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learning to read

First of all I’d like to start out by saying I AM NOT A TEACHER. Anything I share in this post or any others about teaching my children at home is not in anyway to be taken as “expert advice” and merely the sharing of methods and products that have worked for my kiddos. I am also not being paid to share ANY of these products #Ipaidforthis.

Anyway, like I said before I do not have a degree in education, I am actually fun fact, a beautician. But I will say I am the single most invested person in my children’s academic progress. That fact plus the unending supply of resources and products available to me(and you!) online, at the library or in your local bookstore make me perfectly qualified to teach my babies anything really but today we are talking about reading so lets chat about that….

When Gracie was learning to read I was obsessed with researching and purchasing the BEST tools to help her and guess what? All those super amazing kits/tools I bought spent the majority of their life with us in a box on a shelf and now they live in a beautiful magical place called, The Goodwill. These are the things that worked best for my kiddos and honeslty made the whole process much easier for me.

First, letter magnets. We have had several different kinds but these are the ones we are using right now.

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And they are by far a crowd favorite over here. Also, spoiler alert I found them in the dollar spot at Target. These magnets live on our fridge and honestly they are already becoming obsolete because Eliot has mastered letter recognition. My kids spend a majority of their time at my feet while I am in the kitchen so every time I was doing dishes or cooking dinner we would go over the letters just a few at a time until they knew them all and could put them in order.

Another fun toy that was often played on the kitchen floor is this letter puzzle by Melissa and Doug.

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This one in particular is perfect for introducing letter sounds and they are self correcting which I am all about anything that does a little bit of the work for me, am I right moms or am I right?

This book was recommended to me by another homeschooling mother recently and I love it.

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It focuses on letter sounds and putting them together and it gradually moves on with simple, short lessons that can be completed 10-15 minutes. I did not have this book when I was working with Gracie and Noah and damn I wish I had because it is so easy to follow and all you need is the book, kindergarten lined paper and a pencil.

My absolute FAVORITE products for teaching your child to read is hands down the BOB book series.

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Gracie and Noah both used these books and I just added this Sight Word box for Eliot.

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They are perfect for building confidence because they follow simple phonics and are perfectly short and kinda funny which is key for keeping your littles attention.

I’m linking an Amazon list I created here with all these products if you are interested in purchasing any of these items for your little student. Also, comment below or send me an email if you have any tips/tricks/tools/products you used and LOVED or HATED for teaching reading.

all about graciekate

Up next my first baby Grace Kathryn aka Gracie, GracieKate, Baby Girl, Sweet Girl, Lovey, G. Gracie is your typical first child, she is extremely Type A maybe a little OCD which can be wonderful, like during school for instance but not so wonderful when you are running late and she incessantly reminds you of that fact plus has a nice dramatic freak out the whole time you are in the car.

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Seriously, the kid has a gift for the stage. I am not just saying this because she is my kid(ok maybe a little) but she is going to be famous one day. Not sure if it will be for ballet, theater or YouTube but it will happen! She is not only talented but extremely driven and tenacious. Her best quality is that she will ALWAYS try even if she wont get it the first time. She is unfazed by the idea of failing or looking silly and when she does “fail” or “look silly,” she doesn’t let that discourage her and she will keep at it until its perfect(see type A personality). This quality and her performance abilities will make her an unstoppable force in the entertainment world.

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Plus, she LOVES auditions. That is not sarcasm you just read, she absolutely thrives under that kind of pressure much like when she is on stage. For example, this is a conversation we had at the end of last year…..

Gracie: Do you think maybe I could just do the audition but not the show?

Me: What?

Gracie: I don’t want to be in the show I just want to go to the audition.

Me: Why would you do that?

Gracie: Because I LOVE doing auditions, they are so much fun!

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Unfortunately, with all this ambition and talent comes the need to fly away and pursue her dreams and goals. I have had the conversation with her ballet teacher many times telling her how I always feel like I am hanging on to her by the skin of my teeth and I have a feeling a quiet West Side of Cincinnati life isn’t in the future for our shining star{cut to me crying in the shower}.

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Gracie, I love you desperately and am so excited to see where life takes you. Please don’t go away too soon, ok? I promise I’ll let you move out when you are 30 or something….maybe….probably…. we can talk about it later.

XOXO

Madre

same but different

Hi Everyone! It has been a hot minute since I last blogged, like 6 or 7 years HOLY SH!T. If you did not know I used to write a little blog, also called My Life in Sweats about my life with Corey and the kiddos(we only had two then). It was basically a journal and photos of the cute, funny, sweet, not cute, not funny and not so sweet things my babies did. Here is a little visual to give you an idea…..

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I am honestly not sure why I stopped. I am guessing it had to do with the fact that as they got older and busier we traded days of playing in our basement, riding bikes in our cul de sac and swimming in my moms pool for soccer games, ballet class and homework. And while I miss the days when I could solve their problems with a sucker or a snuggle the ages they are right now is so fun! Added bonus, I can not tell you how nice it is to live in the land of no diaper bag, sippy cups and strollers. Oh and PRAISE BE(Handmaids Tale anyone?) I traded in my mini van for an suv! Besides moving on from baby/toddlerville there have been a TON of changes to our life since I left off so let me get you up to speed……

We added a kiddo to the mix in 2013, Eliot Rose.

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Adopted the BEST pup in all the world, Sam.

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We moved into a beautiful 1930’s colonial in 2014 and have been fixing it up room by room.

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#itsaredbrickcolonial

Corey started his own business Cincinnati WebTec and works full time from home.

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Cincinnati WebTechttp://Cincinnatiwebtec.com

And I started homeschooling our kiddos last year.

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It’s been crazy and wonderful and so so fast. This blog will be pretty much the same as my old one just prettier(thanks corey) and more content because my life does not consist of diapers, naptime and popsicles and looks more like this ….

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Same but different.

So be sure to subscribe so you can follow along and leave a comment below with ideas of what you would like me to share!

About Me

Hi! I’m Joanna, a wife and mom of three. I was born and raised on the West Side of Cincinnati Ohio and Corey and I are now raising our kiddos here. Our life isn’t all that glamorous or exciting but it’s ours and I’m obsessed.