Posts tagged #homeschool curriculum

Teaching reading and BOB Books

When I first thought about homeschooling one of my biggest fears was teaching my child how to read. I was no expert and I had no idea where I would start. Then I came across Bob Books and it has worked wonders.

Teaching my daughter how to read has been a consistent and diligent task but not a difficult one. I'm amazed at how well Bob Books has worked for us. Bella picked it up pretty fast.


We're not those parents that always read to our kids from when they were in the womb. Yeah we picked up a cute picture baby book here and there but it's not something we did on daily basis. I found that both of my children love when I read to them. They sit quietly around as I read through the picture books we take out from the library. I realized this was a great way to get them to settle down at night, too. No kidding, right?!

Start with Phonics

The one thing that I love about Bob Books is that it starts with phonics. From the first book in the beginner readers box it starts teaching you the sounds letter by letter, slowly incorporating each new sound into every new book.

We have started to incorporate the I Can Read level 1 books and I get so tickled when I see her lips start to sound out a word she doesn't know!

Let them tell the story

Another method I used was looking at the pictures and trying to create a story first. She absolutely got a kick out of this and it really encourages her creativity and imagination.

One of the greatest rewards I have gotten is seeing how proud and accomplished my daughter feels when she is able to get through the whole book on her own.

How we used BOB Books

We started off just reading

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

for a couple of days. I wanted her to get the concept of letters and sounds and how they create words. After the first week we started adding a new book every couple of days. Once she was able to read through a book all on her own, we would leave that book out of the rotation. Every now and then we go back and have a review of the old books.

We are just starting

Bob Books Set 2-Advancing Beginners

and she is more excited than ever!

Other activities to encourage reading

Making up their own story

Read lots of picture books to your little one

Work on sight word activities

Phonics puzzles and games

Turn it into a song!

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Self Doubt about Homeschooling

As we near the official time Bella would attend kindergarten I being to feel anxious and have a little self-doubt. With homeschooling, I know this is a natural feeling, one that will never go away but hopefully lessen.

August seems far away now. For an anxious person like me, it's coming all too fast. I guess my biggest fear is what if we don't really have enough time and what if she falls behind? I will still be working full time next year and the hubby will be available during the days, but I'm the one committing to this. I'm the one taking on the responsibility of actually teaching her.

These are my doubts.....

Will she learn enough?
What if it doesn't work out at the end of the year?
Will we keep up with the work?
Can I really do this?
"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." - Matthew 4:1
I just feel the pressure... a lot. And Yes, we have family members that are skeptical and don't agree with this choice. I feel like this is the wilderness for me. To be tested and for me to question this choice over and over again. It was easy to make this decision two years ago even after I read about all the push back I might receive. But now that we are steadily approaching that day in August in every 5 year old's life to technically begin school, the fear to follow through with this calling creeps in. I am being tempted to look the other way and turn back. I have to keep my eyes on whats ahead of me and know, that through the wilderness, it will only make this blessing more joyful and meaningful.

All of these things I have read about and thought to myself "if I prepare, I can overcome the outside forces", but the outside forces have cause a little self-doubt. I am a person that struggles with self-doubt. I have my entire life and it makes for one indecisive person.

We Got An Early Start
It's not as if we are not doing this homeschooling thing already. We started Bella's "kindergarten" year off early. Almost an entire year early. We started off with light work and began the basics of math, reading and handwriting. I knew her first year would be minimal and I wanted to make sure we had enough time to get through an entire year of curriculum. So the plan was to do part time for two years.

She absolutely loves her Saxon Math Manipulatives kit! Saxon has been a gentle introduction to the subject and she looks forward to this the most. She loves working with the pattern blocks and the counting bears.

The reading program we chose was Bob Books. It's worked really well and she is almost done with the first set of books. I recommend these books to everyone!! When I first started thinking about teaching my daughter how to read, I had no idea where to even begin. I love the incorporation of phonics with each book of the first set. I get such reassurance when I see the look on her face after she has read an entire book all by herself. It's not the look of incredible excitement. It's the sly smirk that her teeth just want to burst through into a full smile. She can get a bit cocky:)!

Stay Strong
When I think about all this self-doubt, I pull my strength knowing that this is our families calling. I know there will be naysayers and I know this wont be easy. I have felt pulled to this for the past couple years. I believe God has led me down this path and I take comfort in knowing this is what is meant to be. I have to remind myself of our goals and the mission behind this decision. Perhaps that is why everyone recommends writing it down and referring back to it in times of struggle.

"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:1-2

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."- Jeremiah 29:11

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Our Mid Year Homeschool Curriculum

Our first purchased set of homeschool curriculum has arrived!!! It's like an early Christmas present! Technically Bella wouldn't be starting Kindergarten until next fall but I wanted to get a head start and ease into schooling at home. I don't intend to rush ahead but feel out what works for her and gently encourage her.

Here's what we got!

  • Math: Saxon Math K set and Manipulative Set I decided to get a head start on kindergarten and after looking at tons of different curriculum (I have been literally going back and forth for a year now), I decided upon Saxon. This curriculum will ease her into this subject. The Math K set has no work book material at this level, which is something I really like. I wanted to hold off on the workbook intensive materials until she got a bit older.

  • Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting K I know I just mentioned not wanting to do workbook materials but I don't know if there is another way for me to teach handwriting. I think this handwriting book because it has the biblical emphasis that I hope to gently incorporate through out the next year.

  • Reading: Bob Books We rented the first set from the library a few times but I got tired of constantly renewing them and since they are working really well I thought having our own copy would be essential! I have also seen many printables online that go along with these books! We have also been using the I Can Read books at the My First level. This is a great way to incorporate there reading skills while learning about characters and stories.

  • Sight Words: The Best Sight Words Book Ever I liked that I can use this book for several grades, as it gives you tons of different sight words. For each word you create a tiny booklet with 6 different activities. I wanted something basic that I could expand on myself with adding more hands on activities and games.

  • Phonics: Explode the Code. I've heard many good things about Explode the Code and I was excited to try it out. I want Bella to have a solid grasp of phonics!

This is what we are going to start off with. It's the middle of the year, a pretty unconventional time to start but we are ahead of the gtame and homeschooling is all about flexibility!!! I plan on adding extra hands on activities and field trips for other subjects such as science and social studies!