The first week of January is always half and half for me. Blessing...peace...home...new toys...organizing....yay. And then...Curse...home...too many toys...trying to fit it all in...overstimulated kids who only want Ipad and sugar...etc ...etc. This year, lucky us, add to that, frigid polar vortex temperatures which makes blowing off energy outside IMPOSSIBLE.
And here we are. Its both things, but we are working out the kinks and getting into a rhythm. Today I feel slightly under the weather so we do a low key school day, I type at the table while boy does math problems and girls play the unending game of house.
I did take a shower this morning, though (uninterrupted! AMAZING!) but rather than putting on clean real jeans or pants, per my intention, I snuggled back into these fleece lounge pants I found at the thrift store, new, with tags on, exceedingly soft, and exceedingly ugly. I mean, PINK ZEBRA PRINT ugly, so so so SO ugly. SO ugly in fact little miss cringed when I stepped out of the bedroom with them on and dada almost refused to let me wear them until I swore up and down I would NEVER EVER take a picture of myself in them to post online. EVER. I swore, up and down, and now I just can't bring myself to take them off. 1) I have no where to go 2) polar vortex 3) SO SOFT AND FLUFFY.
All that to say.
January is boring.
LET'S DO A GIVEAWAY!
I have never had the intention to do giveaways or product reviews with this blog BUT a few months ago I was actually contacted by the Alphaphonics Company to do a review and giveaway of their materials. I said yes because, well, we have always used it, in fact my mom used it to teach my younger siblings so its a curriculum I really believe in. In addition, the company is owned and run by a family, the Watts, who I have been in touch with personally about the giveaway, and that is nice to support, and well, because giveaways are fun, and January is boring, as we have already established.
No but really, this is exciting for me because these are GREAT materials and I love being able to give things away to you guys.
So. Not sure how to do a "proper" review of a product, as I have never done it. But I can tell you what I have to say about this curriculum.
1) EASY TO USE
Day one of our homeschool adventure I just sat down with the book, opened it up, and read through the first lesson with little man. That is it. We got to about lesson 50 by the end of his first year with it, taking it slow. Each lesson is short, simple, and allows your child (and you) to tackle reading in easy bites, one step at a time. This takes the fear and/or monotony out of teaching a child to read. First lesson is "a+m= AM". And literally, right there, they have an "Ah, HA!" moment, and they are reading sentences by the second lesson!
In the back of the text are brief instructions to the parent on the concept to be introduced in each lesson. The new curriculum packet they sent me to review (and keep! yay!) also includes a CD to use on the computer which talks you through teaching each lesson, as well as a workbook (which perhaps is more suited to a child who is reading more easily already, because it really seems to be about reading comprehension, not just letter and sound recognition, etc) The packet (which you could win!) also comes with reading books, simple sentences in a simple story format that corresponds with the lessons easily.
The text is very simple in layout. Large print. No distracting pictures. No stickers. Just walking through the basic steps of reading - the 44 sounds of the alphabet - one simple lesson at a time.
Well, um, it worked. We got through the first 50 lessons or so in our first year ("first grade"), supplementing with lots of reading classic books out loud, copy work, and practicing reading with a few small books (Frog and Toad mainly). We let it go over the summer. I think that is key too, to let it all lie fallow for awhile. Suddenly at one point in the summer I look over and he had found a Calvin and Hobbes book and he was READING IT. I even said "Are you reading that?" and he was like, "uh, yea, so?" Such an amazing thing as a parent, when your kid starts the journey of reading! So, yes, effective. It has also helped several of my siblings who struggle with dyslexia to learn to read, so it works well for a variety of learning styles and those with learning difficulties. This year we are using it a few times a week, maybe just once or twice really, in addition to lots of copy work and starting in on cursive writing. We use the long lists of practice words (to reinforce the concepts in the past few lessons) as our spelling words and pause when we get to these lists to study the words, for one week, and then have a "quiz" on Friday to check his work.
So, yes. I've got the beat up old copy used by my mom for my siblings, and we are still using it for little man. Little miss has started in on the first formal lessons of the shiny new book. (VERY exciting for her!) and within a few lessons she is now reading simple words and sentences (this is a full year earlier than we started with little man. A difference in child I think. She is nonplussed when she can't figure a word out, he at that age acted like it was the end of the world.)
All that to say - if you are hoping to work with your child on reading skills, as a homeschooler, or to reinforce reading skills at school, or to help out a child with learning issues, I'd really recommend this book!
So, the giveaway part!
I think, like last time, I need to make some clear guidelines. You will only be officially entered if you leave a comment here on this post (NOT on my facebook page) this is mainly because it gets to darn complicated to keep track of otherwise. SO, to enter:
1) follow my blog here OR my page on facebook (which is more fun, really) AND
2) share a post on your facebook page (if you don't have a facebook page, share on twitter? pinterest? or email around? the point is share this blog around!) This could be this post or another favorite post. AND THEN...
3) leave a comment here with YOUR NAME (initials if you like) but NO anonymous entries, please, and how you shared this blog around.
4) one entry per person/family please, and I will announce the winner (determined via random drawing) on January 31! (Prize will be shipped directly from the Alpha-Phonics company to you!)
[ETA... SOOOOO....to clarify....1) follow my blog here or on facebook (here is the link!) AND 2) share this post or my blog somewhere else on the big wide internets (pinterest, facebook, twitter, etc.) AND THEN 3) let me know how you did it in a comment here (with no anonymous posts!) hope that clears things up!! THANKS!!!!]
And if you want to just order these materials now (or you don't win this contest) the order form can be found here on their website.
|I CAN READ MOM.|
|the original book used by my mom!|
|nice shiny new curriculum, all including in the winning packet!|