Archive for the ‘memories’ Category

Teach Your Child to Read– Phonics/Reading

October 10, 2012

We are asked about the curriculum we use quite often.

Honestly, most things change from year to year, but we have managed to find a few “keepers”.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons remains our main phonics curriculum.

Years ago, when we first started to think about homeschooling our children, this was suggested by my uncle (a veteran homeschooler). It was the first homeschool book we ever purchased.

We’ve used it for all of our children who are now reading (that would be seven, now finished). Jon and Emma are currently working through the book.

I’ll admit feeling frustrated when we first used this book. I didn’t feel like we were making good progress — but I decided to stick with it and over the years, it has proven itself again and again.

Through the years, we’ve developed a system of sorts, for using this book. I’m happy to share these ideas with you!

We don’t do any of the handwriting, rhyming, or touching assignments. I’m sure they are useful for some, but we just decided they didn’t really add anything substantial toward our goal of reading, so we just don’t do them.

Second, I try to work our way through all the letters and sounds in each lesson before we work on the words.

I know this is not how they have each lesson organized, but it works well for us.

To be more detailed, I actually ask my children to name all the letters first, and then we go back through the lesson for them to tell me the sound each letter makes.

This gives me a chance to remind them of long and short sounds for each letter.

Also, because I have them naming each letter (something the book doesn’t tell me to do), I’ve avoided the problem of having worked my way almost all the way through the book before my child can name each letter.

Some additional little details– we realized early on that this book was being used so much, it was falling apart.

When we purchased our second copy, I went ahead and ripped all the pages from the book and placed them into page protectors. Now our book is housed in a heavy binder (which after so much use is now also beginning to fall apart– anyone know where to find a heavy duty binder??).

We keep each child’s place with a bookmark I’ve made for that child. I just slide it into the page protector where I last left off with our lesson.

This seems insignificant to me, but our children LOVE their bookmarks. Most have them tucked away in their keepsake boxes.

It’s a BIG deal in our home when you are old enough for Mama to create your phonics bookmark.

The other thing I’ve done is initial and date each child’s progress through the book. It’s a growth chart, of sorts. I had never really thought about this being special until Courtney was glancing through it’s pages a couple of weeks ago, and mentioned how nice it was to see each of their initials and the date beside the lessons.

Admittedly, I’ve not been as consistent with initialing as I should have– now that I know it’s meaningful to them, I’ll definitely make more of an effort.

If you are using this curriculum, or think you might, OR if you have some ideas for making school memorable and fun, I would love to hear your ideas!


Goodbye to Summer

September 29, 2012

I know the days of summer have come to an end, but we still had this little loose end to tie:

Earlier in the season we had purchased popsicle molds with the promise of making pudding pops this year.

We found ourselves with a little sliver of time in the day. It was great, ….just perfect really,
for Timothy and Jessica to gather supplies and start mixing.

We had some really happy little people.

I certainly won’t miss the heat, but I always do miss the summer days that bring so many sweet memories!