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Conversations with Janet Nicole Meyer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Nicole Meyer.

Hi Janet, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am the mother of five children, all now grown and on their own. I am also the eldest child of six in my birth family. These familial roles have always felt very comfortable and natural to me gifting me the opportunity to nurture, teach and enjoy spending time with children.

While I was in junior high school, our family experienced a trauma that deeply affected me and my younger siblings. After high school, I attended university and was greatly drawn to pursue a course of study to help and nurture children. I researched child psychology, social work, and teaching. Heeding my instincts, I chose a path to graduate with degrees in elementary education and special education from Brigham Young University.

I pursued my teaching career in public schools as well as privately. My husband, who is from South Africa, is an international grain trader and his career offered us many opportunities to live and travel overseas.

As we relocated around the world, I was able to continue teaching by offering a tutoring service in whichever country we found ourselves in. I thoroughly enjoyed these opportunities to immerse myself in the different cultures as I taught children in their homes and became friends with their families.

Through these exciting years, we also started our own family which naturally opened up even richer opportunities to learn and live fully wherever we were. As my little ones grew and attended preschool, I became fascinated by the different teaching philosophies and modes of early childhood instruction within these unique cultures. I thoroughly enjoyed having young children of my own and was inspired by these new experiences in early childhood education and continued to learn from them.

It was during this early childhood stage of our family that I began to realize how incredibly important, yet fleeting, this foundational time is for a child. Before I knew it, my eldest child was off to a full day of school in a full classroom. Does she have the grounding required as she sets off on her educational path? Does she have the tools she needs to be socially, emotionally, and physically healthy?

All the parenting double checks and questions swirled through my being eventually sparking a determined and committed focus on the 3 – 5-year-old precious, golden years with my children. With a desire to spend as much time as possible interacting, connecting, and teaching my young children, I went in search of a resource to support my goals.

Unable to find what I was looking for, I haphazardly created little lessons, activities, and experiences we could regularly share together. I treasure that one on one and family times as we nurtured relationships and reinforced in our children they have a safe, loving, and secure home base from which to go out, grow and thrive.

When our two eldest children were in high school, we moved back to the U.S. to settle. Following seventeen years of children at home, our youngest also started first grade which I admit, caused a ‘deer in the headlight’s reaction for me. Now, what do I do with full days to fill?

I didn’t have an immediate answer but I was determined to put it to good use. But how? I could teach, and continue tutoring. After weeks of questioning, discussions with my husband, researching and hefty introspection, I finally knew what I needed to do.

Through this enlightening process, I discovered a golden thread throughout the course of my life leading me to create a preschool curriculum to support parents in their desire to nurture their 3 – 5-year-old children by reading, learning, and spending precious time together. The idea for Golden Days at Home early childhood curriculum was born.

Since then, it has been a lengthy process, fifteen years in the making, to create the full-year preschool curriculum. But, with the quote next to my computer, “Slow and steady wins the race,” reconfirming and encouraging me, I saw my vision through to completion.

Golden Days at Home curriculum offers forty-eight weekly lesson plans each inspired by an award-winning picture book providing a reliable resource for conscious parents to spend deliberate time connecting with their child through teaching, creating, reading, and enjoying shared experiences to influence a lifetime.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to the creation of the Golden Days at Home early childhood curriculum has been a slowdown, back up and change direction, stop, now go this way, long, winding road with a sprint to the finish line.

Just as I was struck with the concrete idea of creating the Golden Days at Home preschool curriculum, we moved our family out of our small, old house for a renovation. This two-year process granted only small snippets of time in which to develop my new project. However, I kept it alive and growing in a composition notebook writing down ideas and inspiration as they came to me.

With our family settled once again, I began researching and developing the curriculum objectives. I was clipping along at a steady speed when I was asked to accept a demanding and time-consuming role at our church. At first, the curriculum development process stopped completely but as time went on, I was able to move forward at a slower pace.

The initial purpose of Golden Days at Home was to support parents as teachers. However, I also desired to open a small preschool and teach the curriculum to support parents working full time by providing a small, nurturing, learning environment for their preschool child.

We bought a charming, little cottage set in a beautiful forest as the location but during the licensing process, zoning restrictions would not allow a business to be opened in that area. So, I took a deep breath, stopped, backed up, and headed on towards the original destination.

Finally, after fifteen years of winding stops and starts, the first draft of the forty-eight weekly lesson plan curriculum was complete. Then, COVID-19 arrived.

When I began to understand the dramatic effect the pandemic was going to have on everyone’s daily lives, families, and preschools, I knew I needed to make the Golden Days at Home curriculum available to parents as a resource to teach their young children at home or teaming up with a few other parents for small group instruction during this time.

Attaining this goal would mean dramatically speeding up the process to design and finishing the final draft of the forty-eight weekly lesson plans, hiring a web designer to build my website (it was launched on my 59th birthday), and hiring a firm to market the curriculum to parents of preschoolers. (Thank you, Twistlab).

This was an unforeseen challenge but a good opportunity to take on. I am happy to report that Golden Days at Home has arrived at its long-awaited destination.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Having the opportunity to create an educational product that enhances family’s lives and relationships using my education, life experiences, and wisdom gained through my roles as teacher and mother is a dream come true.

Having searched unsuccessfully for an at-home early childhood curriculum to teach when my children were young, I aspired to develop and offer a quality resource for other parents looking for the same.

My desire is to share what I have learned along life’s path humbly offering wisdom, resources and perspective gained to support young families through the foundational, yet fleeting, stage of early childhood and assisting parents in their influential and honorable role.

As I initiated the creative process of developing the Golden Days at Home curriculum, I let my mothering instincts work alongside the education, training, and experiences I had as a teacher. I believe reading to be key in so many areas of child development with the comforting and bonding experience of parent and child story time front and center.

This is where the idea of creating preschool lesson plans inspired by picture books fell into place. Each day’s lessons begin with mom or dad reading the week’s picture book together with their child. When I was young, many of my favorite picture books were Caldecott award-winners including Blueberries for Sal, Where the Wild Things Are, and Madeline.

With outstanding illustrations and delightful storylines, Caldecott Award and Honor books became the exclusive inspiration for each and every preschool weekly lesson plan. The corresponding week’s lessons, activities, and snacks bring each picture book to life!

A fun and imaginative aspect, I’ve included throughout the Golden Days at Home 48 weekly lesson plans, each featuring 17 lessons and activities, printable resources, and two snack time recipes, are cultural gems I have collected from other preschools around the world.

For instance, in Australia, snack time is called “tea”. Children enjoy morning tea and afternoon tea. I’ve named snack time at Golden Days at Home, nursery tea. These fun additions are not only enjoyable, they are also teaching moments.

As a mother and teacher, I am proud to offer an innovative, easy-to-follow plan for preparation and instruction to parents of 3 – 5-year-olds consciously choosing to maximize this precious, foundational time.

Through their efforts, parents will not only share the wonder and magic of learning with their children in a comfortable and relaxed home environment, but they will also form a connection that will empower their children now and throughout their life.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I like that Salt Lake City is vibrant with its mix of settled, classic neighborhoods, a lively downtown, and ever-growing new communities and businesses.

It is a city that offers its varied residents rich, cultural entertainment as well as world-class mountain recreation, fine dining, and also plenty of trendy, hip restaurants, and lively nightlife but with endless family fun. I truly adore the fact that Salt Lake City is filled with families and supports a family-friendly lifestyle. Salt Lake City’s history is unique making it a destination for tourists from around the world. I believe the more diverse and international influence, the better!

The city’s popularity and opportunities have created enormous growth over the past decades which also creates crowded highways with continual upgrades, construction, and expansions. It’s something that naturally comes hand in hand with a growing, flourishing city!

Pricing:

  • 1 Month Bundle of 4 full week lesson plans – $49
  • 1 Season Bundle of 12 full week lesson plans – $129
  • Complete Year of 48 full week lesson plans – $439

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Delaney Morrow Photography

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