Headed to the Zoo anytime soon? (FREEBIE!)

Headed to the Zoo anytime soon? (FREEBIE!)

We are annual zoo members and have been for years. Our kids have always treasured days at the zoo, and when the weather isn’t sweltering, I always have too. I feel like it’s an excellent opportunity to get out of the house and do a little roamschooling.

I wanted to create a tool for us (and for you!) that would serve our whole family. I have babies from 2 up to high school freshman, so it’s not often we do anything or learn anythign that EVERYONE can enjoy and benefit from. However, the zoo is definitely an excpetion to that. Furthermore, with this zoo explorers pack, that’s even more true than ever.

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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?

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Redeeming Suffering Through Action

Redeeming Suffering Through Action

Things I find unacceptable about the last 15 months of my life:

  • My mom was killed instantly in a car accident- the day before my 36th birthday.

  • Thirty days later, my best friend moved 15 hours away.

  • The following several months held sickness, anxiety, and yet another autoimmune diagnosis for myself.

I lost my mom.

I felt like I lost my best friend.

I rapidly began to lose my health.

You want to talk about some raw, lonely, abandoned feelings?

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Be Interruptable: The Tension Between Mary and Martha

Be Interruptable: The Tension Between Mary and Martha

The mist from the prior evening's rain was frozen solid in the shade at the Toledo Art Museum in December. As my best friend and I skated every-so-gracefully out of the shadows of the parking garage into the sunshine, we'd just wound up an intriguing chat about those famous sisters- Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Scripture + My Best Friend + Art. This may have been my best day ever.  

As a self-proclaimed Martha, I've revisited this section of scripture again and again. One question has always haunted me, and I chatted about it that day with my self-proclaimed "Mary" friend: Wasn't there stuff that needed to get done? I know Martha was fussing at Mary which obviously isn't very Christ-like (and Christ called her on it), but wasn't Martha (and all her busyness) kind of necessary? Those disciples wanted to eat... right?  (Assuming Jesus wasn’t going to pull a water-to-wine + fishes-loves miracle last minute.)

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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.

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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.

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The Kind of Mom I Want to Be (18 Gifts for My Children)

The Kind of Mom I Want to Be (18 Gifts for My Children)

Have you ever spent much time considering the legacy that you're leaving your children (and their children and their children)? If you have younger children, you probably haven't. It wasn't something that was "front of mind"  for me until I lost my own Mom very suddenly. In the year that has followed, I've spent much time reflecting upon who my mom was, what she taught me, and most powerfully: the legacy that she left us of hard work, perseverance, humility, humor, and a sacred regard for life. 

As I've reflected upon every good gift that my Mom gave my sister and I, it has cemented the value of the "now" in my mind.

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