Study Music This Holiday Season! 






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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Hiding the Word in Our Hearts Through Music and Story

One of my daughter's Sunday School teachers sent her a sweet Christmas card, and in that card was a New Year's challenge - to read the book of John in 30 days. We have been doing this together as a family, and today we got to John 6 - the Feeding of the Five Thousand. I just love this story, and it amazes me that no matter how many times we read this account, my children never get bored and tell me how much they love the story.

As we were reading John this morning, verse 35 jumped out at me:

Then Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty."

and then, a bit later, verse 40 jumped out at me as well:

My father wants all who look to the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day.

Wow. What an amazing promise.

Immediately, the hymn, "I am the Bread of Life" came into my mind and I started singing it for the children - then I went and got our Lutheran Book of Worship and found the music so I could play and sing it for them again. Let me tell you - - I love the deep rooted musical traditions in my Lutheran faith. I love that I can sing scripture, because I've been doing it during every church service since I was a small child. I love that I read the Bible and know a hymn or snippet from our liturgy that says the same thing. I love beautiful music and want to share this with my children. What a great way to hide God's word in my heart, and now in my children's hearts as well.

Here is "I am the Bread of Life" - listen to the words and just enjoy the promises that John 6 offers all of us. (I found lots of versions on YouTube, but I liked this one because its beautiful pictures and scripture.... and.... I love contemporary Christian music, but my favorite Christian music has to be traditional hymns, and works by the Baroque masters)

After we did our reading and listened to the hymn, I remembered we had a book by Max Lucado that is a story based on the Feeding of the Five Thousand, Small Gifts in God's Hands. This is one of our favorite books, and I enjoyed snuggling with my children this morning sharing the story again - and today it seemed to have even more meaning.

I'm linking up today with Rebecca at Mom's Mustard Seeds. Head over to her blog to see how other moms are hiding God's word in their hearts and in their children's hearts, too.


Our Somewhat Wacky (but WONDERFUL!) Read-Aloud

Last time we were at the bookstore I started looking through all the books in the Newberry Award section. We had a few extra dollars on a gift card and I thought it would be fun to purchase a completely random read-aloud for us. Normally our books go along with our curriculum, but with the holidays approaching I just wanted something fun for us to devour. I must say - I made GOOD PICK!

I could tell you all about the book, but I found a great site - The Children's Book Almanac - that does a wonderful job:

William Waterman Sherman, the protagonist of the Newbery Medal book The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois, has been teaching arithmetic to boys for forty years in San Francisco: “Forty years of spitballs. Forty years of glue on my seat.” So at the age of sixty-six, he retires, builds a hot-air balloon, and sets off to sail around the world.

But as he soon discovers, being airborne produces other problems besides spitballs. Seagulls start to eat on his balloon and create a huge hole. After he plummets into the sea, he finds shelter on an island beach. This is not just any island, but the remarkable island of Krakatoa, built on the wealth of massive diamond mines. The island seems like paradise: the residences have constructed amazing homes, each one organized around the architecture of a different county, and filled them with conveniences. Their beds, for instance, have sheets that mechanically change every day and get washed, dried, and pressed. After a life of service, the professor might well have lived a life of luxury. But as is always true, timing is everything—because he has landed three days before a volcano erupts on the island of Krakatoa. Science, invention, fantasy, science fiction, and action all come together in a book that moves from one amazing plot detail to another.

So if you want to read a ripping- good story, pick up The Twenty-One Balloons. Even if it doesn’t change your life, it will certainly keep you engaged with its humor and panache.

The book has tons of possibilities for extending learning - we have looked up the entire history of Krakatoa and the eruption in the late 1800s. Very interesting. We have been researching hot air balloons and diamonds. We used our new National Geographic Atlas app on the iPad to look up all the countries talked about in the book. Someone mentioned making our own volcano, which I hope to do in the next couple of weeks!

What I love is that this book appeals to both my nine and six year olds -- the zany personality of William Waterman Sherman makes my little guy laugh, and my daughter just appreciates the clever, intricate writing.

If you want to know more about the book - check out this storyboard/Flash animation for the book. Apparently someone has the rights to turn it into a movie - I can't wait!

This post is linked to The Hip Homeschool Hop and Teach Me Tuesday - I think Tuesdays are my favorite blog reading day because there are so many ideas floating around. Visit each of these sites to get your brain moving!



Multitude Monday - Thankful for a New Year!

With the changing of the year comes the changing of goals, attitudes, and habits. What a blessing that we get a "fresh start". It's funny how the simple turning of a page on a calendar can spur us on to so many things. In thinking about fresh starts it also stands to reason that we think about the many blessings we already possess.... and in the past week of "vacation" there has been much time to reflect upon gratitude.

481. a peaceful few days, enjoying some colder weather sitting by the fireplace - admiring the stockings that were lovingly knit by my sister
482. pralines - made by my neighbor who is always making us treats!
483. friends, who listen and support you - even when you're griping about something trivial
484. music - even though it's the same song being played on the electronic keyboard - OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
485. several dinners, cooked by my husband and not me!
486. freshly shampooed carpets (again - done my husband, and not me!)
487. the lingering of the Christmas spirit - as we wait for Epiphany
488. a quiet morning alone, packing away all of the precious ornaments from our tree; each one holds beautiful memories
489. fun times playing "Guess Who?" with my son - what a great game!

490. lots of time spent reading out loud to my children, and them HAPPILY turning off the television when I say "let's read!"
491. my iPad - a great research tool
492. free book downloads
493. special relationships my daughter has with a few adults - what a blessing they are to her
494. a big decision made for our church today
495. time today to get ready for our study of The Ancients.... exciting for me!
496. my husband offering to take us out to dinner tonight -- again.... exciting for me!
497. text messaging - I keep in touch with so many people this way
498. flavored creamer in my coffee
499. reading through the book of John together with my children
500. a new year and a new start!