Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Can Teach My Child to Read!

There are not enough words to say how much I love this book. I didn't start homeschooling my oldest son until second grade because I wanted him to learn to read. I wasn't patient enough to teach him myself. I'd tried to start teaching him when he was preschool and it was a miserable failure. He was frustrated, I was frustrated, and no learning was going on. So I decided to send him to public school.

Imagine my apprehension when my 5-year-old (who is not in kindergarten yet because is birthday is 2 days past the cutoff *grr*) decided that he doesn't want to go to school next year. He wants to have school at home like his older brother.

Well... I certainly didn't know what to say to that. I mean, I didn't want my impatience to impede his learning to read.

Well, it turns out I was doing it wrong. That's why my oldest and I were both getting so frustrated.

I "liked" I Can Teach My Child on Facebook (they provide excellent ideas and resources for homeschooling), and I saw that they had written an ebook called I Can Teach My Child to Read!

I was skeptical when I purchased the Kindle version (at the link above, there's a .pdf version). After all, I had read several books on reading and I even bought the expensive curriculum for my oldest. Nothing I tried worked.

It's because everything I'd read and everything I'd tried were wrong.

This book has so many ideas, tips and tricks to teach your child to read! Before, I had learned that reading was the ultimate goal. But, according to the author, Jenae Jacobson, "comprehension and enjoyment" are the ultimate goal.

Of course, I knew that comprehension and enjoyment are important, but I thought they came naturally when reading was accomplished. But no! According to this book, teaching comprehension and enjoyment is as important as teaching what the words say. The book also teaches you how to teach your child how to make a mental picture of what's going on so that when they progress to less picture-heavy chapter books, they can imagine what's going on as they read.

After each chapter I was so excited to begin that I wanted to put the book down and start. But I did read the book to the end (in one sitting, by the way - this is a very easy to read and understand book). And I'm glad I did. I feel much better equipped to teach my 5-year-old to read than ever before. And I will keep updating his progress in this blog. :)

**Note: Nowhere in this book does it say "everything you've been doing so far is wrong." I decided all by myself that I was doing everything wrong. lol!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Miracle for Jen Review

This is a story about a Christian family of 4 living a seemingly perfect life. That is, until a tragic car accident injured the entire family, and nearly claimed the life of the daughter, Jen.

Oh, my. It's not very often that a book brings a tear to my eye, but this one definitely did. What a heart wrenching story! I shed a tear for the mother, Linda Barrick, who attempted to keep her life together, keep vigil by her daughter's side whenever she could, and keep her faith alive all at the same time. I cannot even imagine going through what she went through.

I shed a tear for Jen, who had such a bright future, a zest for life, a heart on fire for God. And now, in just a moment's time, it looks (according to the doctors) like she'll never have these things again.

Well, except for the family's deep devotion and constant prayers to God.

Asking God for a miracle.

And a miracle he did provide.

Jen lived. Despite all the odds. And what's more, she learned to walk, eat, write, do almost everything she could before. Her journey was a hard one and I'm sure is still on-going, but her love of God comes shining through each page of this book.

Jen's life is changed now. It's more difficult to do small tasks that most of us take for granted. But God gave her a second chance at life. And she is using it to tell others her story in the hopes that whenever they struggle or doubt God's love, they can rest assured in the fact that God is there and will bring them out of the ashes stronger thank before. What a wonderful and inspiring book!

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.