At NGY we value curiosity.
We like to wonder, explore, and learn.

The world is experiencing something scary and disruptive that has shifted so many of our comfortable routines. In the midst of these extraordinary times, we were curious to hear what lessons the NGY family might be learning while at home together. Without the familiar, have we made a little space for something new and wonderful?

Read on to see what we discovered.

Amy Lee says, “The past several weeks have given me an opportunity to get to know my kids in a way I will never forget and will always cherish.  I have learned how they learn, not just what they learn. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone to teach them and adapt to how each of them learns differently and needs different types of support.

I knew my girls liked art, but I had no idea how talented and creative they were. I knew my son liked Legos, but I had no idea how much he was capable of. I knew my kids were close, but seeing them bond even tighter in the past two months has been the best gift as a mother. They are thriving as siblings and friends. They have each other’s backs now and forever.”

Amy Nucera reports, “We’re learning by getting down and dirty. My 3-year-old and I cobbled together a small (yet mighty) garden from dollar store seeds and clippings from friends. She’s been the biggest and most enthusiastic little helper. We talk to our plants, dig in the dirt, water them, and make sure they’re safe and protected. It’s new for both of us, and we’re learning together about the life cycles of plants, helper and harmful insects and animals, and more!

Here’s to getting back to nature and finding joy in the simple things. We can’t wait to enjoy the fruits (and flowers and veggies) of our labors.”

Sarah Henderson shares, “In our pre-COVID life, my three kids were busy. As in an-activity-every-night busy. The quality time we had together was in the car, running here and there. And we were happy. But we were busy (and also mama was tired). Because of the stay-at-home season, we have been not so busy and we have been together. It’s given us time to try bread making with homegrown sourdough starter. Nearly every night we have “bread time” before bed time. (We like puns around here.)

We have learned about grams and ounces, natural yeast, how a humid day affects your dough. We have made sourdough boules, focaccia, scones, waffles, crackers, cinnamon rolls, bagels, and even a chocolate cranberry loaf. We’ve had failures (if you forget to add your salt, the bread is called Tuscan bread and not nearly as tasty) and we’ve had many delicious successes. I am grateful for the time we are spending together in the kitchen–the slow time, the mindful time–that bread making takes.”

Rachel Glowacki says, “Oh, puzzle me, me puzzler! My 13- and 14-year-old boys and I did our first 1,000 piece puzzle together; that never would have happened prior to quarantine. We learned so many valuable lessons as we puzzled–patience, strategy, the ability to walk away when frustrated, and the awareness that takes place when you come back to see the bigger picture.

Most of the time the piece we were looking for was right in front of our faces. That led us to the question…what is right in front of our faces that we can be really grateful for? For us, it was leisure time to actually complete a puzzle. Nowhere to be, nothing to really do, except, to be here, right now.”

Candace Martinez shares, “Our family has grown a lot together in these weeks of Shelter-In-Place. With all five of us being stripped of our social calendars and extra-curriculars, we had to find our footing. Overall, the kids have gotten a lot closer–dusting off old board games, rediscovering toys, and re-reading book series. (My husband and I have had more time than ever to talk, reflect, dream and plan, rearrange spaces in our home, and simply enjoy each other.)

As a family, we’ve discovered new TV shows that bring a whole lot of laughter (Ellen’s Game of Games!) and we’ve introduced the kids to movies we watched as kids: The Wizard of Oz, Parent Trap, Sound of Music, Annie, and other classics. We’re going on walks and bike rides and I’m saying a lot of YES to their play requests and muddy experiments.  I am trying to savor this unexpected and unlimited time. When will I ever have my kids with me for weeks at a time all day, every day?”

Jocelyn Chrisley reports, “I am quarantining with my teen and tween. Although their transition to official distance learning has been a bit challenging, I am delighted to see them remembering with ease so many lessons from the unofficial “how to be a kid” curriculum. Today the teen caught a lizard as we hiked. Yesterday the tween licked the bowl after she made brownies.

Our house is covered with messy art projects and questionable science experiments. These girls have sticky fingers and dirty feet. In a relentlessly forward-moving world where childhood can be frenetically scheduled, we are learning that the importance of play is deserving of an encore.”

Has your family found any unexpected ways to thrive during these off-kilter days? If so, were you surprised by what became a meaningful lesson for you and your children? We’d love to hear! Comment below or email us.



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