza, but this year we're going for the whole thing!

Christina Rosetti wrote the poem and it was set to music (a hymn) by Holst in 1906. Fine poetry and music like this is a gift we can give to our children.

In The Bleak MidWinter by Christina Rosetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

*This post is linked to Mustard Seed Planting at Mom's Mustard Seeds - visit Rebecca's blog for inspiration.


Our Christmas Library Find AND Christmas Camp


Wow -- today at The Homeschool Chick I've been featured on the Hip Homeschool Hop post. I love this site and get so many wonderful ideas from the bloggers that link up each Tuesday. So, please visit and get some inspiration!

Last week we made our trip to the library and stocked up on as many Christmas books as we could find. While I was browsing, I came across a copy of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and also was able to find the DVD to go along with it. Let me tell you -- this has been so much fun for us this week! I didn't plan this activity, it just kind of fell in my lap, and I'm glad it did.

We read the first couple of chapters Saturday evening, and by yesterday afternoon we had finished the book. I had always heard of the book, but didn't know much about it. I think why we liked it so much is because it has lots of humor for boys (my six year old son loved it!) and the story turns out so sweetly (which appealed to my nine year old daughter!). If you're not familiar with the story, here's a synopsis:

The Herdmans are the meanest, nastiest group of six unruly siblings in town. They'll ruin the Christmas Pageant for sure ... or will they? This is a chuckle-on-every-page, action-packed account of how one town deals with the biggest Christmas-pageant challenge in their history.

Meet the Herdmans--six awful kids and one stressed-out cat, all prone to mischief of the worst kind. Like the time they set fire to Fred Shoemaker's toolhouse while playing with a stolen chemistry set, or when Claude Herdman "emptied the whole first grade in three minutes flat when he took the cat to Show-and Tell."

The Herdman kids attend Sunday school only because they think they'll get to eat cake there. Once Christmas pageant plans begin, they intimidate all the other children into letting them volunteer for the biggest parts. When the town reacts with horror to the news that the most sinful children will be playing the holiest roles, the pageant director becomes even more determined to make it work. Even though they look more like trick-or-treaters than Bible figures, the Herdmans don't ruin the pageant; instead, they improve it, and give the story a surprisingly sentimental ending.

(taken from Common Sense Media)

After we read the book and discussed, then we watched the one hour movie. It held so true to the book, and was quite comical. A word of caution: There are some mildly offensive words and situations in this book. I think Common Sense Media recommends it for ages nine and up. My kids, however, didn't latch onto this aspect of the book, and we did have a great discussion about the Christmas story, and followed up with a reading of the Christmas story from the book of Luke.

I must admit, this is about the extent of our schooling this week - we're pretty much on break! My children have been attending a Christmas camp at a local arts studio and gymnastics academy. It is 9-1 each day and they have played, jumped, made crafts, and just had fun in general. I have loved having some time to run errands and catch up with a dear friend. Tomorrow is the last day - my husband has the day off and we are going to spend it together (what a novel concept!). My children have really enjoyed themselves, too.... so I feel good about leaving them for those four hours. Look at this clever cupcake ornament Miss B made yesterday. It is made with spray insulation and spackle! How clever is that?

It sounds funny to say, but I appreciate the "socialization" they are getting there - and by that I mean the chance to meet new children, adapt to a new situation, and see that they can succeed and enjoy themselves in different settings. Most of the children there are public or private schooled children and I think it is good for my kids to associate with ALL children. AND, I think that three mornings is the perfect amount of time.... then I'm ready to have them back at home until a couple of different summer camps occur.

Thanks for stopping by my blog - if you're here from the Hip Homeschool Hop, please leave me a note to say hello! I wish you many blessings during this Christmas season!


Multitude Monday #441-460

Several things have impacted me over the past couple of weeks - a wonderful sermon at church, quiet devotions with my children in the morning, the many Christmas books we have read, and good talks with friends and family. There is so much to be grateful for in my life. Today, in particular, I was tempted to be dragged down by forces outside of my control, but when I sat down to write about my blessings it all came so easily, and my mood lifted. What a gift it is to blog about gratitude each Monday.

What I am thankful for:

441. the ability to set goals and work little by little to achieve them
442. my husband - who leads me in these goals and inspires me
443. beautiful Christmas music this morning by Andrea Boccelli

444. support from a good friend today
445. a fun morning for my children at Christmas camp
446. our church, Word of God Lutheran
447. a group of five sweet little girls who have been ringing chimes together the past few weeks
448. an uninterrupted hour laying on the couch with my children and finishing a book
449. grandparents

450. the Children's Liturgy at our church -- we have just a handful of children, but so many ways for them to be active participants in the life of the church

451. time this week to have a breakfast with a good friend, and lunch with my husband!
452. Angry Birds (I'm officially addicted!)

453. my daughter's gift of playing the piano - her dad and I are so proud of her
454. health for a college friend... she is a breast cancer SURVIVOR and I am grateful
455. fond Christmas memories (I love the little bare feet in this photo!)

456. an interim pastor at our church
457. our new Godson, Noah, and the miracle of his life now compared to what it could have been like as an orphan in China. God is so very good.
458. Peppermint Bark
459. Fantasy Fudge
460. The Mystery of Christmas