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Inspiration

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While raising children is very rewarding, it can also be one of our greatest challenges. We all need a little support, camaraderie and motivation to stay inspired. Enjoy your time together while your children are young — it goes by so quick.

These are slides from our Discovery Multiplication Workshop, Inspiring Math at Home Presentation and Crazy 4 Math Club. I hope they give you some ideas for family learning. Enjoy!

Please also see our articles and website resources for more ideas and support for your family's educational journey. Please share with us anything that has inspired you.

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Touching Poems

I Took His Hand and Followed

My dishes went unwashed today
I didn't make my bed
I took his hand and followed
Where eager footsteps led

Oh Yes, we went adventuring
My little child and I
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the sun and sky

We watched a robin feed her young
We climbed a sunlit hill
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was so neglected
That I didn't brush the stairs
In twenty years no one on earth
Will know or even care.

But that I've helped my little child
To noble adulthood grow
In twenty years the whole wide world
May look and see and know.

— Author Unknown

A Time to Live

There comes a time in all our lives
for every single thing
A time to cry, a time to laugh
even a time to sing
A time for joy and happiness
for sadness and for tears
For telling all our special thoughts
or fighting off our fears
A time when we are born
and a time when we shall die
We're never told when those will come
I sometimes wonder why
But right now I see before me
a future full of gifts to give
Because at this very moment
It's the time for me to live

— Anonymous

Wet Oatmeal Kisses

The baby is teething;
The children are crying.
Your husband just called and said "Eat dinner without me."
One of these days you'll explode and shout to the kids,
"Why don't you grow up and act your age?"
And they will.
Or "You guys get outside and find yourself something to do,"
and "don't slam the door!"
And they don't.
You'll straighten their bedrooms all neat and tidy;
toys displayed on the shelf;
Hangers in the closet; animals caged.
You'll yell, "Now I want it to stay this way."
And it will.
You'll yell, "I want complete privacy on the phone — no screaming! Do you hear me?"
And no one will answer.
No more plastic tablecloths with stains of spaghetti.
No more dandelion bouquets.
No more iron-on patches.
No more wet knotted shoelaces,
muddy boots, or rubberbands for ponytails.
Imagine a lipstick with a point!
No babysitter for New Year's Eve.
Washing clothes only once a week.
No PTA meetings or silly school plays where your child is a tree.
No car pools, blaring stereos, or forgotten lunch money.
No more Christmas presents made of library paste and toothpicks.
No wet oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No more giggles in the dark, scraped knees to kiss
or sticky fingers to wash.
Only a voice asking — "Why don't you grow up?"
And a silent echo — "I did."

— Author Unknown

If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd finger-paint more and point the finger less.
I'd do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I'd run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.

— Diane Loomans
Full Esteem Ahead, 100 Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Children & Adults, © 1994

Hurry Up

"Hurry up" I always hear you say,
"Or I'll leave you behind."
I hear those words the whole day
long, and though you are so kind
Most all the time I wish just once
I'd hear you softly say,
"Just take your time to tie your
shoes or finish up your play."
The world is all so new to me,
time has not dimmed my sight.
And all around there's things to
see that fill me with delight.
Don't catch me up in your round-
rush pressures I can't stand.
Just slow down and look around,
and then you'll understand.
Please let me take the time to look,
to listen, and to climb.
I'll miss some things along the
way if I hurry all the time.
For some day you'll say, "Hurry up!"
when you're walking down the road.
You'll turn around and I'll be gone...
Cause I hurried up and growed!

— Cecilia Benson

The Value of a Smile

It costs nothing, but creates much good.
It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those who give it away.
It happens in a flash but the memory of it can last forever.
No one is so rich that he can get along without it.
No one is too poor to feel rich when receiving it.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen for it is something of no earthly good to anybody until it is given away willingly.

— Anonymous

Hugs

It's wondrous what a hug can do.
A hug can cheer you when you're blue.
A hug can say, "I love You so"
Or, "I hate to see you go."
A hug is "Welcome back again,"
And "Great to see you! Where've you been?"
A hug can soothe a small child's pain,
And bring a rainbow after rain.
The hug, there's just no doubt about it
We scarcely could survive without it!
A hug delights and warms and charms,
It must be why God Gave us arms.
Hugs are great for fathers and mothers,
Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers;
And chances are you favorite aunts
Love them more than potted plants.
Kittens crave them, puppies love them;
Heads of states are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier,
And make travel so much merrier.
No need to fret about your store of 'em;
The more you give, the more there's more of em.
So stretch those arms without delay
And give someone a hug today!!!!

— Author Unknown

Quotes & Proverbs

Children and Family

If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children.
—Mahatma Gandhi

It takes a whole village to raise a child.
—African Proverb

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.
—Harold Hulbert

Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.
—Albert Einstein

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.
—Lin Yutang

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.
—Anonymous

To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.
—Anonymous

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.
—David Bly

Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.
—Roger Lewin

One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.
—Chinese Proverb

The best way to make children good is to make them happy.
—Oscar Wilde

If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.
—Jacqueline Kennedy Onnassis

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.
—Louis Pasteur

Children are our most valuable natural resource.
—Herbert Hoover

To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons.
—Marilyn French

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
—Pablo Picasso

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -— our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families. If we want to spread joy, we need for every family to have joy.
—Mother Teresa

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you, and yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.
—Kahlil Gibra

How many ways can you arrange these four flowers?

Mothers

What Your Child Really Wants

Many Thanks to Kelly Nault for providing a video she created for us moms called, "What Your Child Really Wants from You".

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.
—Abraham Lincoln

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
—George Cooper

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
—Tenneva Jordan

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
—Spanish Proverb

A man's work is from sun to sun, but a mother's work is never done.
—Anonymous

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.
—Mildred B. Vermont

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
—Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
—Victor Hugo

Mother's love grows by giving.
—Charles Lamb

One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.
—Chinese Proverb

Because I feel that in the heavens above
The angels, whispering one to another,
Can find among their burning tears of love,
None so devotional as that of "Mother,"
Therefore, by that dear name I have long called you,
You who are more than mother unto me.
—Edgar Allan Poe

Before you were conceived I wanted you Before you were born I loved you Before you were here an hour I would die for you This is the miracle of life.
—Maureen Hawkins

And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see—or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
—Alice Walker

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
—Theodore Hesburgh

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.
—Jewish Proverb

Learning and Wonder

Wisdom begins in wonder.
—Socrates

It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize.
—Aristotle

To teach is to understand. To learn is wisdom. To learn together is understanding wisdom.
—Sid Mendenhall

As knowledge increases, wonder deepens.
—Charles Morgan

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
—Albert Einstein

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.
—Rachel Carson

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
—Buddha

— I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
—Albert Einstein

Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world's work, and the power to appreciate life.
—Brigham Young

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
—Rachel Carson

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.
—William Yeats

You see things; and you say 'Why?'; But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'
—George Bernard Shaw

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.
—Victor Hugo

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
—William A. Ward

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.
—Chinese Proverb

The search for truth is more precious than its possession.
—Albert Einstein

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
—Albert Einstein

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.
—Socrates

Fun and Exploration

People who laugh actually live longer than those who don't laugh. Few persons realize that health actually varies according to the amount of laughter.
—James J. Walsh

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
—Mark Twain

We must never cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.
—T.S. Eliot

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, happiness, which is everything in the world.
—Blaise Pascal

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
—Albert Einstein

The world is but a canvas to our imaginations.
—Henry David Thoreau

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.
—Abraham Lincoln

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
—Albert Einstein

To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.
—Anatole France

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
—Buddha

Living and Dreams

Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.
—Emily Dickinson

Oh, the worst of all tragedies is not to die young, but to live until I am seventy-five and yet not ever truly to have lived.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you can't fly, then run.
If you can't run, then walk.
If you can't walk, then crawl.
But whatever you do, keep moving.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.
—Willy Wonka

There is no wealth but life.
—John Ruskin

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.
—John F. Kennedy

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