Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Crafty Classroom- A Review

 If you have ever taught more than one child to read, you know that what works for one child may not for the next.  Painfully that is the lesson that I have learned with all three of my children.  Popper was easy, he basically taught himself. Brother Bear is an online learner. Sister, she is her own person with her own learning style. She likes to color, play with play-doh, and be creative. When I read about Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook and R.E.A.D. Review Pack by The Crafty Classroom, I knew that this was exactly what Sister needed! I was so thrilled to be given the opportunity to review these!

We received a download of both the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook and the R.E.A.D. Review Pack. Sister was excited to get her own reading notebook and begged to start from the moment she saw me printing it out!  

In the beginning of the book there is a pre-assessment. One part is a chart with the letters and pictures that begin with that letter's sound. When I began this with Sister to make sure that she was ready for the notebook, I found that she was farther behind than I had realized. She had forgotten some of her letters and their sounds. 

Thankfully, part of the assessment included some flashcard style letters that we used to identify both the capital and lower case of each one. This activity also included picture cards for the sounds the letters make. We used these for a few weeks to help her to remember her letters. 

Once I had confidence that she knew her letters, we began the Notebook. The book suggests several ways to organize the many pages to keep up with them. It also provides both a 4 and 5 day schedule. I chose the 4 day. I wanted Sister to enjoy learning and not overwhelm her. I also chose to organize my materials by day in file folders. That helped me keep track of her school work with out her coloring all the pages ahead of time.

She absolutely loved the hands-on activities provided by her R.E.A.D. Notebook. My hands-on, play-doh loving girl fell in love with what she now calls "her school work." 

(We ran out of q-tips the day that I decided to take pictures of her learning!) I loved that there are several pages each day to reinforce the sight words and word endings that are being learned each week.  

Sister still hasn't completely mastered reading yet. She can see and identify some sight words. So, we have been progressing slower then originally planned. However, that didn't stop Brother Bear from making more progress in his reading! Here he is using one of the readers from the R.E.A.D. Review Pack. These are 28 early readers that are supposed to be used along side the notebook. However, as you can see, they can be used alone! Brother Bear loved the fun stories and that he could read the entire book all by himself! 

I am so grateful to have found The Crafty Classroom! Sister has been begging everyday to do her flashcards and Notebook. It has definitely made teaching her to read much more fun than work. (which makes this momma very happy!) 

Crafty Classroom

You can connect with The Crafty Classroom online:

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew received a copy of R.E.A.D. and other great products from The Crafty Classroom including
Alphabet Curriculum Notebook
Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook
USA Activity Bundle
How to Write a Paragraph

You can read their reviews by clicking the link below:

Crafty Classroom {Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 24, 2017

When It's Time to Say Goodbye

When we became foster parents I knew that there would be heartache. I knew that children would move on. I simply never prepared myself for it to happen so quickly. 

I have been a little quiet about the subject lately because I am still healing. My heart hurts when I think about those sweet babies that I held for such a short time, but will love forever.  Attachment is still worth it. These kids needed us, even if for a short time. 

I can't explain much except to say that the move was sudden and a very hard on our family. We are all still very shocked and hurting. I keep waiting on our lives to 'go back to normal' only I am finding that our normal has changed. Not one of us came through this unaffected. We are all trying to figure out the answer to the question, 'what next?' And while the specific answer is still unknown, there are a few things that I can tell you:

We are still a certified foster home just maintaining a HOLD status with the state. Life has changed dramatically for us. Our support system that started this journey with us, has fallen apart. We are praying and seeking the Lord's will for how to rebuild that support and when to reopen our home to another child. I am not sure when that will be. Being a foster family is tough enough when you have support, without it, well, let's just say we are still on hold for a reason.  

I just thought it was time to write about it, to share the part that is real and hard and sometimes completely overwhelming. This command that the Lord gives to love others, it's tough! I continue to draw strength from Him. I know that He already see the future, He knows the names of our next kiddos, He is arranging things perfectly for them and for us.  Until then, we wait. That is almost as hard as saying goodbye!