What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday's Rant

Aahhhh...where to begin?

Z This weekend was both fun AND productive. Stands out in my mind probably because we thought Matt had to work this weekend up until Friday afternoon when he found out he had off. We had so much fun-just being together! Saturday we finally got our PA drivers liscenses and so we are officially PAers now. Next step is to get new lisense plates and inspections and we will be golden. We have been SO illegal for SO long, I will be breathing a BIG sigh of relief when I get through with this whole headache. I can only hope that we don't get pulled over in the next three days! It has been a rigamaroll and a half. But soon I can forget about it.

Z I also worked on getting the Christmas decorations packed up and put away to hibernate through the summer. The tree is now living on the wee patio off of the kitchen (where our birdfeeders are.) I hate taking the tree down. Not because of the work involved, but because of the bareness and blase-ness of a post-tree house. I grew rather fond of the glow of the living room. There is ONE good thing about it though-I can finally put my plans for our tree into fruition. Since we got our tree, I have had the plan to make it into a birdscape after the holidays. Ornament ideas have been rolling around my head for weeks and only now are we able to realize them. Corynn and I will be busy today, as this is the project on our agenda. For years I have wanted to do this but this is the first year that it will actually happen. I think it is because of the (hopefully) added benefit of being able to see the activity up close and personal-and possibly take a few good photos in the process.

Z Not related at all: Last week I ordered (and received) the book Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann. I have heard (mostly) good stuff about this book and hope that it does well for us. Now that the holiday rush is through, it is time to buckle down and start teaching Corynn to read. Matt and my goal is to have Corynn well on her way to reading by the time she is four, if not doing so already. That doesn't leave me much time! Since I don't remember how I was taught to read, I am not really sure how to go about it. I do think that I will focus more on the SOUNDS of letters rather than the names of letters and more on sounding out than memorizing words. I hope that by doing so, I will be better preparing her for the times when she learns new and harder vocabulary. By using worksheets and homemade flashcards, along with this book, I hope to make great strides. I look forward to this book because it has a focus for each day that takes only about 20 minutes. "Where do I start?" is often on my mind and can get the best of me if I let it. I can already see that I am going to be a curriculum person-at least for the beginning homeschool years. Until I build up enough confidence, I need to have someone telling me "this is what you need to cover". I have never allowed myself to become boxed-in in my life, and so using a curriculum won't box me in either. I will supplement with my own activites, projects, and so forth-but I like the direction a curriculum would give. My philosophy is- the only way a curriculum boxes you in is if you let it. (Wow. That was a tangent!) Anyway-if any of you have any practical tips, recommendations and/or advice specifically for teaching how to read, please share them with me. Because this is all new to me and I want to do well.

Z Again: Unrelated: Notice the gorgeous tulips? The grocery store was having a sale so I was able to add living beauty to my home for just $2.00! Though the weather has been springlike all winter long, I do look forward to REAL spring, so that I might see the beauty spring forth from the earth in colors abundant. Until then, I so enjoy the reminder at each glance indoors. God did well to make me a woman. :-)

Z Well...that is about all the news here today. Expect some photographs today or tomorrow of the tree in all its glory. Hopefully, you will see a few photos in the coming weeks, showing the birds eating the fruits of our labor! :-) Have a great day!

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Christine said...

I purchased Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and it really overwhelmed Lily and I.I had heard so many amazing reviews, but when we sat down to do it, it was just a little bizarre. I just do not think it was right for us. I hope you have better results. I prefer Phonics Pathways, which was at my library. I found that I was pushing Lily too much at age 3 1/2, so I backed off and taught her the letters and their sounds. I am interested in buying some Christian Liberty Press phonics workbooks to help her to blend the letters she has learned. You can see samples of them online at Christian Book Distributers. I am also quite impressed by samples of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. Blessings and prayers for you as you continue to embark on the exciting journey of teaching your dear children.

Anonymous said...

If you allow her any supervised computer time try out Starfall.com too. It is a great resource to use too. As I shared before I was not impressed with 100EZ lessons but I have heard absolutely rave reviews from other moms about it. I think it had alot to do with my background in teaching that I did not like that particular approach too. But I hope it works great for you. You are right in concentrating more on sounds rather than the names of the letters. She obviously needs to know the names of the letters too but put your emphasis on the sounds. Again check out those Leapfrog dvds. Your library may even have them. The little song they sing for each letter on them helps the kids ALOT I have found.

Anonymous said...

I've taught 4 of my 5 children to read so far and the only thing I've used is flashcards with the lower case letters on them. I loosely followed the Writing Road to Reading method and it stresses, as the poster mentioned above, teaching the SOUNDS of the letters, not the NAMES of them. The names come naturally later. I did not teach my kids the names, they just found them out.
Teach the lower case letters first, not the capitals.
Have fun! Teaching reading is the most rewarding teaching a mom can do. I can skip math and science till the cows come home but give me a good read aloud and homeschooling doesn't get any better than that. :)

Kelli said...

Rebecca, I really like the 100 easy lessons book but it's not for everyone. I made up a chart with 100 squares and after every lesson they would get to put a sticker on it.
I started at around age 5. Benjamin is 1/3 of the way through it. Good luck!

Rebecca said...

Thank you everyone, for you input and advice. I am grateful for any help I can get.

That has been the overall consensus-you either love that book or hate it. I really like the idea of doing a sticker chart for it too Kelli!

Joanna-thanks for the practical tip on just lower case letters. I have been wondering if I should confuse her with both this early on.

Unknown said...

I am new to your blog from a referral but I have taught all 5 of my children to read with 100 Easy Lessons and I love the book. It was not the best match for one daughter and we put it away around lesson 40 for other choices.

I would say go slow, if you meet serious resistance put it away for several months. Don't push the writing part with a young child, especially a boy. We did just the reading with ALL of my kids. Around lesson 50, it starts to get harder and longer pretty fast. I often did one lesson over two days if I had a balker.

Above all, have fun! There's nothing like the joy of a new reader.

Anonymous said...


I wasn't going to mention to you at church the fact that you still had NY license plates... hehe :) Glad that is getting all straightened out. It takes a while when you have so much already on your plate!

I am thinking about getting the 100 Easy Lessons book. A woman I know teaches her children to read with it and loves it, but I have heard it isn't a good fit for everyone. I guess I am just afraid to spend $ on it if my kids won't like it. I wonder if I should just take the starfall.com and other free stuff on the 'net route that I am taking, especially since Matthew and Stephen know all their letters and sounds. Getting homeschooling figured out in the beginning is a bit nervewracking, isn't it??