Hi! I'm April, a.k.a. CCHappyMom!
My 3 favorite things:
My sweet family, &
My Savior, Jesus Christ!
We live in western Maryland and spend happy days learning at home, in the car, at piano lessons, etc... :-)
The Story of a CC Happy Mom!
Since my children were very young, my desire has been to make learning fun. Fun! The sheer volume of geography can be overwhelming, but when you put those names and locations to song, they just become a very fun, musical part of you!
I had never planned to homeschool (although apparently I had agreed to it before we were married...uh huh, that's a story for another time!), but it just came naturally as my children grew. The homeschool curriculum, Classical Conversations, was an answer to prayer at a time when I was REALLY struggling with my early homeschool days. I may or may not have threatened to send my oldest to school on several occasions. My two sweet girls are 19 months apart, and little Neilson came 24 months after Charity. As a new homeschooling mom, I had a strong-willed first-born who kept inventing her own ideas of what to do for school...that were better than my ideas. I had a wiggly, giggly second-born whose eyes positively sparkled when you played her favorite game of "Come back here!!", and a snuggly, finger-sucking toddler whose sole pleasure seemed to be looking deeply into my eyes. Trying to school them all was like frantically trying to command Cleopatra, while tearing your face away from the pudgy-handed caress of the adoring toddler in your arms, yelling for the playful puppy to come back!
I wanted rigorous academics and a set structure to keep my future ruler at bay. I wanted the freedom to have fun with my yipping puppy. I wanted something that we could all, even the youngest, do together. Enter...Classical Conversations! (If you happen to be reading this blog, and you are not familiar with "CC", I encourage you to please check out their website!) The memory work was hard, but my kids loved it. I loved it. My husband loved it. (My sanity was back.) I was thrilled to watch each of them diligently earn their Memory Masters titles our first year!
However, in the beginning, we struggled with geography. "They want us to memorize all of THAT?!?" I can remember trying to help them remember places that I had never thought about before, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It just would not stick!! So, I held out a sign language "A" to the left, and then a "B" to the right, reminding them that when you read you go from left to right, so A to B just makes sense! That was OK, but a song was MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE and FUN!! Since I was little, catchy songs and rhyming poems have just jumped into my head, and I am thankful for God's gift of this funny little learning tool. The songs worked, and we were learning!
As I happily sang my made-up geography songs with my three, I began to wonder if they might help other families, too! Since geography is so visual, and hand motions help with muscle memory, YouTube seemed like the right place to share the songs. Our very first video was recorded by my oldest daughter, Patience, and featured my second daughter, Charity, and me singing with her favorite, plastic, dog figurine hopping around the map! (The song is still on YouTube, if you'd like to find it!)
Since the next few songs required handmotions, I hopped into the screen to demonstrate, and CCHappyMom was born. My husband would typically record me (a challenge to find and keep his free time!!) in the kitchen, against our basement door...for the white background! The kids would stand behind my husband to watch Mom, and we quickly developed a million "bloopers", as we laughed our way through many, many takes to get the video that would finally end up on YouTube! Most of the videos are far from perfect, but they fell into the "good enough!" category, and carried many funny memories with them!
Thank you for all of your enthusiasm and kind comments on Youtube! They have been unexpected bright bursts of happiness in my hectic days, and I hope to one day meet each and every one of you!
With a joyful heart, and prayers for your family,