Encouraging Little Readers!

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For many of us we have one or more children embarking on the journey to become a reader!! YAY!! I love to read and I want my children to have the same love for it as I do! I’m sure you feel the same way too! My oldest son is well on his way to being a reader just like me…you know the ones who read a novel in a day or two because they can’t put it down? Yeah, thats me! I read the entire “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” in 2 1/2 days! 

 

Here are some great and fun reading tips…it doesn’t matter if your child is at a very basic level or if they are well on their way to chapter books, these are still great to implement!

At Home:

Turn off everything…the TV’s, iPads, ipods, radios…anything that can be distracting to your little reader! Your child will begin to learn that when it is quiet it is time to read! Be sure that you are using book that at your child’s level. ipick

“I Pick” Wall Art Download

{I would highly recommend printing on cardstock and laminating after they have been cut to make them last!}

Designate a time EVERYday as reading time! Morning, noon or night! It doesn’t matter. For our home it is the afternoon for about an hour. Sometimes my son wants to read to me and other times he wants to read by himself. He must read something from the bible {His favorite book to read!} ((Heartmelting)) Then he may read any of his books. Currently his big favorite is THE CLONE WARS!  

Check out some great Literacy Apps HERE! Reading Aloud Tips: 

Reading aloud should be fun and interactive.  Ask your child questions during the book, like “what do you think will happen next” and make personal connections, “remember when,” that create a context for reading.  This sets your child up for success—even adults need to understand the context of reading materials in magazines and newspaper articles.
Laying groundwork for future independent reading is done when you first read aloud to your children: pause to confirm and revise predictions, ask questions and make connections.  This teaches your child that understanding text is a process that occurs before, during and after reading.


Before Reading
Choose books you or your child can get excited about reading.  There are so many books out there, don’t spend time reading ones you won’t enjoy!

  • If you haven’t read the book already, scan it to get a sense of it before you start reading aloud.
  • Plan an introduction—find links to personal experiences.
  • Introduce the title, author, and illustrator.

During Reading
Read with fluency and expression.  Children need to hear changes in your voice to indicate when you are reading dialogue. Vary your pace, too. Slow down to build up suspense and speed up during exciting scenes.

  • Hold the books so your child can see the illustrations.
  • Try to establish frequent eye contact with your child.
  • Invite your child to question and comment but keep it focused on the story.
  • Explain words and ideas you think your child might not understand.

After Reading
Sometimes a book will pique curiosity and lead to questions and conversation afterwards, sometimes not.  It’s ok either way!

  • Allow time for discussion
  • Encourage various levels of response with questions
  • Retell the story or reread it to enhance comprehension.

Reading aloud is a great time to enjoy books together.  The increased vocabulary, correct grammar and comprehension will come naturally.  Soon enough, it will be your child’s turn to say “all by myself” and read these books to you.  Then, it will be the chapter books and “just one more chapter before I go to bed, please?”  Way to go mom and dad, you’re building a strong foundation of readers who WANT to read when YOU read aloud today.

Fun Idea Child Reading:

Cook! Yes Cook, have your little one read a recipe!

 

Apple Salad

 

Ingredients:

1 dozen apples

2 cups washed grapes (any seedless brand)

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions: Wash, core and slice a dozen apples, and place in a large bowl. 

Add raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and stir thoroughly. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 6 servings


Get more recipes HERE!

Flourishing or Failing?

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When it comes to Homeschool moms we often put ourselves in one of two categories…Either we are flourishing or we are failing as the teacher.  We are guilty of comparing ourselves with EVERY single homeschool mom we know! I’m completely guilty of this! There are weeks when we are at Homelink {Our co-op type group} and I see these other moms preparing for the next week surrounded by school books and calendars and I think ‘Ok, I am so far behind. I’m failing’ In reality I know that I’m not! In fact have a schedule {ha a laugh when I write “I” and  “schedule” together…FYI organization is NOT my middle name…not even close} ok back to what I was saying! I have a schedule that I like and works very well for us! However, when you are in that moment and you are talking with other moms who seem like that are so on their game it is so easy to feel like you just aren’t measuring up. Why?!? Her kids are not my kids! I know the way my kids learning and chances are they are totally different then her kids.
Is it really true…are we either Flourishing or Failing? How are we gauging this? Is comparing our kids to another moms kids, comparing our school week to someones else really going to give us a clear answer?
Recently I was chatted with a few ‘Teacher Mom’ friends of mine. I asked what the average week looks like in their home….
Teacher Mom #1 “We get up, the kids eat, they play! We do some math and reading, then they play. Later we do some history and science, then they play. Ending our day with some spelling and writing.”
Teacher Mom #2“7am is breakfast, then we spend anywhere from 45 mins to 1 hour per subject with lunch at noon. ending our school day at 2:30-3:00”
Teacher Mom #3“There is NO schedule, every day is different, every week is different.”
Teacher Mom #4 “5 subjects per day, they vary. We play games, do art projects, I read them books. We try to make every subject engaging!”Which of these moms is doing it right? Could they all be doing it right even though they are nothing alike? Yes! I think so! Something that my mom loved about homeschooling was the freedom to teach your child in the way that works best for that child! That is what I love about homeschooling! 
Oh! by the way EVERY single one of the moms above told me that they have some much fun and so do their kids!!
Homeschooling for our family is to instill a LOVE for learning! That love that I have and that I know a lot of you have as well. I don’t want to ever hear my kids say “NO not Math” or “I hate reading” because of that it is my job to create a environment where my children are excited about learning! Where they can thrive and flourish! 
There are so many different ways to achieve this!
What’s your Style?

  • Eclectic {using two or more styles

  • Charlotte Mason Method
  • Classical {the classical approach to homeschooling}
  • Uncschooled {child-led schooling approach}
  • Traditional {aka Text Book}
…or you do something totally different! 
 
Are your kids learning? Are your kids having fun? Are you having fun and enjoying it? 
 
GUESS WHAT!?!?! You ARE Flourishing! NOT FAILING!
 
It DOESN’T matter if your friend Sally is on such a schedule that it put ship captains to shame. 
It DOESN’T matter if your friend June is disorganized and rarely has a schedule.
 
What DOES matter is that your child and you are sharing a love for learning…how ever you get to that point is up to you! 

Flourish on Mama! Flourish on!

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2012-2013 Curriculum!


Last week we started school…2nd grade….WHAT 2ND GRADE already!?!?!? I cannot believe how fast my little man is growing up!

Smile on his face for the 1st day of school {last monday} This boy loves to learn!!!

Here is a small over view of SOME of this years curriculum! There will be a larger more in-depth post with my thoughts of each book and why we selected what we selected coming soon! 🙂 Until then here are some of the books and the links to where you can find out more and order!!

Explode the Code’s child-drawn illustrations and easy, repetitive exercises provide a friendly learning experience. Progressively building up a store of phonics recognition, pronunciation and reading skills, your students will soon be on their way to acquiring beginning to intermediate reading skills. Explode the Code’s phonics workbooks contain exercises that guide students through matching, reading, spelling, writing, copying, and more. Easy, fun and proven, Explode the Code is a favorite with moms and kids!

The Story of the World is an award-winning resource for families looking for a history curriculum they can fall in love with. Told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark, this four-volume set covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas — find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. This read-aloud series is designed for parents and teachers to share with elementary school children. Enjoy it together and introduce your child to the marvelous story of the the world’s civilizations.




Who is Fred?
Answer #1
In one of the Life of Fred books, Fred Gauss was born on the western slopes of the Siberian mountains. By the end of the final book, he is six years old.
In his everyday life he first encounters the need for each new part of mathematics, and then comes the mathematics.
Never again will students have to ask their perennial question: “When are we ever gonna use this stuff?”
Answer #2
Stan Schmidt, the author of the Life of Fred series, became a full-time high school teacher the month he turned 22.
In his first semester of teaching, Stan drew Fred on the blackboard.
It was just a brief appearance: Fred was going fishing.
Then Fred appeared in other examples, and soon became a regular part of the classroom experience. One student in metal shop made a Fred Gauss belt buckle and gave it to Stan.
When Stan switched to college teaching, Fred came along with him. Fred’s biography continued to develop.
After eleven years of college teaching, Stan “retired himself” to an A-frame on six acres in the woods outside of Santa Rosa, California—waiting to find out what God wanted him to do next.
Eighteen years later, now living in Reno, he began writing the Life of Fred series. Two hours each day, starting at 4 a.m., Stan and Fred work on the next book. To be more accurate it should be pointed out that technically, Stan is a co-author since Fred is very much involved. It takes a rambunctious, full of energy at four o’clock in the morning child to get the day rolling that early!

The reason we study math is so we can apply what we learn in everyday situations. The students learn their math facts, rules, and formulas, and are able to use this knowledge in real life applications. The study of math is much more than committing a list of facts to memory. It includes memorization, but it also encompasses learning the concepts that are critical to problem solving.

 Patterns of Nature consists of 30 lessons bound in an illustrated workbook. Science, at this level, mainly involves identification. Such subjects as seasons, seeds, wildflowers, weeds, trees, mammals, insects, songbirds, and the celestial bodies are introduced on the child’s level.



In addition we will also be involved in Soccer, Martial Arts, & Music Lessons…Plus there are some awesome field trips in the works!!

Smiles,
Britni

Join in the Fun…



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The Gabby Mom’s Question of the Week – March 7-11 2011!

Opened to anyone living in the US or Canada is welcome to enter (not just Gabby Moms) All of our March winners will receive a $5 Gift Card to Starbucks! Enter HERE!

This week’s question is:

What is the number one thing you do to refresh yourself, your kids and your homeschool mid-year?

My answer…
We homeschool through the year so we ‘refresh’ twice a year on average. Once right around now, when it seems like winter is going to last forever, and we are stuck inside. Something special that I like to do is have my 6 year old pick out a few new activity books! This past weekend we did just that. Elias was so excited! I have noticed over the last few months that he has a deep love for science, nature, and weather. So it was no surprise to when he chose WEATHER LAB and SCIENCE LAB from Silver Dolphin books! These books have 50 projects each and are TONS of fun!

Another Refresh time for us is summer, which is perfect because it always hits us right around our summer vacation. Last year we when to Glacier National park. He was able to learn about bears, deer, moose, mountains, water life and nature! He was able to see a Black bear up close, and see how big they really are. He got to see and touch the vast span of the mountains that God created. We were even able to play in the snow in the middle of July!! This year we are off to the Oregon Coast! We will be able to learn about sea life while playing at the beach! There is nothing more fun then learning while you play!

Other than these we often have a nature hike every few weeks during nice weather to keep things fun. In the winter, something as simple as the local childrens museum can refresh us!

Head over to The Gabby Mom’s and join in the fun!

Gabby Mom Britni
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The Gabby Mom’s – January Mission: True Treasures

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THE GABBY MOMS

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Are you familiar with Lorrie Flem and TEACH Magazine (now called Eternal Encouragement)? If you are homeschooling you will want to!! A few years ago a wonderful friend shared Lorrie with me and I have been hooked ever since.  This year I have been given the opportunity to be part of her new The Gabby Moms, I’m so thrilled to be apart of this amazing group of women! My “mission” this January is to share a new book she’s published will all my friends.

True Treasures is an amazing collection of the best of the best articles from the last ten years of TEACH Magazine on topics relating to homemaking, moms, marriage and parenting.

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge it’s rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24: 3-4

True Treasures is divided into 6 sections, each one full of inspiring ideas, wisdom from the hearts of women, and encouragement to help you be a better wife, mother, and homemaker.

• Jewels That Make the Heart Sparkle
• Marriages Made of Solid Gold
• Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless
• Homemaking That Dazzles Like Diamonds
• Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom
• Godly Living That Glitters

Weather you have 5 minutes or two hours, you can benefit from the wonderful encouragement that True Treasures has to offer: such as devotional thoughts, practical tips, encouragement, and inspiration on every page. Every time I picked up the book I was drawn to the marriage and parenting sections. It was wonderful to read and know that their are other Mom’s and Wives going through the same things as I am going through!

While reading in the section Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless, I found my self laughing out loud (I will be adding the whining chair from page 57) In Addition I was also really convicted. This caused me to step back and look at my parenting thus far.

As a child, I had a dream. My true hearts desire was to become a Wife to a wonderful man…who I was sure would be Jordan from New Kids on the Block! In addition I wanted have Children and stay at home with them and homeschooling them, just like my mother stayed home and homeschooled me. I didn’t know what the Lord had planned for me, but I knew that that was who I was going to be, a wonderful wife, the best mother, and a great teacher.

Fast forward 20+ years…

Earlier this month my oldest son turned 6. He is a wonderful little boy. Now, he’s 6. With this ‘new’ big boy age there have been a lot new things, losing more teeth, eating more…and…More attitude. Suddenly he is 16, I don’t know what has happened, have I done something wrong? He started complaining about everything, bickering with his younger siblings, and testing every single boundary about 6 months ago.  Bedtime became an unglued mess. I feel like I am losing my patience, I hate yelling but I do, I dislike the kind of Mommy I fear I am becoming.

While seeking the Lord things have become very clear. The Lord has showed me that I have been spending so much time trying to ‘Change’ my 6 year old that I have lost sight of the fact that I need to be the one to change. How can I raise a Christian man, when I am totally unglued? Which became abundantly apparent when I over heard my Children playing together. It was like a ton of bricks on my shoulders, Elias was acting like me. My Heart sunk, ‘is this really who I have become?’ I thought to my self. After spending some much needed time with the Lord, I found my boy and had a much needed talk. I apologized to my precious little boy. How was he supposed to meet these expectation set before him when I wasn’t doing my job and guiding him? Actions truly do speak louder than words don’t them?

While Seeking the Lord, I asked to him to show me where I need to change and boy did he! Spending more time with Jesus was a big lesson I had to learn. I’ll be honest, life gets hectic with kids crying, yelling, asking for this, asking for that. Unfortunately, it’s me who gets lost, my relationship with Jesus gets put on hold. And, for what? So I can lose my patience? I know that is NOT what God wants. 

Jesus is working me and doing some really amazing things. I prayed for the Lord to change me. Before, I was praying like this “Lord, what have I done, why have things be so hard, please help things get better. Amen.” While reading in Philippians something stuck out at me. ‘am I praying for the right things?’

Philippians 4:6 tells us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Over the past few months my prayers have become more like this ” Lord, please help me train my children in a way that is pleasing to you, guide me to be the Mother you want me to be. Please, Lord help me also become the wife that you created me to be…”

Proverbs 2:6 reads: “For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

My life is never too hectic to spend time with my heavenly Father. I have a fire inside me for the Lord that I have not had in quite sometime and it feels WONDERFUL! I have been so surprised that the amount of patience I have acquired through the Lord.  Like today for instance, standing in the middle of my Living Room, I look around and think to myself, ‘it looks like I run an in home daycare with 30 kids.’ I’m not mad or upset; I just laugh and thank God for the wonderful gift of getting to spend everyday with my wonderful Children. The sit down on the floor and play too!

Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.”

Living everyday with joy and happiness has left my children living everyday with joy and happiness. Being a mommy is more that just talking at your children, being a mother is guiding your children in more than just word but by actions! My son sees me spending time with the Lord everyday, because of this he spends his own time with Lord, praying for friends and family! He recently was drawing and so excited to show me what he had drawn. “It me mommy, and that is Jesus living in my heart!” With tears in my eyes and warmth in my heart I gave my little guy a squeeze!

Psalm 118:24 “The LORD has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad. “

Read Excerpts from True Treasures HERE!

At the end of the Parenting section there is a page entitled ‘Bible verses to Pray for your children’ (page 53) No matter how many times I opened the book, with out fail I found my self on that page, reading the verses over and over. These verses are what encouraged and pushed me into this ‘art’ project!

Elias age 6
Simon age 16 months
Gabbi age 16 months

I made a these photos of my children and added a bible verse to each. These photos will be displayed over our bed in our master bedroom. A bright reminder that these three little people are a wonderful gift, given from the Most High.

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” Psalm 103:17

Oh my goodness!! I almost forgot to mention ‘Yippee it’s STILL Free!’ (page 85)

Yippee it’s STILL Free is one of the longest running columns from TEACH. In the beginning it contained addresses and phone numbers of companies with free Homemaking and Homeschooling help. Now with the amazing technology we have at our fingertips it is chock full of fantastic websites full of Freebies!!

I completely love gardenofprasie.comthemathworksheetsite.com & letteroftheweek.com they have tons of great printables that my son loves! Our family LOVES pandora.com I think we probably have 10 stations we have created for every changing mood!! There are honestly so many sites listed that I have only visit 2/3 of them!!

True Treasures is a wonderful resource for everyone, weather you be brand new mom to the most seasoned homemaker such as my Mom who was encouraged by the word in the book and wished she had it when all nine of us where still at home. Then there’s me! I have been married for nearly 10 years, a mama for 6 (to my 6 year old son and my 16 month old boy/girl twins), and homeschooling since birth…but structured for 4, and I found encouragement on every page. Truly this is a resource I’ll turn to for inspiration again and again…I already have!

Every Mama, Wife and Teacher needs encouragement and to know that someone truly understands! You can always find the best with True Treasures, Eternal Encouragement magazine, and at http://www.homemakingwithteach.com/.

Click HERE to order your very own copy of True Treasures! The regular price is $19.99, however, if you order before May 31st 2011 you can get $4.00 off by entering the code GabbyMom at checkout. (Only 1 use per customer and per order.)

Please check out all the other great resources available at http://www.homemakingwithteach.com/ including the wonderful magazine where all the articles from True Treasures came from, Eternal Encouragement (formerly TEACH) You can download a FREE SAMPLE ISSUE to see why it is truly a blessing for all women today!

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“Our impact on the next generation may
be far greater than we realize. Don’t discount
your work today. You never know what your long-term
yield will be. Keep on keeping on. Love, Lorrie”
(Letters from Lorrie’s Laundry Room, Spring 2003)


**I received True Treasures for honest review from TEACH (Eternal Encouragement) Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.**

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Mama Britni

Homeschooling: Kindergarten – 1st grade – 2nd grade year has started!!!

We homeschool!! We LOVE it!

 

I LOVE flashcard! We can take these anywhere!! E loves them too!

alilsugarnspice@gmail.com

 

Please Email with any questions about the books or flash cards I have posted today!

The many books I have added E’s homeschool curriculum!!

Since the Public school year has begun, people are always asking Elias if he has started school. He always replies “Yes!! I am homeschooled by my Mommy”. Oh, the looks we get. Sometimes they smile, but other times….Ahhhh, not so much. The other day I ran into another Homeschooling Mama, and she asked “what curriculum are you using?” I don’t think she liked my response, but thats ok. We all have to do what is right for our own children.
We officially started the school year on August 1st! I has been going great! Elias is so eager to learn. Before we began I hoped that we would do 45 minutes of work at a time with a 15 minute break between each activity. I didn’t want to overload him and them him end up dreading school. Much to my surprise we spend a average of 2 hours at a time on each subject (different ones each day…a max of 4) I couldn’t have asked for a better little student! This year I decided to combine Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grades. Now, a month later our main focus seems to be more at the 1st-3rd levels!!!
Some of the things we have been learning:
reading,
addition,
subtraction,
the pledge of allegiance,
homonyms,
states and capitals (not all of course),
the planets
Still to come for the Fall season:
Thanksgiving, a one month study of Native Americans, for this we will focus on the Choctaw and Black Foot tribes (I am 1/16 Choctaw).
We will also do all kinds of fun activities dealing with:
Mammals,
Weather,
Seasons, and
Christmas…the Birth of Jesus, and what Christmas is all about.
Outside of the “regular” subjects, we will be working on:
Manners,
Respect,
Honesty,
Building Character,
Loving Family, and
Bible Study!
I made the decision early on that I would put together our curriculum, piece by piece! Over the last few months, and have put together what I believe to be a awesome school year plan!

Visit the Homeschool Tab for tons of Free homeschool Printables and links!

Whoa its been a long summer!!

Yes! I am still here! I have been ultra busy with end of summer events!! We started our Homeschooling year on August 1st, and it is going awesome! This year we are doing a blend theme of Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade. Elias really seems to be more into the 2nd grade stuff, so that has been really fun! The twins are turning 1 in about 3 weeks…so planning, planning and…yep more planning!! Simon has been walking now for about 7-8weeks, so he is a old pro! Gabbi, well she is slowly on her way:) Maybe by their bday…but well see:) We have been preparing for winter, I think I am all stocked up on Wool longies…special thanks to the many moms of twins I have met on this wild ride, of being a mama of twins!!:)
Currently I am working on a few reviews, that I will be posting in the next few days! I have a few in the works as well…oh and they are good:) I hope you are all have a fantastic end of summer!!!