Review of Foundational Phonics Program

Review of Foundational Phonics Program

You may have noticed, if you've browsed this blog much, that I'm an enthusiastic supporter of All About Reading. So, it may come as a surprise that I'm sharing a review for a different phonics curriculum.

When the author of Foundational Phonics, Ariel Gunther, reached out to me with her gentle phonics program, I was more than intrigued. As we worked for years to get my dyslexic daughter reading on grade level, we tried more than a handful of programs. That process, along with the success my friend Hayley has also had with AAR, left me looking through Foundational Phonics with a discerning eye. So it's only natural that as I share all I love, or might not, about Foundational Phonics, I'll be making a few references to All About Reading as well. 

What is Foundational Phonics?

Read More

Dear Scared, Worried (Overwhelmed) New Homeschool Mom

Dear Scared, Worried (Overwhelmed) New Homeschool Mom

I received a text from a sweet friend last night, one who is in the thick of her first year or two of homeschooling. As she'd spent many sleepless nights cradling and nursing her newborn infant recently, thoughts and concerns flooded her mind over the progress of her 6-year old daughter's reading. 

Anyone who has been in the thick of homeschooling for one year or 10 remembers those days well. Not one of us is impervious to fears, second-guessing, unmet expectations, and the torture of comparison. What follows is a version of my response to her concerns, that she and I agreed, should be shared with you as well.

Read More

All About Reading: Level 4 Color Edition Review

All About Reading: Level 4 Color Edition Review

I was so excited when Erin told me that All About Learning Press was releasing a NEW COLOR EDITION of their All About Reading program! I have used AAR with three of my children, and it has been such a blessing to our family. This program has helped me gain confidence and skills in teaching my children to read. I’ve written before about how we use AAR in our home. Today I want to share a little more about the new color editions, and why I have changed my mind about Level 4.

Read More

All About Reading: How it Works for Our Family {a detailed review}

All About Reading: How it Works for Our Family {a detailed review}

When I first began homeschooling, the responsibility that intimidated me more than any other was teaching my own children to read. I have always been an avid reader, and I desperately wanted to instill a love of reading in my kids. I realized very quickly, however, that my love of reading did not automatically qualify me to teach someone else HOW to read. Because I had no background in teaching reading, I knew I needed to find a program that could walk ME through the process as well as my child. We tried several different programs in the beginning, but they either bored my child to tears or proceeding so quickly that she felt overwhelmed, and I felt lost without a map. 

Read More

I am Using a Living Books Science Curriculum with my Dyslexic Daughter

I am Using a Living Books Science Curriculum with my Dyslexic Daughter

I am so excited to get to share about the Beautiful Feet Books' HISTORY OF SCIENCE program! If you're like me, you never really entertained the notion of a science program from the perspective of history. When I first ran across it, I thought that it might not be very hands-on (meaning all books, no experiments) or that it wouldn't be "thorough enough" since it's not specific to one area of science--like biology, chemistry, botany. 

Oh my, how I was wrong! I received this curriculum to use with my 6th grader for my honest review. She is a very hands-on kinesthetic learner, who- despite being dyslexic- learns best through real, living stories. When she is involved in a story line, she will remember every single detail of that person's life. Living books are hands-down the best way to get lasting knowledge and true education into her heart and mind forever. You do NOT have to avoid living books for a dyslexic student! 

Read More

When Your Homeschooled Child Can't Read Yet

When Your Homeschooled Child Can't Read Yet

If you're reading this, you are probably in the midst of teaching one of your little ones to read OR you have that endeavor looming ahead of you in the near future... amiright? The singular biggest fear of every single homeschool mom I've ever spoken to is failing to teach her child to read well... and especially failing to teach them "on time".

In most of our minds, we envision that our homeschooled child would be reading well in advance of their public school counterparts (or at least at the same time). Simultaneously, in our little hearts, one reason we homeschool is to give our children the time and space to grow and develop on their own timeline. Sometimes these desires and expectations clash and can create monster homeschool mom anxiety. I know many mamas who have quit homeschooling (or never even began) because they were overwhelmed at the idea of failing in this important task. 

I want to share some actual evidence with you today that helped put me at ease when my own homeschool student just wasn't progressing like I felt she "should." 

Read More

FREE "Cheat Sheet" for Math + Writing {Elementary}

FREE "Cheat Sheet" for Math + Writing {Elementary}

I have a daughter with dyslexia. For my sweet girl, one of the most confounding aspects of her learning disability is a poor working memory and the amount of effort (and incredible repetition) needed in order to move information from "temporary storage" into her permanent, long-term memory. During the elementary years, it can take a dyslexic students YEARS of practicing parts of speech, place value, multiplication tables, writing dates and months before they TRULY master it and put it into their long-term memory.

Read More

FREE Spiral Review Worksheet + 300 Sight Word List (Dyslexia/Reading/Math)

FREE Spiral Review Worksheet + 300 Sight Word List (Dyslexia/Reading/Math)

Do you have a student who needs consistent review over the same skills in order to truly master them? How about a student who is just learning to read and you need a good source of sight words to pull from for instruction and game play? I did, too!

My daughter, who was diagnosed with "profound dyslexia" and "probable dyscalculia," needs to continuously cycle through the same information, even as we add additional skills. Why? Because with dyslexia and many other learning disabilities, if you don't use it, you lose it! I was tired of reteaching EVERY skill we had ever learned before I could get to the actual new content- and obviously, so was she! 

Read More

How I Taught My Profoundly Dyslexic Daughter to Read {on Grade Level}- FREE Worksheet Available

How I Taught My Profoundly Dyslexic Daughter to Read {on Grade Level}- FREE Worksheet Available

There's little that strikes more fear into a homeschool mom's heart than the idea of teaching their child to read. It seems that every aspect of their child's future success is hinged upon this necessary, often ominous, skill. I know some homeschool parents that send their children to school for kindergarten and first grade, just to skip the stress of it! So, for a new homeschool mom to be greeted with a child whom she is doing everything "by the book" for and nothing seems to be sticking... well, it honestly feels like their deepest fears of inadequacy are coming to fruition. 

You can feel like you must be the biggest homeschool failure in the world when you've been working diligently to teach your child phonics for over a year, and they still know less than a handful of sounds. You can be certain you've ruined your child's future when they are 7, and despite working to identify letter NAMES since they were 4, they still visibly struggle to name each letter. You can feel like pulling your hair out when you child sounds out CCCCC-AAAAAA-TTTTTT on one page, then sees it again 8 more times in the SAME book (seconds apart) and STILL has to sound it out like she's never seen the word in her life every single time...

Read More