Skip to contentwhere do you get ivermectin donde conseguir quanox does ivermectin kill demodex ivermectina san pablo ivermectina fybeca


Tag: Reading

I hope you all are having a great school year so far. And yes, the family behind Satori Smiles still homeschools. 🙂 This post is to update those who keep checking back in vain for anything new. I’ve been feeling the urge to blog and share Satori’s homeschooling and the fun things we learn once again, so hopefully many posts will soon follow this one.


What’s new with us? The first major event is that we moved down the mountain into a suburb a bit south of Denver. Enjoying all the conveniences of city life, it is a mixed blessing. We miss our spacious mountain home, the fresh pine-scented air, but now Satori gets to enjoy taking classes like gymnastics! We moved June 2013, so we’ve been settled in our little house rental for just over four months now. Yep, we’re renting this home while we try to sell our mountain home. David has a new job where he doesn’t travel so much, and gets to work from home or nearby Denver.

What hasn’t changed? Satori still writes for hours a day and still reads maybe an hour or two. She has been ravenously tearing through all the Rick Riordan books, starting with the Percy Jackson series, and moving to Kane Chronicles and the Heroes of Olympus. I can tell the quality of her writing has been reflected these types of books. I think I’m going to push more books with a bit better literary quality after she gets through this phase. She also plays a lot of Sims…  I asked what she likes about the the Sims and she says “I like to create families and build houses.” We’re going to try to cut down on the video game playing (mom and dad included) this year. If successful, you’ll see more action on this blog.

In addition to homeschooling, Satori attends a homeschool enrichment program two mornings a week where they take Spanish and Science.  The pace is slow for her, but we like that she gets to meet new friends. Extracurricular activities that have been a favorite have been piano/voice lessons and gymnastics. We left our baby grand piano up at our mountain home, so we had to get a keyboard for her to practice. She loves piano and singing so much that she practices a lot and now wants a smaller keyboard for her room and for when we travel to her Grandparents house. Gymnastics has also been a hit, I watched her progress from awkward beginnings to doing cartwheels, handstands, rolls, backward rolls, bridges, back-bends with relative graceful ease. This is one hour classes twice a week with a two hour Open Gym we throw in every now and then.

Next post I will share our Grade 3 2013-2014 curriculum.

Up until this month, Satori hasn’t been big on reading. She’s quite bright, but did not teach herself to read at an early age. When we did start using a reading program, she just followed along but did not race ahead in our reading lessons. To my dismay, she has not taken much initiative in reading on her own. I was the complete opposite as a child. Sometimes I worried she’d never take up reading for pleasure. I reminded myself she was only six.

I’ve never strongly encouraged her to read the typical early readers, but as I want to be a great father and learn about parenting from sites like I knew I have to be patient with her. She’s read only a few books over 50 pages on her own this spring. One of them was a picture book on Anne of Green Gables, which I’d say was about 3rd grade level. Other larger chapter books she would start but not finish.

Well earlier this month she started reading. She’s finally interested! She’s been reading books like The Trumpet of the Swan, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and Anne of Green Gables Classic Starts books (more on those later). She’s perusing magazines like Ask and Click. And she’s not dropping them after reading just a few chapters. She reads during the day, before bed, the entire time we’re in the car (long time as we live far away from the city), in the grocery cart at the store… She still writes stories a lot, but now at least she’s reading stories as well.

We’ve dedicated an empty bedroom for a library in our house, but the past year we haven’t read in it much. Satori had no interest, and we do our read-alouds at night in the bedroom. The poor room has been neglected, and even worse, when we’ve finished a workbook or program, we just toss it in the room on the floor. Mounds of paper sat on the chairs and tables.

Well this week I decided to start using it again and it got cleaned and updated! I no longer have my wide-angle camera lens, so room pictures aren’t as fun/easy to take anymore, but here’s some updated photos.

The biggest change I made was adding our laminated timelines. We’ve got four Classical Education timelines on the far wall. Running along the entire twelve-foot length of the wall is our Charlie’s Playhouse Prehistory timeline. The Charlie’s Playhouse timeline is too high to touch and read easily, but we also have their Floor Mat timeline, which is the exact same thing, but bigger. The white shelf holds all our Dover coloring books, Poetry books, small history/science/math series books such as Read-and-Find-Out, If You Lived…, You Wouldn’t Want To…, as well as some chapter books.

On the left of this wall we have our magnetic paint space, but above it has a U.S. Presidents and an Ancient Civilization timeline. The closet that runs the whole length of the wall holds lots of homeschooling programs, games, manipulatives, and books.

This wall has Ancient Art history and Western Art History from 1400. The far shelf holds most of our history and science books.

I also moved our whiteboard/drawing table in here in case Satori wants to draw, doodle, or write if I’m reading aloud. She still loves her squishy beanbag!

Geography wasn’t forgotten, we’ve still got our World and US Maps in bright color in here, as well as a talking educational globe.

We’ve been using this room everyday this week, even while I was in the process of cleaning it. I want to incorporate a Read-Aloud time plus Silent Sustained Reading time, for at least a full hour of reading during the day. Our current read-aloud is The Secret Garden. We’ve also started up our Writing With Ease lessons again, the part where I read the story and she answers the questions in full sentences. We do this in the reading room now. It’s gotten her interested to read The Trumpet of the Swan.

Even Daddy joins in on the fun, as he reads his PMI book (Project Management Institute Exam). He’s taking his big test tomorrow, I wish him luck!

My goal this summer was to have Satori reading chapter books. We took a pretty long spring break, and still have about a month of our reading program to go. Even taking two weeks off, we should be finishing Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading around mid-August. After that, we’ll be reading for fun, improving fluency and vocabulary.

I took this photo a few weeks ago, but thought I better post it now before it becomes seriously outdated. But here’s her lesson from a few weeks ago and an example of what she can read. She’s now into 3-syllable words and learning new word endings.

Just out of curiosity, I did place an easy chapter book in front of her and she read the first chapter no problem. Most of you will probably be familiar with The Magic Tree House series. I took a video of her reading, I’ll try to post that soon.

I am so tempted to get their 28-book Boxed Set, they come with a timeline and world map, but I’m just not sure as anything could happen. She might not get into these books, could find them boring, she might move past them quicker than anticipated… Some people consider them twaddle, but they all have some kind of useful lesson in them.

We’ve also started our Nora Gaydos readers again, we’re on Level 4 (the last level before the Independent topic books). I have the Science book lined up next, it looks pretty neat. These books come in a set of 10 books in a magnetic binder and have stickers in the front, 4 for each story. They’re cute and colorful and make Satori laugh, so I’m glad we have them.

I really want Satori to love reading as much as I do, but she doesn’t pick up books to read as often as she sits down to write a story. I do not push her to read on her own, and we’ve never really focused on early readers, as I want her to read books that are more exciting. This fall, after we finish OPG, we will start practicing our reading until she’s fast and fluent. Here’s my methods:

  1. Mom continues to read-aloud good literature.
  2. Satori works on Explode the Code workbooks as long as she wants for phonics practice.
  3. To take the place of our 20 minute OPG reading lessons, she will read 10 minutes of reading that I’ll select to be a bit of a challenge.
  4. At night she will read material that is easy for her, to build confidence and speed.

We’re on a big ETC kick! Explode the Code is an inexpensive phonics workbook series, that is great to supplement our reading program. Since we’re almost finished with our formal phonics (OPG), we’re back to these workbooks and just started ETC 3. This level will be all review in terms of phonics/reading, and we’ll be hitting ETC 4 later this summer, which will be closer to her current level.

ETC 3 introduces handy little rules which enforce what we already know. For example, “If a little word ends in y, the y says long-i.”

If Satori didn’t like these workbooks, I wouldn’t make her do them, but she totally loves them. She asks to do them everyday lately. She averages 6-8 pages a day right now, that would be 2-3 page spreads like this. Oops, I forgot to take a photo of an example of one of their sentence pages. Last spring, the sentences were just too much for a new reader, now they’re a breeze. We always laugh at the sentences/pictures. 🙂

She always makes sure to put a smile on my face or a laugh in my day when I correct the pages. She can find a way to insert a joke or something cute in almost everything she touches.

So we’re enjoying our ETC program right now and seeing I just ordered ETC 4-8, I hope we continue to do them, especially when our phonics program ends. As you can see above, they’re also great to supplement handwriting, spelling and even a bit of vocabulary.

Chugging away at our reading program, Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (OPG), I have gotten a few emails asking how we’re using it. Do we read all the sentences? Does Satori still sound out the words? I also find myself writing the same things over and over in the homeschooling forums I frequent. So here’s just a little update on our reading!

We just finished all the sections on the most Common Spellings for Long vowel sounds, like AI, EA, EI, EY, EE, EA, IE, OA, OW, UE, OO as some examples. Silent-E words are easy to figure out (Section 7), but all these vowel pairs (Sections 8-12) could get confusing! Here’s an OPG game we played this week as a review for all the different long vowel pair words we’ve learned so far. Coincidentally, it was about “Cross the River”, so we made that river the Nile (tying in with our Egypt lessons), and used a crocodile to hop across the stones. Here, her crocodile is hopping on all the long-U words to get to the other side of the river.

Our lessons are only taking 8-10 minutes.  This includes the 2 review, where I’ll write down sample words from the previous 2 lessons. I have said in the past we didn’t do all the sentences in each lesson, but since the lessons are going faster, we’re starting to read more of the sentences, and will probably start reading them all.

Lately we’ve also taking 10 minutes to do thorough reviews of lessons we’ve done long ago. So, in addition to our main lesson, we are doing 2-3 lessons way back in lessons 58-60. We’ll continue to do this to make sure that she doesn’t forget how to read any words. This intense review and thoroughly doing each lesson will take up the 20 minutes a day we’re allocating for Reading lessons.

Satori looks at a word, sounds it out quickly in her mind, and then says it. The above photo of words she does not have fluently memorized, she’ll take a moment to say each word. Some like “break”, she might pronounce “breek”, as normally “ea” has a long-e sound. It’s challenging to keep them all straight! By including all the sentences in each lesson (which is a review in itself), and intense review of past lessons, and having her read books every night, hopefully this is a good start to reading fluency.

This very Explode the Code workbook was one of the very first workbooks I purchased last spring once I decided to homeschool Satori. If you’re new to homeschooling, it won’t take you long before you hear about this program. Once we got it, Satori did a few pages out of it, but then I decided not to follow a “workbooky” style and set it away for months.

Then, a reader of my blog mentioned them and out they came again! This time I got the 3 pre-books, which Satori whizzed through quickly. Finally, we are on the book 1, which is still too simple for us, but I love the review. I love the handwriting practice too. Here’s a sample page she did today.


Satori just turned 5 last month and the past few months we hadn’t done much schooling at all, but I am proud that she is finally to the point where she automatically writes in lowercase for most words.

Speaking of handwriting, we use Handwriting Without Tears program and have finished their Kindergarten book. I am going to go through the rest of December reviewing some of her problem letters and doing simple copywork. She still sometimes writes “g” backwords, and does a few letters incorrectly, which will slow her down in the long run. Letters like “p” she doesn’t write below the line sometimes. “z” is sometimes written backward as well. The rest of her letters are acceptable, but we also need to learn to write on the correct lines. We need to practice on the HWT’s special paper that has only two lines. We’re going to address these inefficiencies this month, and then start with HWT’s Grade 1 book next semester, starting January 2010.

I totally wish I found this program a year ago! I may have mentioned this program a few times, but here it is more in-depth. Progressive Phonics is a free phonics reading program. You can download and print out the stories/lessons or read online. Satori cracks up over the stories. Since they just released a bunch of new Alphabetti books, we started reading the stories again. Here’s one we read a while back, but one of our favorites anyway – Who Hid Ham?


The Alphabetti books are great for beginning readers. They are too simple for Satori’s current level, but she loves them anyway. I can’t resist hearing her giggling and cracking up over the characters and then begging me to read again and again. I love how they have print for the parents to read, and larger red print for the child to read. Woe to anyone who accidentally read’s Satori’s words, or who makes her read the black text!


Everytime I check the site now, more books have been added, so we still have a few to catch up with.  The second set is about Sid the snake and his friends Sis, Dan, Ham and more. Alphabetti Parts 3-5 are not up yet and I imagine that to take quite a while. But after Alphabetti books, are the phonics books which actually teach more phonics and reading. I think we will skip the Beginning Phonics books (short vowels, they look boring anyway) and move on to the Intermediate Phonics. These will last us a long time yet. These will teach blends, long vowels, vowel digraphs… which is more of the phonics level we are at now. The books progress to more and more “red words” that Satori has to read herself.

UPDATE 2 HOURS LATER: Satori and I started the Beginner Phonics Books – Book 1 covering the short vowel “a”. She didn’t hesitate reading any of these words, she can read these simple words fluently. If you’ve read my blog, I admit that I do not force her to read simple books so we haven’t worked on fluency at all. So it was nice to read a book together with her and know that it will all come naturally! We read 10 stories which I discovered are all short but cute little poems.

Here’s a video of Satori and Daddy reading “Who Hid Ham?” together. I apologize that in the middle she shrieks to make sure I got the current page on video, lol! (David says “swandwich” on purpose, that’s how Satori used to say it last year, and we can’t resist saying it that way now.) I love how Satori reads with inflection. 🙂