Sep 26, 2011

I attended Mary Ann Johnson’s Closet workshop on Saturday. It was phenomenal! Everyone should attend…really, every parent and grandparent would be blessed by this information about how to engage children in learning. Mary Ann’s mission is to teach people how to have deeper education experiences, sweeter family relationships, and brighter ideas.

As I have started implementing her ideas over the last few days, we have had exactly that…deeper educational experiences, sweeter family relationships, and brighter ideas. Our closet was much more successful this morning and even my busy little Annesley engaged. I was able to read 27 pages in Leif the Lucky for Keziah’s new history adventure and Annesley happily strung beads the entire time! I read a stack of books to Fisher and Annes while Fisher played with legos. Keziah and I discussed the Principle of Individuality, which is that God created each of His creations as unique entities. Nothing is a carbon copy. We are each unique beings with a unique mission. We also discussed how this applies to nations and what America’s mission might be. We talked about Jerusalem and what her mission is.

All of this type of stuff happens often, but today felt different. Everyone was happier. It felt more orderly. It felt more purposeful. It felt successful.

I also read on Tasha’s blog about her morning devotional which sparked all sorts of ideas in my head and made me realize I would like to have a richer devotional experience and have personal scripture study time set aside at that time instead of hoping each of us would squish it in at other times of the day. Today was our first day and it was awesome. Notice I did not say it was perfect…I don’t want anyone to read this and get the wrong picture in their head! But it was awesome. We had more order in who did what and everyone could see that each job wasn’t just picked randomly. We learned the new song from this month’s Ensign about the stripling warriors, started memorizing The Living Christ, memorized Moses 1:39, worked on our Poem Of The Week, found the Adelaide Australia temple on the map, discussed what the most important knowledge they can have is (that God is their Father and they are His children) and then watched this video:

Then we divided up and had 30 minutes of personal gospel study. I read Nephi, Nephi, The Scriptures Are True with Fisher and Annesley and then read the first five chapters of The Old Testament Reader. Then we came back together and each person shared what they had studied/learned about.


We have done lots of these things for years, but the 30 minutes of personal study time and the mom and little ones study time is new and is already my favorite thing! As my children have grown, our gospel discussions have grown with them and it was so nice to sit with just my two youngest and teach them about the creation of the earth, Adam and Eve, The Garden of Eden, the principle of agency, and the reality of Satan. It was wonderful to hear Fisher teaching Annesley about Cain and Abel and how Cain was angry at God and made a choice to kill his brother. It was wonderful to hear him shout “Helaman is my favorite!” I loved teaching Annesley about creation and how God loves us so much he made this beautiful earth for us to come to to learn to be like Him. I also loved having a specific time set aside to teach them my message of the day and share my thoughts with them about those things that are of most worth to me.

I felt like this morning was more meaningful. More alive. More me.

Thank you Tasha and Mary Ann for inspiring me to take the time to rethink our family devotional and learning times. It is already making a difference!

Now on to lunch, then violin practicing, Galileo, Language Lessons, FIAR with Fisher, outside time and my study time.

Related Posts


  1. Tasha

    Ohhh, Tracy. Thanks so much! I am so happy to hear how well it went. I am a great believer in morning devotional time, and to hear that my post could influence your family makes my heart glad. You have influenced our family in numerous ways. I really like the idea of having everyone share what they studied. I think we’ll try that too.

    • tracy

      We have had family devotional for years and it has been good…but adding in the personal study time and the Living Christ memorization and the teaching time with Fisher and Annes is making it FABULOUS! This morning Fisher was so excited for me to teach him about Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am loving this time with these two little spirits and I love knowing Blythe and Keziah are getting a solid 30 minutes to read on their own. This was the missing piece!