Teaching My Baby To Read

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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Why I’m impressed with Reading Eggs

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My broken wrist has really cramped our ordinary Afterschooling schedule. One bright spot has been Reading Eggs. I purchased a subscription through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and have been extremely impressed.

Here’s why the former Kindergarten teacher in me loves Reading Eggs:

  • It’s systematic and sequential
  • It’s balanced, (phonics and sight words)
  • It’s diagnostic, (built in assessments keep kids on track)
  • It’s FUN!

The way Reading Eggs works is there are 12 maps with ten lessons each. Every lesson has 11 activities.  My daughter took the placement quiz and began on map 3. At the end of map 3 she passed a simple quiz to move on to map 4.

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Drawbacks:

    • Clicking with a mouse can be hard for little hands. We don’t have an iPad, but we do have a touch screen computer. That really helps. However, some of the activities work better with the screen and some work better with the mouse. I need to be on standby in case my preschooler becomes frustrated.

Jenna has been playing Reading Eggs for three weeks now and I’m already seeing a big difference. Level 3 Bob Books are a lot easier for her now, and she has more confidence when sounding out words.

For more information about Reading Eggs, please click here.

To Train up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl

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Here is my “I Brake for Moms” column from yesterday’s Herald:

No child deserves parenting by the rod.

Luckily, I researched and wrote this article about Michael and Debi Pearl’s book “To Train up a Child” before I broke my wrist. One handed typing really slows me down. 😦

What I didn’t address in my column due to word count limitations, was homeschooling. I have carefully analyzed the copyright and decided not to share direct quotes. But page 101 is a crazed, bizarre manifesto, completely out of touch with reality.

There is a full-paragraph rant claiming that Planned Parenthood, the police, drug dealers, social workers and pharmaceutical companies are in league with the National Education Association to reap money by turning classroom education  into pits of despair.

The Pearls advise you to never put your children in private Christian or public school.They believe that leaving kids home to be corporally chastised is so much better.

To be clear, I support the right to homeschool your children. I understand that for many situations homeschooling is the best academic choice for children.

But I also believe that we as a society need to do something to protect homeschooled children who are in dangerous environments.

Now, I’m left with a conundrum. The intellectual in me would never consider burning a book. But I’m unclear about what to do with my copy of “To Train up a Child”. I truly believe that in the wrong hands, this book is dangerous.

So if you are a blogger who would like to review this book and help spread the word about the Pearls, I’ll send you my copy for free. It will be a relief to get it out of the house!

 

Tantrum help for everyone

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More ideas for tantrum prevention here, here, and here. Good luck!

Fishy Miracles

Princess Rip-Jaws

Princess Rip-Jaws

The unexplained true story of Princess Rip-Jaws:

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20140413/BLOG5205/140419765/Pet-fish-full-of-surprises-and-a-few-confusing-life-lessons

Meanwhile, for those of you keeping track, this is what I look like these days:

I've got a Cabbage Patch hand!

I’ve got a Cabbage Patch hand!

My surgery went well and in two days I get a cast.

The Outcasts, by Jill Williamson

Outcasts, book two of The Safe Lands series by Jill Williamson, creeps me out for all the wrong reasons. The writing is strong and the character development excellent, but there’s a thread of borderline-abusive paternalism running through the book that really bothers me.

The basic premise of Outcasts is that in a dystopian future, humans either rock out in the Safelands addicted to drugs and slowly dying of disease, or else are part of a counter-culture movement living off the grid in sewers and underground bunkers.

The heroes of the story all chose to resist and are organized in a close-knit, male dominated hierarchy. Older brothers are in charge. (Male) elders have a say in whom a young girl marries. When an orphanage gets raided, the mothers stay at home and pray while the men go collect children they don’t even recognize. When young women do step out on their own, they risk getting kidnapped or raped.

The heroes are also given a religious veneer. Sine they read the Bible, it makes it appear that the author is totally okay with a legalistic, umbrella of authority model like Bill Gothard promoted before he stepped down from IBLT after 34 women came forward with sexual harassment claims.

There are lots of types of Christians in the world and not all of us believe the Bible sanctions male relatives to be our boss!

However, I was encouraged on  Jill Williamson’s website to see how important it is to her to write high quality material for teen readers. Since this is book 2 of a 3 part series, I’m holding out hope that there will be a breakthrough moment in the concluding book where the young women step out from the umbrella and stop letting older brothers control their lives. Maybe the author has a master plan that will blow my mind.

P.S. I received a free copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for my honest opinions and review.

I review for BookSneeze®