Family Devotional with Bob Goff- Homeschool Morning Time, Bedtime

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Each night we read a chapter/section from a devotional, and often read a few stories from the Beginner’s Bible, to our children. The lst several weeks we have been using a new “devotional” and have really enjoyed it. man dating while married so graciously sent us high school dating sites, by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich.
We love supporting theologically accurate books which teach about loving like Jesus and walking in such a way that reflects that. high school dating sites fits into our family perfectly. We have enjoyed reading a new story several times a week, before bed. My kids beg to read from this book, enjoy the lovely illustrations, and understand the lessons taught.

Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff

The binding feels sturdy, and the thick, glossy pages should hold up well to many years of love. There is also a royal blue, satin ribbon bookmark along with an inscription page, making this a perfect gift.

Inside this hard bound book, parents will find 40 stories of personal experience, that help children see the world from others’ point of view, and help them understand how to love others well. Each story focuses on a different situation or feeling, and how to respond/go to action, from a biblical perspective. We especially enjoyed the Be Not Afraid-serving others, Trash Cans- about Pat who was an ordinary neighbor that did something small for his neighbors, and Land the Plan-about mistakes.

Sometimes our children have a friend in their life that is hard to love, be it at Sunday school, playdates, or co-op classes. Loving that friend doesn’t mean accepting what they do as okay, but it does mean we can love them anyway, just as God loves us no matter how sinful our choices may be. We can each relate to feeling outcast, different, or mistreated because of our differences.

Sometimes children see someone else who is being treated differently, struggling with their feelings, or sitting alone, and they may not know how to help them. But Everybody, Always for Kids , makes it easy to see the simplicity in kindness, and how that kindness shows God’s love to others.

I love that we don’t have to send our children into battle for them to be “salt and light.” God has made previsions for our children to impact the world through their words, behaviors, and kindness *right where they are.* He always meets us where we are. And it is true for our children as well- siblings, neighbors, at the grocery store, or with friends, they can love others.

This book sticks to topics that are developmentally appropriate for kids ages 6-10, so there won’t be anything too difficult to discuss with your children. My kids are 4-10 and have enjoyed reading it together (my 10 year old has also read it on her own for fun). I can tell they’ve been contemplating what we’ve read, when they come to me and want to talk about the story from the last day or 2 .  The stories are making an impact on how they see others.

Want some free bonuses? You can also head here, to sign up for some great bonuses from Tommy Nelson Publishing for Everybody, Always for Kids. This will include a fun, 5 lesson plan/activity pack for your family. It includes activities that reinforce the lessons in the first few stories. These would be a great addition to your morning time, or after nap hands on learning in your homeschool.

Connect with Tommy Nelson

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Everybody, Always for Kids!
Everybody Always for Kids Reviews

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Vooks: Storybooks Brought to Life

Vooks is a visual book streaming service that brings books to like via animation. This program has been loved by each of my kids, even the older ones (because who doesn’t love being read to?!)

Vooks Curious George Vooks Curious George 2

Vooks brings storybook to life with fun, easy to understand voiceovers and beautiful animated illustrations. We found so many of our most beloved picture books while using Vooks, but also a treasure-trove of new books we’ve not read.

I have looked through the book selection, and have found only good, beautiful books that I wouldn’t mind my children reading without me. One of my favorite features, as a homeschool mom, is that the words are highlighted in bold letters as the book is read. There are also titles read aloud in Spanish, with Spanish text, which is great for those kids from a Spanish speaking home, or those learning the language.

Try Vooks free for 30 days! Go to VOOKS to sign up! 

We use Vooks for independent time, for the kids to hear some book read aloud with great interactive illustrations. We set it up on our larger monitor desktop, and they can each take turns selecting the books they want read aloud. We have food this perfect for cold and rainy days this spring. Also, I get to listen along while I fold laundry, which is fun for me. I love children’s picture books; and we get to interact as a family. The entire site is kid friendly and parent approved (and not just by me haha)

Vooks: Storybooks Brought to Life

Strengthen literacy, vocabulary, and promote independent learning for your kids using Vooks!

Along with all the beautiful picture books, parents and teachers can find free, printable lesson plans which include discussion topics, engaging activities, and more!

Ready to purchase your subscription? Click here!

Many thanks to Vooks for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 

#VooksMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork #vooks #betterscreentime #vookspartner

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Resurrection Sunday fun, with Miss PattyCake’s Eggstravaganza

This week, our family has had the pleasure of enjoying the new Miss PattyCake Eggstravaganza Activity package.  This package includes the new Miss PattyCake Eggstravaganza DVD, and accompanying activity book.

Miss PattyCake's Eggstravaganza DVD and Activity Book

My youngest girls loved the DVD episode! The songs were engaging, fun, and each one had a special connection to Jesus. The Easter eggs in the hold special meaning, each one containing a part of Jesus’s Resurrection story. The songs are familiar, because they’re often set to the tune of hymns we already know. But the words of each song, while simple and uplifting, were meaningful.

I love how everything in the episode points back to Jesus-His sacrifice, His love, and our hearts for him.

Miss PattyCake’s Eggstravaganza activity book is full of fun activities for children! I would say 2-6 year olds will enjoy coloring, counting, tracing, and more. Each page correlates with a fun song from the DVD, enriching the experience and making it even more relevant for children.

 

Check out this NEW Miss PattyCake bundle for a FUN, musical, age-appropriate
telling of the Easter story.

Don’t have a DVD player? Check out Miss PattyCake’s streaming channel
for all her content.

 

*Many thanks to Miss PattyCake for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

#MissPattyCakeMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork #MissPattyCake

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Horses in History with Mattie Richardson {a review}

Y’all know when there is a chance to review a book in our home, we jump on the chance. =) We have been reading the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. Formerly known as North Dakota’s Teen Author, Mattie has written a series of books your children and family will love!

Appaloosy Books by Mattie Richardson

Each book centers around the story of a horse (or horses) from history-of course as a mom and homeschooler, this greatly appeals to me! My history buff daughter, 9, also loved the historical aspect of the books, and how the stories were told from the horse’s perspective. Mattie has written books full of love, adventure, integrity, and strength. All characteristics we want for our children. I hold my book standards pretty high; we don’t need ugly words and harsh language to get a point across, and these books definitely held up to my standards.


The first portion of each book begins with a dedication, which sometimes offers some insight to the author’s inspiration for writing the book. Dusty’s Trail, told from the view point of a horse on the Pony Express, begins with an article about the Pony Express, first published in 1860. Next, the reader will find a section of Words and Terms You Should Know. This section is in each of the books, with a small variation. In Day and Night, Mattie has made Civil War-era Words and Terms Used in this Book section. Golden Sunrise offers a Spanish Words Used in this Book section. So each book has a great intro to the topic through a helpful guide in the beginning; my daughter often referred back to this while reading, as did I. Appaloosy gives us the Nez Perce Words and Their Meanings as a helpful glossary to better understand as we read.

Appaloosy Series

The books are nicely bound, with a colorful paperback cover. Day and Night comes in at the thickest with 148 pages, Appaloosy with 125 pages,  Golden Sunrise with 98 pages, and Dusty’s Trail at 66 pages (plus a few un-numbered informational pages). Some books have a few illustrations throughout, the text is appropriate for early readers (not too small), and the pages are a smooth, high quality, crisp white.

Appaloosy is about a horse who wants nothing more than to be wild and free, until he finds the love of a girl named Faith. But when he is stolen and escapes captivity, Storm must decide if he wants his freedom or to go back to Faith on her family’s farm. My 9 year old says:

Faith gives her locket necklace to take Storm home from the man who had him. She was only the 2nd person he let ride him, of all the people that had owned or ridden him. I like his decision and the way the book ended.

Golden Sunrise tells the story of Cheyenne and Jared- “Jared is a man who wants to marry Olivia; they’ve been courting for about a year. But then he has to go off to war to fight for Texas’s freedom. He rides Cheyenne throughout the war, and they are buddies. Cheyenne becomes friends with Davy Crockett, which was really funny. I won’t tell you the end, but it is sweet.”

Golden Sunrise

Day and Night was my daughter’s favorite of all the books. “This book is about 2 horses, Shiloh and Tucker, they take turns having a chapter, so it can be confusing if you don’t pay attention. Tucker is the older horse and Shiloh is the younger sibling horse. Shiloh is lighter in color and smaller; he is gentle and gets very attached to people he likes. Tucker is older and brown. Neither of them wanted to fight in the war but Shiloh was stolen by a girl in the Confederacy, and Tucker got sold to the US army. You will have to read and see what they go through and if they find each other again.”

We also enjoyed using Mattie’s Enrichment Guide for Day and Night, along with the answer key. It includes: vocabulary, history, comprehension, creating your own stories, further reading, and even more! These include activities, coloring, developing character attributes for a story, biographies, geography, and the list goes on! This is definitely worth the small purchase price, and something you can integrate into your homeschool for a large range of ages.

 

Dusty’s Trail is about a boy, Levi who runs away with his horse, Dusty, to join the Pony Express. “When someone starts stealing the horses and killing their riders, Levi and Dusty push through more runs  (I think 3?) until they find someone they can tell. Eventually Levi gets captured, Dusty gets separated from him … and you have to read the rest (haha).”

Dusty's Trail

As you can see, the books were greatly enjoyed by my oldest daughter. They will be wonderful reads for my horse loving 5 year old. These books will be best understood by those 8 and up, but I think they can be read aloud to just about any age.

Mattie Richardson is clearly a talented young lady, she has more books coming out, that I know we will be reading! We have enjoyed the Horses in History Series immensely. There are countless way to use it as part of a homeschool curriculum, and they are wholesome books.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

What Kind of CAR Does a T.Rex Drive? {children’s book review}

If you have children that love dinosaurs, then here is a new summer read for your family!

What Kind of CAR Does a T.Rex Drive? by Mark Lee, illustrated by Brian Biggs is a wonderfully fun book for your littles! What kind of car would you sell to a stegosaurus? What about a pterodactyl? Uncle Otto has no idea either- but Ava and Mickey-two kids with a lot of dino knowledge, are able to help him out.

This definitely brought about a *bunch* of giggles from my youngest 3 kids, and even the 8 year old got a kick out of the T.Rex’s vehicle.

All the super fun goodies our Penguin Random House Publicity Assistant sent us gave me some great ideas for this book.

  • Use it as a book club read aloud with your homeschool co-op book club
  • Read it as part of a dinosaur unit
  • Gift it to your favorite dinosaur loving kiddo-it will be a hit!
  • Use it in a transportation unit study with elementary students

The best thing about receiving a children’s book as a gift is the reading aloud that comes with it! Reading to our children is one of the best gifts we can give them-quality time with our undivided attention, exploring new worlds together.

What Kind of CAR Does a T.Rex Drive? is a perfect addition to your home library shelf!

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool Practice With IXL {a review}

IXL Learning-For all Children

We have been using an annual membership from IXL Learning. This included all IXL subjects– math, language arts, grades 2-8 science, grades 2-8 social studies, and intro Spanish.

This has been such a fun supplemental program to review! We do plan to continue using it for the year, and will renew our membership.

Customized Learning IXL

How we use IXL Learning

About 3 days a week, each of my older 3 children (8, 6, and 4) work in the IXL program for 20 minutes. The program is very parent and child friendly; each child has their own profile where I customize their learning practice. We really love using the app, but my 8year old used the computer quite a bit to access IXL. Parents are able to select the grade level of practice for each subject, for every child!

IXL Online Homeschool Learning

This is perfect for customizing learning for homeschool children, as many students work on different levels in different core subjects. Parents are also able to customize what “standards” they would like their child to work under. This is of no concern to me, as we don’t teach according to anyone’s standards, (most curricula cover the same concepts, regardless of “standards,” but it is an option for those parents in states that require certain standards!

I found what worked best for us was having 1 child work in IXL on the ipad or computer while I did 1:1 school work at the table with the others. We continued this rotation through, until I had done our reading and LA with each child, and they were all ready for their independent table work.

IXL Learning SIgn In

My 8 year old saw the Spanish section and wanted to practice learning Spanish; this and spelling are her favorite subjects in IXL. Where my son is a natural born speller like his mama, my very intelligent oldest child struggles in that area, so I am excited that she is excited about practicing spelling concepts in IXL.

For my 6 year old, math is the favorite subject, but he has enjoyed working in each one. I like that I can also receive an email letting me know what they completed and has well they did. A quick glance at their profile under any subject tells me what they have completed in each category of that subject.

My 4 year old used the app on the iPad while working in the PreK level. She mostly worked in the Language Arts section, and worked slower than the others. She is still learning about using the ipad, but she truly enjoys IXL.

Here is an example of the 2nd grade language arts subject- you can select any category for practice as seen below: reading foundations, reading strategies, writing strategies, vocabulary, and grammar and mechanics.

What I Think

We don’t use many computer or online learning activities, choosing to limit screen time, but I knew I wanted to try IXL and I am so glad I did! We are diligent about our core studies- reading, language and math and reading aloud (which covers everything else, right? haha)- and IXL is a wonderful supplement for extra practice and learning.

Children can have instructions read to them, as well as having words/problems pronounced aloud. This is a huge help for beginner readers like my 4 year old, or children with learning differences, allowing them to practice independently.

Each time a child misses a question, IXL gives an explanation of how to correctly solve the problem in subjects such as math, or explains the language arts concept for the child. See the example below:

 

While IXL is wonderful for review and practice, it is not a substitute for teaching. I would say my 8 year old could learn independently with this program, though. If she didn’t understand what was being asked of her, and she missed a question, I feel the explanation would be adequate for her to learn from her mistake. This would work because of her ability to learn independently and her grade level … much lower or much more difficult levels would be better suited for practice only.

It is complete in the subjects covered, and the explanations when answers are incorrect are simple but effective.

IXL Award Winning Learning

Read more reviews from the Crew who used different grade levels:

 

Our Fall homeschool Routine {2018}

Our Fall School Routine 2018

 

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that with each season in life, or literal weather season, we can do what works best for our family.

In this season of both life, and weather, we are enjoying the fall 100%! Waking up to the windows open, crisp fall air, and spending a lot of time in nature is what autumn is all bout. So far, we have watched monarch caterpillars flock to our milkweed, make cocoons, and develop into butterflies.

We have enjoyed collecting different colored leaves as they fall, and acorns we have found. We’ve worked together to prep the garden for winter, and finished the last of our harvest. We have raked leaves to feed to the goats, and enjoyed collecting sticks for kindling.

Each day has a nice rhythm to it and looks something like this:

  • I wake 5:30-6am for my coffee, journal, and Jesus time
  • 7am I get the kids up, we have breakfast, brush teeth, and get dressed for the day, morning chores
  • Some mornings we do our morning basket during breakfast, some days it is in the afternoon. (morning basket is our science, history, a read aloud with the littles, a little memory work and whatever else the kids are into. there are handicrafts involved too)
  • 8/830am I do my workout, then the kids do their brain gym/dancing movements from youtube, or we may do animal walks across the room to mama for a bear hug reward
  • by 9/930 We begin table work together
  • 1130/11:45- lunch time!
  • Everyone goes outside to play until naps
  • Our afternoons are filled with: playing games (Uno, rat a tat cat, and Qwirkle are current favorites), being outside, doing chores on the farm, prepping dinner if needed, and reading aloud from our current family chapter book. Some days we do our morning basket here if we didn’t have time in the morning.

The weather outside (rainy or not) determines during which part of the day we do games, read alouds, etc.

Every-other Wednesday afternoon is still poetry tea time, sometimes it is every week if we don’t have an errand or other plans. I plan to hit the zoo 1x a month to take full advantage of membership and homeschool freedom. =)

As we come into winter, I am sure our routine may change up a bit. But for now, this is working well for our family. Fall is our favorite time of the year!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool Video-Based Art Curriculum {a review}

We have been using Art of the Ancients from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. This is a new edition book from their Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series. Art is always a fun topic in our home; we have really enjoyed ARTistic Pursuits when we reviewed it in the past. This time was no different!

Homeschool Video Art Lessons K-3

K-3 Volume 2, Art of the Ancients

This beautiful, hardcover, 64 page book consists of 18 lesson, 6 of which are video based lessons focused on chalk pastels and clay sculpture. It comes with 2 discs: 1 DVD, and 1 Blue-ray Disc.

The lessons on ancient art are thorough, allow students to see creativity and life differently than they may in their own culture, and introduce new experiences in chalk pastels and clay. We already had chalks and sculpting clay on hand; we used these chalks, and this clay set. You can use any brand that you may have on hand-one lessons even suggests using sidewalk chalks outdoors!

Volume 2- Ancients {homeschool art video lessons}

There are prep notes found at the beginning of every lesson, allowing the parent or teacher to better prepare for teaching. Simple suggestions like how to set up before hand for a group (4 small children at home, anyone?), or moving the lesson outside, are just what I needed to help our lesson go smoothly.

Each lesson in Art of the Ancients gives the history of an ancient culture, and the art they used in every day life- from cave drawings and carved city walls, to more sophisticated statues and pillars, students get an intimate look at the beauty found in ancient history and it’s purpose. There are over 100 illustrations found in the course book!

After the history portion of the lesson, students will find an opportunity for a picture study- our favorite part! Here is a chance to practice some narration (for all your Charlotte Mason homeschoolers!) and pay close attention to details in art. I found that often times, my children are better at finding the details than I am! Simple prompts which ask what the children see (how many, what size, what kind/shape) or where something is hiding in the picture encourages young learners to look at details, while other questions encourage them to see the art as a whole piece.

Lastly, children create! The instructions for creating your own piece of art are easy to understand and implement. The supplies needed are listed in a box at the top of the page, followed by a brief description about the type of art, explanation of new vocabulary, and instructions of how to create.

What We Think

My children have been pleading to do art since we received our book in the mail. Each time we open the book we are glad we did! The simple history lessons are fun, meaningful, and help make history come alive. My 7.5 yo enjoys reading it for fun, and everyone loves the beautiful art found inside. Lessons are short enough to hold young children’s attention & make it easy to fit into an already full life. They are very easy on mama, not parent intensive at all, which is always nice!

My toddler watched the video lessons along with us, enjoying the clay and pinch pot-making. My 3 year old followed right along in her care free way, using chalks and clay independently, while her 2 older siblings were much more serious about their work. 😉

We have loved this program and will likely use more books from the Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series. Thank you ARTistic Pursuits!

 

Pinch Pot-making {homeschool art curriculum}

pinch pots {homeschool art}

 

Video Art Lessons

 

Chalk Pastel Art

Connect with ARTistic Pursuits

Read more reviews on this and other books from this series by clicking the banner below:

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschooling Through Transitions: the hard times and the happy ones

4 Practical Tips for Homeschooling Through Family Transitions

**Originally published February 2016** I enjoy these practical tips, even now, during seasons of what feels like temporary chaos. My children are older now, we have a small farm, and much more on our plate in this season than normal. These have been wonderful reminders for me! Maybe they will help you as well!

My oldest child is soon turning 5 years old (say whaaaaa?).  I am by no means a homeschool expert; I have researched and read since I was 3 months pregnant with my first child, played around with schedules, dreamed of homeschool room ideas, used a few different curricula and tried different learning activities for my two oldest to try and find them the best personalized learning solutions so that they don’t miss out on their education.

And still, I am a no expert; I don’t think we become experts until we have graduated at least 1 homeschooled child! Haha

In the last few years we have had several family transitions- 2 babies born, rather large moves (one cross country), and job changes for the husband (one job that meant a LOT of travel)- that means we have “schooled” through some tough changes.

No matter how uncomfortable or scary our changes have been for the kids, I have found that homeschool ALWAYS makes our home feel like, well … home.  After the latest move my daughter told us she didn’t like this rent house, it wasn’t home.  So, as any mama would do I stayed up that night contemplating what would make all the kids (because she was surely expressing what her 2 year old brother was feeling but couldn’t say himself), feel comfortable again, feel at home.

And I almost immediately knew it was school- school, our Bible, reading, activities, learning and working their brains together, that is what made our house home and gave our days intention.  Homeschooling isn’t just school- it is a lifestyle, it is IN the center of our home, of which the central focus is Jesus Christ.

Schooling Through Transitions:

1. Prioritize:

What is most important to your family?  For us it is reading/phonics, math, handwriting, and Bible/read alouds.  My kids are still very young (though my oldest is ambitious), so our main subjects that require “work” are only for the oldest: reading/phonics, math, handwriting, and copywork.

Science and art are on the back burner until the fall, after we move and get settled in the home we are buying.  (I did this because getting out all the things we need for science and art is a mess while living out of boxes, and keeping the  baby hands off of it in a home that is not exactly set up for homeschooling is hard!  But if your children are older and can work independently and more responsibly, then go for it.) 

Also, make sure you are doing work that everyone loves- because otherwise you are less likely to make it work during the transition.

2.  Start earlier than scheduled in the year:

Even year-round schoolers like us take a break and have a specific date in mind for introducing their full-on school year.  When you are expecting a new baby, or making a move, you know school is going to get delayed at some point.  For us, we have always moved school earlier, again prioritizing the most important subjects, and then taken a break when needed (the week OF moving/baby being born) and then slowly gotten back into the groove of things.

3. Get back into routine:

Most homeschoolers I have talked with or asked have said getting back into the routine of school after a big life event is not only comforting, but helps all the kids behavior wise as well. (And that is definitely true in our home!) 

Most kids do well with structure and expectations, so it would make sense that their routine at home helps with behavior and a sense of stability.

4.  Relax:

At this time, it will do everyone good to relax (I know, easier said than done).  We kept a general routine, but some days I had to get meals made for the week or things packed up for a move, so the kids just colored while we talked about the letters they heard in words I called out.  I know mine are young, but this would be okay to do with olders too!  Reviewing math facts, memory work, having them do copy work and art, etc can get you by until things become more formal after your transitions.  The beauty of homeschool is that in general, we can take breaks when needed and always have time to catch back up (there aren’t hours spent standing in lines, taking bathroom breaks, etc so we can do double the work in half the time when we really need to!). 

So breathe, Mama- relax and find learning opportunities in everyday life to make your life easier through this transition!

How does your family school through big life events?

Our favourite Apps for Homeschooling iOS and Android

Learning to Read: Rhyme, Memorization, & Phonics {and a llama llama review}

You probably know by now, our family loves to read! My youngest children begin their love of learning with poems and rhyming books from some of the greatest authors of children’s literature. I have videos of my oldest at 18 months old reading a Llama Llama book from memory; that book, as well as many other Llama Llama books have become favorites in our home. But my favorite part of this character series is the rhyming!
The latest book from Anna Dewdey, a teacher, mother, and enthusiastic proponent of reading aloud to children, is Llama Llama Loves to Read. Anna’s passion for children and building their love for reading is evident in all her books. This time our children shared Llama Llama’s love for learning to read in this beautifully illustrated (as always) 40 page picture book.
llama llama loves to read
Llama Llama learns at school.
Counting, writing, reading, rules.
Friends and school — there’s nothing better.
Llama learning all the letters!
All of my children have learned to read organically; simply by listening to others read to them. We know research tells us reading aloud to children increases their own love for learning, as well as relationships, and test scores (yes, especially test scores!). What many may not know, is that reading rhyming books, poems, and nursery rhymes to children increases their overall literacy!
Rhythm and rhyming increase listening and speaking skills, which are the very foundation of learning to read and write. A child will not learn to read as easily if they lack the skill of hearing rhyming patterns and sounds-which is done by being read to early in life. (This is also why educators take courses in all areas of development, including physical education, where we learn to combine rhythm, motion, and rhymes! Think of the hand clapping games from your childhood-they were important, whether you knew it or not!)
Rhyming books like Llama Llama Loves to Read not only help build a child’s confidence as they learn the rhyming words on the pages, these books increase their fluency and set the stage for future independent reading.

Learning to Read With Rhyme and Memory Work

As I type this, I am thinking of my 3.5 year old daughter (3rd born) that read cvc words to me last week. On her own. Without an ounce of formal instruction or prompting from me. I don’t say this to brag, or inflate my mom ego, I say this to you because it truly has to do with our family culture and environment combined with her eagerness to learn to read. She has told me for months she was going to read soon “like Mister!” (her older brother).  I told her she could learn as soon as she wanted and it wouldn’t be long; she’s been asking all of us to help her write her letters so she could tell us the sounds, and eagerly listens to any book we will read to her. One day last week she brought her little journal to me at the homeschool table and asked that I write words for her … I randomly wrote cat, asked her each letter sound and then she read the whole word. Just blended it. Boom! She continued on to do several more and I was able to record her on video.
So how do I use rhyming to encourage literacy? Simply, we read a book, and the next time (after all, there is always a next time!) I leave out one word of each line or page. For instance, I would read: Llama Llama learns at school. Counting, writing, reading, rules the first time.
But the next time we read it, I would leave out the word school, and maybe even rules, allowing my kids to fill it in for me as I read. This pulls them even more into the story and encourages not only their comprehension but also application of vocabulary, as well as “reading” along with me. So far of my 4 children, none of them have ever been disappointed with their chance to say the next word. Even my youngest, only a toddler, can fill in the simplest words in rhyming books (Llama Llama Time for Bed being one of them).
We also start learning poetry very young, simply because it is SO fun! My oldest memorized a few poems during each season starting at age 3. I am not sure how many poems my oldest three kids know now, but it is probably more than me (I can’t remember them all like they can without some prompting). That same 3 year old that is reading CVC words has spent this year memorizing more poetry than her 2 older siblings combined! Her absolute favorite is The Fairies by William Allingham, along with several others from A Child’s Book of Poems.

Learning Letter Sounds

Before I began reading lessons with any of my children, we sing a phonics song throughout our days. From the time they are about 18 months old (?) until … well, my oldest is 7.5 and we still sing it haha, we don’t say our ABCS.
We sing them along with their correlating sound; during our morning time we do the song with a little letter chart like this one: 
The song goes something like this:
A, /a/, apple
B, /buh/ball
C, /ck/, cat
D, /duh/ dog
… you get the picture. When we sing it while swinging on the swing, playing in the floor, or walking down the driveway, we learn to use other words that make those sounds; instead of E, eh, elephant I may say egg or elbow. It is always fun to hear what other words they can come up with (you will be surprised); sometimes we extend that and just start naming words that rhyme with a word, who knows where we may bunny trail to! But it is a fun and easy, loving, and memorable way to connect with and teach my children naturally, without any formal lessons.
This simple song, along with reading aloud to them, truly lays the foundation for learning to read later. Sometimes when I talk I will just say “t, /t/ train!” when we see a train. Obviously my 7 year old gets less out of this than my 3yo and toddler do, but so often we can forget those little ones are still soaking up everything around them, as Little Miss showed me just last week. Having a literature rich family culture helps support children in their love of learning which, when they are ready, will help them learn to read.

If you want to submerge your children in a literature rich environment, reading rhyming books, poetry, and teaching letter sounds through play are the best places to start!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

error: Content is protected !!
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On InstagramVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed