Assessing our School Year and Looking Ahead plus Hearts for Home Blog Hop

School Books

We are nearing the end of another school year. I’m looking back over what we’ve accomplished, what we should have accomplished, what worked, what didn’t work. I’m looking ahead to the next school year, what we should study, what we want to study. Luke will be graduating from the nearby community college and on to the the big university. Esther is leaving elementary studies behind and transitioning to high school work. The next three won’t be far behind her! Ah, yes, you’ve heard it before – “they grow up so quickly” – and it’s true. One thing I’ve learned over the years is I can’t slow them down. And really, I don’t want to. It’s exciting to watch my children grow and blossom. I wouldn’t really want to keep them little forever. As they grow, I grow, we all grow together!

With all these things on my mind these days, I was thrilled to see some home education posts link up to our Hearts for Home Blog Hop last week. The post with the most clicks was all about science technology and the posts I’m featuring today have an educational theme as well. I hope these posts encourage you as they did me!

Most viewed post:

Technnology Tuesday – DIY Windmills @ Monsters Ed

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My featured posts this week are:

 Purposeful Homeschooling @ Embracing Destiny

Purposeful #Homeschooling: 3 Ways to Keep Your Focus

 

 The Ultimate Guide for New Homeschoolers @ Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Ultimate Guide For New Homeschoolers thumb1 The Ultimate Guide for New Homeschoolers

 

How to Start a Classical Homeschool @ Classically Homeschooling

How to start a classical education at home

 

The Ultimate Guide to Hands on Learning/Middle School @ Education Possible

The Ultimate Guide to Hands-on Learning Activities for Middle School

 

And now for this week’s blog hop! Enter your family friendly post on any topic that encourages us to have a heart for our home. If you’ve been featured you can grab our button below if you like, and display it so others will know where to come join in the fun. Not a blogger? Come join in by visiting some of the amazing things others are sharing this week. I know you’ll be encouraged. Please leave a sweet comment when you do visit – we all love getting to know our visitors.

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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Grab the button below and display on your own blog if you’d like to spread the news and share the love, letting others know where to come for encouragement and inspiration in cultivating Hearts for Home.
Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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Teaching Phonics with Alpha-Phonics

“How will I ever teach my child to read?” “Teaching phonics? I wouldn’t know where to start!”  I hear this question often from young moms. It was my biggest fear when we began homeschooling our oldest son. I not only helped him learn how to read, but have taught all 8 of our children using the simple and straight forward method I found in Alpha-Phonics. {Read all the way through for a chance to win a copy of your very own}Teaching Phonics Alpha-Phonics  Apron Strings & other things

If you are looking for a phonics program that will give your child a good foundation for becoming a strong reader, is easy to understand and use, and doesn’t break the budget, Alpha-Phonics is just the thing for you. Once your child knows their letter sounds, she will begin blending those sounds together a few at a time. Beginning with the short ‘a’ sound and a few consonant sounds, your child will be reading real life words like ‘am’ and ‘an’  and then ‘Sam’ ‘and’ ‘man’. Quickly she sees that putting the little sounds together is how we make words, sentences, books.

AlphaPhonics set  Apron Strings & other things

I love that there are no grade levels or preconceived ideas about age or timetables. You and your child move as slowly or quickly as necessary in order to master the lessons. Then you move on, adding new letter sounds and phonics patterns (the helpful teacher’s guide gives tips and ideas).  One of my children picked up Alpha-Phonics at age 4 and immediately sounded out lesson after lesson on their own without hardly any instruction from me. Another of my children had to repeat the early lessons over and over and over before mastering and moving on to the next lessons. Most of my children were somewhere in between, most working through in about the equivalent of one school year.

Alpha Phonics 2  Apron Strings & other things

Recently I was given the opportunity to try the newest edition of Alpha-Phonics. I was so pleased to find the program was the very same, simple to use, no nonsense program I have been using for the past 23 years. The creator and publisher took to heart that old saying “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” My tattered and taped 23-year old edition matched page for page the brand new edition. My 7 year old was so excited to see them side-by-side, and when she realized that even her biggest brother had learned to read using those very same words, my reluctant reader was ready to jump in with a new enthusiasm.

She even agreed to make a video showing how easy the lessons are to use:

While the pages of the Alpha-Phonics have remained the same, they’ve improved the binding. The new spiral design allows the book to lay flat, which is an improvement I am very happy with. I also like the little Readers and accompanying workbook they have added to reinforce the lessons. Our oldest learned the letter sounds and how to put them together into words rather easily, but was overwhelmed with the idea of reading from a ‘real’ book. These tools would have helped him with this transition. They have also made available the entire program on a cd-rom. This has given us even more options and provided variety for an easily distracted child.

Alpha Phonics old and new  Apron Strings & other things

Alpha-Phonics can be a stand-alone phonics/reading program in any homeschool or a supplemental phonics program to help struggling readers in any school setting. 23 years, 8 children and 1 phonics book. That might be some kind of record! Who knows, while we finish up schooling our children using our newest Alpha-Phonics resources, maybe you’ll see our old worn out friend in the Smithsonian along with Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the Wright Brothers’ airplane! Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that Alpha-Phonics is effective, easy, and affordable. You can see sample lessons at AlphaPhonics.com as well as ordering information.

And now for the giveaway! The Paradigm Company, publishers of Alpha-Phonics have generously agreed to give one of my readers the Alpha-Phonics program and all you have to do to enter is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below. One winner will be chosen and announced on April 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I was provided with the Alpha-Phonics book, readers and workbook to use and review. The opinions and experience in this post are entirely my own. You can read my full disclosure and policy for giveaways here.

Giving Up on Perfect and Hearts at Home Blog Hop

I’m giving up on perfect. I’ve been buying into the lie that if I do/say/live/buy just the right things that my life and my family will be perfect. I know it’s a lie, but I so easily slip back into it. I’ve been studying through No More Perfect Moms by Jill Savage. Does it seem others have their act together while you are floundering? I can relate. It’s so easy to compare my view of someone’s outside with my view of my inside. A glimpse into my real life will show you just how far from perfect my life really is. I’m working on being okay with that.

Giving Up On Perfect - Apron Strings & Other Things

I’ve spent a lot of years raising a lot of children and I know first hand to live in a household full of imperfect people. The thing is, those imperfect people are being raised by an imperfect mom. Today I am choosing to embrace the imperfection and praise God for His marvelous grace and celebrate the good things we can enjoy, the silly things we can laugh at, the mistakes we can learn from.

And now for this week’s blog hop! Enter your family friendly post on any topic that encourages us to have a heart for our home. If you’ve been featured you can grab our button below if you like, and display it so others will know where to come join in the fun. Not a blogger? Come join in by visiting some of the amazing things others are sharing this week. I know you’ll be encouraged. Please leave a sweet comment when you do visit – we all love getting to know our visitors.

Last week’s most clicked on post was from Meghan at First Comes Love where she share’s her daughter’s Modest Monday and reminds us that  “There’s a living, breathing, caring soul inside those clothes…”

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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