Book Tour Interview

with Mary Ann Johnson.

Occasionally we come across a fantastic resource we think you would enjoy. You all know or will soon figure out that you cannot successfully accomplish homeschooling without first having a thriving relationship with your children.

Mary Ann Johnson helps people accomplish just that – a thriving relationship in all types of relationships. She reminds us of the age old principles that if followed lead to an increase of joy.

Mary Ann has just came out with a wonderful book on being a present parent. She talks about how to connect with your children in 5 minutes or less and how these small interactions will transform your relationships.

She is having a virtual tour of her book today through June 13th. Check it out here:

Here is our interview with her about her book:

Check out her website here:

Act and Receive Pattern of Learning

As a young homeschool mother teaching and learning along with my children I began seeing a pattern. It started out with a feeling of “there’s got to be more.” I began teaching my children with pictures, games, sounds and stories. As they got older I added words and dates and times. I was teaching them as I had learned in school. But, I kept remembering that as a child in the gospel I wanted to know more about patterns, I longed for the “whole picture.” When my Young Woman’s teacher asked what we wanted to learn I was excited to tell her I wanted to know how all the scripture stories fit together. For one reason or another, she never taught it and I continued to be hungry. The thought occurred to me, “Why not learn it as I am teaching my children?” Of course! I could learn it myself. This was a big revelation as I had always been told what to learn, it never occurred to me I could learn it on my own.

I opened up the Old Testament (along with the institute manual) and began teaching ancient history. We started with the Creation, the Fall and went through all the scripture stories. We would put pictures on the wall to “see” the whole picture. Years later, my hunger was being satisfied.

I noticed that there were levels of learning. 1) Telling the story, giving the facts and information – the Telestial Level 2) Seeing and understanding principles – the Terrestrial Level and 3) Applications, having the principles change us individually – the Celestial Level. This became my goal, getting to  level three every day. After all, life was the time we are to learn to become like Christ.

This proved to be harder than I had originally thought, “How do I help them get to the Celestial Level every day?” On day as I experimented with teaching, I wrote down a Give and Action or spiral pattern: “learn – knowledge – apply – understand – share – wisdom.” This simple pattern has developed into The Key Pattern of Learning.

The Act and Receive Pattern of Learning:

  • We act by Learning and receive Knowledge
  • We act by Applying and receive Understanding
  • We act by Sharing and receive Wisdom

Teach so they Become Effective Teachers

As a missionary, I memorized the Standard of Truth written by Joseph Smith. I always thought that it was meant only for missionaries. But recently I have concluded that it is for mothers too.

The Lord has asked us as covenant keeper to proclaim the Lord’s teachings unto the entire world and to prepare to accomplish what the Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed – to see that “the truth of God [goes] forth boldly, nobly … till it has penetrated every continent … swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished. …” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 540.)

In order to proclaim and to prepare the world, we must teach our children not only to be righteous covenant keepers but to become effective teachers too. As mothers we are their teachers, but how are we teaching them to become teachers?
Here is how to teach them how to teach:

The church has two new manuals/programs to help us: Gospel Teaching and Learning and Teaching Christ’s Way. They are both fantastic in helping us become better teachers and teaching how to teach.
Here are a few things the Savior said about teaching:

It is our duty as mothers to prepare our children “to develop a strong foundation and belief in the true gospel of Jesus Christ” and to improve our teaching techniques to bring about worthwhile changes in their lives. It is our responsibility to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (D&C 88:77) and teach it effectively so that we, ourselves, our children and their children will be able to perceive and comprehend the teachings of our Master. And we help them by teaching them to teach effectively.

The next few Table Talk Discussions will be focusing on a learning pattern to help you and your children how to teach effectively so that we, as mothers, are preparing to accomplish and witness the “truth of God [going] forth boldly, nobly, till it has penetrated every continent … swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of Godshall be accomplished. …”

Are they getting it?

I have wondered if my children were understanding what I was teaching them. This week while studying the colonial time period and ready Johnny Tremain. I would stop and ask my children if they understood what I was teaching them. I specifically was observing the learning of my six-year-old. He often could not tell me anything about what we had read and I’d have to retell it or have one of the older children tell him what we read.

This bothered me so I talked to him about it. I’d tell him, “I’m going to read this small section and have you tell me what we read.” I would read and stop to ask him. He would almost verbatim tell me what we read. The first few times this satisfied me. He told me the same words I read. Then it occurred to me he was only memorizing the words and not really understanding them. “Now what?” I remembered asking myself.

One day while reading Johnny Tremain I stopped and asked everyone what “desertion” meant. They didn’t really know, so I defined it. Then their older college-age brother came in and defined it even better and we talked about examples. When I felt everyone understood I went back to reading. The story about Pumpkin, Johnny’s friend getting caught and tried for desertion continued. Tirzaan, my 6-year-old got up from the floor and sat next to me and asked, “What does desertion mean?”

I was shocked. Wait, how in the world could he not have gotten anything from the discussion we just had? I explained it to him again trying not to sound frustrated and a little disgusted.

I pondered on this incident for some time. I have concluded – children must have a question and seek the answer before true understanding can happen.  This is a life-changing principle for me. I’m so glad I discovered it and will now be a better teacher for my children.

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