Sunday, September 30, 2012

St. Jerome Day Resource Round Up

St. Jerome in His Study by Jan van Eyck  from Wikimedia
Today is a day to celebrate here at our house.  Not only is it the eighth anniversary of our beach betrothal, but it is one of the kids favorite Saint Play Feast Days:  St. Jerome's Day.

So, we started our morning off with some readings about St. Jerome at breakfast...

 ... as well as some dramatic play about St. Jerome and his lion.

Then, it was off to celebrate Mass and, soon, will be headed out for a rainy day walk at the beach that Mike and I got betrothed at.

Eight Years Ago This Evening
Before we head out, though, I wanted to share a resource round up for anyone who wants to enjoy some last-minute exploration of St. Jerome with young children.

Celebrating St. Jerome

  • Gather up some figurines, stuffed toys or homemade paper dolls and make a Storybasket or dramatic play scene.

Enjoy celebrating, and, if you have favorite St. Jerome resources, please share about them in a comment!


(If you receive this post via email and cannot see the linky, be sure to actually click over to the blog to read browse the rich catalog of ideas there.)
Please note: Links to Amazon within this post and others are affiliate ones. Should you choose to click through one to make an Amazon purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. This does not cost you anything, but is a choice we thank you for making. Anything we make from links goes straight back into training up our children and to much of what we share with you here. Thank you!

Monday, September 24, 2012

St. Michael’s Symbols 3-Part Cards Free Printable

This morning, in preparation for an activity that we plan to enjoy as a part of our family’s St. Michael’s Name Day Tea later this week, Luke helped me select images from Wikimedia for St. Michael’s Symbols 3-Part Cards.  I am sharing them today in case anyone else would like to use them this week in preparation for the Feast of the Archangels.

In the set of cards, there are three styles:

  • Style 1 has words on the bottom and images with arrows pointing to corresponding parts of the images on the top.

  • Style 2 does not include the arrows on top.  Instead, it includes descriptive phrases under the images to be matched with the words on the bottom of the cards.

  • Style 3 contains images with titles, dates and artists underneath them on the top portion of each card and words naming symbols of St. Michael on the bottom.

The cards can be found here.
To use these cards as traditional Montessori 3-Part cards, simply print out two copies of any one style of cards.  Cut each card out around the outside black lines.  Then, with one set of cards, cut along the dotted lines, too. Then, use as in this video:

Or, enjoy any variety of games with the cards:

  • Classifying Challenge (for 1 or more players): As a math tie-in, players try to classify cards by different attributes, for example making groups by wing color, by dark and light images, by images with shield and without.

  • Concentration/Memory (for w or more players): Print two copies of any one style of cards.  Cut them out and lay the cards face down in even rows. Then, take turns revealing two cards. Anyone who finds a match gets to keep the match and go again, until they find no match.  Alternately, print one copy of one style of cards.  Cut each card out and then cut across the cards on the dotted lines.  Match the image portion to the word portion.  (For extra challenge, should you choose this option, you may want to attach the card parts to index cards so they will all be of a uniform size.)

  • Go Fish (for 2 or more players; if there are many players, use more sets of cards): Print out two sets of cards. Cut them out and place them face down in a “fish pond”.  Have each player draw two cards. Then, Player 1 asks another player, “Do you have a ___?”, based on the words which correspond with the symbols of St. Michael.  If the person asked has the card requested, the card is given to Player 1, who lays the match down. If not, the person says, “No. Go fish!”” and Player 1 takes a face down card from the “fish pond”. Player 2 then takes a turn. Play continues until all cards are matched.  (For pre-readers who cannot figure out the picture cue, simply have them turn a card around so another player can see it, saying, “Do you have a card like this?”)

  • The Everyone-Gets-One Slap Game (for 2 or more players): Print out enough sets cards so that each person can collect one in the end.  After cutting the cards out, lay out all the cards, minus one set, face up, so that each card is showing. Give the remaining set to the Caller as a deck. Have the Caller look at the first card and says, “Find a ___,” reading the word on one picture card.  Then, the other players should each take a corresponding card. Play ends when all cards have been collected.  (As an art study lesson, have the Caller ask other players to find cards with certain details in the images as opposed to just naming symbols.)

  • Guessing Game (for 2 or more players): Lay one set of cut out cards face up so that all cards are showing.  Have Player 1 offer clues, such as, “I am thinking of an image that has an angel on it.”  “The colors used in the painting are mostly warm.”  “There is a sword in the image.” Etc.   Other players should try to guess which card Player 1 is thinking of.

  • Scavenger Hunt Match (for 2 or more players):Using two sets of cut-out cards, Player 1 hides one set of cards in different places in the room and holds another set as the calling deck. Player 1 draws one card from the calling deck and describes it, telling Player 2 to go find its match. Player 2 has to find the match in the room.

  • The Competitive Slap Game (for 3 or more players): Use two sets of cut out cards. Lay one face up so all of the cards show. Have a Caller hold the other set as a deck. The Caller should draw a card and name it by symbol, a description of the image or the meaning of the symbol.  Other players compete to be the first to slap the corresponding face up cards. Whoever slaps it gets to keep it. Whoever has the most cards at the end gets to be the next Caller.

  • Lotto (for 3 or more players):  Give each child a set of cards.  Have all but one player select six of their cards to lay out in a 2 cards x 3 cards grid.  Have the other player act as the Caller, holding all eight cards as a calling deck.  The Caller should then describe one of the images or name one of the symbols.  Any player who has the card described, should turn it face down.  When a player turns over all of his or her cards, s/he wins.

However you choose to use the cards, enjoy!  Happy Michaelmas!

Want to be inspired with others' Montessori ideas an work?  Click on over to Montessori Monday and enjoy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Planning St. Michael’s Feast Day Tea: A Resource Round-Up

image from Wikimedia

This year I re-committed to celebrating family Name Days and Baptism Anniversaries.  At the end of the week, another one is coming up:  Daddy’s Name Day, St. Michael’s Feast Day.

In case anyone else is planning to celebrate St. Michael this week, I thought I would share a round-up of resource ideas for Michalemas,  just like I when we were planning our Assumption of Mary Feast Day Celebration.  Enjoy browsing is collection of festive ideas and be sure to add comments in the links to favorite ways to celebrate St. Michael that I may have missed.

  • Place orange and/or gold candles on the table, as they are the traditional colors of St. Michael.
  • If we can find some, a bouquet of Michaelmas daisies (asters) would be lovely..
  • Make a Michael the Archangel centerpiece envisioned by the kids.

Tea Time Fare
  • Since Michaelmas falls around apple picking time and cider was traditionally brewed at this time of year, we will likely enjoy both cold and hot apple cider (as my children prefer cold drinks to hot and are still not tea-drinkers).  
  • For simplicity sake, we might just enjoy sliced apples.
  • For Mama, blackberry herbal tea will be in order, since legend has it that when St. Michael’s expelled Lucifer from Heaven, he fell from the skies to earth, straight onto a blackberry bush, whereupon he cursed the fruit, stamped on it and then spat on it, making them unfit to eat after Michaelmas!
  • Fresh blackberries, defrosted frozen blackberries, blackberry cobbler or blackberry muffins may be in order, too.
  • According to custom, women once harvested wild carrots for Michaelmas by digging triangular holes (to represent St. Michael’s shield) with a three-pronged mattock (to represent St. Michael’s) trident, so to get a little produce power into our tea, we will try agave-glazed carrot rounds.
  • For fun, we will likely make devil’s food cake or cupcakes to stab with plastic swords.
  • Likewise, perhaps some stabbed deviled eggs.
  • Traditionally, goose was eaten on Michaelmas in the UK.  Since we cannot get goose, we may have some bits of chicken on toothpicks.
  • Perhaps make some Margherita (daisy) cake, a tradition in Italy, adapted from this GF recipe.
  • If we decide to do a breakfast tea, I’ll adapt a recipe for St. Michael’s Gaufres to a GFCF recipe.
  • If we decide to do a dinner tea, gnocchi would be an option since it is also an Italian Michaelmas tradition.
  • Maybe try a version of Michaelmas Pie, inspired by the one part way down this page.

  • Color Waltzing Matilda’s St. Michael coloring page or Paper Dali’s one.
  • Perhaps for a sensory experience we can make mini-pillows with store-bought feathers based on the idea that “geese were fed the last remnants of the grain harvest to fatten them for Michaelmas.  The down plucked from them was used to stuff pillows and mattresses, so this practice became associated with Michaelmas as well.” (from
  • Perhaps make and play a card game based on St. Michael’s patronage.

Plus, for my own study, I hope to find time to slowly read through Women for Faith and Family’s The Church and the Holy Angels page, as well as their comprehensive, yet concise page on the Archangels Feast Day.  (I know that my description of the page is a bit of an oxymoron, but it is the best way I can explain the relatively brief, yet complete collection of readings, excerpts prayers, etc that the page offers.)

Of course, as with all of our Feast Day celebrations and teas, what we actually do will be up to the way both the day, and the children's ideas, unfold.  However our festivities turn out, I am sure they will be fun.

What are some of your favorite St. Michael resources?  Do you have favorite angel crafts?

(If you receive this post via email and cannot see the linky, be sure to actually click over to the blog to read browse the rich catalog of ideas there.)
Please note: Links to Amazon within this post and others are affiliate ones. Should you choose to click through one to make an Amazon purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. This does not cost you anything, but is a choice we thank you for making. Anything we make from links goes straight back into training up our children and to much of what we share with you here. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September Thank You

Last year, I modeled a thank you post after the one Deb does at Living Montessori Now.  I had every intention of writing one up monthly, but obviously got distracted before the habit formed.  Today, I have decided that it is time to revitalize the practice of posted thank you’s.  So, from my Google Analytics report for August 2012:

Thank you to all my referrers! 
I appreciate your links and support and enjoy reading your sites, too.

The Top 10 Referring Sites (not counting sites like Facebook, Google, Pinterest and the like) were:

1.       LivingMontessori Now

2.       Creative with Kids

3.       Crafolic

4.       Tercets

5.       Catholic Icing

6.       Catholic Mothers Online

7.       Organizing Junkie

8.       My Special Needs Network

9.       Suscipio

10.   The Party Animal

Thank you to all my readers!
I am honored that you pause for a moment to read Training Happy Hearts and even happier to read your comments and respond to requests.  Please never hesitate to leave a comment here or on FB about what you would like to see in future posts.

The Top 10 Visited Posts that you enjoyed this past month were:

1.      Assumption of Mary:  No Cake Nor Juice Boxes, Just Some Drama

2.      Resource Round Up of Body Part Cards

3.      Alerting Activity ABC Cards

4.       Resource Round Up:  10 Free Felt Stories, Flannel Stories and Magnetic Board Resources

5.      Routines and Rhythms:  Wake Up Time and Daily Rhythm Charts

6.      If You Cannot Find It, Make Do: 3-Part Life of Mary Sequencing Cards

7.       Act Like an Elephant Cards

8.       Planning and Assumption of Mary Tea

9.      I Can Calm Myself ABC Cards

10.   Family Visits and Car Activity Bags

Thank you faithful followers!
With the dearth of time so many of us have for browsing blogs and  plethora of fantastic blogs out there to read, I am both humbled and grateful when someone chooses to follow Training Happy Hearts.  Thank you.

If you aren’t following THH and wish to, please feel free to do so by email (see the box in the right side bar) or through the Training Happy Hearts Facebook page (where you’ll find thoughts, questions, links to most THH posts and, increasingly, links to other posts you might like as well). 

One day I will get on the blogging ball and get options for RSS feeds, Google + and all those other options put on Training Happy Hearts, but, to be honest, I am not too tech savvy and, since the academic year has begun anew, I have even less time for blogging than I did before, so it may be a while.    That said, if you have a link to a great free tutorial about how to do any such “fancy” blog tech stuff, please share it in a comment!

Thank you to link-up participants!
I love browsing your ideas and hope we can collect a library of links that will help all of us continue training our youngest children up with happy hearts united in faith.

Thank you to all who take the time to link up and comment at Training Happy Hearts:  A Call to Faith Formation for Young Children each week.  I enjoy getting feedback on posts I share and clicking over to the ones you link up!  I also welcome requests for future topics to be featured on this Sunday link-up.  So, feel free to let me know if you’d like me to focus on a particular part of faith formation, a certain type of resource or what have you.  I am happy to let your need be my inspiration.

Thank you to you to my affiliates and to those who choose to click through links at trainin Happy Hearts to make purchases!

I only become an affiliate for businesses with products our family believes in, and I appreciate each time someone goes through our affiliate links to make a purchase.  When you choose to do so, our family receives a small commission, which we, in turn, we put right back into the life and learning we share about here on Training Happy Hearts.  Clicking from Training Happy Hearts links to make your purchases does not affect your order or prices in any way, except when you use posted discount links or, which makes – hooray – can your purchase price even less expensive! 

Training Happy Hearts currently has the following affiliate relationships: 
  • If you use the code “HAPPY” when purchasing at Future Horizons, you will receive 15% off your purchase and free shipping.  (They are one of our favorite places for SPD and autism resources!)
  • You can get free Shipping with any purchase over $100 at Marbles, while helping us earn a small commission on what you purchase.
  • You can enjoy recipes from on of our go-to GFCF everyday cookbooks, Good and Easy Eats from Simply Natural Health.  (I reviewed this e-book here.)
  • You can learn a bit about blogging and taxes, as I did last tax season, by purchasing Your Blogging Business: Tax Talks and Tips from a Bookkeeper turned Blogger.  (I shared about that here.)
  • You and your children can learn about how to become entrepreneurs as our family is beginning to at Go Rich Kids (I interviewed Mark Victor Hansen, who began this initiative, and share it here.)
  • You can stock up through, while helping us out.  Thank you.
I welcome new affiliates with products I can stand behind.  I am open to sponsors as well.  Please feel free to get in touch.

I look forward to sharing and growing with you all in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings
This post is being shared at Many Little Blessing's Top Ten Tuesday.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Montessori Monday: Building Independence Before Breakfast

The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.
~Maria Montessori. Secret of Childhood

Some time ago, we began using our Five Before Breakfast strategy to help our children start their days well.  However, before the children’s habits were completely set, they flagged.  In fact, by the first day of the academic year for public school kids in our area, I noticed that my own children needed some “schooling” in their habits again.

So, on the first day of public school here, I began our homeschooling day with a real-life writing activity that would act as a tool in our prepared environment:  hand cut-outs to help us remember our Five Before Breakfast each day.

To make our hands, I helped each child trace their hands.  Then, they cut these out.  (Well, not Jack, because his scissors skills are not there yet.  And, not Nina completely on her own, either, since I could not find our kids’ scissors an it was difficult for her to make some of the tight corners with our grown up ones.)

Then, we reviewed what their Five Before Breakfast tasks are and Luke and Nina did copywork to write reminder words down on each of the fingers of their hand cut-outs while I wrote on mine and Jack’s.

Then, we flipped the hands over and wrote, “I’m ready!”

Luke then decided to decorate the front of his hand cut-out with picture-cue drawings overlapped by lines to indicate veins and capillaries and to draw figures on the back of his cut out with speech balloons, too.  (Ever the creative individual, our Luke!)

Hands made, I laid them out on the table an suggested a rehearsal time.  Everyone got back into bed and we did a run through of waking up, attending to our tasks, coming to the table to check our hands to ensure we had completed all five of our morning tasks, going back to do whatever we had forgotten to do and, finally, announcing that we were ready to eat breakfast.

In the past few weeks, I have witnessed success with out our cut-out hands.  The children are taking more ownership of their five morning tasks and, thus, the life skill of getting up and getting going in a productive, peaceful way is developing further.  

One morning’s guided activity has allowed our children to act more independently. Our hand cut-outs have become part of our Montessori-inspired prepared environment in that they allow our children freedom  to decide which of their five tasks to do in what order and when they will accomplish all five, while still setting a framework for order in our home and structure in their days.

What tools do you use to help your children set habits and maintain routines?  How do you offer freedom while still providing order and structure?

Want to be inspired with others' Montessori ideas an work?  Click on over to Montessori Monday and enjoy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Turn, My Turn...for Evening Prayers

Sleepy boy in Daddy's arms last night...
Last night, after a full, family day of fun, our children were plum tuckered out.  Mike transferred Jack and Nina from car seats to bed with barely a flutter of their eyelashes, and, even Luke, who struggles with bedtime and sleep every night happily went in to lay in his bed after listening to only a short portion of a read aloud on the couch with Daddy.

By nine-thirty a rare quiet blanketed our home.  I would have happily tucked myself into it, but I missed something:  Our two year old Jack had fallen asleep in the car.  He had never scrambled past his brother and sister with a "my turn, my turn," asking for his Bedtime Blessing.  As I prepared myself for bedtime, I almost wanted to wake Jack just so I could hear these words and, then, see his big smile as I drew a cross on his forehead and offered him a blessing.

You see, Jack did not communicate with words as early as some children do and we have spent months working in tandem with local Early Intervention services on his Speech.  So, I delight when he uses words to ask for something, especially when his request is for a blessing!

As I thought about Jack's part in our nightly ritual, I also thought about a new ritual I have begun, which I have yet to share here on the weekly series -- one I could go enjoy even if Jack was already asleep:

Praying Over Sleeping Children
I never know who I will find in whose beds when I go in to pray over the kids.  One night last week, I found Nina had snuck into the boys' room and she and Luke were sound asleep in Jack's bed while Jack was laying crossways on Nina's!

During one of the Luke's recent bouts with a viral infection, I began wondering if he had EEE (a scary mosquito-borne virus that is all too prevalent in our part of the country).  He did not, thankfully.  Yet, one night, as he lay sleeping in a fevered stupor, I touched his hot little cheek and felt compelled to simply pray over him (and for him).

Later, when Luke's fever had passed and his headaches and other virus symptoms subsided, I told him about how I had prayed over him.  With a, "Really?", he smiled and gave me a hug.  No more needed to be said.

Since then, I have not always told my children about my nighttime trips into their rooms once they are asleep, but I have enjoyed making them.

Often, before I go to bed (if I have outlasted our reluctant sleeper Luke!) or when I wake up in the middle of the night, I quietly enter the kids' rooms to check on them.  While I am in each room, I gently lay a hand on each of my children's heads (or lips to their foreheads) and pray.  Some nights, the prayer is an additional Bedtime Blessing.  Other nights it is a prayer of gratitude.  Still others, it is one of petition.  And, occasionally, it is a prayer without words, on that simply flies from my heart to the Heavens without taking the shape verbally in my head.

And so it was that last night, I went from missing Jack's "my turn, my turn" to realizing it was my turn -- my turn to pray with adoration, praise, petition and gratitude over each of my children before slumbering myself.

Do you pray with and for your children nightly?  What are some of your favorite prayer rituals?

(If you receive this post via email and cannot see the linky, be sure to actually click over to the blog to read browse the rich catalog of ideas there.)
Please note: Links to Amazon within this post and others are affiliate ones. Should you choose to click through one to make an Amazon purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. This does not cost you anything, but is a choice we thank you for making. Anything we make from links goes straight back into training up our children and to much of what we share with you here. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Interview with Mark Victor Hansen, Best Known for the Chicken Soup Series and Now Helping Kids Everywhere Become Entrepreneurs

One thing I love about homeschooling is that it allows me to follow my children’s interests as the basis for their education and, in turn, encourages me to continue learning myself.  Case in point: Right now, two of my three young ones are interested in creating a business.  I have never been that business-minded, but have always loved seeing creative ideas come to fruition.  Thus, I now find myself looking into ways  to help my children achieve their goal of making money through a real business.

Enter something  I love about blogging:  Opportunity!

Through blogging, I get to share ideas with people I never would have met otherwise, and, occasionally people reach out to me with opportunities I am both astounded by and grateful for.  Such was the case recently when I was offered the privilege of interviewing  Mark Victor Hansen, best known as Co-Creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, who is now rolling out, a project he's doing for kids to teach them how to become entrepreneurs.

When I first received an email about it I wondered if it was a spam or a joke.  A little checking into and I realized it was for real.  I was being given the opportunity to pick the brain of an inspiring celebrity author, motivational speaker and philanthropist.  Someone whose name I had seen on books I have read, but with whom I never imagined talking to.

Unfortunately, I still cannot say I have talked with Mark Victor Hansen.  Because my children are known to get up to their most challenging antics when I am on the phone, I thought it more prudent to send an email interview than to jump at the chance for ten minutes on the phone with Mark.  Yes, as the mother of three children, who are but six, five and two years old, I realized I’d likely do more hushing of my boisterous brood than hearing Mark’s gems of wisdom during a brief voice-to-voice, so I can only say I have corresponded with Mark Victor Hansen through an intermediary, not that I have actually talked with him.

A disappointing choice as far as bragging rights go, but one that I am so glad I made.  Why?  Because gems abound in the responses Mark offered to my questions.  Gems I am so excited to share today!  So, please, sit back, relax and get ready to be as inspired as I am!

An Interview with Mark Victor Hansen about Kidpreneurs and sets out to do something my husband and I feel strongly about: to educate children to be entrepreneurs, not employees. In a culture where the message “Go to school.  Get a job.  Enjoy your interests as hobby, but trade hours for pay doing whatever you have to do,” persists, the potential of children (and adults for that matter!) is squelched.  Why do you think our society continues to teach children an employee mindset?  Why is inspiring children to be their own bosses by educating them in entrepreneurial skills still an exception rather than a norm? 

I agree with your appraisal completely. If we teach entrepreneurship, we will make the employee-mindset obsolete which is absolutely necessary for our future. A few weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal, it was pointed out that half of kids can’t get a job no matter what happens. There aren’t going to be any jobs for them. So, we’ve now set our kids up to fail. Well, this makes the employee-mindset sillier than silly.

Thanks to the paradigm shift of our culture, we have changed and parents now need to understand this dynamic. Most of us have been trained for the workplace with an industrial perspective. The video I want you to watch is by Sir Ken Robinson. It can be seen at You will be wowed. We’re set up for an industrialized culture where everyone has been trained to go into a factory job. This was great during the time of America’s building because most people didn’t have an entrepreneurial desire.

Your question is also your answer. The only way to fulfill the potential of a human being is to be an entrepreneur. You can be an entrepreneur in sports or you can be one in music. What we’re saying is there are 360 degrees of freedom in entrepreneurship and this opportunity is better now than ever before. I also believe parents ought to listen to entrepreneurial and self-help action tapes in their cars while driving with their kids. The kids will then internalize these concepts.

My own kids had no choice but to listen when they were all strapped in the backseat. They were too young to know that they could have listened to music. Instead, they were listening to my tapes like those by Jim Rohn,  Cavett Robert, Zig Ziglar; or about leadership with Dr. John Maxwell or Warren Bennis. When you’re listening to high-minded material, you become high-minded and the earlier kids can be exposed to these concepts, the better. seems geared towards a nine-and-up crowd.  Can younger children benefit from it, too?  I know my own five and six year olds are already itching to start their own business.  My husband and I want to foster their initiative, but have little direction ourselves in how to guide them.  Can Richest Kids Academy help a wide audience that includes younger children and adults?

Yes, it can.  It will support all precocious kids starting at ages 5 or 6.  We've got stories in there, and you can go anywhere you want on the stories, but I'll just take you through two of the right now.  We have 154 video stories, by the way, and we are adding more each day.

I love Josh Shipp’s story. He was orphaned at a very young age and lived in numerous places. When he 6-years-old, he was living next door to a lady who had a lemon tree in her yard. This tree was 20-years-old but producing thousands of lemons each year. Her husband had died and she couldn’t keep the lemons cleaned up by herself, so she told Josh that she will pay him to clean up the lemons. Where Josh got his entrepreneurial leadership ability is beyond me, but he said to her, "Let me think about it, and I'll have a solution for you tomorrow." 

Josh then recruited 20 other orphans by telling them, 'Here's what we're going to do. She wants me to rake up these things and throw them away.  That's a bad use of resources.'  He got these 20 kids to pick up all the lemons, put them in bags and  then go throughout the neighborhood selling fresh lemons for lemonade!  The kids sold all the lemons. Josh had reasonably priced the lemons so when they finished, Josh paid the kids 50% of the profit. He paid the neighbor lady 10% and he kept 40%. After that, he took the same enterprise to other neighbors with lemon trees and continued the same process. So, Josh did that, made his little fortune at 6-years-old. Now, at 22-years-old, he is making about $2 million per year in other businesses.

The other video story on is about an amazing little guy who when he was about 5 or 6-years-old, began making Pencil Bugs. By the time he was 9-years-old, he was making $3.6 million a year with Pencil Bugs; which by then, had become a full family enterprise.  He lives out in Riverside, California. 

Young kids can do it, but their parents have got to be there to guide them and guard them.  Josh Shipp had no parents. All of a sudden this kid had spending money which came from his own initiative. I think his story, which you can see on the video, will inspire your kids to do something like that or even better.

Readers of my blog come from three basic backgrounds:  homeschoolers, families of faith and parents of children with special needs such as Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD.  Obviously, will speak to moms, homeschoolers and faith-filled families.  (Your work always encourages meeting one’s call, gifting forward and tithing -- Love that!)  Out of curiosity, might it also speak directly to families gifted with children with unique neurology?  Are all of the featured kidpreneurs neuro-typical? Are all of the featured kidpreneurs neurotypical?  Do some of them have any learning differences or are they gifted in other ways?  Could you also speak directly to families with gifted children as well?

Well, the two smartest guys of the last century were Drs. Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller. Both believed that everyone is born a genius but the genius is crushed by societal, parental and educational school overlays.   I also believe that every kid is a genius and what does is show them how to plug back into their genius.  Professor Howard Gardner at Harvard teaches multiple intelligences, or geniuses, and I have interpreted that into high and easy usability to anyone and everyone in my course.

You can have a learning difference like Chelsea Eubank who says she is really a slow learner but she made enough money selling Faithful t-shirts to pay her way through high school at a cost of $19,000 a year. She then she went on to the only learning-difference college called Beacon College and graduated towards the top of her class. 

I did not know that I was an LD kid, myself. I took remedial reading for 6 years because my parents were illiterate Danish immigrants. So, I understand the challenges for kids who are different.  As I said, I do believe everyone has a genius. For example, I believe my genius is speaking and writing, promoting and building businesses and empires.  The turning point for me was that I started hanging around people who didn't know I had a learning difference. It was this new perspective that brought the genius out. My speaking genius was developed by Cavett Robert, the dean of professional speakers and founder of the National Speakers Association.  At intellectual levels, Dr. Buckminster Fuller saw that I could become a comprehensivist (a term coined by Fuller). I realized I could work on a global level and become a leader. 

These things are not taught with the 3 R's.  What I'm saying is that every kid has got this extraordinary genius potential if we apply the requisite stimulus. I'm saying the requisite is

In today’s economy, many people do not even have an extra few dollars to take their kids out for a meal, much less to spend $347 on an online course for them.  Yet, there are those who will do what it takes to find the money because they believe in teaching kids to fish (for themselves, with their own boat, or even fleet of boats) rather than just to just give them a fish for the day (or, worse, have them work for someone else in trade for said fish).  What makes a unique and worthwhile investment?

Nearly everybody invests $4 or $5 a day to go to Starbucks and they think nothing of it. I'm suggesting an investment of about $1 a day and I believe it will make you a fortune- whatever a fortune is to you - all of which we teach at  So, it's a little investment that's going to give you a big return. All I'm saying to you is switch from squandering your money to investing your money. I always teach that everyone has money but most people spend it, which means, it's gone. If you're buying a latte or a Coca Cola, and there's no return on your investment, you maybe  squandering your money.  My recommendation and teaching is that you sacrifice a little money to get a lot by investing the greatest appreciating asset ever—a human mind, soul and experience.

When you invest in your mind power, you won't have to use your behind power. This is why some people think they don't have any money because they haven't learned how to use their mind as effectively. I want the parents to go through this program with their kids and learn it as well.

Let me also say that I guarantee you will be 100% satisfied.  If you go through the whole year, through all of it, and at the end of the year you don't think your investment of around $1 a day has been worth it, I personally will write you the check, no questions asked. I am going to look back on your program and see if you have participated to the fullest, however.

Really, this is a no-risk investment.  First, invest if you can.  We also have some wonderful scholarships in some cases that are available if you truly believe you do not have the financial means. Write us because you could qualify for a scholarship.  We've been faithful to giving away a lot of scholarships around the world, because this is too important not to get done.  I'll tell you something, if you truly are in dire need, and you write me a long letter and promise that after your child takes the course that 10% of whatever he or she makes will be reinvested back into to help other kids who are in need take the course, I'll give it to you free right now.

Is the material significantly different than what is in The Richest Kids In America: How They Earn It, How They Spend It, How You Can Too book?

Yes, it is.  The new material amplifies it, expands it and makes it visually and verbally entertaining and understandable. It takes you through a year's worth of principles by watching it virtually. Participants also have access to myself at least once a month, so it is the deeper, richer process.

My husband often says that he wishes someone in his youth had told him that he could pursue his passions and make a living doing so, instead of encouraging him to just get a job. What tip might you offer for parents of young children to begin training them to live out who they are inspired to be, instead of boxing themselves into what they can be hired to do?

You've got to ask kids what it is they want to do and then help them find the experiences to support their interests. The more experiences that are positive, healthy, uplifting and inspiring, the better.  It can be anything, like taking tours of a bookstore or visiting a publisher or going to a manufacturing plant.

When I was a little kid, my dad owned a bakery called Elite Bakery. He had a cornucopia sign because that's what he wanted to have for his family, a cornucopia of unlimited good.  All the kids came there, and they got to see how a cash register worked in the front, they got to hear what all the pastries were and how he'd make cakes, and he would let them all of them do everything from stir peaches for a peach pie to cleaning the ovens on weekends.

The same thing was true with our kids when they were growing up. We had all of our kids help plant all the beets, the lettuce, celery, and all the citrus trees. Then, they had to water them and take care of them, and we even used organic composting. This experience taught them about the sources of food. Food did not come out of the refrigerator or out of the grocery store.

The more you can take the kids to the original equipment manufacturer or agricultural farm to show them what it is and how it works from a seminal level, the more the kids are going to be ready for life.  Just sending a kid to school every day and not helping him or her to understand how things works is a bad practice. 

What is the most inspiring story you’ve heard from the experience?
One stand-out story to me is about a young man named Cameron Johnson. He is now 27-years-old and contributes his time to our program. He says, I am his mentor and has read all of my business books like The One Minute Millionaire. Right now, he is a marketing consultant to one of the biggest Ford dealers in America and a sought-after motivational speaker.

Cameron started out as a pre-teen entrepreneur. His first business was selling gift cards, but he quickly moved into making millions by the time he finished middle school selling beanie babies. If you recall that craze, Cameron found it to be a very lucrative niche. He started with buying his sister’s beanie babies and reselling them on Ebay. This effort not only made him some good money quickly, but also showed him that the time was right for buying these toys wholesale and reselling. By the time he was in high school, Cameron had made several million dollars which his parents had invested for him. He used this savings to buy and create at least ten other businesses in his relatively short life.

He points out to kids that the first thing they need to do is learn about money. One thing his parents did early on in his life was to give him a few stocks as presents each year. These small gifts inspired Cameron to research and learn about the stock market and how money and business really work. It has been said that by the time he was 21, Cameron had enough money in his own 401K to fund the rest of his life.

He is a great communicator and really wise beyond his years. This is one of many reasons why we invite him to our Success Summits. Cameron is really excited about our concept of teaching kids entrepreneurship. He wants to make a real worldwide impact too. He believes as do I that we can eradicate “have not-ness” and cause fundamental abundance to produce “have-ness” in the world by bringing entrepreneurship to get every kid. I guess you could say our goal is to have poverty on permanent display in a museum.

I love the idea of “young people teaching young people” through videos, but am curious about how some of these adolescents, teen and twenty-somethings might speak to the “everychild”.  There are no sample videos of this on the site.  Are there clips of kid entrepreneurs which interested parents and kids might access as a preview?

There are some videos and a preview of a TV interview for NBC with me and some of the kids.  I will put up more kid entrepreneur stories.  If they will call my office directly and ask Josh to give them one free month of access. We are glad to do that for everybody who calls.  The number is (949) 764-2640, extension 100. 

I know my own children are brimming with ideas and I am sure other people’s children are even further along in thinking about business.  What's the best way for children to finance their ideas?

In, we teach 21 ways to finance their ideas. I want to tell you the one I like the best personally and the one I've used to sell my way forward in my different projects.

When I wanted to buy the lawnmower and I didn't have enough money, I went around to all the neighbors and said “I'm buying this lawnmower. I'm going to cut your lawn and this is how much it's going to cost. You get to pay me in advance and I'll come here once a week. You're buying a summer's worth of lawn cutting starting in June when I'm out of school.”  I did the same thing with hedge trimmers, which were very expensive, and I had to buy a ladder. Well, I had to go out and sell my business plan. Why should I do all this work with hand tools over an 8 hour period to do something I can do with motorized equipment in an hour? 

What technology allows us is to do more with less and our kids have grown up in a technological age. We're going to have more technology and better technology so our children and grandchildren’s horizon is virtually limitless.

Thank you for taking the time to share both your wisdom and your new venture, Mark.  I know I, for one, am eager to check our with my children and to add it to their curriculum.

Want to learn more?

  • If you want to check out more about the Richest Kids Academy at, click here.
  • If you already know you want to begin the Richest Kids Academy course, you can opt in here.

  • Or, if you just want a little inspiration, check out any of Mark's books:

NOTE:  If you click on Amazon links in this post and others on Training Happy Hearts and choose to make a purchase, our family may receive a small commission.  This costs you nothing extra, but is much appreciated by us.

Also, in full disclosure, let me explain that I had no affiliation with Mark Victor Hansen nor before receiving the answers his answers to my interview questions.  After reading Mark’s answers, however, I was so impressed with the time, courtesy and wisdom he took in offering thorough answers to each and every one of my questions that I looked up how to become an affiliate of his.  If I did things right (which is questionable since being a tech savvy blogger is not my strong suit), I may receive a small commission if you click on one of the links above and buy into Richest Kids Academy program at  If you choose to do so, or to ask others to do so by directing them here, I thank you in advance.  As with any earnings (however small!) our family makes from this blog, commission we earn will go right back into training our children up and sharing our experience with you.  I have a feeling that experience is going to get even more interesting as the kids and I explore


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