Sunday, September 22, 2013

Scripture and a Snapshot ~~9/22/2013






As a face is reflected in water,
    so the heart reflects the real person.

Proverbs 27:19












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Friday, September 20, 2013

Random Five on Friday ~~ 9/20/13




 Happy Friday!! In no particular order, here are five things I can't live without

1. My family . . . When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was a mommy, and look what God did for me!!!



2.  My God, my faith, my Bible . . . I have been a Christian since I was four years old. Praying is like breathing to me.  



3. My coffee . . . I have been drinking coffee since I was 14 years old, and I have never gone more than a few days without it.  The only two beverages I drink daily: coffee and water. :)



4.  My heating pad . . .  I suffer from daily, chronic pain and heat brings me a lot of relief.  Since I can't stay in a hot shower all day long, the heating pad is the next best thing. 



5.  My floss . . . seriously.  I have floss with me at all times. I am a bit obsessive about flossing and brushing.   I have always been extremely self-conscious about my big ol' teeth, so I work hard to take care of them! :)




What are some things YOU can't live without on a daily basis? Leave a comment below and let me hear ya!

Random Five on Friday is a blog hop! Click the cute birdhouse below to read more! 





©2013-2014 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beauty Captured~~9/19/2013

Yes, God made even these . . .



 


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Random Five on Friday ~~September 13, 2013

Random Five on Friday!

Five Random Shows I love to watch!  (Or at least DVR so I can watch when my hubby's not home.)

1.  Any Hallmark weekend movie (especially in December) 




 2.  House Hunters International



3.  Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives



4.  Duck Dynasty



5.  Project Runway


Random Five on Friday All Over the Blogging World: 





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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

(Review) The Logic of English Essentials Program








What is the best curriculum you’ve probably never heard of but should have?  The Logic of English!! We were beyond blessed to have been chosen for this review of their Essentials Program and their Ipad Phonograms App

From the Logic of English website: 

The Logic of English® Essentials curriculum includes 40 lessons to introduce the 74 Basic Phonograms and 30 Spelling Rules. While the spelling list includes 480 of the most frequently used words, students learn thousands of additional words with the lessons as they learn how to write compound words and add prefixes and suffixes to form derivatives.

Our Story

Before I begin my review, I need to give you a little background.  I, in my infinite homeschooling mama wisdom (cough-cough), decided that when I started homeschooling Abbey when she was a kindergartner, I would teach her to read via the sight word method.  Despite years of struggling and pulling my hair out to get her to learn this method, I still thought I was doing what was best for her in the long run.  Despite the fact that she didn’t read well or recognize words well until she was seven years old, I still thought I was doing what was best.   And while her reading ability has improved almost three grade levels in the last year alone, she is still an atrocious speller because she does not have a clue which letter combinations make up the sounds she hears in words.  If the word she is trying to spell is not one she has memorized, she will consistently misspell it.  I am not proud of the fact that I taught her incorrectly, and I regret it with everything in me.

However, God, in His infinite grace, has allowed me to discover and review the Essentials Program from Logic of English: A Systematic Approach to Reading, Spelling and Writing.   Author Denise Eide has shown us the care and keeping of a phonics, reading, spelling, writing and grammar program, and has neatly packaged it for homeschool and traditional classroom use.

What I received:

The Logic of English Essentials Teacher’s Manual . . .$95
The Logic of English Essentials Student Cursive Workbook . . .$25
The Logic of English Phonogram & Spelling Game Book . . . $15
Phonogram Game Cards-Manuscript . . .$10
Phonogram Game Cards—Cursive . . .$10
Spelling Rule Flash Cards . . . $15
Basic Phonogram Flash Cards . . . $18

Please click HERE to learn more about the recommended, strongly recommended, and optional items for the Essentials Program. 

The Essentials Program is recommended for ages 7 to adult, and especially for struggling readers and/or struggling spellers (as my daughter is).



Preparing to Teach

When I first opened the box, I was first struck by the quality of the materials we received.  The teacher’s manual is so well laid out that despite my feeling overwhelmed at first, I soon got the feeling I was about to turn the corner on the roadblock that Abbey 
had hit.  
 

I followed the instructions in the guide to the letter, and took the time necessary to prepare for teaching this course.  I studied how important phonemic and kinesthetic awareness of sounds are. I learned how students progress from phonics to “gluing” the sounds together to make words, and how important it is for them to "un-glue" the words as well. Additionally, I learned the importance of cursive and how much easier it really is for the student to use.  Was all this preparation time-consuming? Yes. Is my child worth it? Yes!   

Teaching the Lessons

Each VERY THOROUGH lesson is broken down into three sections, covering the following topics:
  • New Phonograms (sounds and the letters that make those sounds)
  • Phonogram Games
  • Dictation
  • Spelling Lists
  • Grammar Lesson
  • Vocabulary Development


We start each new lesson with the Phonograms App on the Ipad.  This app allows the student to see the phonograms and hear them spoken.  It quizzes the student on each level of new phonograms (corresponding with the lessons in the workbook.) A review of past lesson phonograms are also included. The app ‘speaks’ the sound that each phonogram can make, and the student must press the correct letter(s). 




Incorrect answers are met with a buzz, and correct answers are meet with a ding.  After each level is completed, the student is taken to the review screen and if they have mastered a phonogram by getting it correct five or more times, it is marked as “mastered.”  Abbey loved this overview and the progress she was making.




While the app is a wonderful supplement and a great deal at only $2.99, it is NOT necessary to be successful at this stage of the lesson.  You, as the teacher, may just say the sounds aloud for the student and have them write them in their notebook, where a space is provided.

Reinforcing with Game Play

We then play a game as directed in the teacher’s manual and this truly reinforces the sounds and the spellings of these sounds.  While the games are optional, I encourage you to NOT skip this part.  The student will be learning without even realizing it! 

Phonogram Board Game

Phonogram Game Cards

Spelling Basketball! 




Exploring Sounds 

The Exploring Sounds section allows you to really work with your student on the new sounds and how the short, long, and broad sounds should be marked when exploring a word and the sounds it makes.  The student workbook has a space for the student to work as you teach each section.  The teacher’s manual spells it all out for you. It directs you on what to write on the board, what to say, and what to do! No stress! 

Spelling Rules

The Spelling Rules section was one of my favorite sections because there was a corresponding spelling rule for the spelling list that the student is about to attempt.  The Spelling Rule cards are numbered and allow the student a “flash card” for reinforcement of learning each rule.

The spelling list for each lesson was honestly way below Abbey’s reading level, and in most lessons to date, are a bit below her spelling level. However, the fact that each list is reinforcing the new phonograms and the spelling rules is making it worth the effort to not skip this step.  Abbey actually likes that she can spell 95% of these words, and can instead just concentrate on the rules and the parts of speech for each list.

Grammar

The grammar section is where the spelling list is used to teach parts of speech.  While some words can be used in more than one way, The Logic of English instructs you to have the child concentrate on only one at a time, so as to eliminate confusion. However, they do offer “Grammar Challenges” that help older students recognize these different parts of speech for the same word.  The student is directed to mark each word in their list for the correct parts of speech each week.

There are Grammar Rule cards available from The Logic of English, but because we did not receive those in our package, I simply wrote the rules on blank notecards and we studied them in that way. 

The plurals of each noun in the spelling list is then studied, reinforcing the spelling rules for adding either –s or –es to each word.  Optional, additional plural practice sections are provided each week. 

As the lessons progress, each grammar lesson is becoming more and more challenging which I appreciate.  We are just finishing up Lesson 6, and we have studied the correct placement of commas in a series.

Dictation and Vocabulary Development

The final section of each lesson includes a dictation exercise where the teacher dictates a series of words or phrases related to the lesson and allows the student to copy them in their workbook.  The best part about the dictation? I tell Abbey I am only going to say the word or phrase ONCE, and she has to write what I say. This forces her to listen and concentrate, a much needed skill for my easily distracted child. 

The vocabulary section challenges your child to learn new words and put them to use.  We finish up each lesson with the composition exercise, and as extra motivation for Abbey, she will earn an Icee or an ice cream cone for doing well on this challenging section.  She loves that and actually looks forward to this challenge each week.



Customizing Each Lesson

As you can see, this is a very thorough, systematic approach to learning the English language.  We have taken our time and broken each lesson into at least two days of work; sometimes even three days.  I encourage you not to rush through the lessons.  There is so much great information found within, the lessons are written with such care and precision, it is worth it to take each section slowly. 

There are 40 lessons in The Logic of English Essentials program, so expect to take a full school year to complete this program, according to your school calendar.  The Essentials Program is recommended for ages 7 to adult. The lessons are clear and precise and easy to use.  Most of all they are fun for the student and easy for the teacher!

Want proof that Abbey is enjoying The Logic of English Essentials?  Last week, we had to make an unexpected out of town trip, forcing us to forego our schoolwork for the day. Abbey said, “But I’m going to miss doing my English!” True story.  Additionally, I found her making a spelling list for her friends to play school with, and at the bottom of the spelling list, she listed the spelling rule for the phonograms in her spelling list.  Those are the things that make you know that what you’re doing is really sinking in. 




I am so grateful that it’s not too late to teach my daughter the correct way to learn our complex English language.  Still not sure? I encourage you to learn more about the wonderful Essentials Program from The Logic of English by clicking HERE for an excellent video overview. 


My Schoolhouse Review Crewmates also reviewed The Logic of English programs (Foundations, Essentials, and The Rhythm of Handwriting), so please click the banner below to learn more!











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Monday, September 9, 2013

Beauty Captured ~~09/09/2013

After the storm . . .



[It's a blog hop:]



Don't miss any of my posts! Subscribe in a reader or check out my Facebook page. Subscribe to this blog and have each post delivered straight to your inbox! ©2013-2014 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com

Friday, September 6, 2013

Random Five on Friday ~~September 6, 2013



Five random facts I have realized since beginning my pursuit of my doctorate degree:

1.  Sleep is NOT over-rated. 

2.  Learning is exhausting and exhilarating all at once. 

3.  High speed internet is invaluable. 

4.  I am so thankful for every great English teacher I ever had. 

5.  I need a nap. 


I love this blog hop: 

Don't miss any of my posts! Subscribe in a reader or check out my Facebook page. Subscribe to this blog and have each post delivered straight to your inbox! ©2013-2014 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life Lessons: Tattoos and Other Defiling Acts

While checking out at Winn-Dixie a few weeks ago, the man in line behind me started making coarse comments to the cashier about the tattoos on both of her arms.  "Why did you go and do THAT? Don't you regret it now? Come on, be honest with yourself. You wish you hadn't gotten them, don't you?"  The poor young girl sheepishly said, "Umm, no, sir. These are the names of my children, and no, I don't regret it. I love my children very much." She was obviously very insulted by his words and was almost in tears.  I smiled at her and tried to make the awkward moment better by changing the subject, feeling embarrassed for the way this stranger was acting towards someone he didn't even know.  I looked back at him, his unshaven face, his overweight belly hanging over hiding his belt, and I was all at once disgusted by him and yet convicted about my own sin.

Convicted, because when I see a tattoo, I cringe, and yes, sadly, I judge.  While I don't have any tattoos, my son and my sister do.  And while I love  my family very much, it makes me uncomfortable when I see these permanent pictures on their beautiful bodies. Even though my son's tattoo is a Bible verse and the Christian fish symbol, it still makes me cringe to see tattoos on ANYONE.   Although I can justify those strong feelings with scripture that clearly speaks against defiling our bodies (Lev. 19:28), I realized in that moment in a grocery store checkout line that I was being extremely selective in how I used that scripture to support my own judgmental attitudes. 

If our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (they are), and if they belong to God (they do), then isn't eating junk food just as sinful as getting a tattoo?  How dare I judge someone for making a choice to permanently mark their bodies, when I enjoy three cups of coffee and a handful of cookies, or chocolate, or other really-bad-for-me foods, every single day. I am also permanently altering the cells of my body, am I not? My defiling may be slower and not immediately noticeable, but I am not treating my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit any more than tattoo gatherers are.

If you're reading this and you have a tattoo, please know God has clearly spoken to my heart and I am learning to judge less and less, and to love more and more.  

And please know that I know this is an important message to hear from the One who has my name tattooed on the palms of His own hands. 



"See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:16



©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Beauty Captured ~~09/04/2013

Finding beauty everywhere. . .even in a fanned-out fish tail! 



This is a blog hop! Click button below to see what I mean! 




Don't miss any of my posts! Subscribe in a reader . Subscribe to this blog and have each post delivered straight to your inbox! ©2013-2014 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Day~~ September 2013

Unbelievable! We made it to September! God has blessed us all year long, and I can't wait to see what this month holds! Although we're home now, we spent the first of September camping at one of our favorite places! 











Want to see some more First Day posts from other bloggers? You won't be sorry. . .click the button to see what I mean! 






Don't miss any of my posts! Subscribe in a reader . Subscribe to this blog and have each post delivered straight to your inbox! ©2013-2014 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com

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