Janet Nicole, author and creator of Golden Days at Home recently received a request for an interview. A new publication with the goal of bringing more attention to the amazing small business owners, artists and creatives in the community approached Janet Nicole desiring to feature Golden Days at Home, LLC in an upcoming issue. We share a portion of the interview with our readers. In the interview, Janet Nicole describes the mission of Golden Days at Home preschool curriculum, the lengthy journey of its creation, including challenges along the way, as well as the joy of working on a passion project.
As a mission driven company, we'd love to hear the story behind your mission and why it's a meaningful mission to you.
Janet Nicole: Our mission at Golden Days at Home is to support parents of preschoolers in making the most of these precious, foundational years of early childhood by developing connection.
Humans are built to need connection with others. Adults and children alike thrive in safe, close relationships allowing them to feel calm and accepted. Children are not only greatly influenced by their parents but the connection between parent and child is crucial for their healthy development. Without this bond, children often experience problems with behavior and have difficulties dealing with emotions and new situations. The effects of which can carry on through childhood into their adult life. A happy, contented child is the result of a healthy parent/child relationship. Nurturing this bond is at the heart of our company.
We are eager to assist parents in their desire to develop a relationship with their young child as they provide and protect a nurturing home environment. We work to encourage and support parents in their influential and honorable role as their child’s greatest teacher by providing a confident resource to spend deliberate time together reading, teaching and learning, creating, and enjoying shared experiences to influence a lifetime.
Please tell our readers about yourself, how you got into your industry/discipline, what type of products you provide, what problems you solve for your customers and what you think sets you apart from others.
Janet Nicole: I made a personal dream come true by writing and creating the Golden Days at Home Preschool Curriculum. The experience developed into a heart-warming and fulfilling passion project. I have always loved children and as the oldest of six, helped my mom raise my younger sister and brothers. My father left our family when I was fourteen and my youngest brother was six weeks old so the opportunity to step up, learn and love presented itself. When I began university, I knew I wanted to pursue a career helping children. I graduated with a BSc double major in elementary education and special education.
The life experiences of focusing on the well-being of my young siblings, working with children during my studies and finally raising five children of my own, gifted me to believe that the foundational early years of childhood shape the rest of our lives. These precious, golden years are positively or negatively affected by a child’s experience at home. The fleeting years of early childhood are positively influenced when parents create a safe, loving, nurturing environment and are committed to connecting with their child. The Golden Days at Home preschool lesson plans were developed to support parents in their influential and honorable role.
The opportunities for a parent and child to connect following the Golden Days at Home lesson plan format are bounteous. Sharing interests such as games, activities and crafts create occasions for connection. Sitting together with snacks and conversation, science and experiments, nature walks, singing and playing on the floor at a child’s level offer more opportunities. Story time is also a powerful way for a parent and child to connect. Each of the Golden Days at Home weekly preschool lesson plans was inspired by an award-winning picture book. The book is read together before the day’s learning time and many of the week’s lessons and activities refer back to the book’s illustrations and text. Through the Golden Days at Home teaching resource, parent and child share consistent story time, play time, learning time and activities richly tending their relationship and creating a nurturing atmosphere at home.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
Janet Nicole: My business journey began when my husband and I bought a cottage on a couple of acres to open a preschool in our town. I was excited to teach again. Our youngest child, we have five, had just started kindergarten and I was ready to begin a new adventure. I was anxious to get going and began the lengthy process of working with the city for permits, licensing, etc. A year and a half into the process, the city informed me they had instituted a moratorium on all educational businesses in the area where our cottage was situated, effective immediately. My heart sank. I would not be able to open a preschool there anytime in the foreseeable future. After the shock, it took me quite a while to digest the realities of the situation, put aside my dream and begin making new decisions. But, eventually I did.
My husband and I decided to rent out the cottage and property. I changed gears and with a new goal, began creating the beautiful vision I had of my preschool, including its nurturing philosophy and gentle learning environment, into lesson plans for parents to teach their little ones at home. I desired but was unable to find this type of home educational resource when my children were young which propelled me to create what I had been looking for to support parents today. Motivated by my love for children, belief in the power of books, experience as a mother and educator, I set out to create a reliable teaching resource to support parents of young children desiring to make the most of this precious, fleeting and foundational time. The idea for The Golden Days at Home Preschool Curriculum was born.
I spent the next 15 years writing and creating the 48 full week lesson plans each inspired by a Caldecott Award-winning picture book. Every lesson plan is made up of 17 subject areas including Science, Geography, Music & Rhyme, Pre-math, The World Around Us, Arts & Crafts and many more. There are recipes for Nursery Tea, visuals and *A Little Bit of Magic included each week, as well. It turned out to be an absolute pleasure and joy for me to create the Golden Days at Home preschool lesson plans. I grew and continued to learn in unexpected ways. When the curriculum was finally complete, I worked with a web designer to build our website and made the the full year of weekly lesson plans available for parents and caregivers to teach little ones in their charge.
Although the path dramatically changed from where I was first headed, my desire to support families of preschoolers to make the most of these precious, golden days together came to fruition. I am proud to have listened to my heart letting it guide me along this heartfelt and honorable journey.
When summer days become long and your children need some fresh inspiration to spark their curiosity, a Bored Jar may be just the thing! I created these ideas for my children’s summer Bored Jar when they were young and I am happy to share them with you. My now grown children still talk about the summer Bored Jar. (We had a summer Job Jar too but they don’t talk about that one.)
1. print out the list of Bored Jar activity ideas (use colored paper to add more fun!)
2. use a paper cutter to divide activity ideas into separate strips and fold each in half (no peeking)
3. collect paper strips in a lidded glass jar and bring out the Bored Jar when you begin to see children’s bored behavior or hear bored whining