Reboot, Refresh, Succeed!

Are you afraid of failing? Don’t be. There are some amazing examples of “beauty for ashes” throughout history–Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein!

You are going to enjoy life and homeschooling so much more if “fear of failure” isn’t such a big deal. It’s totally fine if you fail. It’s really not a big deal if you try something and it doesn’t work. It’s fine if you take a risk and the results are messy. It’s okay to do something that is less than perfect. It’s fine to not be that girl who seems to have it all together. Fear of failure is just going to hold you back from living life to the fullest.

Why do we think it’s a big deal to make mistakes? Because we went to school, and we were shamed by our poor grades and our misspelled words and our test scores. We were taught that the worst thing you can do is…. try and fail. I fail at stuff all the time, but I’m over it. I don’t like messing up, but I try and sometimes things do turn out wonderful.

If you want peace in your mothering- live your life from a place of grace and courage, with love! You don’t need to be driven by fear of failure because failure is totally okay. That’s how we learn! So be okay, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s better to erase fear of failure from your motivations. Keep trying, pursuing, dreaming!

“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint,

and that voice will be silenced.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

When you are feeling stuck because you are afraid to fail, just tell yourself that it’s actually not that big of a deal. You are resilient. Your kids are resilient. Everyone will be fine, and you will be a better example to your children if you are motivated by things like love, curiosity, faith or creativity… even if you don’t like the result EVERY TIME.

Everyone fails…it’s important to show our kids an example of what it looks like to fail well. When something doesn’t work out, it becomes either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Show them how to step up and forward with courage and grace!

Time for a refreshing reboot? Grab your favorite relaxing drink, one of our Art Logic Therapy journals, and find a cozy corner for a little while. It will do wonders for refocusing your perspective!

The Days Are Long, but the Years Are Short

Grandad and Anna (4)

We all have moments and seasons that we look back on and wonder how we made it through. Enjoy one of my Facebook posts from a decade ago…

I found a journal from 2004 – Moms – you need a laugh… I had a made a list of all the “toddler trouble” Anna got into in one week.

The Setting: Rachel is one month old. Estera is 1 1/2, Anna is 3, and Isaac is 5.

Anna’s Top 20 for the Week of May 5th 2004:

1. Anna mixes ice-cream, sprinkles, popcorn and cat food.

2. Anna plays with a slug until she kills it.

3. Anna gets baby out of swing all by herself.

4. Anna glues paper to the floor.

5. Popcorn dumped all over floor.

6. Anna & Estera put celery in the potty.

7. Anna dumps Wheat Chex into bath tub.

8. Anna makes art with peanut butter.

9. Anna cuts her hair.

Remnants of an experiment…

10. Anna spreads glue stick all over.

11. Anna dumps the chalk twice and eats it.

12. Anna paints and colors everything but the paper.

13. Anna sprinkles poppy seeds all over the house.

14. Anna goes bug hunting.

15. Anna sneaks off with a plate of spaghetti, and decorates house with it.

16. I look out the upstairs window to see diapers scattered all over the roof – Anna?

17. Anna sneaks away with the popcorn popper and knocks over a large glass container, shattering it all over the laundry room.

18. Anna removes ink stick from a red marker. Anna fills a container with water, adds the red ink stick, makes red water.

19. Anna spills red water all over the house.

20. Anna gets the ice cream, all by herself.

What was I doing while Anna was making all these messes? I was nursing baby, homeschooling Isaac, recovering from birth, and cleaning up glass, wheat Chex, peanut butter, glue stick, chalk…

The saying is so true…”The days are long, but the years are short!” Cherish each moment you can. Today, Anna is a beautiful, talented, inspiring young woman. You will survive, and they will thrive. Stay faithful, mom friends!

See this post for some survival tips! See this one to read an update on Anna today!

Mom-School Art & Logic Therapy

Sarah’s Survival Tips!

Bad Days. We all have them.

Here are some ideas for how I try to turn a bad day into a good day.

1. Turn on “Just Dance” for the kids on YouTube.

2. Don’t try to do school as planned. Find a funny way to repurpose a page in a workbook or Fun-Schooling Journal. Let your kids turn the Nature Study page into a Zombie Study page.

3. Take a break from everything that is stressing anyone out.

4. Get out of the house, with or without kids. Preferably without. Haha!

5. Get out a board game or UNO. If you want the older kids to be busy for a long time offer a nice prize to the winner of the Monopoly game.

6. Turn on Secret Garden – White Stones.

7. Assign each big kid to play with each little kid, and escape.

8. Let the kids bake something.

9. Light candles and ask one of the older girls to make tea for two.

10. Sit in the corner and cry. And then find the chocolate. And then color in a Mom-School Journal.

12. Read a blog post by an inspiring person, like deeprootsathome.com

13. Ask husband to take a bunch of kids to a park. (If you are a single mom, reach out to grandparents or fellow mom friends for a swap play date…and then return the favor!)

14. Get everyone outside for Nature Study.

15. Make an early dinner.

16. Tell the kids that we will have a movie night if they get the house clean, and turn on the happy music while they work.

17. Snuggle on the couch with littles and read Goodnight Moon. Or read “Christian Heroes – Then & Now” in the living room while kids work in their Fun-Schooling journals.

18. Send a group of older kids to the corner market to get ice cream for everyone.

19. Figure out how to turn tonight into a date night.

20. If all else fails, ask husband to put the kids to bed early. Then clean your room really nice, set out a treat, light a candle, turn on peaceful music, ask husband to bring the wine, lattes, or fresh squeezed orange juice. Be sure to sweetly ask husband to get the kids to bed while while you take a long hot shower. In this case HE WILL do what it takes to get the kids to bed early!

What works for YOU? Share in the comments!

Dyslexia Games: The “Brass Tacks”

Three Series of Dyslexia Games

Anna was young when I created Dyslexia Games. Older kids with Dyslexia felt the games I’d created were too easy. I set to work at creating more advanced games. These were helpful both for Anna as she grew and for older children.

Series A is best for children ages 5-8. It can also be used by older children who are profoundly Dyslexic. This series is primarily art-based and introduces a bit of writing and spelling. 

Series B for children aged 8-12. The art-based games become more advanced and more reading skills are required. We also include spelling and copywork in this series.

Series C is for ages 10+. We continue with intricate art-based games, add in some math, and work on cursive writing skills. 

Not Only for Dyslexic Kids

Families began introducing their early readers to series A- regardless of if they showed signs of Dyslexia. Parents realized they made learning to read fun and engaging and that children thrived. Older kids saw Dyslexic siblings working on series B and C and wanted to try them out. It became apparent these games were not only helpful for Dyslexic kids. 

We’ve heard from thousands of families who share remarkable stories about the benefits of Dyslexia Games in their homes. Parents have used Dyslexia Games with:

  • ADHD/ADD kids to help them focus and relax
  • Asperger’s 
  • Autism 
  • Dysgraphia 
  • Dyspraxia 
  • Non-Verbal learning disabilities
  • Visual Processing Disorders
  • As “brain breaks” before working on a more focused/difficult task
  • To de-stress and relax a kid when they were frustrated
  • For relief from Brian Fog
  • To help develop executive functioning skills 
  • Memory support 
  • And more!! 


This was certainly not something I ever expected. At this point, we think we’ve had about as many non-Dyslexic kids use Dyslexia Games as those with Dyslexia. Especially series A for new readers. I began to incorporate pages from these games into some of our Fun-Schooling journals and students have loved having them there.

Click here to continue reading.

All About Dyslexia Games!

“She’s almost 9, why can’t she read yet?” After yet another day of watching my daughter Anna struggle to read, I expressed my frustration to my husband. We would eventually come to discover she was Dyslexic. I watched the light go out of her eyes and her love of learning begin to die out. This was something I knew I couldn’t let happen. The journey to help my daughter with Dyslexia would end up helping thousands of adults and children. 

Dyslexia Statistics

Dyslexia is not a struggle unique to Anna. An estimated 20% of children are Dyslexic. The numbers seem to be growing. It’s hard to know if this is because of more awareness or another reason. Regardless, you know and interact with many people who have Dyslexia. Some children will “outgrow” Dyslexia while others will be lifelong Dyslexics.

Dyslexia Games Creation

My quest to help my daughter kept ending at dead ends. None of the products for Dyslexia worked for her or fit our family. I began to think about how Anna noticed b/d/p/q looked exactly the same. As I thought through ways to help her, I turned to her passion- art.

I was homeschooled myself and struggled in school. It’s likely I would have received an Asperger’s diagnosis myself. Awareness of Asperger’s was much lower when I was growing up than it is now so I was overlooked. One of the gifts of Asperger’s is the ability to think outside the box and be creative. Nobody knows their child better than their mother. I knew the answer to helping my daughter learn to read was one I could find.

One afternoon I sat down and started to draw. As I drew, I incorporated letters and words into my artwork. I wanted to see how Anna would respond to words and letters if they were presented as art instead of as a bunch of words on a page. I created puzzles for her to complete and pictures to copy. After I had a few done, I handed them over to her.

Anna loved them and eagerly completed them. But would they help her Dyslexia? After completing several more, she began to read! I made an entire set with different games and activities. Her reading ability increased and she was soon an avid reader who loved to read. Plus she no longer had any symptoms of Dyslexia.

We began selling the PDF version to print at home on our website DyslexiaGames.com and had physical copies printed and shipped by a local print shop at first. When we published Dyslexia Games Series C we switched from the local Print Shop to CreateSpace to drop-ship our books for us.  We also listed the books on Amazon as well. Thus, Dyslexia Games was born. 

Today Dyslexia Games have been used by thousands of children worldwide. We have families on every continent (except Antarctica!) and in dozens of countries. Dyslexia tutors, therapy centers, and schools are using the games with results unlike anything else out there. 

With this post, the journey began…

The Fun-Schooling Story: The Branches of The Thinking Tree Spread Out!

What The Thinking Tree Offers

As we’ve grown our tree has branched into several different offerings. Today we have six “branches” on our Thinking Tree. 

Fun-Schooling Journals consist of our core journals, the first journals we created. We also have dozens of smaller “single subject” journals on standard school subjects like Language Arts, History, Math, Science, Art, and Geography. Single-subject journals on “elective” topics have also been created such as Dance, Foreign Language, Animals, Sports, and even Minecraft! There are about 300 Fun-Schooling Journals.

Dyslexia Games is our art-based Dyslexia therapy program. It was created a few years before the first Fun-Schooling journal. There are three series for different age groups. Throughout the years we have found it helpful for students with ADHD/ADD, Asperger’s, and other learning challenges too. Interestingly, we’ve also found children without learning challenges or disabilities benefit too. It helps children with creative thinking, problem-solving, handwriting, spelling, art skills, math, and more.

Click here to continue reading.

The Fun-Schooling Story: A Homeschooling Shift

The COVID Homeschooling Shift

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, approximately 3% of American children were homeschooled. In 2020 amid lockdowns, limited and frustrating results of online learning, and ongoing mandates, parents began to bring their children home.  As of the time of this writing in 2022, roughly 20% of American children are homeschooled. 

The Thinking Tree saw massive growth between March 2020-March 2022. Our Facebook group grew by over 20,000 and our social media accounts gained tens of thousands of new followers. Sales jumped and we had several journals make it into the top 500 of all books on Amazon during this period. This is a feat that is difficult to achieve, especially for the homeschool market. One of our Brain Games journals even made it to the top 200. 

This journal made the Top 200 Amazon list!

Families continue to pull their children from school in record numbers. It is expected a substantial amount of kids will remain homeschooled throughout the majority of, if not the entirety, of their education. The Thinking Tree has continued to add in new journals to meet the interests and needs of students. We even worked to incorporate COVID-19 into a journal so children could begin to understand the impact it has had on the world in a familiar way.

Also during this time, our collection of Art & Logic Therapy journals grew! They have helped so many kids and moms deal with Covid brain fog and other mental clarity challenges. Something good that has come out of this season of challenges, and we are very grateful!

Family Fun Days & Creative Ladies Retreats!

Indiana friends, we are hosting several “Family Fun Days” and “Creative Retreats for Ladies and teen girls”. We are focused on helping families that are strongly involved in the education of their children, homeschooling or seriously considering it, and families with foster children, adopted children and kids on the autism spectrum.

Join our group: Fun-Schooling Indiana Co-op- Thinking Tree Community Corp.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/294062695709343/?ref=share_group_link

The Beautiful World of Art & Logic Therapy (and Green Lemonade!)

Click for more flip-through videos.

Wondering what to buy for Mom for Mother’s Day? Wonder no more! The beautiful family of Art & Logic Therapy journals is continually growing!

Wind and Rain

Fire Light

Morning Light

Breakthrough

Lost & Found

Candlelight

Little Things (a brand new, 5×7, on-the-go, purse-sized journal!)

Brain Sharpening Therapy for All Ages! The newest journal, Candlelight, includes Psalms hidden and woven into the artwork and puzzles. Strengthen your faith and your mind!

Inspired by Dyslexia Games Therapy to renew and refocus the minds of individuals suffering from brain fog, ADHD, and anxiety. Puzzles and artwork by Sarah Janisse Brown, creator of Dyslexia Games.

These journals are the fruit of a research project for women with symptoms of “Brain Fog” related to Covid-19, pregnancy, aging, declining mental health, stress, and learning challenges. Over 800 mothers are participating with interesting and hopeful results!

Read Art & Logic testimonials!

Sip some green lemonade while you enjoy your journals!

Feast your eyes on these beautiful books!

Dyslexia Games and the Fight Against Brain Fog (Part 2)

(Guest post by Ferne Hood)

The final week of the first month of the trial saw more and more positive and unexpected outcomes. Moms were feeling less overwhelmed, more organized, more in control, more creative and even remembering where they left their phone and what that person’s name was who they just met! One mom said, “It has been helping me remember things, like names. I’ve been getting increasingly worse at remembering names for the past couple years. I’ve surprised myself a few times lately!”

            At the end of the first month of the trial, Sarah conducted a little poll to see what areas of people’s lives were improving the most as a result. There were an astounding eighteen areas nominated! The area with the most votes being focus, shortly followed by organization, cleaning more and feeling less scatterbrained. Brain fog reduction was fifth on the list, which shows that these other fantastic areas of improvement were wonderfully unexpected by-products of the experiment. Moms reported an increase in concentration, patience, mood and memory. Some moms also discovered that they had some wonderful hidden artistic skills and their creativity was allowed to come to the surface once again. They found themselves bonding with their kids more and making precious time for themselves, sometimes for the first time in a long time. A month of Dyslexia Games also seemed to be helping to calm anxiety and improve mental health, as well as inspire moms to cook and clean more and finish the jobs they start.

            Because of Dyslexia Games, many moms are now feeling more in control of their lives, while also finding new ways to spend time with their kids, reconnecting over puzzles and pictures. Sarah has since created a range of Mom Brain Games specific for this purpose, to help mothers everywhere reclaim their lives, harness their thoughts, own their day-to-day and even clean a garage or two.

            “I felt exhausted, depressed, frustrated and nothing seemed to get accomplished. By the time I was halfway through the first book in this series I had retrained my brain to completely focus and complete one small task at a time. Now, I am able to get things accomplished. My anxiety and depression is no longer an issue. I am not overwhelmed–I can look at things and break it down into small chunks that are doable… This would not have happened without doing these brain fog series. I don’t know how it works but I am proof it does work !!!” – Krista.

            So many moms who have done this trial have had such fantastic results and are now a part of an ever-growing community. They have found a way to find themselves again, with a little daily focus, some time and dedication, some pretty pens, and maybe a green lemonade or two along the way.  

(Read Part 1 by clicking here)

Sarah Janisse Brown - Morning Light
Sarah Janisse Brown, Creator of Dyslexia Games/Art & Logic Therapy