Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Four Basic Foundations for Teaching Your Child to Read

Teaching children to read can sometimes feel like a complicated task as a homeschool mom. With so many curriculums out there, books, flashcards, helps, and the more, it seems complicated to say the least. If your a mom with a standard homeschool curriculum you can go through the motions and not even know how the curriculum is based to teach the art of reading or what your children are really doing. Whether you are using a curriculum or doing things all on your own, here are four things that are foundational in teaching children to read. These will be helpful for every homeschool mother once their children have learned their letters, sounds, and vowels.

Four Reading Basics:

1. Study Word Families:
For example, 'op', has the word family, mop, top, pop, hop, flop, crop, lop, stop, etc. Teaching your children to recognize word families becomes very helpful to them in learning to recognize words quickly. As your children learn to group words into word families, they begin to grow in their reading abilities.

2.  Phonics:
Blends, vowels, and the basic phonics rules. For example, the Long 'a' sound is found in 'bake', 'train', 'say'. Research and study those rules yourself and then reinforce the basic rules for each of the vowels through flashcards and other creative ideas. Using creative ways to teach phonics and working those rules with flashcards will help develop the ability to recognize blends and vowels. This helps greatly with the learning process. You can easily find simple vowel and blend flashcards on line.

3. Decoding:
As children move forward in reading, these four foundational rules begin to work together and decoding becomes an important aspect of the process. Children can learn to sound out words with ease as you begin to work with them in all these areas. Decoding and sounding out words is an important process of reading. Developing them in word families and phonics assists this greatly. Knowing the sounds of their letters and vowels brings them naturally to decode words. Working these things together in the process helps build their confidence and brings them to overcome the challenges. Teach your children to sound out words as well as teaching the basic phonics rules and word families.

4. Sight Words:
These are the words that break the rules. They can't be decoded and they don't fit with the phonic structure of learning. They can only be memorized and recognized. These words can be exciting to the new reader. Memorizing can be done by practicing them. As they learn the abundance of sight words available it teaches children some simple reading recognition skills and builds their confidence that they can read. They can spot sight words in any book or magazine. This not only inspires but fills in those blank places in reading. There are sight word videos available for your children to watch and learn. This can help with the process greatly.

As you begin with these four areas you will find your child quickly emerge in his/her reading level. As they practice these areas and work them, children will reach beyond themselves to read at higher levels and will be able to obtain the heights and goals set before them. Happy reading!

'enjoy great faith filled learning'
Pastor Kim

Friday, January 31, 2014

Creative Word Families, Reading, and Crafting

This design is for 'ell', "WELL"

How about combining reading and crafting? Pick the word families you would like to work on and pull out some crayons, markers, scissors, pencils and paper to design a fun way for your children to discover their word families. For example; the family for 'at':

1. Have your children design 'cat' on a piece of paper. They could draw a cat on a piece of paper, color it, cut it out or work from there. They can even design their cat to be in its very own house.

2. Have your children draw, color, and cut out all the items that a cat loves or needs.

3. Once they have designed their cats room and possessions, write the word families on each of the items. For example with 'at' and 'cat' the word families are; 'bat, hat, mat, flat, gnat, rat, that, etc.'

4. Put them in a specially designed file folder listing the words on the front to have for your child's word studies later down the road.  

Follow the above procedure for the families you choose. A few other samples would be, the family for 'oat', design a boat. The family for 'ig', can begin with a 'pig. The family for 'eep', just begin with a 'sheep', and so on. This project will work well, inspire creativity, and save you money. It helps with a hands on experience and brings reading to a creative level. You could also design your own word pictures with word families to hang on your walls for supportive studies with your folders.

Hope you are enjoying teaching your children to read.
"raising faith-filled kids"
Pastor Kim

Friday, April 01, 2011

Teaching & Family Vision

Every family needs a vision, or simply put, a direction and something solid to believe. As homeschool families we see teaching our children as part of that vision for our families. Clearly this would mean to us as Christians, basing all our teaching on God's word and His ways. Looking at Proverbs 29:17-18, it is important to understand here that the Lord is directing us as parents to do some very specific things.

First and formost, it declares to parents that we are to 'correct' our children, or rather, the word here in Hebrew is "yacar", which means to; "instruct" and "teach"...  God's word declares to us that we are to instruct and teach our children! We as parents, and those called to children, need to realize the impact we are having on the lives of those we are teaching God's word. This scripture tells us how instruction based from His word pays off.

"Correct (instruct and teach) they son, (children) and he (they) shall give thee rest; yea, he (they) shall give delight unto thy soul. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:17-18

Vison and teaching go hand in hand. We find that our instruction and teaching of our children is defined here as 'vision'. The vision is to instruct, teach, admonish, and correct our children in the ways of God, the word of God, and keeping our Godly faith and heritage the foundation of all our children's instruction.

How does the word vision fit with this? What possibly could be 'Family Vision'? The word vision in Proverbs 29:18, (chazown), is the word in Hebrew which means; direction and prophecy. So clearly, it is defined here specifically that vision and direction comes from "the word of God" and His fulfillment of this through Jesus Christ.

As we teach our children God's word and instruct them in our home-schools based on the foundation of Christian principles, we find rest, delight, and happiness. Those who don't instruct their children based on the word of God and our Christian foundation, 'perish'.  I know this sounds intensely strong. This word perish is the Hebrew word,  para`, which means to loose, let go, or to be left alone. We don't want to loose our let go of our children...

The seriousness in instructing and teaching our children reaches to every family. Families either have 'vision' in keeping His word foundationally for their children or they do not. We are required not to 'leave our children' alone. We are required not to 'loose' them to vain philosophies, secularism, or unGodly principles. We are required to not allow our children to be placed positionally to be lost from Godly truth! From Godly principles!

It's important for you to get 'Family Vision' and teach and instruct your children in the Lord, the ways of His Word, the ways of God. This vision will delight them and you! We will be winners every time, never losers! This is for all time and throughout eternity!

"enjoying homegrown abundance"
Pastor Kim

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Foundations of Homeshooling

The depth of our children is rich. Rich with color. God's hand is upon them and His heart embraces them. He tells us that we are to teach our children. In Dueteronomy 11:18-21, the Lord tells us that the most important thing we are to teach our children are His ways.

"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Duet. 11:19

He tells us clearly here in verses 18-20, that we are to fix His word in our hearts as parents and fix it in our thoughts. He wants us to keep our actions, (our hands), in His word and always before us. This is to be a living example to our children.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads." Duet 11:18

He makes it clear that we are also to write His word on the 'doorframes' and 'gates' of our homes. This means the entrance of our home, the entrance of our children's lives, and the entrance of our children's heart. It is His desire that we let nothing in our lives or our children's lives that does not pass through His word!

I take this seriously. It is the Lord's desire that we fill our homes with His word and teach it to our children. Educating our children should be filtered through what we believe. Homeschooling our children should be established on the foundation of faith. Our faith in God's word and His ways is the strength of our children's education. As parents we have a promise that our children will grow in the wisdom and the stature of the Lord! I want nothing less for my children who are dearest in my life! If we follow Dueteronomy 11:18-21 as parents the Lord promises us that;

"...your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give... as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth!" Duet 11:21

The foundations of a great homeschool is our faith!

God bless,
Pastor Kim

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A School New Year!

What can the New Year hold for your school year? Something 'new' of course! Why not do something fresh and new with your children? We thought to help you kick into your New Year fresh, we would share some of our ideas. Each month we're going to share homeschool ideas to kick off your month in our KidWise Magazine.

We'll have some unit studies to share, lots of ideas, as well as projects, including the crafts and recipes the magazine already has. This will be a fun addition to your homeschool. It will be focused with the family in mind. Stay posted!

Remember, our Homeschool section begins in the February edition but until then, here's the link to this months edition of KidWise. You can also check out our magazine archive.

We invite some of you homeschool mom's to share some of your ideas with our readers. If this is something you would like to do, contact us at,

Looking forward to you being a part of what we're doing at KICKS. We hope you'll spread the news to other homeschoolers.

"enjoying home grown abundance",
Pastor Kim

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting to Particular

So many times we get caught up in our homeschooling on the 'particulars', we miss the joy of what we are doing. What is that joy?

Teaching our children...

Reaching the heart of our children is why we chose homeschooling. Our children are the most precious and priceless gift in our lives. I would never want to share the heart of who they are with anyone who doesn't embrace their creativity, their individuality, or their uniqueness. Home education is a blessing I am so thankful for!

Just remember, don't get so caught up in standards that you miss the heart of why you are doing what you are doing. Your children are excited about learning, it just comes natural to them. As you educate at home, you are reminded each day that your children were created to draw information into their lives everyday. This comes naturally because it is the way God made them. As homeschool parents we simply want to put before them every opportunity and everything they can learn in very particular ways!

Just remember as you are 'very particular' about what your children are learning, don't get so particular that loose the design the Lord has created for your child! Their heart is made to learn each day as we offer every opportunity. Learning is what they're all about. Just be sure your not so 'particular' that you miss taking time to 'listen to the music' they're playing along the way.

"loving homegrown abundance",
Pastor Kim

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Homeschooling VS. Humanistic Tilts

After going over the most current National Geographic "KIDS" magazine. (Oct 2010 edition), I wanted to share some things. Once looking through it of course, I quickly began to realize that the theme for the magazine was not a fall animal theme, but as the norm for most in October, it was a 'Special Halloween Issue".

I want to bring attention to one of its articles found on page 22 & 23. It is noted as a,  True Story", titled, "The Man Who Wants to Be a Mummy". This story describes the Anga people found in Koke, Papua New Guinea just north of Australia. The article defines 'How one culture is bringing back an ancient tradition". It is based on Chief Moimang's mummy and how his son, Chief Gematsu, is now planning on his own mummification to restore this ancient religious culture. The article gives complete description of the mummification process and shares that Chief Moimango has now fallen apart. Causing Chief Gematsu to seek out help from American mummy expert, Ronal Beckett. Now Chief Gematsu is expecting his son to honor him with the process in the position that they restore ancient religious tradition.

So why blog about this article? Because of one important statement I found within it's content that is purely humanistic in its opinion and position. As a Christian growing up in public education, I also experienced 'humanistic' positions throughout my educational process. But today, it is even clearer that this position is more readily found throughout the education process. It seems in today's society there is now an even greater boldness in the humanistic camp to speak out against Christianity in its educational platform rather than just simply declare it's humanistic position. I see this evidence in this article as it states;

"Mummification is common in New Guinea and nearby islands, BUT Christian missionaries (in bold) discouraged Anga burial rituals because they involve beliefs in ghosts and spirits. Soon this cultural knowledge started slipping away."

Learning about 'mummies' and the Anga people in New Guinea is one thing, but, to make the statement, "soon the cultural knowledge started slipping away" due to the Christian missionaries, is all together another thing. The article clearly holds the obvious humanistic tilt that Christians should not have 'discouraged', (their word), the culture and should have allowed the culture of these people to stand as it was. I base this on the fact that the complete article is centered on the restoration of this culture and, "HOW one culture is bringing back an ancient tradition". Simply, this article focuses on  HOW this culture was obviously changed and how the new chief is reverting back to ancient religious position.

No argument that the force of Christianity did indeed change the culture. According to our faith, rightfully so! Isn't it a fact that the word of God teaches us in Mark 16:15, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature"? Thankfully the Anga people had faithful missionaries teach them the truth and that they believed on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For me regarding this article, it's just another simple reflection of 'why' choosing Christian education is absolute. As Christians it is important and we also deserve the freedom to uphold our culture, even if it influences another to change. For now, we'll continue on with our National Geographic "KIDS" magazine as I will use it for a platform to educate my children on the position of humanistic education and what it holds as its foundations.

"lovin' homegrown abundance",
Pastor Kim