Browsing Tag

reading

Growing Up

Simply Reading Aloud

Benefits of reading aloud with kids from an early age

Our regular readers will likely remember we are quite the book-loving family around here.  Back before we had kids, my husband and I actually started a book blog.  We had a fun time talking about the words of others using words of our own.  Then we became parents and reading for ourselves is a bit more sporadic.  I still crave the joy of a book so well-written it demands I stay awake turning pages (old-fashioned or digital) until the wee hours of the morning.  Those joys are just fewer and more distant between them than they used to be.

In the meantime, we have discovered the joy of short, sweetly penned books that resonate with us because of contagious rhyming structures or delightful interactions.  We have become picture book loving people.  And thankfully, through these simple books we have somehow turned our little ones into lovers of books, too.

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Growing Up

Awesome Alphabet Books

Awesome Alphabet Books - must have Picture books for little learners

We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house!  It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother.  G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months.  And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing.  Then she started working on learning the letter sounds.  By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”

To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet.  She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too.  But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make.  Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.

And on her heels is AG (2 years-old).  In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader.  His most requested picture books are alphabet related.  And he spends much of his time identifying letters.  And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.

I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me.  They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun!  The way learning should look!  I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.

But as I sit back and wonder at my kids and their learning to read without me, I try to evaluate.  I think, “What made this possible?”  And I come up with two specific things over and over:  Continue Reading

Nest Building

Simply Beginning Homeschool with Peace

homeschooling with peace - a discussion of the book Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

I recently went to a homeschool event – a sort of training.  It was my FIRST experience with anything homeschool.

I have known a number of homeschooling families throughout my life.  I have gone through the phases of thinking it is the weirdest thing ever (my junior high self), to thinking it seems like a pretty good idea.  My thoughts on homeschool have run the gamut and have settled on this:

{Deep breath}

We are going to do it.  And I am excited. Then nervous…and excited…and nervous.

I have shared these thoughts here before.  Aren’t they deep?

Anyway, back to the homeschool event.  I saw it ALL there.  And I talked to all kinds of moms preparing to teach their children at home this year.  There was a tiger-mom.  There were the overwhelmed moms.  I heard a powerful testimony from a mom to a boy likely “on the spectrum.”  I heard from mother’s of 6, 8, 10(!) kids who homeschool.

Prompted by questions, these women would begin to share the practicalities of their homeschool days.  To a woman, each had a book they recommended for this homeschooling journey.  I began to make a list.   Continue Reading

Growing Up

Collect them ALL Books

kids books and authors worthy of collect them all status

If there is anything we as a family collect, it is books.  We are all interested in words on pages (even in the age of tablets and e-readers).  For me, there is just something so soothing about a row of books, neatly lined up on a shelf.  The potential for entertainment in just one book shelf seems almost limitless.  The idea of opening a book and being transported to a new place, a new world, a new mindset is just so appealing!

Thankfully, we have passed this love of words on pages to our kids.  Our girls love books!  We are slowly working our way into a large collection of picture books for our kids.  I got to thinking about our collection and realized there are definite patterns: favorite authors, favorite subjects, and well-loved classics we just could not do without.  I thought it would be fun to share with you what I consider to be collections of books worthy of “collect them ALL” status. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Rosetta Stone’s Kids Reading Program

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Rosetta Stone. I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

One question we started getting even before G was born is, “Are you going to home school?”  Although this question is still a bit premature, we have been thinking about the answer to it for quite some time because G is such a great learner – she truly is very teachable.  But the one thing that concerns me about homeschooling during the early years is teaching someone to read.  I don’t remember learning to read, I just know I knew how to do it by the time I got to kindergarten.  And I have no experience with teaching someone to read.  It seems so daunting to me! The English language is VERY complicated! So, I am always looking for all the help I can get.  We already are on top of the reading-every-day-with-your-kid thing, since G and W are book obsessed; but I know that is not sufficient to teach them to read the words themselves.  When I was given the opportunity to try out a program for kids (preschoolers and early elementary), Rosetta Stone’s Kids Reading Program, to teach her the building blocks of reading, I was so excited! Continue Reading

Growing Up

Multilingual Reads for Tots

 

I am by no stretch of the imagination multilingual.  But, I do love languages!  Over the years I have studied Latin, Spanish, Hebrew, and Greek (and a tiny smattering of Amharic).  I am not fluent in any of these languages, but I have seen the benefits of basic exposure to other tongues.  Generally, when studying other languages, we discover other cultures and customs, as well.  So, I love reading books to our little ones that introduce other languages.  I came up with a list of reads for toddlers and preschoolers for just this purpose and some tips for introducing these books to little ears! Continue Reading