Learning From a Textbook? Try LIVING with pages from a real Book.

Great idea for getting to know your state…

1 Rad Home school Dad


. . . how colorfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child! What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out! And we don’t stop there. We don’t respect the children’s thinking or let them come to any conclusions themselves! We ply them with endless questions, the ones we’ve thought up, instead of being silent and letting the child’s questions bubble up with interest. We tire them with workbooks that would squeeze out the last drop of anybody’s patience. We remove interesting books and squander time on ‘reading skill testing,’ using idiotic isolated paragraphs which no one would dream of taking home to read.5 

After reading this quote today, I am reminded of the wonderful opportunity we have to teach our children. We get to share with them how to react to bullies. How to love others. How to show the Love of Christ. We get…

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AmblesideOnline.org – where do you start?

If you’re like me, the first visit to amblesideonline.org can seem a bit overwhelming. I’d like to pass on some great advice that I was given on how to approach the site.

Start with the “Frequently Asked Questions”.  You can read them through the link or download a printable pdf (note it is 23 pages long).  On the Ambleside website, they note these are “questions that were found on the Ambleside Online email list to be most commonly asked by list members. Information from nearly two years of list archives has been collected and compiled here; we encourage you to read this page in its entirety – the chances are good that your question has already been answered here!”

I hope you find this recommendation helpful.  It was a blessing to me.

God Bless you on your Walk!

Book of Firsts

Recently, at a meeting with fellow Charlotte Mason friends, the topic of a “Book of Firsts” was mentioned.  I had never heard of a “Book of Firsts” but I liked it so much I decided to do a post about it.  Charlotte Mason suggested using this method with children.

A Charlotte Mason “Book of Firsts” is a diary that you keep to record when “The First (event)” happened in the year.  For example, you may want to record “Saw the first Daffodil bloom of the year” or “Saw the first Bradford Pear bud of the year”. When you see your “first”, you record it in your diary.  Ideally, it would be best to use a calendar with only the month and the date and  you would record the year and document what “First” you observed. And year after year, you note your “firsts” of the year.

If you are living in the same area, you would, hopefully, have similar entries each year, such as “Saw the first Bradford Pear bud of the year” and you will begin to notice the date moves each year as winter is either shorter or longer.  This is a great teaching tool for children helping them to be better observers of nature around them, as well as, teach them about specific flowers and trees and more. If you move, it is a great way to see how blooming happens earlier or later in the year depending on where you are.

And remember,  it’s not just about spring “firsts”.  A great fall first could be “Saw the first yellow leaf” or for winter “Saw the first snow”. It’s a wonderful year round activity.

God Bless you on your Walk!

Charlotte Mason Original Homeschooling Series – where to find it

The Original Home Schooling Series includes the complete works of Charlotte Mason.  Currently, I belong to a group that meets once a month to discuss Charlotte Mason’s writing.  Basically, we read one book at a time, one chapter at a time.

We meet at someone’s house each month and our moderator leads us in discussing the assigned chapter.  Our moderator, who has been leading the group for over 10 years, is an amazing woman that has been homeschooling for over 17 years and the majority of that time she has been using Charlotte Mason’s methods.

I have had the privilege and pleasure of being part of this group for over 3 years.  I joined simply to meet like minded, Christian women that were going to home school or were already home schooling their children.  I had no idea who Charlotte Mason was.  I did a quick google search, read a brief bio and was interested.  Since then, I can truly say I have been on a journey.  I have come to realize that when we meet we are covering Charlotte Mason’s theories.

Charlotte Mason’s Original Home Schooling Series represents her theories on education.  She covers a broad spectrum of topics bringing them all together under the main theme: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

The breadth and depth of these books will give us plenty to discuss in upcoming posts.

Ambleside Online has made the books available online for free here.  If you find it difficult to read, Ambleside Online also has a Paraphrased Modern English version available for free here.  If you wish to have a hard copy, I would recommend following the book link above to Amazon (through our affiliated related link) or try other web stores.

Amazon has other versions than this available but I’ve heard they do differ from the Original Homeschooling Series so beware.

Blessings to you all!

How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – Book Review

I began this book with my son when he was four years and three months.  It was very easy to follow and the instructions were spelled out very specifically.  It literally tells you exactly what to say. I really liked this because it was simple and straightforward. However, I started too early with my son and I realize that I was just over eager.  I pushed through a little longer than I should have and finally realized he just wasn’t ready. We put the book aside and didn’t pick it back up until he was 4 1/2.  I realize that it may not seem like a lot of time, but it worked for us.  Since he had already been through quite a few of the lessons in the first go round, the second time he zipped through the first few lessons.  I think this gave him a boost of confidence and from then on it was smooth sailing.  He did not struggle at all like he did the first time.  I truly believe the lessons should only take 15 minutes or less.  If it’s taking you longer it might be a situation similar to ours where the child is not ready.  Be patient.  You will get there! One thing I felt that helped us was making flash cards for the words that you can’t sound out, such as: said, is, was, etc.  I also made flash cards for all the common words: the, this, that, has, have, had, I, she, we, he, etc.  I only reviewed the flash cards if we had already covered the word in the book. We would complete a lesson in the book and then go through the flash cards.  This helped him recognize the words quicker and improved his reading. If you are unsure about whether you are ready for this book or not, you may want to check with you local library to see if they have a copy and try it out a couple weeks before buying. Making the flash cards was simple.  I typed the words in Microsoft Word, printed them, laminated them, and cut them out.

All the best to you in your home school journey!