Homeschooling On A Budget: Why We Buy Books Used & A Book Haul

New Children’s Books Are So Expensive!

Purchasing children’s books can really break the bank if you are trying to create a large library for your children using only new books. One thing I learned quickly is that children’s books rarely retain their value.

So that hardcover picture book you bought for $25, well there is no way you will even get 1/4 of that back when your family is done with it. Plus when I spend a lot of money on a book, I’m less likely to leave it out for my kids to explore on their own. What if they spill on it? Turn the pages a little rough? Heaven forbid it gets wreaked in any form.

I’m not saying you should let your child wreak books. However children need time to learn how to treat a book and accidents happen.

Why We Buy Most of Our Kids Books Used

The main reason I try to find most of our home library used is quite because of the cost. For example I found 43 of the Magic Tree House books on Kijiji for $15 last year. Yes I typed that right, $15 CDN. I looked on Amazon and Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-28 alone cost $93 US.

Even if we hit up the local Value Village and pay $1.79 per chapter book, I’m still ahead of the $5.99-$12.99 price tag the book had when it was first purchased. Especially when we take advantage of the buy 4 books get 1 free deal.

The second reason I buy used is for variety. Now this is a double edge swords because variety is also one of my exceptions to buying used. But I’ll talk about that later. Some of my favourite books to read with Zakari are sometimes out of print.

Why Not Just Use The Library?

Of course we still use the public library! Actually this is a new thing for us. I’m going to be honest. I’m not very good at using the public library. I often have big plans, put a bunch of books on hold and then forget to pick them up. If you forget to pick them up there is a $1.20 per book charge. In the pass I have also been really bad at remembering to renew books. But now our public library has an app, which makes all of this so much easier for me!

However there are perks of having a solid home library. For us, we don’t always know what we want to read. Then just before bed my son will pick a new book to start. That kind of spontaneity just can’t happen if we have to go to the library and pick it up.

Studies that books in a home help a child become more successful. You can read about this more in a post I wrote in 2017: 11 Ways to Build Your Child’s Home Library Without Breaking the Bank // STUDY SHOWS: MORE BOOKS IN THE HOME MAKES KIDS SMARTER!!

You Can Find Great Books at Once Upon A Child

When people hear the name of the consignment store Once Upon A Child, the first thing they usually think about is gently used children’s clothes. Of course, that is the place to go for that, especially on sale days. However the first thing that comes to my mind is gently used children’s BOOKS!

Often our two local Once Upon A Child locations offer a deal on their books, if you buy 10 books, you get the bunch for 50% off! Usually books are ticketed at $1.50-$2.50 each, meaning I’m getting them for .75 cents-$1.25!

Often this store has newer books. Since they are actually playing for the items that come in and they don’t accept really old books, you can often find books that have recently been in Scholastic Flyers.

When Do I Buy New Books?

Of course there are times when I might need to buy a book new. Sometimes I might only be missing a few books in larger series. For example we were collecting the A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy. I never was able the last 3 books I needed used, so we ordered them on Amazon.

Sometimes we might find the one or two books of a larger series by fluke, and get into them. But then find that the rest of the books are too new to realistically find used. So I will often order these books new, if we really love the series.

Another reason I will buy new is if its a book we need for school. Sure I could find it used at the thrift store eventually, but when we need it for school, time is an important thing to consider. Of course I will check Amazon Marketplace, but sometimes the new and used copies are close in price because of shipping cost.

Like I mentioned before, while I buy used for more variety. I also buy new for a different type of variety. Newer books can take years to start showing up in thrift stories. Sometimes by the time that happens, my child might have already grown out of that series.

Ideas When Buying That Book Used Is Not An Option

Book Outlet is an awesome site I always check first before I buy new. The books are new books that may have been over ordered by a store.(Some have had Walmart price tags on them) Some maybe slightly damaged at a HUGE discount(Damaged books are always labeled on the website as so). I have never received a majorly damaged book. Its usually just a little crease in the cover, or nothing that my naked eye can even see. This is the site I have gotten most of our Who Was/Is series.

I keep a list of books we want or need when when family and friends as for birthday & Christmas Gift Ideas. My kids have aunts that would prefer to buy them a bunch of books over a few trendy toys.

Be sure to always check out places like Walmart & Superstore. Sometimes you can get 40% off the cover price of new releases. We have also gotten Dragon Masters books at Walmart for 2 for $10 CDN, which is a few dollars cheaper them and

Where Do I Buy Books Used?

When it comes to buying used books, I usually hit up the:

  • Thrift Store
  • Consignment stores
  • Facebook Buy & Sell Groups
  • Kijiji
  • Garage Sales
  • eBay: On eBay I usually look for lot deals. I also look for the make an offer option to try and save a few extra dollars.

Once Upon A Child Haul

As promised! These are the awesome books I was able to pick up at Once Upon A Child when we stopped in to kill a bit of time. Everything in the video is listed below!

  1. Our Hero (Babymouse 2)(Wesley)
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down(Wesley)
  3. DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal
  4. Pokémon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl/Platinum, Vol. 5 (Pokemon)
  5. The Mystery of the Secret Society (Greetings from Somewhere)
  6. The Stolen Trophy (Wishbone Mysteries 5)
  7. The Best Halloween Ever
  8. Saddle Up, Happy! (Big Apple Barn)
  9. Big Apple Barn 5: Happy’s Holiday
  10. Hold Your Horses! (Big Apple Barn)
  11. Cat in the Crypt (Animal Ark Hauntings 2)
  12. Colt in the Cave (Animal Ark Hauntings, 4)
  13. There Goes the Neighborhood (Meet the Kreeps, No. 1)
  14. Vampires Do Hunt Marshmallow Bunnies (Bailey School Kids Jr. Chapter Book,
  15. Merry Christmas, Geronimo! (Geronimo Stilton, No. 12)
Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}

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Raising Bookworms: What We Read in March 2019

I can’t believe another month has past by us. Every month I feel like I have just written our Raising Bookworms post, when really it was several weeks earlier.

This month Zakari and I read 15 chapter books. 4 books ahead of our 11 chapter book a month goal! I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t read as many books as we read in February. I mean March has 3 more days right? However I had to remind myself, I was gone the first weekend in March to the USA with my mom. Then mid month our 10 year old Devon Rex cat Gizmo’s health rapidly declined and we had to put her down. So our schedule got mixed up again.

Picture Book Update!

Like I mentioned last month, we have been incorporating more picture books into our Read Aloud time. I’m proud to say we have made it one month and not run up any library fines. I really feel this is because our library now has an app that I can use on my phone. It is so much more convenient to keep track of which holds are ready for pick up, when things are due, and its super easy to renew books if I need to.

I’m happy to say we finished up 42 picture books. Sadly I cannot include them in my video. Most of them are from the library, and we are only allow to have out so many at once. So as soon as we are done with them, I send them back and request a whole new pile of books. But if you want to see which picture books we read, scroll down to the bottom of this post and I have them listed.

So now here is what we read in March!

Chapter Books We Read in March 2019

Who Was Louis Braille? We picked this one out of are growing Who Was collection to continue our study on Louis Braille from last month with Bookshark

A Grain of Rice(Bookshark Level K Book): An amazing rags to riches story.

On the Dog (Andrew Lost 1): This is a series my friend at _little_mama_purple, recommended to us.

Ralph S. Mouse(Homeschool Complete Grade 1 Book) Beverly Cleary Books apparently are another series I was deprived from as a child, right up there with The Boxcar Children. The two books I have read with Zakari from this author(Ralph S. Mouse and Beezus and Ramona )have both been super fun, well written and just plan enjoyable.

Who Was Christopher Columbus?

Twenty and Ten(Bookshark Level K Book) I cannot say enough good things about this book! This is actually the second time Zakari and I have read it. We read it while doing Build Your Library Level 0, last year. However it is so engaging and felt like you were right in the story with the 30 children, it was a book that must be reread.

Laura’s Pa (Little House Chapter Book)(Replacement book for Bookshark Level K) Bookshark recommended that we read “Little House in the Big Woods”. However this was another book we had read in Build You Library Level 0. Since it was quite a long book, and there are so many other Little House books to get to, we decided to start working through the Little House Chapter Books.

Who Was Steve Jobs?

Cody (Puppy Place 13)Zakari and I have always loved Ellen Miles’ books. I have said it before that I am not a dog lover, but I still absolutely love these books.

Cody was the first Puppy Place book we read after we had to put our beloved Gizmo sleep. When we got to the end where Ellen writes a letter to the readers, my eyes filled with tears. Where she usually writes about how her dog Django did something that reminds her of the puppy in the story, this time she shared that Django had died.

The timing of this letter could not have been planned better. It opened up a dialog that I could share with Zakari that others have also lost their pets.

Mary On Horseback: Three Mountain Stories (Bookshark Level K Book) Three stories all about Mary Carson Breckinridge, and the creation of her Frontier Nursing Service. Such an amazing story. I wanted to expand on this and learn more about Mary Breckinridge, but sadly our local library does not have any books at all on her. However, I’m sure if I lived in the USA, there would be a lot more material available.

Kitty Corner 2: Otis

The Adventures of Laura & Jack (Little House Chapter Books: Laura)(replacement book for Bookshark Level K)

Cavemen Do Drive School Buses (The Bailey School Kids Jr. Chapter Book 8)

The Light at Tern Rock (Puffin Newbery Library)(Bookshark Level K book) This was a great story that teaches character and handling being mislead. It is definitely written with a more classical tone.

Picture Books We Read in March 2019

  1. Pete the Cat: Go, Pete, Go!Sugar Snow (My First Little House) 
  2. Going To Town (My First Little House Picture Books)
  3. A Little Prairie House (Little House Picture Book)
  4. Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana (My First I Can Read)
  5. The Berenstain Bears and the Mama’s Day Surprise
  6. The Berenstain Bears and the Papa’s Day Surprise
  7. The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five
  8. County Fair (Little House Picture Book)
  9. Saint Patrick
  10. Laura Ingalls Wilder (Children’s Authors)
  11. Winter Days in the Big Woods (My First Little House Books)
  12. Christmas in the Big Woods (Little House Picture Book)
  13. Johnny Appleseed
  14. The Reasons for Seasons
  15. Johnny Appleseed by Rosemary Benét
  16. Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
  17. Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman
  18. Pete the Cat: Go, Pete, Go!
  19. A Picture Book of Louis Braille (Picture Book Biography)
  20. The Birds, the Bees, and the Berenstain Bears
  21. Johnny Appleseed A Tall Tale
  22. The Leprechaun’s Gold
  23. St. Patrick’s Day
  24. Daniel O’Rourke: An Irish Tale (Picture Puffins)
  25. Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story
  26. Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day! (Lift-the-Flap, Puffin)
  27. The Story of the Leprechaun
  28. The Leprechaun Under the Bed
  29. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
  30. The Incredible Life of Balto
  31. Annie and Snowball and the Wintry Freeze
  32. First Facts: Seasons (Dk First Facts)
  33. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons
  34. Four Seasons of Fun: Egg Hunts! Fireworks! Pumpkins! Reindeer!
  35. A Farmer Boy Birthday (Little House Picture Book)
  36. My Little House 123
  37. Prairie Day (Little House Picture Book)
  38. Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger
  39. Pond Seasons
  40. Ducks in a Row 
  41. The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Grownups
  42. Going West (Little House Picture Book)

What did you and your kiddos read last month? I’m always looking for book suggestions!

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Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}

Doman Parent in Hiding

Originally Published in 2010. But I felt it needed a major update.

You might be a Doman parent…

Do you ever find yourself hiding what your doing with your child from family or friends? Making sure all the word cards and flashcards of the digestive system are put away before company comes over. The pediatrician laughs at you when you tell him your two year old know his letters and sounds of the letters, and knows how to read hundreds of words.

What is a Doman Parent Anyhow?

A Doman Parents or Professional Mother is a parent who follows the teaching of Glenn Doman. His amazing discoveries in child development have helped many special needs children:

  • learn to run when their parents were told they never would even stand on their own two feet.
  • learn to read and do math when other specialist told their parents they were “mentally retarded” and were “unteachable”.
  • Lose their labels such as Autism, ADHD and Developmental Delay
  • most importantly, grow to their full potential

Glenn Doman also created programs for well children. Teaching them how to read, do math, play violin, and speak second and third languages.

So Why is This Not Main Stream?

After I discovered the Doman Method of teaching my son, I made a grave mistake. I assumed everyone would want to do the same thing with their children too!

I soon realized this was not the case. It was actually the complete opposite reaction. People thought it was a terrible idea!

They told me I was Hothousing my son.

I was told he would be bored in school if I taught him to read early.

The best was during some testing I was told my youngest son was “Just Hyperlexic”. The way he said it was like it was a problem. Way to take a strength my son has and turn it into a bad thing!

I’ll never forget when I told my oldest son Wesley’s speech therapist he loved letters and words, and was learning to read. She told me I should be discouraging him from focusing on the words and to get his attention on the pictures. Thankfully Zakari’s Preschool team used his love of letters and words as a tool to help him develop in other areas. But from what I have seen and heard this is rare.

Why Many Doman Parents Go Into Hiding

I was having coffee with a fellow Doman parent. After realizing that other parents did not support what we were doing with our children, we started jokingly calling ourselves the crazies. We didn’t actually think we were crazy, but we knew that was what the rest of the world thought.

While I tend to still be on the more outspoken side when it came to using the Doman Method, my friend went into “hiding”. She knew what she was doing was right for her son, but other families made her feel self-conscious and misguided. She was pushed into the “Doman Parent Closet” so to speak. Which is a crying shame, because she has raised an AMAZING, bright and well adjusted young man. The blood, sweat and tears she poured into him from a young age has paid off a thousand folds. She has so much to share with other parents, but I know to this day she still shies away from sharing her earlier methods.

Its just too bad we are the minority. I wish this style of parenting could be more main stream. Every baby, toddler and child deserves the chance to be exposed to all this wonderful knowledge. Babies don’t want to play with rattles. They want to absorb every bit of information they can get their hands on.

What about children from families with two working parents? Single Parents?

Even as a working or single parent, it is possible. You just have to make sure you are being honest and factual. This method is not drilling math facts in your child head. It is not sitting at a desk working for hours on end. It takes minutes a day of your child’s time. In the end its a great way to spend your time with your children. Nothing makes a child feel more confident with themselves then a parent that believes they are worth it.

All you need are a few minutes during meal time, before bed, waiting to see a doctor, etc. There are so many minutes in a day being wasted. If parents spent a few of those minutes teaching their child, both parent and child would benefit.

Benefits of Teaching Your Children Before They Are Old Enough To Go To School

  • Strengthen the bond between parent and child
  • Build your child’s self confidence
  • School proof your child
  • Establish a love of learning

I can only image where my sons would be right now if I hadn’t been sitting alone at work one day while everyone was away at conference. while I was there “manning the phones.”

Well you can image one can only stare at a phone and wait for it to ring for so long. So I was looking how to educate small children and I fell upon Glenn Doman’s site. You can read more about this in my post How Glenn Doman Changed How I Parent.

Dealing With Rejection

While I in Philadelphia learning about the Doman Method, one lecture lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders.

Glenn Doman talked about how he would waste so much time trying to convince skeptics that this method worked. He soon realized that those who wanted to understand you will. The others would never understand. It was best for him to focus his time and energy on the people who wanted it, instead of trying to force the non believers into agreeing with him.

So he decided he would tell people once. If they didn’t agree, he saved his breath and didn’t try to convince them. This saved his valuable and limited time for those who truly wanted the information. Those were the people he could help.

So I tell them once…

I now realize people are different places in their lives. Everyone is programmed differently. Some parents are fighters, others are comfortable with the way things are. Sadly some parents are just not motivated enough to put the energy and time into research and created a program for their child. They are not willing to experience a tiny bit of discomfort for a large pay out. For example tweaking a child’s diet, or setting boundaries with a child.

YOU CANNOT SAVE THOSE PEOPLE… They are generally not bad people. Lead by example. One day they may come to realize your not so crazy.

My Most Recent Story of Rejections

A good friend of mine, who I have shared what we are doing with Zakari called me one day. She wanted me to share with her friend about what we were doing.

Over the years I have been more then willing to share our experiences with people. But as we have become more and more involved with the Doman Method, homeschooling, biomedical testing, supplements, etc, my time has become more limited.

I had a bad feeling this was not going to go the way my friend hoped. But reluctantly I decided to have a Facebook Messager Conversation with this woman. I told my friend that it was my work night and I had a lot to focus on but she could set us up the next day.

The next morning my friend opened up a group message and her friend asked me what we did with Zakari. I just dumped it all out as I was not interested in beating around the bush. I gave a summary of diet, supplements, biomedical testing, a tiny bit about programs we run though.

Of course what I expected happened. She thanked me for my time, but didn’t feel what I had said was “for them”.

How I Handled This Differently Then I Did in the Past

Instead of trying to talk her into it, or getting defensive and defending what we were doing, I wished her luck and left the group. I didn’t take it personally. In the past I would have.

My friend called me right away shocked. She apologized profusely. I was in no way upset at my friend. She has a kind heart and wanted to help. I told her that sadly when it comes to the journey of helping a child with disabilities, people are not willing to think outside of the box.

My blood was boiling that this woman did not want to go to all ends of the earth to help her child, but I had to let it go. Not my monkey, not my circus.

Why People Rejects the Doman Method of Teaching Children to Read

There are many reasons why parents don’t believe in teaching their young child to read, such as they:

  • don’t want to put in the effort
  • do not want to fail
  • don’t believe its possible
  • believe its detrimental
  • don’t understand its not hothousing, and that our children still have lots of free time

In the end it is not my job to tell other parents what to do with their children. We each have to sort that out for ourselves. I just share our journey here on my blog. People can take it or leave it. My goal is that if I can help one family by sharing our family’s story, it is time well spent!

Who I Love To Share Our Story With

My favorite people to talk to are the ones who are out seeking the help themselves. The parent’s who are HUNGRY for a solution. They are self motivated parent that wants answers. They are open minded and willing to learn. Of course I don’t expect every parent I cross to do exactly what I do. All of your journey’s are going to be unique. I learn so much for other mom’s that don’t use the Doman Method, or make different lifestyle changes. I think we all have something to offer each other.

How do you handle the skeptics? Do you hide what you do with your kids to just avoid the conversation?

Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}

Raising Bookworms: What We Read in February 2019

18 chapter books in 28 days. I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised with how many books Zakari and I devoured this month. Because February is a short month I did not have high expectations.

What this month looked like:

This month we veered away from many of our go to series and focused on the theme of Valentine’s Day. We tried many new series, and found a few keepers. We also tried a few series that we were not so crazy about. But that is OK! I’d rather try a series and dislike it, then not try and series and miss out on some amazing books. Plus none were that terrible enough for us to stop reading them.

Shaking things up with picture books…

I decided this month to start adding in more picture books to our reading time. I have been so focused on reading all the chapter books physically possible, I feel like we are missing out on some great picture books.

I’ve always felt we shouldn’t rush pass the shorter chapter books, and we have been focusing on reading many of them. Eventually they will become too babyish for Zakari, so I don’t want to push him into books like Harry Potter just yet. We want to enjoy books like Dragon Masters, Magic Treehouse, The Puppy Place, etc.

But then I realize the same argument can apply to picture books too! So while I don’t want to start buying to many more picture books, we have started taking them out from the library. Plus we have a pretty solid collection of picture books we still need to read in our personal library.

I’m trilled to say we read 37 picture books together.

Trying to be a good library patron… Is it possible??

Last month I went to the library and cleared up the fines on my card. Just under $40… Oh guys, I’m a terrible library patron. In the past I get all gung ho, and put TONS of books on hold. Then I forget to pick them up. Then I’m charged $1.25 per books. Or I bring a bag of books in the car to return, and forget about them. Yep then they are past due and I’m charged again.

It gets worse…

I have even tainted my boys library cards. Yes they both have outstanding fines. I’m that terrible mom. But when I went to pay off their fines, I found out about a program that they offer that allows the kids to read of their fines. *cough* Or their mother’s fined on their card.*cough*.

So while they are doing time for their mother’s sake, how can kids reading be a bad thing? Right? For every 15 mins they read in the library they get $2 off their fines. So now we are heading the the library a few times a week to read! Good for their brains and also good for mom’s pocket book!

Check Out What We Read in February!

Without further ado, below you can watch which chapter books Zakari and I read. If you scroll further down you can see the full list of the books mentioned in the video, plus a list of the picture books we read too!

Chapter Books

1)Sea Monster! (The Kingdom of Wrenly Book 3) As we work our way though the series, Zakari is loving the characters. The stories are short and simple. If your looking for a more complex story line these books are not for you. But for younger kids starting off listening to chapter books, or for new independent readers, these books are awesome.

2)What Is the Super Bowl?Who would have thought this book would have been such a big hit for Zakari. I am not a huge football person, so I found it about dull going through all the games of Super Bowl past, but my son was so interested.

3)February Friend (Calendar Mysteries #2) Like I have said time and time again, we are really enjoying both Ron Roy’s series, “A to Z Mysteries” & “Calendar Mysteries”.

4)Super-Secret Valentine (Ready, Freddy! #10) This series was recommended to us by a fellow homeschool mom. Honestly though I didn’t think I was going to care for it. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised! Freddy was a really likable character and I’m excited for us to read more from this series.

5) The Case of the Secret Valentine (Jigsaw Jones Mystery #3) This was a new series this month for us. While we didn’t love it the same way we love Ron Roy Mystery series, we still enjoyed it. I have several of these books from the series so I’m sure we will be reading more of them. From what I can see they do not need to be read in order.

6)Cam Jansen and the Valentine Baby Mystery (Cam Jansen Mysteries #25) Cam Jansen was another series we had been collecting, but had not read yet. Zakari and I both really enjoyed this book. Cam is a very likable character and we both are looking forward to reading more in the series. This series does not need to be read in order.

7)Valentine’s Day from the Black Lagoon (Black Lagoon Adventures #8) Now before you run out and buy this book, be warned in my opinion its not the best. I found it painful to read aloud. However, my son seemed to enjoy it. Personally though I’d say take it out at the library and save your money.

8) Valentine’s Day Disaster (Geronimo Stilton #23) This is the first of the Geronimo Stilton books that Zakari and I have read together. Thanks to his awesome older cousin we have almost the whole collection. There are two in the series about Valentine’s, but this month we were only able to read one of them. If your child is transitioning from picture books to chapter books, this series is perfect. It is super colorful and has pictures on many pages.

9)Who Was Johnny Appleseed? As a Canadian we did not hear much about Johnny Appleseed in public school. We picked up this book after we finished a picture book on Johnny Appleseed for Bookshark. You can read more about what I think below in the Picture Book section of this book.

10) Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille This is a book that was part of our History/Geography curriculum. I’m not sure I would have picked this book out on my own. But boy am I glad that it was assigned to us! I never knew the life of the man who credit Braille was so interesting. We have even started digging in deeper and you will see another book about Louis Braille we read in March’s Raising Bookworm post.

11)Juliet The Valentine Fairy (Rainbow Magic) I reluctantly took this book out from the library. I’ve always thought these Rainbow Magic Fairy books would be too girly for my son. Like what seems to be the theme of this post, I was pleasantly surprised. While yes the main characters were all girls, the adventure and story itself was not overly girly. Jake Frost has ruined Valentine’s Day and everyone in the world is fighting. The main characters are working with the Fairy Juliet to restore the holiday.

This was another book I judged by its cover and was terribly wrong! So glad we picked it up from the library.

12)Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine (Nate the Great #15)

13)Beezus and Ramona (Ramona Quimby #1) This was another series, like the Boxcar Children, that I missed out on when I was a child. A few months ago I found the whole box set on Facebook Marketplace for $15, so I grabbed it. I’m glad I did because two of the books were assigned reading in Homeschooling Complete, and we read it as part of our Unit on Family. This book is also using the Bookshark. So when we get to this part of the curriculum I will likely pull out Ramona the Pest instead. While I found Ramona a royal pain in the butt, we did love this story. Hopefully in the next book Ramona will learn a few good lessons.

14)Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer (Nancy Clancy Chapter Books #2) This book was a little on the girly side for Zakari, it even made me cringe a little. It was not a bad book, but not the best match for a little boy like Zakari and his total boyish Mom.

15) Balto and the Great Race I remember the movie Balto, but this is a situation where the book is so much better! What an awesome, unforgettable and inspiring book! In my opinion everyone should read this book with their kids. I have the movie on hold at the library and Zakari and I are going to watch it for movie night this weekend.

16) Waking the Rainbow Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #10) I mention this every month, but this series is one of two series that really pulled Zakari into the world of reading chapter books. We have two more two more books in the series left before the 13th book is released at the end of April. We have it preordered, which is something I never do! But since Zakari’s birthday is 5 days after it is released I’m excited to give it to him for his birthday. If you haven’t read Dragon Masters, your missing out!

17)Cam Jansen and the Basketball Mystery (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #29) Like I mentioned above, his month we were new to Cam Jansen. This book was used as part of our Homeschool Complete Curriculum. Cam Jansen uses her photographic memory to help solve the mystery of the stolen basketball.

18) No Children, No Pets From what I can see, the only place you can purchase this book new is through Bookshark. But if your like me and don’t mind a used copy, you can find it in the Amazon Marketplace. Zakari and I really got into this book. It has the same kind of feel as the Boxcar Children. That might be because it was written in the early 70’s. I have to say it sucked us in and we were sad when we got to the end because we knew, unlike the Boxcar Children, there were no more books about these characters.

Picture books we read in February

All Around the Seasons

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons

The Secret Life of Squirrels

Perfect Snow

Simon Says: Seasons

The Snowy Day

The Tiny Seed

Tough Chicks

The Berenstain Bears at the Aquarium


The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Love Bug

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

Mr. Goat’s Valentine

In November

The Berenstain Bears and the Week at Grandma’s

Saint Valentine

Llama Llama Be My Valentine!

Holiday FunHappy Valentine’s Day by Abbie Mercer

Hello Kitty Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown!

Mercer Mayer’s Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter!

A Baby Sister for Frances

Click, Clack, Moo I Love You!

What is Valentine’s Day?

10 Valentine Friends

Little Critter: Just a Little Love

Louanne Pig in the Mysterious Valentine

Henry and the Valentine Surprise

The Sweetest Valentines (Hello Reader, Level 1)

Arthur’s Great Big Valentine

Amelia Bedelia’s Family Album

Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend I feel like I have been under a rock. I never really knew who Johnny Appleseed was. Of course I have heard the name, but its not really a part of Canadian culture. But this was a book that was included in our History/Geography portion of Bookshark. I’m so grab it was! Johnny Appleseed seemed like an incredible man. We enjoyed this books so much we read the book about him in the Who Was Series. (Listed above)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Curious George

Caterpillars to Butterflies by Bobbie Kalman We picked up this books at the library to compliment the unit in Bookshark Science on insects.

Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine Growing up I loved the Amelia Bedelia book series. Now they have books about her when she was a kid. Zakari’s tutor and I were talking and we both have started to think that maybe Amelia was on the Autism Spectrum. Either way Zakari and I loved these new books even more then the originals.

A Valentine for Ms. Vanilla

What did you and your children read last month? I always love hearing about new books to check out.

This post does contain affiliate links.

Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}

My First Guest Post: 5 Tips for Avoiding Burnout

Last month Morgan Doman from Doman International contacted me to do a guest post on their blog. To say I was honored was an understatement.

What Is Doman International?

Doman International helps empower parents to transform their kids lives. They gives parents knowledge and tools to help their children with special needs grow and develop. Most importantly they give parents hope. When doctors and specialist are handing out diagnoses and list of things special needs children will never do, Doman International shows parents what their kids are able to do.

The Guest Post

Morgan basically gave me the freedom to share what was on my heart. So I decided I wanted to share my story about my battles with burnout. I love that I could be raw, blunt and truthful without fear of censorship.

You can read it here on Doman Internationals Blog: 5 Tips for Avoiding Burnout

How Am I Associated With Doman International?

A few years ago I went to Philadelphia to take the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course. The following year we went back so I could take the second set of lectures and so that my son could be evaluated. During these visits I built relationships with several of the staff members. Then a few months after our visit, the Institute split into two separate entities. Families had to make the choice which group they wanted their child to continue with. I found everyone my family and I had made connects with was with Doman International, so it was an easy choice for us.

At Doman International Parents Have a Voice

Another thing that I loved about Doman International is they listen to the parents. If I am doing something with Zakari that I find is helping, they want to know. Not only do they want to know, they want to call the company and dig deeper into it. They are open minded, and are always looking for new ways to help kids.

The Advance Consultation

This summer we will be doing an Advance Consultation with Doman International. What this will look like is we will receive seven video conference calls with the Doman International staff. The first call is an evaluation phone call. This is where they will perform a remote evaluation and discuss the last period of program. Then the second phone call is a summary call with a director, where we get to discuss the most important events from the last period. The staff then meet and design Zakari’s new program for the next six months. We will then have four calls to learn our new programs — a Nutrition call, one Respiratory call, a Physical Program call, and one Intellectual phone call. After these calls, we have an overview call with one of the directors. This is to ensure all our questions have been answered, and we are ready to move forward!

So stay tune this summer for a more detailed break down of our experiences with the Advance Consultation with Doman International!

Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}

How Glenn Doman Changed How I Parent

How I Became The Parent I Am Today

Its was a quiet Friday afternoon and I was sitting in the reception chair at the front of a dental office I was working at. Usually I was in the back working as a dental assistant. But all my coworkers were gone to a retreat out of town. I had fibbed and said I didn’t have child care, so I was unable to go out of town. Really I was still upset that Wesley had taken his first steps when I was on the last business trip.

I was there to answer phones, book appointments and take payments if any patients came in. But besides that I was not trained to do much more. So I spent my time googling things I could do to help Wesley learn.

Little did I know this google search was going to change my perspective of children, and change my journey as a mother.

I stumbled upon this book: How To Teach Your Baby To Read by Glenn Doman. The more I read, the more I was intrigued. The things I could teach my young son were amazing and I needed to learn more.

Who Is Glenn Doman

Glenn Doman was a physical therapist in Philadelphia, who realized that what he had been trained to do with his patients was not getting the results they both desired.

He eventually met Dr Temple Fay, who became his’s mentor. They realized that mainstream forms of therapy were not helping the patients. At the time, they and everyone else were only treating the symptoms. What they eventually realized was the problem was not with the patients eyes, legs, etc. The problem was with the brain. Once they treated the brain, the symptoms started to get better.

Glenn Doman founded The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) in 1955. While their work originally started with elderly stroke victims, they soon discovered this method worked even better with children. Parents could be trained in the methods they used, and they soon discovered that there was no better person to run these children’s therapy programs then the child’s parents. Who was more invested in the success of the child then the parents themselves?

Special Needs Children Started Reading Better then Neurotypical Children.

One day a set of parent came into their office and told Glenn Doman that their severely brain injured child could read. To say Glenn and the staff were skeptical was an understatement. But after taking the time to test and observe the child, they soon realized that this child was in fact reading. Not only reading, but reading with full comprehension.

Soon they created the Doman Reading Method based on what they had observed with this young man. And lone behold, other special needs children started to read following this program. Not only did they learn to read, they started reading better then other children their age WITHOUT a brain injury.

If you want to read more about this, please check out the book: What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child by Glenn Doman.

How Glenn Doman Influenced The Way I Raised Wesley

The more I read, the more I needed to know. I got on the phone with our local bookstore and put the book on teaching your baby to read on hold. The clock seem to be moving like molasses as I waited for my shift to end. I went straight from Wesley’s daycare to the bookstore. Once I got Wes to sleep that night, I inhaled that book from cover to cover.

Once I Have Seen, It Cannot Be Unseen

Honestly, this is the phrase of this whole journey. I now knew all the wonderful things I could be teaching my son. How could I not do it now?

I soon realized the program had to be modified. I was a single mom with a full time job. It was OK I could not follow the schedule outlined in the book to a tee, we did our best. We used media like Your Baby Can Learn DVDs(formally Your Baby Can Read) & software like Little Reader during meals. I had words written on index cards with us in the car and in my purse.

Soon he could read 10 words, then 50 words, soon 150 words. The number was climbing daily! Soon my once nonverbal son was reading to me every night.

Off to Public School

When he left homeschool and started grade 1 half way through the year, I knew he could read. I didn’t have to worry about he being left behind in that department. Once you give a child the gift of reading, they can learn almost anything they want to.

Even when he was sitting playing Gameboy with his buddy who was the same age, his friend would often ask him to read to him what the game was asking. Wesley would pause his game, look at the other screen and read the other little boys game instructions to him.

How Glenn Doman Influenced the Early Days of Parenting Zakari

When I found out I was pregnant with Zakari, I was so excited! I was going to be able to raise a Doman Baby from birth! I researched and prepped materials.

Because of Glenn Doman, I believed I could teach my baby anything, as long as I presented it in an honest and factual way.

Zakari has always loved learning.

He started reciting his ABC’s at 12 months. I remember telling his aunt this, and I could tell she really didn’t believe me. Until one day she was holding him and he started singing his ABC’s, and she came up to us and said “Oh My God, he is saying his ABC’s!”

At 16 months old he was reading single words and knew his colours and shapes. At around 2 years old he knew his days of the week. He loved skip counting and singing.

Heading to Philadelphia

Things got a bit difficult for our family in 2014 when Zakari was diagnosed with Autism. We fought tooth and nail and thankfully got Zakari into the same local ABA program Wesley had been in. I knew that by following the Doman Method described in Glenn Doman’s book early on, I had given Zakari a head start. I thought that I could combined these two therapies again like I had for Wesley and he would excel.

While ABA did help Zakari a bit, it wasn’t as effective as it had been for Wesley. Because of government funding cuts, Zakari was also get less services then his older brother had gotten in the past. I knew I had to do something.

So I boarded a plane, and went to Philadelphia to that the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course (A similar course is also offered by Doman International called “The Doman Method: From Special Needs to Wellness” A few years ago IAHP split into two organizations. We are now working with Doman International).

After that week I came back a new person. A new mom. I had a new found respect for my children. As well as a whole new philosophy on how I wanted to educate them.

Homeschooling Using the Glenn Doman Method

I have to say, I got a lot more out of the course then just the programs the staff at the IAHP/Doman International taught us. I completely reevaluated how I originally thought I would homeschool my son. Instead of a workbook centered education, I decided on a literacy based education.


Now a days children are taught to hate learning. Teachers give them a beautiful gift. They teach them math, about their 5 senses, how an ancient society use to live, etc. Then BAM! They throw a test in front of them and want them to regurgitate everything they just learned.

Now learning is stressful. These kids learn they will be tested on this “gift” the teacher is giving them. Instead of enjoying the lesson they are wondering,”Do I have to remember this part?” “Is she going to ask me about this on the test?”

No Customization…

What if your child get really interested in a subject? In public school, too bad, we have a curriculum to follow. No time to dig a little deep. What if a subject bores them to death? Also too bad, it is also part of the curriculum and you better be ready to regurgitate everything on the test.

After attending this course I realized its better for me to just present my child as much information as possible. Expose him to as many books as physically possible. Follow his lead, and dig a little deeper on things that catch his attention. Dump things he’s not interested in.

I realized that I could skipping the long questions and interrogation early on. Later on he would trust me enough to do some fun and simple workbooks. If I keep it very light he’s happy to show me what he has learned. If he doesn’t want to, that’s fine. I trust that he has learned what he has needed from the lesson.

What Glenn Doman Has Taught Me

So while we do some of the programs we learned during our visits to the Institutes, our homeschooling is very different too. But I thank Glenn Doman for my style of homeschool. He taught me several things, but most importantly:

The ability to demonstrate intelligence is not an indication of a child’s actual intelligence.

Learning is a gift I am giving my child. I do not want to ruin it by asking for something back in return. I need to trust he has learned what he has needed from what I have shown him.

Final Thoughts

I take being my son’s teacher very seriously. Just because his language and fine motor skills are immature, I don’t assume he is less intelligent then the average 6 year old.

On the contrary, I believe he is smarter then that average 6 year old, he just has trouble expressing it. Now I’m not just being one of those mom’s who thinks their kid is better then every other kid. I believe in the right environment every child could do better then average. Actually, I believe every child should have the RIGHT TO DO BETTER THEN AVERAGE.

I look forward to our appointment this summer with Doman International. I can’t wait to learn more about how to help my children grow to their full potential .

Are you familiar with Glenn Doman? If so how has he changed the way you parent your children?


What to Learn More About Doman International?
Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

Back off Marie Kondo! Book Haul: What We found in January

Why Book Hauling Matters!

Creating a wonderful home library for my kids to have access in our home has been a major goal of mine since my first born was little.

At first I would buy Wesley brand new books. But this was very expensive. Especially as a single mom. Finally one day I realized that buying books used at thrift stores and garage sales was the way to go! Then I started frequenting book sales, Facebook Buy & Sell groups and Kijiji.

Now our home library is exploding for a fraction of the cost! My kids can never say there is nothing to read in our home.

I want to share with you some of the books I was able to find used this month to add to our collection. I hope for some, you will see what kind of awesome books you can buy used. For others I hope it will give you some great ideas on different kind of books you might want to read with your child.

Thanks to Marie Kondo’s Netflix show, I find that the book selection at thrift stores is amazing right now! Thanks Marie Kondo! And yes, books make me happy! I see them on their shelves and it just warms my heart knowing that they are right there at my finger tips.

And without further ado, our January 2019 Book Haul video & Book List!

January Book Haul

1)Butterfly Blues (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew)

2)Camp Creepy (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Book 26)

3)Ready, Freddy! Shark Tooth Tale

4) Valentine’s Day from the Black Lagoon (Black Lagoon Adventures, No. 8)

5) Daisy the Kitten (Dr. KittyCat 3): I was so excited to find this book at Once Upon A Child. A friend of my told me how much her son loves this series, so I’m excited to try one out with Zakari.

6) Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine

7) Splash’s Secret Friend (Dolphin School 3)

8) Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears

9) Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables: A Branches Book (The Notebook of Doom 4)

10) Whack of the P-Rex: A Branches Book (The Notebook of Doom 5)

11) Watch Out! Man-Eating Snake! (The New Kids of Polk Street School)

12) Happy Little Family 

13) Lost in the Snow (Pet Rescue Adventures)

14) Barkley’s School for Dogs 8: Blue Ribbon Blues

15) Barkley’s School for Dogs 5: Snow Day

16) The Case of the Zoo Clue (Clue Jr. 5)

17) Save Our Squirtle! (Pokemon Junior 3)

18) Surf’s Up, Pikachu! (Pokemon Junior, No.1)

19) Raichu Shows Off (Pokemon Junior 6)

20) Bulbasaur’s Bad Day (Pokemon Junior 4)

21) The Snubbull Blues (Pokemon Junior 12)

22) A Pokemon Snow-Down (Pokemon Junior Chapter Book, No. 8)

23) Double Trouble Monsters (Bailey City Monsters)

24) Vampire Baby (Bailey City Monsters)

25) Snow Monster Mystery (Bailey City Monsters, 8)

26) Happy Boo Day (Bailey City Monsters, 9)

27) Mrs. Jeepers’ Batty Vacation (Super Special, No.22)

28) Frankenstein Doesn’t Slam Hockey Pucks 

29) Holiday Special: Leprachauns Don’t Play Fetch (The Bailey School Kids)

30) Ogres Don’t Hunt Easter Eggs (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, Holiday Special)

31) Dracula Doesn’t Play Kickball (The Adventures of Bailey School Kids, 48)

Please share in the comments if you found some book gems this month! I always love hearing about what awesome books other people discovered.

Homeschool Collection {Third Edition}

Raising Bookworms: What We Read in January 2019

Where Did January Go??

January has come and gone. What a crazy month. Like I promised last month, I’m back to share what we read in January. If you missed the first post of my Raising Bookworms Series, be sure to go check out Raising Bookworms: What We Read in December 2018.

The first month of 2019 was a hard one for our family. First both myself and my hubby were hit with a nasty bug. The big kids were also hit with it, but it seemed to pass them quickly. However this sickness seemed to not want to let the adults in the house go. Any Mama here knows how hard it is to keep the house going when we are under the weather. Especially those special needs moms out there. Really brings the meaning of no rest for the wicked to life.

While we were still trying to recover from our sickness, we got a call no one wants to get. My hubby’s grandfather passed suddenly. This was a terrible shock to the family. While we knew he hadn’t been feeling well, no one really expected this.

So we were sucked into a world wind of emotions. There were late nights being with our family. The day of the funeral we had several family members over afterwards to continue celebrating Grandpa’s life. My in-laws are a very close knit family, so this hit them all very hard.

Throughout this month we still managed to spend lots of time reading together. I was glad to have my voice back after a bout of laryngitis in December. I’m happy to say this month we read 17 chapter books. There were more night then I liked that bedtime was later then ideal. So instead of reading 1/2 a book, we only got through a chapter or so. But 17 books is 6 books ahead of our 11 books a month goal! So I’m going to call it a huge success.

Now Without Further Ado, Here is What We Read In January!

1)The New Year Dragon Dilemma (A to Z Mysteries: Super Edition #5) I picked this book off my shelf without reading more then the title. Then a few paragraphs in, I realized that it was about Chinese New Years that is celebrated in February. Not January 1st New Years. Well Zakari was already interested so we decided to continue reading. If I had planned this better we would have read it in February. But that’s OK!

2) High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree House #28) Once again the Magic Tree House did not disappoint! This time we went back in time to a Hawaiian island of long ago. We learned about what the islands were like before, and all about tsunami.

3)New Year’s Eve Thieves (Calendar Mysteries #13) This is a series that I choice not to read in order. We just grab the book of the month and read it together. So far I haven’t found that we are missing anything by reading them this way. I feel they can be stand alone books.

4)Callie (Kitty Corner #1)

5)Monsters Don’t Scuba Dive (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids #14)

6) Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children #4)

7) The Scarlet Dragon (The Kingdom of Wrenly)

8) No Grown-ups Allowed (Cul-de-sac Kids, #4) If you have a child with ADHD, this is a book you might want to check out. My son has ADHD and we really have to watch how much sugar he has, and how much sleep he gets. Otherwise he can get really dysregulated. In this book we follow Jason, who decided that when his parents go out of town for the weekend that he is going to trick his grandma. He chooses not the take his medication, sneak too many sweets and stay up late. We follow him through the story while he discovers the consequences to his actions. While we don’t do mediation, Zakari is not crazy about the supplements we have him on. So this was a great story to share with him!

9) Who Was Neil Armstrong?

10) Princess (The Puppy Place #12)

11) Chill of the Ice Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #9)

12) Hockey Rules! This was another new series we tried this month. One of Zakari’s aunties who loves hockey got him the series for Christmas. This was an amazing book that talked about rules, and the importance of using your head when it comes to the internet. Things you post online are there forever and can’t be taken back.

13) The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon, #1) This was another win for us this month. This is a series about a group of kids that find a stairway to a secret world in their basement. I’m happy to say its a series that has 36 main books and several special editions. I feel if your kiddos like the Magic Tree House for the adventure they will like this series.

14) Ivy & Bean (Book 1) Well I’m going to be honest, we were not overly crazy about this book. It wasn’t terrible, but I mean I feel like there are other better books on the market. We own a few of these, so we will try one more and see if we get drawn in. But if we don’t I think this series might not have a permanent space on our bookshelf.

15) Fred’s Midnight Prowler I was so excited to find a few of these books at the local book sale this fall. It is a Canadian series that I thought was only available in French. However I found some in English and grabbed them up.

16) Usborne Pinocchio

17) Stories of Cowboys (Usborne Young Reading: Series One)

Looking for more book suggestions?

Check out some of my other book related post:

Raising Bookworms: What We Read in December

Book Review: Benjamin Birdie’s First Flight

Chapter Books For Boys With Autism & Book Haul

75 Books We Read Aloud : Homeschooling Kindergarten

What books did you read with your child last month? I’d love to know in comments below!

This post contains affiliate links

Homeschool Collection {Third Edition}

Our Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Most homeschool moms like to share their curriculum choices before starting the homeschool year, which I did on YouTube. However, I was reluctant to share our final plans here. I guess I was worried that I wouldn’t get it all done. Now that we finished up our homeschooling year and are well into grade one. I thought I should share what we used. What worked and what didn’t.

You can check out the video below showing what we started our Kindergarten Year using.

You will notice we made some changes as the year carried on. We adapted to what my son needed, and that was very empowering. I love that as a homeschooling family we can tailor our lessons to my son’s needs.


This year Zakari studied Geography and Culture(Social Studies) using Bookshark PreK as our main Core from September to April. This program provided him a small glimpse of our large world with the colorful Kids Beginner’s World Atlas. Zakari was also introduced to history and how cities and streets have changed over time. From professions to transportation, this part of the year was a great first step to exploring the world.

After completing this Bookshark PreK Course we switched over to Build Your Library Level 0/Kindergarten. From April to August Zakari was given a gentle introduction to the geography of all 7 continents, and how children live life in each location. Zakari responded well to this literature-based approach.

If you want to see exactly what we used with Build Your Library, you can check out the video below where I shared the program.

Throughout the year we also supplement with read-aloud chapter books(fiction and nonfiction) on some of the places we were visiting during our lessons.

How We Studied CANADA

Zakari completed ‘The 52 Weekly Stories About Canada’. The stories in this book have been designed to expose children to Canadian symbols, animals, birds, seasons, months of the year, special celebrations, famous places, and famous people.

We also continued blending the IAHP/Doman International Intelligence Program prescribed to Zakari to teach him about geography, cultures, and history. We did this by working on vocabulary words on the subject and homemade books(See my post about our homemade books).

Diving into SCIENCE

For the first part of the year, we used and completed Bookshark PreK as our Science core. Zakari learned about seasons, weather, plants, animals, the ocean.

In the second part of the year, we switched to Build Your Library Level 0/Kindergarten and explore the different ecosystems and animals found on each of the seven continents.

Throughout the year we also continued blending the IAHP/Doman International Intelligence Program prescribed to Zakari to teach him about science. We hit topics such as weather, biology, zoology, & why things happen, just to name a few. We did this by working on vocabulary words on the subject and homemade books(See Homemade Books List).


IAHP/Doman International Program:

In August 2017 Zakari was seen by a group of Child Development Specialist at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. They prescribed an updated reading program for Zakari. For the good chunk of the year, Zakari was introduced to several hundred written words, sentences, and 100 homemade books. This program was able to blend together science, history, geography, and more.

Hooked on Phonics Grade 1:

Zakari completed half of the Grade 1 Hooked on Phonics. He could have completed the entire Grade 1 level, however, time did not allow us to get to it as often as we would have liked. This will be continued in September.

Bookshark & Build Your Library: We used Bookshark & Build Your Library’s read alouds as a building block to Zakari’s reading program. Zakari also went through Bookshark’s program to reinforce letter sounds and build on his vocabulary.

MCP PLAID Phonics Level K:

It is described as a program that develops Alphabetic and Phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral language skills youngsters need. Letters and sounds are introduced through a consistent six-page lesson sequence, which includes letter recognition, writing the letter, phonemic awareness, sound-symbol correspondence, and a Picture Dictionary page. An array of multisensory teaching options address different learning styles.

The Big Bad Scary Subject of MATH

Even back to when I was homeschooling Wesley, math stressed me out. Trying to find the perfect curriculum that fit my child seemed to be the search for the lost treasure.

However, as time goes on I realized there might not be a perfect curriculum. I’m discovering it’s OK to mix different methods and attack the subject from a few different angles. Later this year when I share what we are doing for Grade 1 you will see I have even stepped this up more this year.

Critical Thinking-Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1:

I found this was a wonderful program to use to start teaching Zakari math. Zakari is intellectually capable of learning math concepts, but sometimes his fine motor skills and impulse control make it difficult to use typical math programs that involve a lot of writing or the use of small manipulatives. This program was a great fit for him because it really only required pointing or circling the correct answer. I was able to stabilize his hand and use the program like a choice board like we were taught to use for communication at the IAHP/Doman International.

After completing this book Zakari was able to demonstrate a solid understanding of concepts like big and small, tall and short, more or less, first-second third, etc. He was also able to build confidence in learning how to use and learning with a workbook.

Jump Math K.1:

Zakari was able to complete this book within 2 months. He needed some help with the fine motor skill parts of the program. However, had a clear understanding of the materials.

Jump Math K.2:

We were able to get about 50% of this book finished up. However, Zakari became aversive to it after a while. We decided to take a break and put it away. We plan to complete it at the beginning of September.

Random Workbooks Completed:

On top of the programs I have shared with you, we added in some supplement workbooks. My goal with these was to help Zakari become more confident with table work type of learning. While he knew a lot of the materials in these books, I needed him to learn how to demonstrate this.

Kindergarten Graduation

There was only one thing that made me sad last year. I guess I kind of felt like we missed out. As the end of June hit, my Facebook Newsfeed was flooded with Kindergarten Graduations. For some reason, my heart hurt a little.

So I talked to Travis, and we decided that Zakari needed to be celebrated for his achievement, just like all the other kiddos finished kindergarten. So we planned a day when the big kids were with their other parents, and we took Zakari to Flying Squirrel. Just one on one with us.

I encourage all parents to find a way to adapt some of the public school milestones for your homeschool kiddos if you ever feel left out. While Kindergarten Graduation might not be important to other mamma’s, apparently it was to me. So we found a way around it.

I had my fears and doubts for our first full year of homeschooling. This was a huge leap of faith for me. I’m happy to say I feel like our kindergarten year was a huge success. I left the year feeling confident that we could continue driving down the homeschool route for years to come.


What to Learn More About Doman International?

Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

Raising Bookworms: What We Read in December

“Mom Read Chapters Please…”

Nearly every night Zakari and I turn the lights off in his bedroom. He cuddles with his big, brown stuff toy dog and covers himself with his blue comforter. I sit or lay next to his bed and by flashlight read to him what he affectionately refers to as “Read Chapters”.

Since we have started this powerful routine, bedtime is no longer a battle of wills. It is a time we both love, and look forward to each night. As a mother, having my child fall asleep to my voice gives me such purpose.

Autism, Bedtime & Books

When it comes to bedtime with kiddos on the autism spectrum, sometime this can be an even bigger challenge to parents then the neurotypical child. Getting them hooked to bedtime stories can be such a powerful tool. Turning bedtime into a bonding time takes the stress and battle out of the end of the day.

One of the most important things a parent can do for their child’s development as shown by research is read aloud to them. Children who are read to have larger vocabularies,

The American Academy of Pediatrics Agree

The American Academy of Pediatrics released this statement in April of 2018:

Recommending parent-child home reading beginning at birth and continuing at least through kindergarten. Behavioral evidence has shown that children who are read to, especially before school entry, experience stronger parent-child relationships and learn valuable language and literacy skills. 

According to the AAP reading aloud and story times positiviely effect the brain. This gives these children a head start when they go to kindergarten. Children that are behind in Kindergarten often do not catch up to their peers later on.

What Should We Read Then?

So I stand firm behind my thoughts that reading to your child is the most important thing you can do for your child’s education. But what should we read?

I believe you should read what your child is interested in. If you have a child who is interested in dogs, find a series based around dogs to get them hooked. You want to suck them into the world of reading. Then after you have them hooked you can start branching out to books on other topics.

My Child Is Too Young To Have Interests, What then?

If you have a newborn at home and you want to start early, you can basically read them anything at this point. I mean I’m not sure I’d start with Steven King or anything, but at this point is more about hearing your voice and hearing new words. So you can try:

  • the newspaper
  • more G rated fictions
  • a non fiction that interested the parent. (I know of a mom who as studying for nursing and read her textbooks to her son for those few years. She needed to study so she combined bedtime stories with studying. This little man developed a real thirst for knowledge on the human body.
  • poetry books
  • classic children’s literature
  • If you have an older child, just include them in what you are reading the the older sibling

What We Read in December 2018

I love reading what other families are reading! So its only fair I share too! Check out my video about what we read in December 2018. All the books are listed below.

Roar of the Thunder Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #8)

This is the series that dragged Zakari into the world of chapter books. It was a series of 5 books that I found at Once Upon a Child and just decided I should get it. I’m really glad we did, because it opened the world of chapter books up to him. They have to be read in order, so make sure to start with book one and work your way through.

Gremlins Don’t Chew Bubble Gum (Adventures Of The Bailey School Kids, #13)

This series was around when I was a kid. However my school library was kind of crummy and I didn’t get to read very many of them. But now that I got Zakari hooked on them, I am reliving my childhood. You do have to read the first book in the series to get to know everyone, but after that you can read them out of order. Of course that is if your OCD doesn’t kick in like mine does LOL.

The Lost Stone (The Kingdom of Wrenly, #1) 

This is a new series to us. I have to say I was impressed. It was a simple, but sweet story about a prince named Lucas who was very lonely. Since we have only read one books I’m not sure if you have to read them in order. But I assume they build on each other.

Thanksgiving on Thursday(Magic Tree House, #27)

This is another staple series in our read aloud lives. Along side with the Dragon Masters series, the Magic Tree House helped foster my son’s love for books. We have now followed Jack & Annie on 27 journeys and we just can’t get enough. This is another series that should be read in order.

Skipper And Sky:

I forgot to pull this book out to show you guys in the video. Sorry!

Noodle (The Puppy Place, #11)

This is another favourite series of Zakari’s. This particular book would be great to talk about safety on ice, especially for kiddos that live near or spend time near lakes and rivers during the winter.

Usborne Stories of Mermaids

Usborne The Frog Prince

Ghosts Do Splash in Puddles (The Bailey School Kids Jr. Chapter Book, #1)

These are great books for kids that are just getting into chapter books. They can be read out of order in my opinion. As they are harder to find we have been forced to read them in any order we can get our hands on them. But I haven’t felt like we are out of the loop. They are not as great as the original series because they are shorter and used simpler vocabulary. But great for a quick read.

The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #3)

Every time I pick up one of these books, I’m expecting to be disappointed. We had enjoyed the first books so much, I couldn’t believe the author could do it again and create something so wonderful. But this book did not disappoint. I have no idea how I missed this series when I was a kid.

Always in Search

I hope you have found this helpful. I often consider myself well versed in what is available in children chapter books, but I am more times then not surprised about series that have been out a long time, but I have never heard of.

Please share below in the comments books your children are currently enjoying. I’m always looking for new ideas!

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