by Amber Lopez
Good morning mommas! Happy March and almost officially Spring time! Daylight Savings is THIS weekend so don't forget to spring forward. Since it is the beginning of the month, it's my favorite post, Mom of the Month! This month we are highlighting Emily Lawson. Emily has been a part of FIT4MOM Fayetteville since Spring of 2015, when she started when her oldest, Reagan, was only a baby!
Emily is married to her high school sweetheart, Eric, and they have 2 kids - Reagan (3) and Derek (1). Emily use to be an elementary school teacher and has a passion for children's education. Once she decided to stay at home when her second was on the way, she didn't waste too much time before she had her teacher hat on again. Around that time, fall of 2016, she was attending FIT4MOM classes daily and a lot of us were talking about preschool options for our 2-3 year olds. She was just so excited to be home with her kids that she did not like the idea of preschool already. So she made a solution for herself and her friends with an online preschool curriculum and blog.
So after her final baby, Derek, Sandbox Academy was born. (Check them out on facebook here and instagram here!). Her and her husband work endlessly on lesson plans, videos, and blog posts to keep this website up and running. The website provides a full month long calendar of lessons, typically providing 2 lessons per day all for FREE! There is a section for 2-3 year olds and a section for 3-4 year olds. She provides all the printouts straight on the lesson plan so all you have to do is click the document link and print. It is so easy to follow and her lessons are FUN! She knows how to teach through more than just worksheets and her creativity is booming on this site. Me and my son Owen have been following the site since she first began and every day he asks me if we are doing "school." They have monthly themes so all the lessons are built in together to all be intertwined and the supplies you need are pretty minimal. The lessons are quick and aren't going to take hours to prepare or complete. It is the perfect solution for a parent who isn't quite ready for their child to be in preschool or as some fun activities to add into their at home routine. I feel weird even calling them work because to my son, they are fun and challenge his brain a little more than his typical free play activities we always do.
This month they launched an additional portion to their site, the "pro package." With the pro package, you receive 3 premium lessons per month, a calendar with all the lessons directly linked so it is easy planning, ALL the templates and downloads in one pdf at the beginning of the month (this is huge to me, it will cut my prep time down so much!), access to be a part of a private facebook group with other pro parents and Emily herself, AND more! Check out all the details on her website here, to preorder and get 25% off.
Although I have highlighted Emily's brains and business a lot in the post, I can't go without saying she is gem in our village. She is both selfless and caring and provides so much support to the women surrounding her. She is very relaxed and easy to talk to. A morning spent with Emily always leaves me feeling at ease and happy. Although she is an introvert at heart, she opens up once she knows you and you won't regret getting to know her. I have watched so many women come into our village and bond with Emily and her kids and it so heart warming to see. She has a special touch with the toddlers, it's not just the teacher thing, she just genuinely cares for the moms and the kids which is something so sweet to expereien
"Emily is so patient with everyone's kids. When I can't get my kid to listen to me she always helps by phrasing it in a different way to him and he typically listens right away. She eases my frustrations as a mother! And also.. Target, Starbucks, Grey's, I mean come on, one of my favorites!"
"Emily makes me calmer and feel less like I'm losing my mind. I am also so impressed at how amazing she is at her job all while being a mom and wife! I don't know how she does it!"
I couldn't agree more with the words from those ladies. I know I could ask many more women and receive the same answers so for that I am just so grateful Emily is a part of our village here in Fayetteville. She has been such a good friend to me personally and her kids to mine.
I can't wrap this up without mentioning the fact that Emily is leaving us soon. Her family is headed back to the west coast where they are from and the village is BUMMED. I know it is ultimately where they want to be so I try to remember that as I think of them gearing up to go, but there will be a hole here in Fayetteville for a while once they leave. They aren't set to leave until Summer begins so we have a couple more months to receive that Emily peace and have her discipline our children with her magic ways. I am glad for that and will be soaking up all our Emily, Reagan, Derek time for now! Thank you for being a part of our village Emily and for riding the ups and downs of motherhood along side each of us!