I grew up in southern Minnesota as the youngest of five children. The oldest
in the family, my sister Judy, was sixteen years older than me so when I was
four, I became an aunt for the first time. With in a few years, there were more
nieces and nephews. I think that all of my nieces and nephews and I must
have driven my mom crazy because within a short time, she set up a little
school room for us so we could "play school."
I have been "playing school" ever since.
My mom was sure I was going to be a teacher. When it came time for me to go to college my family really never asked what I was going to college for. It was just assumed that I would be a teacher. In the spring of my junior year, an unplanned pregnancy took me down a different path. Before I knew it I was married and my husband and I were expecting our fifth child. I had thought my teaching days were over but I learned that the first teachers in life are really our parents and once again I had my own little classroom of our own children.
When our last child went to kindergarten, I started an in home childcare. I absolutely loved it! I felt like I hada new little class room of learners and I was "playing school" again. I was so fortunate to work with so many wonderful families. It is here that I learned exactly how important it is to "make learning fun" for kids.
I often found that if the kids thought what we were playing was a game, they would participate for a longer period of time and simply by saying the word game they would jump out of the humdrums of work and bring their enthusiasm of play.
In turn I found their enthusiasm contagious. Who can be sad in the mitts of laughing kids who are learning?
That enthusiasm has inspired me to create more and more activities and share them with others so that teachers and kids can catch the enthusiasm and start to make learning fun for everyone.
Things have again changed for me. I went back to college and picked up my Early Childhood Education degree.
Now my days are spent updating the website, blogging at Jo's Country Junction, teaching a few classes for CCRR and waiting for the bus to bring the kids back home. Being a stay at home mom and wife is still and always will be my priority.
I am so blessed to have a fabulous supportive husband who has helped things in our family work so that I could stay home with our children. He puts up with crafts and samples lying all around the house. He truly grounds me like an anchor yet gives me wings to fly.
God blessed us with five children who can put can really bring a smile to my life. They have put up with a mom who hula hoops in the yard as the bus pulls up the drive, makes kiddy bus shaped cupcakes for their high school friends, insists on reading children's books to them even though they are in college and prefer hanging out.
A special thanks to my daughter Kayla who is the techie of the bunch.
She designed the Making Learning Fun website for me and has put up with frantic calls at all times of the day to solve my problems when I "lose" something in the computer or accidentally delete something that was actually needed.
My hope is that people who use the website are inspired to make learning fun for all the little ones in their life.