90+ Ideas for the Glenn Doman Inspired Reading Program

Reading Program

Glenn Doman Reading Method

Teaching my boys to read early(Wes as a preschooler and Zakari as a baby)has been one of the highlights in my parenting career. Glenn Doman called mothers who used the Doman Method “professional mothers”. In a world that undervalues mothers, especially stay at home moms, this is very empowering.

My First Early Reader

When Wesley was a baby I stayed home with him for my one year maternity leave, but a week before he turned one I had to take him to daycare so I could return to work. As a single mom, staying at home full time was not a viable option for our little family of two.

I refused to let this get in the way. You can read more about my story teaching Wesley to read in the post How to Teach your Baby to Read on a budget. 6 Helpful Tips.

My Second Child

My approach to early learning was very different with my second born. With Wesley, I only found out about this method when he was just about 2 years old. Now with Zakari, from the moment I fell pregnant with him I started planning.

Your Baby Can Read. So Can Your Toddler, Preschooler…

If teaching your young child to read is something you are interested in doing, I highly recommend reading How To Teach Your Baby To Read.

Be forewarned this book is often overwhelming for parents. Please do not allow the amounts of materials they suggest you make scare you off. Just do what you can. 

I know how it felt when I sat down the first time to make my child flash cards. After the basic words like Mommy, suddenly I couldn’t seem to remember any words in my native language. My mind was racing, “If I’m struggling with this how am I suppose to create homemade books.”

“But I’m not a writer!” I thought.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be. From my experience, you just need to be able to use Google search engine and a Word Processing program(I use Google Drive because it’s free).

Making Word Card Bits

At first when your creating word card bits for your child the words will likely come easy to you. Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, cookie, etc. But over time it becomes more and more difficult.

Some sites that I have used to help me beat “writer’s block” have been:

www.flocabulary.com

100 Words Middle Schoolers Should Know

Cambridge English: Preliminary Vocabulary List

Animal Vocabulary Words

Making Couples and phrases:

 

Then came the couplets and phrases. Oddly I suffered major writer’s block with this. But go through the words your child has already learned and start pairing them up for couplets. By this point, you should have quite a few words in the retired pile. It’s time to start putting them back to use.

Don’t be afraid to make the combos funny like”

grumpy daddy

rubber noodles

chocolate bugs

As for phrases, I looked up poetry, took clips of sentences from fact books, and of course combined words from the retired list.

Making Sentence Bits

When it comes to creating sentences for your child to read, I suggest keeping it simple. Start off with sentences using words in your child’s retired list. Just like phrases, kids appreciate some silly sentences mixed in there.

Look online for random facts about things that interest your child. Teach any words your child isn’t familiar with, and then add them into sentences. Eventually, you will find that you can teach new words in sentences and your child will pick them up just fine. But at first, keep it simple. 

Do not worry about teaching words like a, an, am, can, it was, etc… Your child will pick these up naturally.

Making Homemade Books the Easy Way

 

Homemade book intimidated me when we first started the program. Especially when we saw how fast Zakari was going through them. However, I found a few quick and easy ways to pump out homemade books.

 

 

4 Tips for Creating Homemade Books

  1. I find books they already love, and using voice to text on my phone or computer, I summarized it. If the story was on the long side I would make a homemade book based on only part of the story. Make sure that you edit your work, voice to text is not always accurate. But for me, it is still easier to correct the text than to type up the whole thing.
  2. You can also lookup children’s encyclopedias online, copy the information into the work processor, and blow it up for your child. Now you must be careful that you do not share these or publish them on a blog as your own work. It is my understanding as educators, we can take information and make it most accessible for our children to read. Our kiddos cannot easily see the print on the computer screen, nor is the screen the best way to teach them. But we want to respect copyright laws and not share these files. They are for personal use only.
  3. You can take photos of your child on an outing or doing an activity and narrate the photos. Creating homemade books all about them! These may become some great keepsakes that your child keeps coming back to even after the book is long retired.
  4. Find the lyrics to some of your child’s favorite songs and turn those into a homemade book.

Homemade Doman Inspired Books Completed:

Last year I created tons of homemade books for my son. Below you will find a list of the titles of our homemade books. I’m sharing this with you to get ideas for your own child. It is also good for you the see that you can use homemade books to teach your child about any subject you want.

  1. Super Why Fairy Tale Friends
  2. Why Onions Make You Cry
  3. The Luna Moth
  4. The Sloth
  5. Volcanoes
  6. Antarctica
  7. How Orcas Hunt
  8. What Makes a Year?
  9. Facts About Winter
  10. September in Canada
  11. The Robin
  12. Facts About Snow
  13. Things You Can Do In The Snow
  14. All About Manitoba
  15. All About Valentine’s Day
  16. What Happens During Spring
  17. Canada
  18. All About Winnipeg
  19. Canada’s Flag
  20. All About April Fools Day
  21. General Rules for Picking Kite Flying Days
  22. The Red Fox
  23. All About The Forks
  24. All About Wind
  25. Autumn in Canada
  26. All About Rain
  27. October in Canada
  28. The Groundhog
  29. Canada’s Symbols
  30. Thanksgiving in Canada
  31. The Beaver
  32. Cricket
  33. Oak Hammock Marsh
  34. Grand Beach
  35. The Black-Capped Chickadee
  36. All About the Prairie Crocus
  37. Canada’s Capital City
  38. Canada’s Prime Minister
  39. The Canada Goose
  40. The Chipmunk
  41. The Cardinal
  42. Canadian Coins
  43. The CN Tower
  44. The Raccoon
  45. Canada’s Wonderland
  46. Green Gables
  47. Halloween in Canada
  48. November in Canada
  49. Good Night, Bear
  50. Great Gray Owl
  51. The Toronto Zoo
  52. Remembrance Day in Canada
  53. Facts About Penguins
  54. Banff National Park
  55. Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  56. All About Dogs
  57. Antarctic Seals
  58. Justin Bieber
  59. Chris Hadfield
  60. Robert Munsch
  61. Alisha J. Newton
  62. Confederation Bridge
  63. Michael J Fox
  64. Season in India
  65. Fun Facts About Sphynx
  66. Black Creek Pioneer Village
  67. December in Canada
  68. A Guinea Pig
  69. Bengals
  70. Cloud Song
  71. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse
  72. Devon Rex
  73. Ants
  74. What is Family?
  75. Growing Pineapples
  76. Parts of a Banana
  77. Camouflage
  78. What is Farming?
  79. Growing Bananas
  80. Air
  81. What is a Carrot?
  82. What are Mushrooms?
  83. Parts of a Pineapple
  84. Fruits & Veggies: What’s the Difference?
  85. Christmas in Canada
  86. Winter in Canada
  87. What is an Orange?
  88. All About Lemons
  89. Alberta
  90. Lungs
  91. Spring in Canada
  92. Easter in Canada
  93. Groundhog Day in Canada
  94. American History
  95. January in Canada
  96. February in Canada
  97. Valentine’s Day in Canada
  98. April in Canada

If you are already on a Doman program,  with Doman International, what topics do you teach your child using homemade books? Leave them in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ideas!

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What to Learn More About Doman International?

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Early Learning Revolution

Early Learning Revolution

Early Learning Revolution

Did you know there are programs on the market that help parents of babies, toddlers and preschoolers learn to read, do math? You know what else? If you do the programs right they work too! Some programs worth mentioning are How to Teach Your Baby to Read, BrillKids Little Reader, Your Baby Can Learn(formally known as Your Baby Can Read, MonkiSee, Tweedlewinks, etc.

 

What does this have to do with children with autism?

EVERYTHING!

Glenn Doman

The man who helped create the original “How To Teach Your Baby to Read Program”, Glenn Doman, who inspired the more recent programs, did not come to his discovery teaching typical children. No, he learned it by working with brain injured children. Brain injured children was a term coined by Doman. It described children with conditions that prevent a child to develop both mentally and physically. For example, autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD and Down’s Syndrome just to name a few.

He discovered that the brain injured children they had in their therapy program could learn to read, do math, and learn encyclopedic knowledge. Not only was this baffling to him and the staff at the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential, the thing that really got him was the fact when taught using their flashcard method, they were learning more than the typical child using the typical education system. So they started to offer programs for typical children as well.

Early Founders of Early Childhood Literacy

The early founders of early childhood literacy, found that children can learn to read the same way they learn to speak another language. If you present written language in a font large enough for a child to see, they can and will learn to read it. This is because their right brain is open and ready to absorb information.

Commercial Marketing is Doing The Same Thing. And NOT With Your Child’s Best Interest in Mind

Just think, when a child is exposed to a sign like McDonalds, they will learn to read it at an early age. Why? Because the people who market these brands make sure their ads are written with large bold print that is easy for people to see.

They do everything in their power to expose people to these ads, for example on TV, billboards and in magazines. Its not unusual for a young child to be able to read the words McDonalds, Toys R Us, Walmart, etc. So why not teach them other words that can give them a head start in their education?

How Does It Work?

Basically to teach reading to a child as young as 3-6 months, mom and dad would create large flashcards. They could also purchase a kit like above, but eventually they would need to start making them too. These flash cards have words written in bold red marker. Then then they would sit the child down, eliminated all distractions and in a fun way say. “I’m going to show you some fun words!” You would then show baby the first word(perhaps it says baby) “This says baby.” This you would quickly flash and say the pile of words you have prepared, spending no more then 1 second per flashcard.

Now this process can also be done with toddlers and preschoolers. And if your child is special needs, their right brains tend to be open longer.

 

The important things to remember are:

  • Never force your child to sit through a reading lesson
  • Stop before your before your child wants to stop
  • Never run a reading session when either you or your baby are not in a great mood or feeling well.
  • Never test your child. Think of teaching your child to read as a gift, don’t ask for anything in return. (There are ways to make games though. Which allow you to see what your child is learning without the pressures of testing.)

Using Technology to Make It Easier

The creators of MonkiSee and Little Reader are both parents who have taught their children to read using the ideas founded by Glenn Doman, but presented it using media. Glenn Doman recommends a parent create 200 word cards before even starting the program, and they must keep creating new materials to keep up with their child. Sometimes a child will gobble up MANY words in one sitting, and if you are going to keep things fresh and interesting you must be ready with NEW materials. This can be time consuming for the average parent, especially if you work outside the home.

When I Found Glenn Doman’s Method

Personally I found out about Glenn Doman’s book, “How to Teach Your Baby to Read” when my son was 20 months. But besides the Your Baby Can Read DVD’s there was little support for me available. I tried to make the card to spec, and gave up because a) it was costly, b) I was a single mom who worked full time, c) In my mind I thought I had to run the program exactly how the book says and due to time constraints could not. It wasn’t until my son had just turned 4 that I got introduced to the forum Brillkids. Here was a group of 20,000 like minded parents trying to teach their typical and special needs children to read, do math, learn encyclopedic knowledge, play an instrument, etc.

Why BrillKids Helped Us

The creator of BrillKids, KL Wong, has also created a software system for both math(Little Math) and reading(Little Reader), complete with a 12 month curriculum. This is a life saver for busy parents because it allows them to spend the time they have with their child learning. Not worry about when they will be able to create the next 200 word or phrase cards. Some parents like me, never started because they could not get the initial 200 word cards together, plus the schedule in order to present them was so complicated and really for a working, single mom was flat out impossible. Little Reader and Little Math suggest you run 2 sessions each a day.

 

Now since my son was four I decided to only do Little Reader. Looking back I should have run both. I thought that once children pass the age of 3, they could no longer learn math using Doman’s method. I later found out that this method can still be effective for children with a disability like autism passed this age.

 

So our daily reading lesson plan while I was still working full time was as followed:

  • Watch “Your Baby Can Read” while eating breakfast
  • Index card flashcards in my purse that I would pull out and flash for him while stuck in traffic, or just before I got him out of the car to go into daycare. (I could use smaller cards then specified by Doman because my son was older and his eyes were developed enough to read them)
  • Little Reader session and flashcards before dinner
  • Bedtime stories and Little Reader session before bed.

 

If life was crazy and I couldn’t get the Little Reader session in before supper, like if we went out for supper or my son was with his dad, I would just run two sessions before bed.

 

The great thing about this program is the fact that it is also customizable. You can create your own presentations, personalize the presentations to use your voice or other family members to make it special for your child. There is also a place on the BrillKids website where you can upload your presentations to share and download presentations others have made.

 

Is teaching your child with special needs to read important?

Teaching your child with special need is important because according to Glenn Doman, the brain grows with use. It is like any other muscle in the body. If you don’t use your legs, the muscles become weak and feeble. If your run a mile a day, your legs will becomes strong and muscular.

With my son, the more he learned the read, the more is vocal language started coming out. And when he got older and learned the concept of phonics, he was able to learn how to pronounce words properly by seeing them written out and sounding them out.

Never Underestimate Children With Special Needs

When people look at a child with a disability like autism, society tends to underestimate them. I found by setting the bar high and believing in my son, he has been able to achieve things no one ever imagined possible. I did not wait for his speech to catch up before teaching him to read. By doing this I discovered that teaching him to read was actually an effective way to teach him to speak.

The bonus to this was he is actually ahead of his peers when it comes to reading. And while he still is slightly behind his peers in speech. Can you image where he would be if I had not introduced reading so young? Likely further behind in speech and unable to read. His confidence would be completely lacking.

 

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Chapter Books For Boys With Autism & Book Haul

I’m officially on the hunt for chapter books for boys with autism.

Chapter Books For Boys With Autism & Book Haul

Best Chapter Books For Boys With Autism

Anyone that has been reading me for even a short time knows I love book sales! I love thrift store books. Amazon is also another love of mine. But now that I have turned my youngest into a bookworm, the need to collect books and grow our library is even stronger. Our GoodReads “What to Read” shelves is growing & growing by the day.

However, now I’m on a specific mission, to collect books from particular series. Yes I will still be buying books that are not part of a series. But my main focus is completing several series we are reading.

Why Am I Doing That? Why Does It Matter That We Stick Mostly to Series?

It happened on fluke, and I didn’t piece it together until recently. Zakari and I had started reading the Magic Tree House last year. Honestly the first book, he could have taken it or left it. But in the new year when I started reading him more books from the series, his opinion seemed to change. Each book he seemed to become more and more interested in. Until one day, he started specifically asking for me to read the next one in the series to him.

I thought this was just a coincident, until the same thing happened with the Bailey School Kids Adventures. During the first book or two I wasn’t too sure he really liked it. But because this was one of my favourite series when I was a kid, I kept on trying them with him. Now he listens to them and enjoys them.

8 Books into The Puppy Place, I’m finding this to be true again. He can go from upset about bedtime to attentively listening to these stories. This kid will beg me to read one more chapter, even though he is drifting off to sleep.

Why Are Series Hooking Him In?

My theory is because the characters are familiar to him. He doesn’t have to worry about learning who the characters are. He already knows them, and likes them. Now he can focus on the story line.

Its the same reason why you like to watch the same TV shows. You know the characters already and they can jump right into the plot of the story.

Another Reason Book Series Work For My Son With Autism

This past weekend I attended a local homeschool conference. One of the sessions I choose to sit in was “How Boys and Girls Learn Differently”. She talked about how boys don’t care to focus on character development in a story. Afterwards I started doing my own research on how boys learn and found an article on the Reading Rocket website, Books and Books by Jane McFann.

In the article she mentions that: Boys like to collect things and tend to like to collect series of books.

This makes perfect sense to me as a person who must collect everything.

In another article called Hooking Struggling Readers: Using Books They Can and Want to Read by By: Lori Rog & Paul Kropp, they talk about “Straightforward plot development (avoiding flashbacks, time shifts, and confusing changes in point of view)”

This I find to be so true. Most of the series we read don’t jump around between scenes too much. Most of the characters are together in most scenes. The only exception to this has been Wishbone: The Early Years. However they avoided confusing by stating they were switching scenes.

What I Look For In A Series:

Over the last year we have dived into some awesome book series. I try and find:

  • Geared towards 7-8 year olds
  • Shorter chapter books(50-90 pages)
  • Action packed
  • Includes animals is a major plus
  • I also look to see if there are several books in the series. The more books the better because if he really loves the characters we can keep feeding that interest. I’m always sad when a series is only 4 books long, and a new book hasn’t been published in years.
  • Clear, large writing is a bonus in case he wants to follow along. This is also nice for when he’s ready to read this longer books on his own.

Series I recommend for starting out:

  • The Puppy Place
  • The Magic Treehouse
  • The Magic School Bus
  • The Bailey School Kids Adventures
  • A to Z Mysteries
  • Wishbone: The Early Years

Grace Hospital Book Sale & Goodwill Book Haul

So in my hunt for new books to add to our home library, last week I went to the Goodwill by my house. I prefer the Goodwill as the books I look for usually range between 50 cents to a buck. Places like Value Village often have a better selection, but the books cost $1.79 for a kids chapter book and up. I’ve even encountered managers and cashiers that try and charge even more because they feel it should cost more. I left a huge pile of books one time because they were trying to nickle and dime me. It was so frustrating. I REFUSE to step foot into that location ever again. As someone who buys a lot of books, they lost a good customer.

Last Thursday Wesley and I drove to the other side of the city and check out a book sale at the Grace Hospital. I found it was worth the drive, and will likely go back again. This past Thursday the Huge Children’s Hospital Book Sale at St.Vital mall started and I will be sharing more about that in another post.

In the winter I’m a hermit. I do not like to go out in the cold. So I’m in squirrel mode right now. Got to get all the book! If you want to see what I snatched up, you can check out this video. The list with amazon links can be found below too.

 

So What Did I Land Up Finding!

  1. Dear Canada: Pieces of the Past
  2. Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues
  3. Everything on a Waffle
  4. Video Rivals (Formac First Novels)
  5. Go For It, Carrie (Formac First Novels)
  6. Scream for Ice Cream (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew 2)
  7. Barkley’s School for Dogs 4: Ghost Dog: Is Barkley’s School for Dogs Haunted?
  8. Mrs. Jeepers’ Secret Cave (Bailey School Kids Super Special 3)
  9. Vikings Don’t Wear Wrestling Belts (Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, No. 43)
  10. Wolfmen Don’t Hula Dance (Bailey School Kids 36)
  11. Triplet Trouble and the Bicycle Race
  12. Triplet Trouble and the Cookie Contest
  13. The Triplet Trouble and the Pizza Party
  14. Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Monster Movie
  15. Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones
  16. The Mystery at the Coral Reef (Greetings from Somewhere)
  17. The Ghost Ship Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries)
  18. Into the Blue (Dolphin Diaries 1)
  19. Racing the Wind (Dolphin Diaries)
  20. Sarah Trilogy Boxed Set (Sarah, Plain & Tall, Skylark & Caleb’s Story)
  21. The Beast and the Halloween Horror (The Kids of the Polk Street School)
  22. Pioneer Cat (A Stepping Stone Book)
  23. The Berenstain Bears Chapter Book: Accept No Substitutes
  24. Mumble’s Journey (Happy Feet)
  25. Tabby in the Tub (Animal Ark Series 29)
  26. Wolf at the Window (Animal Ark Hauntings 7)
  27. Fueled for Adventure (Disney/Pixar Cars 2) (Golden First Chapters)
  28. Little Town on the Prairie (Little House)
  29. These Happy Golden Years (Little House)
  30. The First Four Years (Little House)
  31. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Wishbone Classics)
  32. The Secret at the Seashore (Bobbsey Twins 3)
  33. Bobbsey Twins: Mystery of the Laughing Dinosaur (Bobbsey Twins, N0. 8)
  34. Case of the Creepy Castle, The (New Bobbsey Twins 17)
  35. Farmer Johnson’s Psycho Dairy Farm
  36. Haunted Canada 3 : More True Ghost Stories
  37. Christmas in Ontario: Heartwarming Legends, Tales and Traditions (Amazing Stories)
  38. Weird but True: A Cartoon Encyclopedia of Incredibly Strange Things
  39. Say Hello to Cactus Flats: A Fox Trot Collection
  40. The Untold Legend of the Batman (1980) 3
  41. Me Oh Maya 13 (Time Warp Trio)
  42. Science Anytime: Workbook
  43. Wicks

 

What series do your kids like to read? What do you look for in books when shopping for you kiddos?

 

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Summer Life With Autism & Year Round Homeschooling

Summer Life With Autism & Year Round Homeschooling

summer

Summer is officially over. My big kids are back at their respected schools, and Little Z is back to the homeschool grind. Well not that we really stopped learning since we are year round homeschoolers. But we did pull out the new curriculum a few weeks ago.

Life has been very hectic the last few months and I had taken a long unplanned hiatus from blogging and YouTube. I just felt that I was being pulled away from this platform. Instead I needed to put all my energy into my family. Last September my body was getting so run down. I got sick 2 times that month. It made me see I had to slow down.

Now with this fresh start of a new school year, I am hopeful that moving forth with this blog is the right thing to do. I miss sharing about our lives and journey. It is therapeutic to me, and I need that right now.

Attack of the Disappearing Blog

Something that made me realize how important this site is to me was when it went down. A few months ago my credit card number information was stolen. Someone in the UK had a blast buying things off of Google Play, and grocery shopping. So obviously my credit card was canceled, and fraud claims were put in. Thank goodness I didn’t have to pay anything for that. But when I received my new credit card, I forgot to change the number on my host site. For some odd reason I did not receive any emails from the company saying this was going on and my site was taken down. Thankfully I noticed soon enough and was able to do a disaster recovery.

The thought of my site that I have worked on and off on for the last 8 years being *poof* gone made me sick to my stomach. This made me realize I needed to get back here and start sharing our life journey again. Even if what I write about helps only one other mom, it’s all worth it. Plus on a personal level, its a log of how far my family has come during these last 8 years. I explained it to my husband as if all our family pictures burned and I had no way of getting them back. I’m so grateful to have my little piece of the internet back safe.

All About Day-camp

This summer just seemed to go by so fast. In July, Wesley was involved in two day camps.

The first full week off of school he attended a camp for kids ages 10-14 years old. They had 1:1 camp counselors that switched each day. This way the kids would focus on building relationships with their peers, and not as much with the adults. The best part was Zakari’s old ABA tutor, and the respite worker that took Wes to camp last year was a counselor there! They worked on social, life and planning skills. Some of that activities they were involved in were Skyzone Trampoline Park, archery, bowling, Shapes Gym, swimming, and sports. Lunch preparation and cleanup tasks were rotated so campers actively participated. Something else that impressed me was they showed the kids how to do some basic auto maintenance like checking oil, tire pressure and adding oil and other fluids to a car.

Two weeks later Wesley started a second one week day camp. A van came right to the house every morning and picked him up, and dropped him off in the evening. This was so helpful to me as a busy work at home mom. The camp two weeks before had me orchestrating a drop off and pick up schedule with my family and my ex’s family. It was one less thing to worry about. He spent his week learning to cook with camp friends, enhancing independence, trying out adapted sports, and allowing him to develop & grow friendships with the staff and other peers. They visited the Human Rights Museum, a local water park, and spent the day at Camp Manitou.

Summer Reading Challenge

During May, FullTimeWifeLife whom I follow on YouTube announced she was hosting a Summer Reading Challenge. So Zakari and I signed up. He was able to collect $100 in pledges & he read over 1200 mins between June 1st & July 15th.

  1. 1 Fizz and the Police Dog Tryouts: Fizz 1
  2. 2 Fizz and the Dog Academy Rescue: Fizz 2
  3. 3 Fizz and the Show Dog Jewel Thief
  4. Outback Rescue
  5. Storm Rescue
  6. Bush Rescue
  7. Farm Rescue
  8. Hey Jack! Complete Collection with backpack (15 books)
  9. Animal Detective (Bear Grylls Activity Book)
  10. Secrets of the Rain Forest: A Shine-a-Light Book
  11. Animal Trivia Questions

Zakari earned a total of 25 books and a back pack. Plus his group earned $700 worth of books for less fortunate kids. It was such an awesome program we can’t wait till next summer to participate again!

As his mother I’m most excited about the Hey Jack! books. They look great for a kiddo who grew up on the Doman program. The writing a large and clear. I believe these will be the first chapter books he reads to be aloud this year. Thank you again Abby!

Summer book challenge

Where Did August Go?

The month of August just flew by. From the 3rd to the 19th, Wes was off with his dad. He spent time at his dad’s place, then a week at a cabin, and then out to Gimli for a car show before he came back home. Between the 12th and the 22nd my stepdaughter was off to Disney with her grandparents. So during the time it overlapped that they were both gone Zakari was an only child. I think it was nice for him to get our undivided attention.

The kids are blessed with an aunt who owns a pool and loves to have them over to swim. Three times during the summer we went over there and lounged in her pool. It is fun to see each year how the kids have developed their swimming skills through all their swimming lessons during the year. Even Little Z was more independent in the pool with his life jacket. I did not have to be standing and holding onto him the whole time. I was able to float or sit on the side of the pool within arms reach and enjoy everyone’s company. Its sad the cooler weather is blowing in and the pool is closed for the summer.

swimming

Forget August, Where Has September Gone???

Like I said we have started school. Zakari was the first to start. We were so excited to dive into his new Bookshark Kindergarten curriculum. We started a day early on Tuesday September 4th. This curriculum is just such a perfect fit for my son. Several of the books these last few weeks have sucked us both in. I can’t image what we would have missed if I had just put him in the Grade 1 level.

A week later we introduced Calvert Grade 1. No, I did not purchase the whole Calvert curriculum new. $1500 US dollars is way out of my budget no matter how good the curriculum is. But I was able to get all the textbooks & most of the materials from a mom on an American homeschool Facebook group for $80 US shipped. I had looked at this curriculum years ago when Wesley was homeschooling kindergarten, but the price tag blew my mind.

Next up was Wesley. On September 5th he went off to his first day of grade 8. Guys, he’s in GRADE 8 now! I’m not entirely sure how that happened. This is his last year in middle school, then he is off to high school. He also started back up with piano & his once a week evening group at the local school gym. Two weeks ago we met his new teachers at the school BBQ. I also met one of his buddies that he has lunch with.  I hope he’s off to a good start.

Then on the 7th we sent Chloe off to start grade 7. She’s already had one overnight camping trip with her class, and seems to be enjoying school. She’s soaking in book after book. I love that she shares my love of reading.

school

Portage La Prairie Here We Come!

September means Zakari’s favourite place is open again, the Portage La Prairie Aquatic Centre. We have already taken the 1 hour 20 mins journey out there. He loves that place so much. I look forward to several more visits between now and June when they close up again for the summer.

stride place

What Does Year Round Homeschooling Look Like For Us?

So I mentioned that we are year round homeschoolers. Because Zakari is a creature of habit, we have decided that homeschooling year round is in his best interest. This allows us flexibility throughout the year. If either of us is having a bad day, we can put the books away without fear of running out of time.

However year round homeschooling this past year allowed us the time to go through two full curriculums. We started the year with Bookshark PreK, which we finished in April. Between April and August we started and completed Build Your Library Level 0.

Homeschooling Year round allowed us to enjoy all the books in the PreK Level and still hit and complete our kindergarten year. So we not only stick to a routine that worked for him, and allowed flexibility, we also completed more this year then we would have if we stuck to a strict 36 week school year.

book worm

Weight Watcher Journey

Something this summer that I did for myself was joining Weight Watchers Online. My weight was climbing past my comfort level, and my body was starting to rebel. I’m happy to say I was able to lose 22 lbs since the ending of May. 18 lbs was thanks to Weight Watchers.

A few weeks ago I joined a meeting group, and I hope to get down to a healthy weight again. I’ve already been able to get past a frustrating plateau, and the scale is going down again. It’s amazing what years of stress and poor self care can do to a body. I feel now is such an important time for me to get back on track. The healthier I am, the more I can do for my family.

Starting Our Family Holidays

This year I took 1 week off of work. Part of it was spent going to doctors and dentist appointments. You know, all that stuff no one wants to really do. I’m happy to say check ups went well, and neither of the boys have any cavities. Although Zakari gave both doctors a run for their money. Thank God for patience doctors.

Waiting at the dentist

Waiting at the dentist.

Boys and Their Toys…

But we were sure to add in the fun stuff. Wesley saved $600+ dollars of his own money and wanted to buy himself his dream RC truck. My dad took him over to my uncle’s house to try out his RC truck and learn how to take care of them. Then on the Monday of our holiday we met my parents at the local hobby shop and with my dad’s expertise he picked out a Traxxas Rustler VXL.

Since Wesley has gotten his truck he has enjoyed spending time with my dad in the country, tearing up gravel and dirt, drag racing with my uncle and cousin, and just spending some quality time with his grandpa. Even though my dad’s main hobby now is RC boats, he loves spending time with Wesley racing his truck. He even fixed up his old RC race car he use to race when I was a kid. Since they are from the late 80’s they are not as quick, but even with a few modifications using today’s technology he was able to make them faster than they use to be.

rc car

Long Weekend Trip To Grand Forks

On the Thursday of our holidays we drove out to Grand Forks and stayed at the Canad Inns. But that trip deserves its own post, so stay tuned!

 

What did you do this summer? How has the start of the school year for your family?

Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}