Before I go on to the rest of our delightful days together at the lake, I have to take a moment to say that of the 22 grandchildren who were with us this year (five were in Europe with their parents), four were preschoolers! Eyrealm kids can’t come to Grammie Camp until they are five but I wanted to spend some time with just the preschoolers too. So we had a Pre-Grammie Camp party.
Those four little critters were happy as clams to see lots of bubbles and to do a little craft with their Grammie. There is a certain magic about being with preschoolers. They tell it like it is and it’s so easy for them to feel joy in the little things!
It reminded me of the Old Days of approximately fifteen years of having Joy School at our home, wherever we happened to be living that year. We always had one or two of our own children along with 3 or four of some of my dear friends’ adorable children in our home twice a week to experience Joy together!
The idea of Joy School started when we wrote our first book called Teaching Children Joy. Parents liked it so much that they begged us to give them more specific ideas that could actually be taught by parents at home. That first spark of that idea in 1976 has gone from an experimental commercial pre-school started by Richard’s Mother who was an Early Childhood Education major where she developed lesson plans based on the book, to approximately 200,000 homes in the US and abroad.. Talented and creative people showed up, literally on our doorstep to help with the artwork and the music. The program has gone by word-of-mouth like wildfire to mothers and fathers who have loved teaching their children how to be joyful while reminding themselves that their lives became more joyful in the process!
We started with printed manuals and music tapes that had to be mailed out each month. A big job!!! The lesson plans have been on line several years but by 2015 we have realized that they were in need of a major overhaul, mostly because of the accessibly of the Internet which makes teaching so much easier!
How often do we make the time to teach our impressionable little ones, not only to appreciate their earth and their bodies as many pre-schools do, but also to learn the importance of making good decisions, discover how to set and accomplish small goals, how to have the confidence to try to new things and how to serve others even though they are small?
SO this year, just in time for the 2105/16 school year Joy School 2.0 has emerged, thanks to experienced Joy School Mothers including our daughter Saren and daughter-in-law Aja, who have used their Harvard educations to create a fabulous new online program that makes Joy School music, art and innovative ideas a click away!
From August 7th to the 21st there is our Founder’s Day Sale, honoring the birthday of our Grandmother Ruth Swenson Eyre who passed away in 2013.
For sample lesson plans and suggestions for organizing a Joy School group click here. For information on the sale click here. To sign up and take advantage of the sale using the coupon code RUTHEYRE click here.
We have so much fun hearing from Joy School moms and Joy School kids everywhere we go who say that their rich experience with Joy School changed their lives for good. On command they can sing, Oh Boy I Got Joy and have to giggle when they think about Gunny Bag and Joy Boy. We take no credit. It’s just a good idea that we think dropped straight out of heaven!