Tag Archiv: phonics

Vikings, Venomous Vorpents, and other inhabitants of the Isle of Berk

If you don’t already know, the Isle of Berk is the setting in which our family’s favorite book series takes place: How to Train Your Dragon. These stories are simply fantastic, I can’t say enough good about them. We started reading them aloud as family about 2 years ago and all of us- from middle aged husband to my toddler daughter- thoroughly enjoyed the action packed yet thought provoking tales of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third and his tiny dragon, Toothless. In fact we’ve read the books several times each at this point, and listened to the audio books more times than I could care to count as well. So needless to say, being such fans of HTTYD, dragons are a source of interest for my children. I’d go so far as to say dragons are a source of motivation for LittleMan and SunnyGirl. Which is what inspired this activity.
V is for Venomous Vorpent, Suzy Homeschooler1
In the books, the dragons love (more…)

Using Our First Early Readers

We took the plunge and started LittleMan on his first early readers. He’d been playing around with our Dr Seuss collection and working on small individual words. It felt like the next natural step. Right now he’s mostly still mirroring us, learning how to sound out words.

There are some words he recognizes without sounding them out. Oddly enough they are not common sight words like “on” or “the,” the words he can recognize without sounding them out are mostly names. His own name. Names of favorite superheroes, such as Spiderman. Also sound-words which are popular in comic books, such as “pow.”
At first I thought it was because an item was associated with that superhero, or because he recognized the font that the name was written in. Then I wrote them down in my own handwriting and without saying a word showed the paper to him. He recognized the words and immediately read them off to me. Guess all those comic books we’ve been reading together are finally paying off.

Using Free Printable Early Readers, Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)

The Flaw in “Letter of the Week” and Why I Did Letter Themed Activities Anyway

I used to do “letter of the week” style drills with LittleMan. I would direct his attention to that letter, read him stories about that letter, have him trace that letter, talk about objects which names started with that letter, etc.. But I found that it didn’t work.
The majority of the time LittleMan seemed to forget whatever letter we were discussing by the time we moved on to the next letter. And even when he didn’t forget the letter, he never really seemed to grasp what it was. C is for cat, d is for dog; to him these were nonsensical statements, abstract ideas which he was unable to wrap his head around. (more…)

5 Harold and the Purple Crayon Activities

Today I was planning to do a color themed bath for the kids. Simple, easy, fun. Just throw in some balls and balloons, maybe some legos all the same color. Add scented bath paint and colored water and you’re golden. But sometime around breakfast I went from deciding to do a blue themed bath, to doing a purple themed bath, to doing a Harold and the Purple Crayon themed bath. Once my mind got onto Harold and the Purple Crayon things just started happening. Next thing I know I had thrown together an entire Harold and the Purple Crayon themed day for the kids.

harold and the purple crayon 

Alphabet Hunt in the Ball Pit

Last week I saw this alphabet puzzle at Staples for $1 and it reminded me of an activity that I saw several months ago on Little Hands, Big Work.

Alphabet Hunt in the Ball Pit from Suzy Homeschooler (1)

So of course I had to buy it! And this morning I was poised over a tub of pinto beans, ready to pop the letters out of the puzzle and mix them in when out of the corner of my eye I spotted SunnyGirl collecting balls from around the room and returning them to the ball pit. Inspiration hit. (more…)

How Can I Teach My Son to Read….When He Won’t Sit Still?!


literacy-practice-for-boys-from-suzy-homeschooler-5My greatest struggle in teaching my son is, and has always been, he learns differently than I did as a child. I read about the different learning styles and gather ideas from other homeschooling blogs and in my head it all makes sense. He needs to move around to learn, he needs the physical connection with his environment. Its really so simple. But applying this knowledge is like trying to speak French to a Frenchman without any experience in speaking French! My son is, in his own way, speaking a language which is foreign to me. (more…)