Why Should You Read Aloud to Your Children?

I’m a huge proponent of reading aloud. I read an article recently that expertly explained the benefits of reading to your children, far beyond the point they can read to themselves. Indeed, even through high school.

“In conversation, we tend to use verbal shorthand, not full sentences. But the language in books is very rich, and in books there are complete sentences. In books, newspapers, and magazines, the language is more complicated, more sophisticated. A child who hears more sophisticated words has a giant advantage over a child who hasn’t heard those words.”

When children are young, they are exposed to language exceeding their own reading level by being read to. This introduction to complex expression of thought equips them in a way reading to themselves cannot. Continue reading

Finding North Carolina

The hilarity of homeschooling never ceases to tickle my funny bone and drive me to a deeper walk with the Lord. When we memorized our states and capitals earlier this year, I made some copywork and maps for the kids to practice on. My son’s assignment this particular morning was to color in the 5 states we were working on, and trace/write each state and capital on the lines below his unlabeled map.

He was doing fine until he arrived at North Carolina. He simply could not remember where it was. So, I told him to look for the state on our large (labeled) wall map and showed him the general area to focus his search.

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Five Looks On A Book

Because of our constant and unquenchable thirst for the written word, I’m generally on the lookout for new and exciting ways to structure “book reports”. I want my children to be comfortable retelling a story in their own words in many different formats. A delightful recent find is called “Five Looks On A Book” from Teaching Resources. The idea was first thought up by a third grader from California, and then made into a printable by Laura. The worksheet requires students to come up with adjectives about their book and details to support those describing words – I think it’s quite genius. Continue reading

Why I Just Quit My Job as a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Because some days, don’t we all want to? Due to the nature of the internet, I feel it is necessary to preface this post with the following disclaimer. I love my kids. Most days, I feel blessed beyond measure to have the privilege of raising such remarkable little people. However…there are days. Unbelievably challenging, never-ending afternoons of horror. Days that stretch me to the very breaking point. Today was such a loathsome 24-hours. I’d had enough. Beyond frustration. I’d taken a breather, and a short walk. Neither helped. There was nothing left to do…so I quit. My husband received the following resignation letter this afternoon.

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Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

While my husband was training for his new job in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, the kids and I took a jaunt to the Oregon Coast and spent 5 glorious days flying kites, observing nature, building sand castles, exploring miles of pristine beaches, discovering tide pool creatures and generally having a jolly good time.

At the Oregon Coast

The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area was one of the highlights of our trip, and I thought I’d share a little for anyone in search of a ruggedly beautiful place to vacation this summer.

Yaquina Head & Lighthouse from Cape Foulweather

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Recent Reads

Welcome to this month’s edition of Recent Reads!

Aloud Adventure

The Sign of the BeaverAlthough he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.
Note from me: My kids loved this book. Great adventure, a little danger and themes of understanding people different from ourselves.

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Wouldn’t You Agree?

I just completed a phone survey about kids and television. My blood is boiling. Forgive me for this rant, I have to unload somewhere. Prepare yourself.

We made the decision to get rid of television in our home 6 years ago. I find television news a passive approach to information and despise being spoon fed opinions on current events. I prefer to get my facts from the source rather than filtered down through various editor’s desks, being wrapped in makeup and lighting, and finally disseminated in the most politically correct way possible. Television news is a business. This kind of “news” is meant to garner ratings. Period. I find it pandering and insulting to my intelligence. How’s that for breaking news? Continue reading