I’m thankful for Joy School. And Thanksgiving makes me miss Joy School because we sing one of my fav. Joy School songs to celebrate this month. If you don’t know much about this program, click here.

Once again, I’m a little biased about this, but it has been such a great experience for me to get to be the preschool teacher for each of my four oldest children (we do Joy School when they’re three and another preschool when they’re four). It is a cooperative preschool where the moms in the group take turns teaching. I have adored having that structured time to be with my kids, getting to know their friends, bonding with my friends (the other teachers), and teaching what I believe is the most important thing to help children starting off in their school career: Joy.

Joy of the Body.

Joy of Imagination and Creativity.

Joy of Honesty and Candor.

Joy of the Earth.

(Just a few of my favorites.)

I love the nature walks. I love making green eggs and ham. I love acting out “Hats for Sale.” And I love how excited my kids get when it’s at our house, and their mother gets to be their teacher. Boy howdy. That’s fun…most of the time…unless you have eight boys in your group…not so fun. I wouldn’t recommend that particular type of Joy School…

And the songs. Man oh man, I love the songs.

These are my favorites: “I’m a Mean Old Witch with a Hat” (for Halloween) and “Thank You Pilgrims.” You MUST listen to this last one (just click on it). This kid’s voice is about the cutest thing I’ve heard, especially in between the verses when he does this little “fa la la” thing. Listen for it. It’s one of my very favorite songs. Seriously. I make my kids learn it and sing it each November….all month. But they prefer “Mr. Turkey” (this recording is not quite so professional…it’s when Joy School was just beginning when I was little, and it’s my Mom playing the piano and us kids singing. Man, I should have been a singer…)

I’m trying to figure out how I can do Joy School with Lucy in conjunction with her other school. Maybe in the afternoons next year when it wouldn’t force me to choose between putting her down for a nap or having a monster screaming in our house for the entire evening.


Anyway, just want you to know if you’re looking for some good bonding, teaching, warm-heart stuff, check it out.

post edit: I just realized you can’t listen to those great songs if you don’t have a password. Darn. Sorry.

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  1. i have totally missed doing joy school with nora this year. i couldn't find anyone else willing to do it.

    we were singing 'oh boy…i got joy" the other morning. i just love joy school!

    if you end up putting together something for next year and don't mind a 4 year old in the mix i may just be willing to do it with nora (so that she can still do a morning preschool too)

  2. Hi. You've never met me but my name is Nikki and I used to live in NYC. Your brother Noah was in my bishopric at the time. Anyway, I can't believe you just posted about Joy School because as it turns out I am writing a paper about Joy School for my Master's program (@ Ohio State). My course this quarter has been Rethinking Early Childhood Education and I chose Joy School to do my paper because I think the program does a great job on 'Rethinking Early Childhood Education' and focusing less on the academics and focusing more on the whole child. I was hoping to be able to ask you some questions about your experience with Joy School. I know you have a lot! (considering who your parents are) I've been looking for moms who do Joy School here in Central Ohio but have not found any so I was just about to give up on my hope to ask a mom a few questions. If you are willing to be interviewed (via email), my email is luckyslcgirl@hotmail.com. Thank you so much! Nikki
    p.s. I'm a big fan of your blog. I found it through Noah and Kristi's blog. :o)

  3. Shawni we LOVE these songs too! We have sang Thank You Pilgram for as long as I have had babies. A family with teenagers invited us over for Family Home Evening and taught them this song. Later I learned it was a Joy School song. And then we learned the Witch with a Hat (also a favorite). Once we knew you and your family we had so much fun hearing little Shawni sing on our CDs.
    Thanks for all the memories!

  4. I had never heard of joy school until we moved to Virginia 10 years ago and was invited to join a group here in the Vienna Ward with my oldest son. I was totally amazed that such an amazing parent based preschool program even existed. Now ten years later (without a single year off), I'm now in my last year of co-op preschool with my "baby" and I love it more than ever.

    I haven't always used the joy school curriculum, but I attribute the joy school program to helping me to discover my own JOY of teaching, the JOY of developing my creativity, and the JOY of being such a big part of my children's preschool experience!

    Your parents are amazingly talented people and have touched many people's lives (including my own) through their inspired mission.

  5. Hello! I taught Joy School to my girls TWENTY years ago! Now I want to teach one of the songs to a first grade class I volunteer for and can't remember all the words (and who KNOWS where that cassette is after 8 moves). Not sure the title, maybe "The Very Best Part of Christmas" Here are the words I remember: The very best part of Christmas time, the very best part I know, it's not the treats and not the toys, nor Santa's "ho, ho, ho!' The very best part of Christmas time, I'll tell you every day, the very best, happiest part of all are the presents you give away. Am I missing any lyrics?

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