readalouds

Lucy and la petite nouvelle

***Scroll to bottom for giveaway information***

This post is especially near and dear to my heart, not just as the daughter-in-law of this featured author, but also as a mom who so desires to instill a love of reading in the core of our home and hearts.  Quality books are something we are constantly looking for and we all love the ability to let our imaginations soar in an endearing series.  My talented and creative mother in law wrote and published her first book in a five part series that has captured our boys hearts and left them expectantly waiting for the next release.  It was fun to take a moment to hear where her love of reading and writing began as well as what she has to say to moms who are hoping to encourage a love of reading in their little ones' lives as well.  Read the interview below and take a look at the book on Amazon!

Able to purchase on Amazon or directly from the publisher at shop.encouragebooks.com

Able to purchase on Amazon or directly from the publisher at shop.encouragebooks.com

When did your love of writing begin to take shape?  What were your favorite books growing up?  Were you always an avid reader or did that come later in life?

As an elementary student, in the school library I felt like “a kid in a candy shop”. We didn’t have books at home besides schoolbooks.  Historical biographies and mysteries were the genres that I mostly focused my attention toward.  I loved reading about historical figures such as Paul Revere, the Green Mountain Boys, Betsy Ross, and others. Literature classes in high school and college brought a much broader selection of prose, such as Cat’s Cradle, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, and the Agatha Christie mysteries. I enjoyed reading books for pleasure much more than as a school requirement, but they all helped to build vocabulary, spur on imagination, and widen my horizons immensely. My love of writing began in high school when I enrolled in a creative writing class. The teacher motivated the students with her fascinating style and ability to paint pictures with words.  Writing became the outlet I needed to express my thoughts.

 What inspired Lucy and la petite nouvelle?

The Front Porch Diaries series was inspired by the many afternoons I spent sitting on the front porch of our family house, reading books and daydreaming about the future. Moving to different parts of the country because of my husband’s job advancements afforded our family a plethora of adventures, both in daily living and meeting people from all walks of life. Books continue to be of great value to me.  I love to read from new and veteran authors alike to stimulate my imagination and creativity. The first book of the Diaries series, Lucy and la petite novelle (the newcomer), comes directly from some of my childhood experiences. The setting for these books is a Midwest town in the mid-1960s. The main characters, Lucy Miller and her brother Eddie, meet new acquaintances from another country. This opportunity brings some perplexing and maturing episodes between Lucy, her school friends, and her new companion, Simone.

The second and third books of The Front Porch Diaries take Lucy and Eddie Miller and their newfound friends, Simone and Philippe, on more exciting, yet challenging adventures. Volume 2 revolves around wintertime and the Christmas holiday break, and Volume 3’s main emphasis is a two-week stay for Lucy and Simone at Grandpa and Grandma Miller’s farm. The reader will learn some simple French phrases, and discover a few historical details about the Sixties era. These books are wholesome and interesting for youngsters of all ages and are suitable chapter books for fourth through eighth grade readers.

As a mom and now beloved "Nana" to five grandchildren, what encouragement and wisdom do you have for parents in instilling a love of reading in their children?  

Early on, both my husband and I spent time reading to our young children nearly every evening. From simple Golden Books with lots of pictures and easy to understand stories to reading Value Books about character traits of famous people, as young children both our son and daughter developed a love for learning. Our daughter was an avid book enthusiast, especially as a preteen and young teenager. Our son enjoyed focusing more on hands-on projects. Not every child will develop a love for reading at the same pace or to the same level, but nurturing this gift is so much easier if adults introduce and encourage reading early in a child’s life. For children and grandchildren alike, reading not only teaches and reinforces ideas, but also enhances their learning by increasing imagination and creativity.  In play and teamwork, reading helps to develop greater focus and problem-solving ability. Reading can generate a peaceful atmosphere and transport a child’s mind to imaginative places.

In this day of electronic everything, I would encourage moms and dads to model for your children how enjoyable reading can be, and the comfort that a book brings, by curling up in your favorite chair and reading. Peruse through the books before your child reads them, and question your child about the stories afterward. You will be amazed by their creativity.  Just think what a hero you could become to your child by starting when they are little ones! Instill a love of reading for a lifetime.  

Oh, the stories they will tell!

What is your hope for readers when they pick up this series?

I hope to teach children to appreciate diverse cultures and people.  Another objective for writing these books is simply to let the reader see siblings and friends that love, support and have fun with each other despite their differences. 

 

Author Judith Grimme

Author Judith Grimme

Judith Grimme received her degree in Sociology from Colorado State University. Early memories of a relative, who served as a Catholic nun in Bolivia, as well as their own experiences serving in the mission field in such countries as Canada, Romania, Slovenia, Madagascar, Panama, and El Salvador, fueled Judith's passion for helping people learn to appreciate other cultures, a theme that runs throughout the Front Porch series.

Grimme grew up in the 1960s and 70s in a small town outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana. With farms surrounding their family home and plenty of siblings and neighbor children to play with, most of the stories in The Front Porch Diaries come directly from her childhood experiences. She intentionally depicts strong, healthy families, communities, and childhood friendships.

 

 

**In order to be entered to win a FREE autographed copy of this book, share this post on any social media account!  Winner will be announced on Sunday, January 28!!**

Hybrid Homeschool 101

Hybrid Homeschool 101:  How did we get here.  

Want in on a little secret?  This whole Hybrid Home thing actually started out with far more narrow of a vision.  Narrow as in: The Hybrid Homeschooler.  It’s a whole thing, you know?  Staying home with your kids, trying to stay sane and teach them and feed them and keep them alive all at the same time and stuff.  I called up a sweet friend (the gracious kind that is willing to talk to you for hours on end while you drive your 3 kids home from Georgia in the middle of the night) and said “I HAVE OUR BLOG IDEA.  THE HYBRID HOMESCHOOLER!”  To which she replied… “THAT’S AWESOME!!!  But I don’t homeschool!”

Which really, that’s kind of where all of my thoughts landed that night prior to calling her - I am in fellowship and in community with some amazingly beautiful, talented, gifted women who are clothed in strength.  Determined to fight for their family, advocate for their children and give their all day in and day out.  And the funny thing?  We don’t all match.

This summer was the first time I found myself on the side of the conversation in which moms were asking ME questions about how to homeschool.  What curriculum we use, what our schedule looks like.  I’ve been around the block a time our two just talking screen time and chore charts.  Responsibilities.  Structure.  Socialization.  I absolutely love my days with my boys - hard.  But good.  And I absolutely love talking homeschool.  But really our choices and reasons for homeschooling and the curriculums we’ve chosen are things I’ve been picking and choosing from- a blend that is tailored to our family.  A hybrid, one might say (see what I did there?).  And at the end of every conversation there was kind of this sinking feeling, like I didn’t have enough to offer them.  That I just wasn’t going to help them see the big picture.  There was this voice inside me that wanted to just shout YOU. DO. YOU!  BE FREE!  And just do you really well.  Because truthfully, at the end of the day, as much as we know in our heads that not every child fits in a box…neither do us mamas.  

In typical kind-gracious-loving fashion, my friend heard me out - but took it further to not just the homeschooling mom of 3.  But into every area that we’re tempted with the lie … “you should be doing more.”  

Thus, The Hybrid Home was birthed. 

I love essential oils.  But I also really love Children’s Motrin.  And bug spray.  

I use Norwex for just about everything.  Along with toilet bowl cleaner and bleach.  

It is a fact: You will not lose your salvation if you’re vegan one day and throw a whole chicken + 1 stick of butter in the crock pot the next.  #balance

I can feed my family well 95% of the time but like, some nights it’s Tyson chicken nuggets prayed for and anointed with holy oil.  

I could go on and on and on, about all the hybrid up in this home.  Not from a place of discontentment or striving for the next best thing - I most certainly once was - but now, rather from a place of complete peace in knowing who I am, and who I am not.  And being ok with both.  

Sweet friends, our hope for you as your peruse and mingle about The Hybrid Home is that you would be filled with the encouragement that you are uniquely made to be you.  There is not another like you.  And while the world tries to tell us that we have to be all organic, or all oily, or all vegan and completely Charlotte Mason or 100% classical, off the grid or on, a complete extrovert or none whatsoever, we so desire for you to know that it’s ok to mix it up.  It’s ok to say you hate science experiments and prefer readalouds.  It’s ok to be a screen free family but let your kids binge watch cartoons on Saturday mornings.  Whole foods it as much as possible, but if the McDonalds drive thru is what is going to set a better tone in your home then go big and upsize.  Send one to school and homeschool another.  Be free of the constant yammering soapboxes coming from the internet and hold on tight knowing that the Creator God has allowed you to bring glory to Him in a way that is unique to you and your family.  And just do you - really really well.  

“a person who fears the Lord avoids all extremes.”  Ecclesiastes 7:18

xoxo

L