DiscoverThe Whole Mama - A Podcast with Jenna Gibbons
The Whole Mama - A Podcast with Jenna Gibbons
Claim Ownership

The Whole Mama - A Podcast with Jenna Gibbons

Author: Jenna Gibbons

Subscribed: 5Played: 9


Motherhood is life-changing, joyful, and often messy - literally! Join Jenna Gibbons, straight from her barn, as she shares powerful ways to embrace the mess and thrive in motherhood and learning at home. This podcast will empower, educate, and provide the tools to succeed in motherhood and raise compassionate and confident lifelong learners. If you are ready to join a community of mothers ready for change, throw something comfy on, grab a mug of your favorite drink, and start listening!
73 Episodes
Join me for this open and honest conversation we recorded in the fall about motherhood, loss, music, friendship, and chasing those dreams with Courtney Dashe and Morgan Leigh Garner of Hadley Park.As we raise our young kiddos, we continue to follow our dreams because we want our children to know.:  "Mama had me and kept going.  Mama was present AND chased her dreams."  Nashville singer/songwriters Courtney Dashe and Morgan Leigh Garner met in a blind co-write in 2013. Upon discovering they were both pregnant and due weeks apart, they became fast friends, bonding over impending motherhood and songwriting. When daughters Hadley and Parker were born only four days apart, Dashe and Garner began their journey of chasing dreams and raising babies together... daughters in tow... and thus, Hadley Park, the duo, was formed. Since then, Hadley Park’s songs have been featured on Netflix production, “The Ranch,” Spotify’s “Wild Country” and “New Music Nashville” playlists, Sirius XM’s “The Highway,” the Country Network, and They launched their new podcast “Chasing Dreams & Raising Babies” in conjunction with the release of their new  music project entitled “Time’s a Thief” on May 1st, 2021.Listen and Contact:   www.wearehadleypark.comSocial:  @wearehadleypark**Note:  Please know that we DO discuss our experiences with pregnancy loss in this episode which may trigger anxiety and other emotions for any mama who has previously experienced the same.  Please know that you are not alone and are loved.  Support the show (
“Reading aloud with our kids is indeed the best use of our time and energy as parents.  It’s more important than just about anything else we can do.” -Sarah MackenzieAs I have started this homeschooling journey, I have tried to educate and read several books that were recommended to me. Two of those were Teaching from Rest and The Read Aloud Family.Wow.  If you need some inspiration and motivation as a homeschooling mom or just as a mama in general, I highly suggest these!So, it’s important as mamas that we recognize this reality…and how to maximize quality time with our kids.How can we do that?1.     REFLECT2.     CREATE3.     PLAN"No one will ever say, no matter how good a parent he or she was, “I think I spent too much time with my children when they were young.” -Alice Ozma, The Reading Promise  Coming Up in November:-Mama Survival Guide - Grab your FREE copy HERE-Join The Whole Mamas FB group HERE-Craft Your Family’s Vision Masterclass  (Join FB HERE)-Homeschool 101 Masterclass  (Join FB HERE)Support the show (
“Being actively involved in an experience, reflecting on the experience, conceptualizing the experience, and using what you have learned to make decisions and problem solve in order to apply new ideas gained from the experience.” - David KolbCooking with our kids does a number of things for them.  It helps them establish math concepts, practice language skills, follow directions, recognize science reactions, problem-solve, and get creative.Today, we are going to chat briefly about how we can incorporate math skills quickly and easily into our cooking. Book Recommendations:  Math Chef, Kitchen Math, Kids in the Kitchen 10 Ways to Teach Math:1.     Colors  2.     Shapes 3.     Sizes  4.     Important Vocabulary 5.     Weight and Measurement 6.     Early Counting  7.     Time 8.     Fractions  and Doubling/Halving Recipes 9.     Adding/Subtracting  10.  Math Journal + Conversion Charts Resources: Be a guest on my podcast!!  Email me at jenna@iamthewholemama.comImportant Links:Whole Mama Survival Guide: Whole Readers Online Course : + Mugs Membership: Mastermind (Case Study Option):  Email me at jenna@iamthewholemama.comSupport the show (
"In a recent study, 84% of parents agreed that family meals were important, but only 50% of family dinners were eaten together."  Who gathers at your table?  How often?  Is it sacred time or time served distracted and disengaged?Today, we are talking all about the importance of gathering at the table with your family to share yummy food and connect and reflect together.It’s a time when all technology is off and out of arms reach (we DO play quiet music in the background), and every member of the family has a chance to share about his/her day.  The table is a very intentional space that serves a far greater purpose than just eating a specific meal.  This is especially the case right now as many are distanced by space, masks, differences, and more.  Gathering at the kitchen table might be exactly what we all need more of. During my research for this episode, blog after blog mentioned the same idea…that gathering around the table is sacred and powerful.  “The table might not be new, but it’s as necessary today as it was in Jesus’ day and Israel’s history. We need space to regain perspective and reorient our focus back toward others and the things that matter most. So dust off your dining room furniture, pull up a few extra chairs, and make a simple meal. You might just find the life-giving grace of Jesus flowing from that space as you pass the bread and raise your cup.”The thing is…if we don’t capture our family in moments such as these…they will be pulled further and further away by social media, cell phones, differences of opinions, friends, etc.  Sitting together at the table for all or most meals during the week will provide an intentional set time to make powerful connections with your children and spouse.  It is truly a fundamental piece to establishing healthy, open, and positive relationships with your kids.  We are also teaching them how to be effective communicators and how to socialize in a dinner setting. What Are Some Family Questions??1.    Tell us the best part of your day.  Tell us the worst part of your day.2.    What great book did you read or have read to you?3.    How did you help today?4.    How did you show God’s love?5.    This or That questions6.    What’s one thing that helped you grow or become better?7.    What’s something funny that happened?8.    What’s one thing you are grateful for today?Gathering at the table with your kids will check so many boxes:-build relationships-teach communication skills-make connections-offer advice/guidanceThis month, it’s all about getting in the kitchen with your kids and gathering at the table with them is a highly impactful way to teach them how to cook and how to enjoy a meal with others.How will you gather around your table this week?Resources: Support the show (
As we start another school year with uncertainty, anxiousness, and a heavy amount of anxiety, let’s remember our role as mamas (parents) and what we can do for our kids at this moment in time.Let us offer our child solid ground, familiarity, and support while showing up  for them every single day.Our support should be meaningful and intentional.  We should look at them and say: “No, [their name], I am REALLY proud of you for ________.  I am proud of you every single day, and I love you.”You just assume they know it.  You need to tell them - and tell them often.This is not to make them arrogant or full of themselves.  This is to remind them that they are loved, have immense value in this world, and that they are here on purpose.When I had first started teaching English as a Second Language several years ago, one of my supervisors/mentors shared this with me, and I’ve carried it on when created The Whole Mama and especially when thinking about the whole child.  She said, instead of just teaching skill by skill, start thinking and teaching from the end result and go backwards.  In other words, imagine what you want your students to know at the end of this lesson (or even the end of the year) and refocus that understanding through everything you do with them.  Wow.This is the same with being a parent.  We have to think about where we want our kids to be in terms of academics, character, faith, and overall as a whole person.So, if we want them to have a full cup and feel confident and content in their skills, we need to start filling that cup for them so that even if it gets tipped over a little sometimes by other kids  or adults with constructive criticism or even mean comments, they are so solid in their foundation that it doesn’t matter!Not only that, we also just want to start of this year on as much of a positive note as possible.  With all of the chaos and craziness swirling around them at all times, we can offer one, consistent, and powerful thing to them…every damn day.  They need to know that we are proud of them, we keep going and working hard no matter what, and at the end of the day, they should go to bed feeling proud of the work and effort that they put into that day.Can I get an amen?!?!Let's start this year with a bang!We are ONE week away:We are navigating unchartered waters here as mamas.So much to worry about for our children as we head back to school. Don't do it alone!Tutoring alone costs up to $2400 a year...join me for 3 months as the school year starts and get the SAME support AND all of this:-Weekly Group Coffee and Coaching Calls (short and sweet)-Monthly Happy Hour-Monthly Experts-Private Facebook Group-Session Workbooks-Goodie Bag of Favorite Things for Mama-Monthly Challenges (short and sweet)-Mama Vault: Cheat Sheets, Templates, Tool Kits + FULL Raising Whole Readers and Writers Courses + Materials-Voxer App Support (educational support + daily message and positive affirmations BONUS 1: Virtual Kick-Off Party on September 2 with James WhittakerBONUS 2: THREE 30-Minute Private Coaching Calls with JennaBONUS 3 (just added!!): In addition to all of the above, I am including "highly-qualified teacher" educational support via Voxer + Zoom for the rest of the school year Join HERE: Ball Recipe:  Will share soon!Support the show (
Check out these quick and easy ways to help your child stay strong and healthy:1. Choose nutrient-dense foods2.  Teach healthy hygiene habits3.  Research and give supplements that are best for your family4.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle5.  Be Active Outside6.  Teach and model good your children establish good sleep habits from an early age!I referenced this website a lot in this episode because it is packed with important information, research, studies, ideas, and more! your FREE Mama Survival Guide: The Whole Mama Mastermind starting THIS SEPTEMBER: the link for upcoming things the show (
It was an honor to chat with my friend and fellow podcaster, Eric Egan, in this episode about speaking confidently and raising little humans.He is our first DADDY on The Whole Mama podcast and husband to my dear friend and previous podcast guest, Tricia!   We talked all about overcoming anxiety, learning from our failures, and the important role fathers have today.We also chatted about teaching our children the importance of eye contact, communicating effectively, telling a good story,  and how much our kids can actually teach us these days.Eric has worked in broadcast news for almost two decades and is also the creator of the Speakeasy Podcast with Eric Egan.  He is a journalist, storyteller, speaking specialist and coach who pulls from years of on-air experience to share his proven approach to public speaking.  He focuses on helping his listeners feel confident in speaking in different settings and putting the best methods into practice to successfully share information, a message, and ideas to others.  Eric is the father of three beautiful children and absolutely loves spending time with his family.  He hopes his children will learn the importance of kindness and empathy from him and recognizes that his relationship with their mama is critically important to the dynamic of their family.  I truly enjoyed relating to, laughing with, and learning from Eric.  I hope you enjoy this episode as well.  To learn more about public speaking, delicious spirits, and how to share your message with others, check out more info about Eric's podcast below:"Decide what to be and go be it""Be Confident. Be Memorable. Be YOU."The Speakeasy Podcast with Eric Egan:Podcast: the show (
Today is all about how we can pour into ourselves.  It is refreshing, it is revitalizing, and it is necessary.Motherhood sure offers us a rollercoaster of emotions. We willingly accept this responsibility with an open heart as it feels like a calling from God. A calling to bring new little people into this world and somehow raise and shape them into the best version of themselves. It sure isn't easy...but I wouldn't change it for the world. Remember that you are a powerful and resilient mother and teacher living a life of love and abundance.  You deserve a minute.Why is self-care important for mothers?Taking time to pour into yourself is beneficial because it helps you better serve those you love most AND helps you feel energized, grounded, and ready to then pour into your family.The recent article below provides great information for new moms and ANY moms who really need to put their needs further up on the priority list.Great tips to get started:Take self-inventorySet a few REALISTIC goalsGet organized and plan aheadSchedule Non-Negotiable "ME" timeSelf-Care on a regular basis drink in my mug: you for you supporting the show through "Buy Me a Coffee" (link below):Apply for the Whole Mama Mastermind: the Mamas + Mugs Membership: our Whole Mamas FB Group with 400+ mamas thriving in motherhood! Out Fun Mama Merch on my website: The Whole Mama ( Grab THREE READING TIPS and Join Our Mailing List: Support the show (
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”― Beatrix PotterThese days, it can often be challenging to instill a love of writing in our kiddos who are constantly bombarded by games, YouTube, movies, and shows.  In fact, many kids (including my own) love to watch OTHER kids play instead of engaging in that enjoyment themselves.  It can often be challenging to have them sit, use their imagination, and start writing their OWN story.  Shoot there were many times when I was teaching when a student would even say, “I don’t know what to draw.”  What is happening?!?!Where are our creators and inventors?  Where are our pages of stories of dragons, adventurers, astronauts, monsters, and imaginary creatures?Even into middle and high school…are our teens writing at a level that will help them excel in college and in life? Writing is a skill that all children need to acquire and do well at in order succeed in this world. They need to be able to thoughtfully and confidently communicate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas for others to read and understand.They need guidance, encouragement, and the opportunity to express themselves through writing without being assessed, corrected, or discouraged. Sadly, the stats today about young people writing are heart-breaking. "Three-quarters of both 12th and 8th graders lack proficiency in writing, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress. And 40 percent of those who took the ACT writing exam in the high school class of 2016 lacked the reading and writing skills necessary to complete successfully a college-level English composition class, according to the company’s data."We as parents can change these numbers simply by offering some guidance at home. How can we encourage and support our kids to start writing and write well?Tips:1.  Focus on interests2.  Help you child grow and improve on the level he/she is on right now.3.  Journal together daily4.  Draw and dictate 5.  Shared penGreat Name Activities at The Reading Mama blog: goal here is to get your kiddo open to and excited about sharing their ideas (which are important and have value) confidently on paper.  -Consistency – they can’t just practice once a week!-Encouragement – encourage the scribbles, the sounding out, and the creation of a sentence.-Make it fun and blend into activities-Offer fun writing materials and tools…silly pencils, colored pencils, fun erasers, and more!Start that foundation and just make the task more and more complex.A love for writing starts at an early age, and the Raising Whole Writers Course will help foster that love immediately!The course is intended for parents of children at the Pre-K through 2nd grade level or for any struggling writer have a difficult time putting their thoughts on paper.I would rather prepare them on the front-end proactively than try to reactively teach them to write while their classmates are passing them by. I can help you do that! Find info about Raising Whole Writers below, AND the Raising Whole Readers Course going to be SELF-LED!!!  Find the info here and more at the link below: the show (
"According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, a whopping 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day, 4.5 of which are spent watching TV. Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days watching a screen for fun."As we wrap up this month's focus on getting your kids outside…what if your kiddo doesn’t like the outdoors?Kids aren’t playing the way they used to, so we need to bring back a deep love of the outdoors.We have to take action to get our kids outside and playing in order to create a balance with technology.  ALL kids need some unstructured, outdoor, free play!  Being outside helps us retain necessary vitamin D, foster movement, and encourage exploration. 1.  Bring the toys they love outside on a large blanket.2.  Enjoy the outdoors together – evening walk, washing the car, play kickball, have a fire and s’mores, catch fireflies, play hide-and-seek or tag, fishing, etc.3.  Offer them the chance to explore a variety of outdoor spaces – depending on where you live.  Visit places like the botanical garden, the beach, kayaking a river, hiking in the woods, visiting a farm, going to the zoo, etc.4.  Make it social and bring their friends!  Kids love to spend time with their friends, so why not let them enjoy each other outside?  Encourage things like kickball, tag, obstacle course, scavenger hunt with a massive prize, etc.5.  It’s critical that kids contribute to caring for your home…there are tons of opportunities to do this outside.  For example, our son fills the horses’ water trough every morning, helps water the garden and pick vegetables.  Other examples might be sweeping the porch, taking out the garbage, or pulling weeds.6.  Kids love snacks!  Take a picnic outside or have snacks handy to enjoy outside.  If it’s hot, have popsicles, freeze pops, or ice cream on hand to enjoy.7.  Kids also love WATER!  Offer water table, squirt guns, water balloons, slip n’ slides, etc.8.  Encourage daily “sunshine time” – even if it’s 20 minutes and chilly outside!  Try to incorporate this time into your schedule each day…even on the weekends!  If it’s raining, play on the porch!9.  Bring the books or art outside – read to stuffed animals or enjoy sidewalk chalk, squirt gun paint, etc.10.  Devote special time to the outdoors – if you live where it is hot…get out early in the morning or in the evening before bed.  That’s what we do!  11.  Tell them it is okay to get messy, muddy, and dirty!Try your best to fill your child’s years as a kid with memories of fun and free play outside rather than memories of a screen.  Some of my fondest memories ALL revolved around being outside.  Remember tired kids (from fresh air, grass on their feet and sunshine) are happy kids…I promise! Resources: Whole Readers Course: our Whole Mamas FB Group with 400+ mamas thriving in motherhood! Support the show (
Wow!  This episode is so important for mamas with kiddos struggling with sleeping!!!  Eva Klein is a wealth of knowledge!"Eva is a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and is the founder of My Sleeping Baby and the Sleep Bible program.Eva’s main goal is to help her clients establish healthy sleep habits for their children. After experiencing the debilitating effects of chronic sleep deprivation from her middle child, Eva was inspired to help families overcome their sleep challenges. Eva truly empathizes with her clients’ sleep troubles and personally invests herself in their sleep journey.In addition to completing her sleep consulting certification, she is a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants and she completed the 2016 Infant Mental Health Community Training through the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Eva also has her Bachelor of Arts from York University and her law degree from the University of Western Ontario.Eva is a proud wife and mother of two girls and a boy (who are all great sleepers) and lives with her family in Toronto. She provides individual sleep consultations, facilitates group seminars and runs an online sleep program and community called the Sleep Bible."Eva helps parents focus on several important steps to get their children sleeping naturally and fully through the night.   Top Three Tips for Parents:1.  Get Blackout Blinds:  A child needs a dark room during the day because a darker environment makes it easier to nap well.  Napping well during the day results in great sleep at night because your child will not be overtired.  When a child is overtired, there is an increased probability of them waking up several times throughout the night.    2.  Enjoyable/Consistent Routine:  This routine will cue your little one that it is time to sleep and wind down for the day.  It is hard for anyone to go from one activity right to sleeping.  Children need a few minutes to prepare.  A routine cues their brain that it is time to go to bed soon and eases them into that slow transition.3.  Set a Goal for Independent Sleep:  Set a goal for your child to fall asleep independently.  This will decrease the chance of more night-wakings and need to call out for you to help them get themselves back to sleep.Eva will help you enjoy motherhood and be the mom you want to be!  Remember, the days are long, but the years are short!  With Eva's help, you'll feel refreshed and ready to conquer the day! Important Links:Sleeping Baby Webinar with The Whole Mama - June 24, 2021 at 8pm Central:"How to Get Your Little One Consistently Sleeping 11-12 Hours at Night So You Can Be a Functioning Human" Group: the show (
"Parenthood starts when you are ready to invest in something greater than yourself...your family."Join me for this episode as I chat with Emily Pardy, Founder and Counselor, of Ready Nest Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee, as we talk about Ready Nest Counseling's incredible services for families, entrepreneurship, mental wellness, and embracing the beautiful mess of motherhood!All milestones of motherhood are stressful for different reasons.  Our culture today often promotes the fact that maternal instincts are natural, so we often have very high expectations for ourselves.  Reality might not always match these expectations, and we are left feeling broken and while everyone else appears to have it together.  This is extremely isolating.When we do feel alone, we also often can't admit that we ARE struggling.Emily shares that 20% of new moms struggle with post-partum depression.  This percentage is likely higher as many who struggle with depression won't share that openly or in a study.  The astonishing fact is that only 15% of that 20% will seek treatment!  This is a huge gap!As a reminder, if you are wondering if you ARE struggling with something more than general stress as a mama, Emily reminds us to let the counselors do the job of assessing and evaluating.  Often, a mama is actually doing great and doesn't know it!So, never have the fear to ask for and get the necessary help to connect the dots.Emily also shares that when a couple is starting or continuing their family, it's important for them to look at their values, support system, reactions to current situations, and decisions when navigating through big events. She reminds us that we should never let fear make the decision for us.  We should empower ourselves, own the decision, and then get the tools to cope with any consequences.When I ask her for tips and tricks to calm our mind to fully serve our family, she reminds us to look for pebbles not just mountains.  Mountains are things like yoga classes, a peaceful walk, or that glass of wine.  These DO make us happy, but sometimes, we can't always wait for that next yoga class to not have stress.Sometimes, it more practical to collect "pebbles" or little moments along the way instead.  For example, she shares her pebble moment after getting her four kids in the car.  Her "eight second vacation" outside of the car includes high fives and deep breaths with her husband.  It's sometimes the "little things" that keep us going!She also reminds us to reach our goals and get the support we truly need.  "Whether you are contemplating parenthood, hoping to conceive, just found out you are expecting, suffered a loss, or already brought the baby home, Ready Nest Counseling can help you navigate the next phase of your relationship and emotional wellness."Emily Pardy is the Founder of Ready Nest Counseling in Nashville, TN. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and one of the first in the country to be Certified in Perinatal Mental Health. Her own journey into motherhood led her to helping couples and individuals transition successfully through the life stages of conception, pregnancy, postpartum, infertility or loss. A published author, Emily is also a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Postpartum Support International, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. She is a speaker and educator, dedicated to bridging the gap in prenatal and mental healthcare."Website: the show (
There is an urgency…not to make more money or to get that next deal...the urgency here is that our kids are growing up in front of us every single day.    It's the fact that our kids are only a newborn, toddler, 5 year old, middle schooler, and graduate once.  We won't ever get this time back again.Many moms I talk to always feel busy, rarely enjoy being present with their families, and want to do more for their kids and their learning at home. I understand…because I experience the same's why I am also "slowing down" a bit over the summer to be more present, regroup, and refocus. I hope you can, too!Over the summer, I'll still have my "Mama's Minute Thursday Podcast Episodes with some INCREDIBLE guests coming up! My "Teaching Tuesday" Episodes will return in the fall. Our "Whole Mamas" FB group will continue to grow and thrive! Please join us! The Whole MamasMy "Raising Whole Readers" and "Raising Whole Writers" courses will be up and running and helping tons of families prepare their kiddos for school in August/September. The writing course is coming soon can also utilize my 1:1 coaching calls as well!'ll be working on a "Mama's Retreat" Mastermind coming this fall. SO EXCITED!Lastly, I'll enjoy this time with my boys, our farm, and take the very needed time to write my FIRST book! So, right now...I encourage you to slow down this summer.  Designate some time to get those important and necessary things done…and in return…the time with your kids will feel less stressful because your “to do’s” are already done or have a designated time TO GET DONE.Thank you for you supporting the show through "Buy Me a Coffee" (link below)Check Out Fun Mama Merch on my website: The Whole Mama ( Grab THREE READING TIPS and Join Our Mailing List: the show (
Is anyone else just…exhausted?  Irritable?  You can tell when you get to that point when you need a break because the following starts to happen:-you feel like you are in the twilight zone-you have a VERY short fuse-everything and everyone irritates you-you want to be left alone…all the time-you start yelling WAY faster than you used to -You are basically not feeling yourself and need a recharge.  Anyone?-I am not saying a trip with kids…nope.  In fact,  talks about the difference between a trip with kids and a vacation.-If your kids are covered and your budget allows…a mini mama vacation might be the perfect thing!-In order for us to stay healthy and happy mentally, alone time is not a luxury…it’s a necessity!-Time away is not selfish or a shows weakness…but is a necessity for you and your family. Think about what is relaxing for YOU!Benefits:-rested-more patient-refocus on just being with your kids-find yourself again (goals, dreams, aspirations)-kids get special time with other family members-catch up on YOUR life Trip Ideas:-Local -Another city (domestic) – check out these ideas:1. Nashville, TN2. Austin, TX3. Savannah, GA4.  Napa Valley or Sonoma, CA5.  Key West, FL Another episode...we'll talk about international getaways!Action Plan:-Plan in advance (if possible)-WRITE IT DOWN!-Decide if you will go alone or with friends and where you will go-Build it into your budget-Get creative-Ask family and friends for ideas or giftcards-Look for DEALS! Coming Up at The Whole Mama: Thank you for you supporting the show through "Buy Me a Coffee" (link below)Raising Whole Readers Course Opening Up Again in June our Pre-k – 2nd graders (older struggling readers) for the new school yearGreat foundation to lay over the summerChildren will learn concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics skills, sight word fluency, and comprehension/vocabulary – all for just 20 minutes a day!Course is just three sessions!Join our Whole Mamas FB Group with 400+ mamas thriving in motherhood! Out Fun Mama Merch on my website:The Whole Mama ( THREE READING TIPS and Join Our Mailing List: the show ( the show (
Does your child know how to hold a book, turn the pages, point to words and pictures, or point to the front cover, back cover, spine, and title page of a book?“Concepts of print are a great predictor in a child's future success as a reader.  Concepts of print influence a child's fluency and accuracy as a reader later in life.”Concepts of print is the understanding that books contain letters, words, and pictures and that print has meaning.  It also includes the understanding of how a book works and is really a child’s first interaction with literacy.  Children need to understand the parts of a book, the concept of reading from left to right, differentiate between words and pictures, and between letters and words.This understanding of how print works can easily be taught as you read together each day.  While read a story, parents can point out letters, words, and other concepts of print just through the conversation about the story.In terms of parts of a book, parents can easily start talking about the front cover, back cover, spine, title page, author/illustrator, and more.  Parents can informally show children how to hold a book, how to read from left to right and top to bottom, how to turn a page, and more.How You Can Teach at Home:1. Read Aloud and point out the features of the book2. Cut apart child’s name and ask them to put the letters back together to form his/her name3. Help your child understand that print is everywhere!  4. Write together – thank you notes, birthday cards, grocery lists5. Ask your child to draw a picture that tells a story and then dictate (write what your child says) the words that tell about the story and write on their page.6. Model reading different kinds of text:  books, newspapers, articles, magazines, mail, bills, e-mail, etc.7.  Letter, Word, Sentence Sorts8.  Pocket Chart9.  Nursery Rhymes10.  Cut Apart Sentences Coming Up at The Whole Mama:  Thank you for you supporting the show through "Buy Me a Coffee" (link below)Raising Whole Readers Course Opening Up Again in June our Prek – 2nd graders (older struggling readers) for the new school yearGreat foundation to lay over the summerChildren will learn concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics skills, sight word fluency, and comprehension/vocabulary – all for just 20 minutes a day!Course is just three sessions!Join our Whole Mamas FB Group with 400+ mamas thriving in motherhood! Out Fun Mama Merch on my website:The Whole Mama ( THREE READING TIPS and Join Our Mailing List: the show (
“Phonics instruction serves one purpose - to help readers figure out as quickly as possible the pronunciation of unknown words.” A solid foundation in phonics will set children up for success in all areas of their education and will help them to easily decode unfamiliar words.Phonics is the relationship between spoken sounds in a language and the letters or combination of letters that represents them.  Your child’s school likely teaches phonics systematically and sequentially.  How can you help support their instruction at home? 1.  Letter of the Week:  If your child does not yet know all of his/her letter names/sounds, there are tons of fun ways to focus on each letter which might include songs, crafts, letter tubs, sorts, and more!2.  Sorts:  Quick and easy and helps children distinguish the difference between sounds:  short vs long vowel, digraphs, all short vowels, etc.3.  Magnetic Letters:  Building words with magnetic words encourages exploration and manipulation of words.  You can use on your fridge or buy a small cookie sheet at the dollar store to make this activity portable.  Daily phonics practice is a game-changer along with 20 minutes of reading for pleasure!  Support the show (
"Approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents.""The most common mental health problems experienced during pregnancy and after birth are anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)." "Approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year.""About one in every eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime.""Depression occurs most frequently in women aged 25 to 44.""Approximately 10%-15% of all new mothers get postpartum depression, which most frequently occurs within the first year after the birth of a child." Whether you have a newborn or a high school student, motherhood changes us in one way or another.  After birth, many moms suffer from post-partum depression, anxiety, stress, and more.  This month, we will talk all about what mamas face mentally and how mamas can overcome these obstacles and maintain healthy mental health.  How can we handle and overcome the hard days?  How can we PREVENT the hard days?  1.       Set Small and Realistic Goals2.       Block Out “Non-Negotiable” Time for YOU to Maintain Your Healthy Habits3.       Nourish Your Body4.       Center Yourself in the Morning5.       Involve Your Kids6.       Pray Regularly7.       Help Another Person8.       Get Outside9.       Personal Development10.   Get Professional HelpAnother important tip…surround yourself with people, music, literature, and images that motivate you, push you to find the positive, and make you a better person.  Understand that you ARE NOT alone if you ARE struggling…and getting help shows strength…not weakness!Support the show (
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3).Generally, the saying goes that God gives you opportunities to test your patience and boy does He do it with a toddler!  Many cite the verse I just read.  However, why don’t we instead reflect not on asking for patience itself, but rather, in how we ask for it.Maybe if we are yelling at our kids a lot lately; acknowledging our yelling will help us direct our prayers more to how we can grow as Christians and mothers.  So, instead of being more patient when our kids frustrate us, maybe instead we acknowledge that they WILL frustrate us, but maybe we will focus on how we respond - by yelling less.So, in my opinion, we can always ask for help or guidance or grace or even patience.  As seen here:"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?" If an earthly father will not answer his son cruelly when he asks for food, why should we expect our Father to be cruel when we honestly ask for help in some area? He will not upbraid of scold us when we ask for wisdom (James 1:5)I am confident that He will not treat us meanly if we ask for patience.  This transitions directly into raising toddlers doesn't it?!As our children grow into 2 and 3 year old kiddos, they are learning right and wrong, cause and effect, how to express feelings, and more.  It is amazing to see them grow, but it is also quite challenging at times.   3 Ways to Survive the “Terrible Twos” and “Trying Threes”1.  Give two choices that still result in what YOU want them to do, but you are giving them the freedom and independence to start make their own choices .2.  Stay firm with choices, decisions, and consequences.3.  Sit on the floor at their level when discussing or providing a consequence.  Reasoning with a toddler can be hard, but we can still explain why we made that decision, what would happen if we didn’t intervene, or “if this…the that” scenarios. And also…breathe…remember this isn’t forever…remember to enjoy even these challenging times…and always have WINE on hand!"Spend some time being still before the Lord, waiting patiently to hear from Him. Pray that He would keep you from fretting over evil people who seem to prosper, over the ones who carry out evil devices. Ask that the Lord would help you to refrain from anger, and forsake wrath, choosing not to worry since it accomplishes nothing of benefit. Claim God’s promise that evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land." (Psalm 37:7-9).Support the show (
Only 35% of public school students read at or above the Proficient level, in Texas the average drops to only 25% (U.S. Department of Education, 2017)This data should make us all worry and want to take action.  Our kids need us.  The Whole Readers Course is based on the belief that the reading experience should be comprehensive not piecemeal! This course will focus on:setting a positive mindset for both you and your childassessing where your child is in their readingproviding you with a toolkit and game plan to get your child reading confidently as soon as possibleAt the end of this course, mamas will have:a positive mindsetmaterials and planbackground knowledgeconfidencepeace of mindAfter working with their mamas, children will know...all 44 phoneme sounds and variations179 sight wordshow to read with confidenceThis episode will share more about this course and why our commitment to our children's reading is critical!“There is massive evidence that self-selected reading, or reading what you want to read, is responsible for most of our literacy development. Readers have better reading ability, know more vocabulary, write better, spell better, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions. In fact, it is impossible to develop high levels of literacy without being a dedicated reader, and dedicated readers rarely have serious problems in reading and writing.”-Stephen KrashenSupport the show (
Been a year of growth, change, and putting myself out there.  What about for you?  It reminds me of when we decided to purchase our farm.  It was exciting and terrifying at the same time.  But, we did it, and this farm life has opened so many doors for us.  If we hadn’t tried this, I would have always regretted it."We must all suffer from one of two pains:  the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weights ounces while regret weighs tons."  -Jim RohnI know it is life, and we all experience regret, but I have made a promise to myself that if anything, I worked my hardest to achieve the impossible.  To never regret having never tried.  I hope you do the same.  Is it scary?  Sure.Will it be messy?  Yep.I want to encourage every single mom out there to really look at their lives and reflect.  If you are in the right place doing the right things for your SOUL…keep going mama.  But, if you are stuck, afraid, unhappy, unsure, or lost, I encourage you to listen to this episode!  Lots of exciting things happening this month!!!Lots of exciting things happening this month!!!-Launch my “Whole Readers” online workshop for parents on April 29-Lots of goodies coming via email – join my email list today3 Ways to Get Kids Reading ( going on in the Whole Mamas group Support the show (
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store