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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

moved to new address

Hello thank you for looking at my blog.  I have moved to a better address (I think), go there to get all my current content, and blogs.

thanks again.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Here are a few books/websites in a few different areas that might be of use to you at home with your children and their education.  They could help out with homework, or attitudes.  Or if you want to start home schooling here is some help.

Youth Change Your problem-kid problem-solver    
Ebooks and printables

Tension strategies

Click Here!

Home school road map

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The A patterns and sounds

Today we are going to talk about the vowel a.

The patterns that it has and the sounds it makes. (Note: the "_" means that there is a consonant there.)


Here are the patterns

          a_ (can)         a_e (bake)           ai (paid)       ay (hay)     
           ar (car)        all (call)               aw (saw)



The sounds that "a" makes, well there are a few. The basic two sounds are the short and then the long sound. The short "a" says its sound while the long "a" says its name.

Pattern                  Words
Example: short "a" as in            a_                    cat     ran    cap      back

                 sat     man    nap    snack
Long "a" as in               a_e                    bake   name   gave    take

these are not long "a"

but make the same sound        ai                     rain      wait       tail      train

or                                  ay                    day      say       pay     may

A few of the other main

sounds are                             all                    ball        all        tall         hall

 aw                 saw        paw       jaw    draw

   There are a few others but these are the main ones. Hoped it helped. Remember your child's homework and education are some of the most important things that you can give your child.



Great learning to you and your kids.




Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The 44 sounds of English

I guess before we really get into the sounds that the vowels make I would like to give you all the sounds that are in the English language.

You may think that there really are more sounds than these but this is really all that there are.

Take the g, it makes a hard and soft sound; /g/ and /j/. This is every sound that there is.


So here goes.

Consonants SoundsVowel Sounds
  1. /b/ (bat)
  2. /d/ (dog)
  3. /f/ (fan)
  4. /g/ (gate)
  5. /h/ (hat)
  6. /j/ (jump)
  7. /k/ (kite)
  8. /l/ (leaf)
  9. /m/ (mop)
  10. /n/ (nest)
  11. /p/ (pig)
  12. /r/ (rock)
  13. /s/ (sun)
  14. /t/ (top)
  15. /v/ (vase)
  16. /w/ (wagon)
  17. /y/ (yo-yo)
  18. /z/ (zebra)
  19. /ch/ (cheese)
  20. /sh/ (shark)
  21. /zh/ (treasure)
  22. /th/ (thumb)
  23. /th/ (the)
  24. /hw/ (wheel)
  25. /ng/ (ring)
  1. /ā/ (cake)
  2. /ē/ (feet)
  3. /ī/ (bike)
  4. /ō/ (boat)
  5. /yōō/ (cube)̂
  6. /a/ (cat)
  7. /e/ (bed)
  8. /i/ (fish)
  9. /o/ (lock)
  10. /u/ (duck)
  11. / / (alarm)
  12. /â/ (chair)
  13. /û/ (bird)
  14. /ä/ (car)
  15. /ô/ (ball)
  16. /oi/ (boy)
  17. /ou/ (house)
  18. /ōō/ (moon)
  19. /ŏŏ/ (book)

# 11 on the vowel side  is an upside down  "e".  It is called a schwa.  I could not find it within Microsoft.   (that is why it is blank.)   I will keep looking for it.  sorry.

Great learning to you



Monday, April 12, 2010

coming tomorrow

Due to an unforeseen problem, my post from today will be posted tomorrow.   Look for it.  "The 44 sounds of English".   don't forget to ask me some questions.

Great learning to you

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sight Words

There are words in the English language that just can't be sounded out to say them right (well ok some you can), but we all need to learn to read them by sight. These words are called sight words. These words we just have to learn to recognize them when we are reading and know what they are, hence Sight Words.


Here are some of the first words that really need to be known by sight.


a                  are            who                                       

and              be             have                                      

look            came          out                                                 

me              do                                                                   
my              get                                                                 
said            no                                                             
the             like                                                              

to              our                                                              
we            saw

you          there

These my be repeats but are High Frequency Words.    Which are the same as sight words.
High Frequency meaning that they will come across these words a lot when they read, so they really need to know them.

 it              on           is           red          or            to 
and           for          no          so           mom        in 
with         dog         not         like          not          said 
love         will          my         we          dad          big
by           was         do          look        here

There are many sight words but here is the most common ones that are learned or need to be learned.


Great Learning to you



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Each Vowel Has Different Sounds

The English language is probably the hardest language to learn. Why is that, well it breaks its own rules way to many times. Then it just has rule after rule. Where as many other languages has a rule and they stick to it.

Take our vowels, they each have a sound that they make. A has a short sound-- a --as in cat, hat, pat. Then it has a long sound-- -- as in day, fate, bake. Like when a word has an a followed by an consonant then an e (vcv=vowel consonant vowel), it changes the vowel sound. In any of the vowels this happens

Then when an-- r -- is right after an vowel it changes the sound of the vowel as well. Our language is truly amazing and hard to learn, but we all have done it, and I bet some of us have learned some of the rules and we didn't even know that it was a rule, or a rule breaking another rule. Yes you are truly amazing learners.

So for the nest month I want to go over some of the rules that dictate how our lovely language is read and spoken. And yes there will be more than what I share and help teach, but what I want to share it some hints and helps that will help you help your child with their school work, and over all improve their reading ability.

Here is a little hint. Short vowels say their sound, but long vowels say their name.

Short a --cap, tack, van

Long ā -- fade, take, baby



Great learning to you.



Monday, April 5, 2010

Martian man

Here is an activity that you can use to help your child develop their Phonemic Awareness better. The grade level is k-1st; this would work for older students that struggle as well.


This is called Martian Man. You will need a puppet to help you out with this, because the puppet speaks (stretching out the words) and your child will translate what the "Martian Man" said. If you don't have a puppet a simple one made out of a small paper bag will work.


1st you need to introduce the puppet to your child and tell them that he/she speaks a different language but that they will be able to speak the language soon.


2nd the "Martian Man will say words that are exaggerated and stretched out. For example: Man—the Martian Man will say



Make sure that the sounds that the letters make are really pronounced well.


Your child will then quickly say the word, man. This will show that your children know the sounds and able to blend them together. This activity may be done in school, and that is ok because the more reinforcement your child gets the better.

Remember to use smaller words at first and words that your child knows. Words that have 2-3 sounds are great words to start with.


Here is a list of some simple words that you can use.


Man can cab dog cat sat ran up at had van car jar fat mad ball hall drag


Have fun.




Friday, April 2, 2010

Rhyming short vowels

The biggest thing that I, as a parent and teacher, think is most important in reading is knowing the sounds that each of the letters make. And yes it can get very confusing at times. But there are a few simple rules that can make it easier. So here are some of the letter sound and rules that govern them.


Short a, e, i, o, u All have their basic sounds

Short a --












Short e--












Short i--












Short o--












Short u--













Yes there are some other rules like ou, oo, aw, ow , bossy "r" and others but I want to leave those to another time.


The thing that has helped my son a lot, with his reading ability, is having little words like the ones above on flash cards and having him go through them. I had him just start out with 4 different groups each vowel has at least 4 of its own groups. Once he has mastered that group then grab a new one and start incorporating it into the circulation. These first group of words needs to be rhyming words, it really does make a difference.


Here is a couple groups from each short vowel.


short a--

-at: cat, mat, sat, pat, rat, flat, hat

-an: man, can, van, ran, fan, pan, plan, tan


short I--

-it: hit, sit, fit, pit, kit, bit

-ig: big, fig, wig, dig, pig, twig


short o--

-ot: hot, pot, lot, not, got, dot, spot

-op: top, pop, cop, hop, mop, stop, drop, chop


short e--

-et: pet, net, set, met, wet, let, jet

-ed: red, led, bed, fed, shed, sled


short u--

-ut: cut, nut, but, hut, shut

-ug: bug, hug, dug, rug, jug, slug, mug, plug









































































I hope this helps with your child with getting better at reading. This is not the first step that you need to take. Learning the letters and sounds is first. But once they know the names and sounds of letters this will help a lot.


Happy learning



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Files for you to have

     I am putting together some pdf files of activities and homework help that you can print off or use on your computer to help your child.  They will be for different subject.  This is something that I wish I would have had easier so that I didn't have to look around or make them.  Most I have been making for my son. Now they will be in 1 easy location to find.  If there is something that you would like let me know and I will research that or make one up for you.  Multiplication tables, literacy info whatever it may be. 

     I will also be making a list of some of the best websites that I have found that will help your child have fun while learning.  Here's one right now.

     Here is a fun book that we have been reading to our kids.   "The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil"  by Wiley Miller.   It really has been fun reading.

Great learning to you.


Monday, March 29, 2010

I Hate Math

"Mom I don't want to do my Math homework.

" I HATE Math."


Does your kid ever say that. Well I know that there are a lot of kids that say they hate math, or english (I was one of those, well I didn't really hate english, it just wasn't my favorite) or any other subject. The reason that certain subjects are hated is because the learner doesn't understand the topic. If the topic were understood it would be easy. Why do us as parents say that we can't help with their math homework, "It was to long ago." Well if it was understood we would easily help with their homework.


What about basketball or football or any other sport? What about sewing, crocheting, knitting? What about reading? Most people that I know that don't like reading are not good readers and the ones that love to read can read fairly well. Same with sports or sewing or anything. The main reason that someone doesn't like something is probably because they really don't understand the topic. For sports if someone got to understand it and watched it they would most likely not hate it any more because they would understand it better. Same with math or any school topic. If the time was taken to learn the rules the certain topic would become understandable, and easier to do.


Another thing that damages our kids is our attitudes toward their schooling. Yes our attitudes.


"O man, I'm not that good with math, I don't know if I can help with that." Things of that nature. So our kids grow up thinking "Man I'm not good with math." or any other subject.


Yes we are good because we are parents and we want our kids growing up thinking that they can accomplish anything that they want to do.


Great learning to you.




Friday, March 26, 2010

Should the students decide what they want to learn?

There is a private school close to were I that I have subbed at before.  The teaching style that is used there is great.  That is if the students really take advantage of it and are very self motivated.  For students that are self motivated and really do want to learn this school is far better than the public schools.  The problem is that most of the students there at this school are not self motivators.  When I was there I was subbing for a science teacher and the students were needing to be working on projects.  That really didn't do that, or they wasted time doing dumb research on the internet or playing a roller coaster game that they said they had been working on.  Well if that was the truth or not I don't know.  But I do know that there has to be help and motivation from home to help the students gain internal motivation for ther homework and school work.
So should students really decide what they want to learn?  If they truly can progress in that type of schooling yes it is probably better for them.  Well maybe.  I think if you  can get a public teacher that really loves what they do and does everything for the kids, and helps them in every possible way then public schools are just as good as any other school.

Great learning to all

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Self Suggestion

Self suggestion is a powerful factor in building character. That is in fact the sole principle through which character is built.

Napoleon Hill


There is a lot of damage that happens to individuals when they think that they are worth nothing, that they aren't good enough, or even stupid. Whatever the case may be it is truly and mightily damaging to the individual. The more that we can encourage our children in their schooling and let them know that they are doing great they will have great character and will be truly great.

Let us help our children really become someone great in kindergarten, 3rd, 5th, whatever grade or endeavor they undertake. And no, no one else really needs to know. We can be great even without someone else knowing.


Positive self suggestion to us all


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


There are times that some of us wrote gibberish on papers just to see if our teachers really read our papers.  Well I never did that and maybe you never did that, but I know some people have, and I am sure there are some teachers that really don't read  the papers.  But when we fake it at home it is our kids that end up suffering.  Yes it may not be right of the bat but eventually they do suffer.  Faking it I mean giving our kids the attention that they need from us their parents.  In the last little while my kids have really needed some of their dad's attention, I hope that I have given them what they need.   My kids homework really isn't gibberish, it truly is important.

Happy day to you


Friday, March 19, 2010

Do you know how your Kids learn?

We as parents need to realize that there are multiple intelligences, meaning that there are different ways that we learn. We are going to discuss multiple intelligences in depth more another time, but what I want to discuss now is a little less in depth. So getting on with it. Some learn best with hands on. Others learn best if they can visually see what they are doing and learning. Some learn best audibly. I have learned through trial and error how my son best learns. (And I guess that is how all of us will and have learned how our child learns best.) He is a mover. The way that he best learns is by moving, being physically active stimulates his brain and he is able to concentrate better. At home and at school when he is at the table he is almost always standing. Teaching has come a long way, there used to be a time when they would not have allowed that. We know and arrange the environment in our classes to best accommodate the students and their needs. At home we should and need to know how our children learn best. Let us give our kid the best opportunity to succeed in their schooling by understanding how they learn best.


Great understanding and learning to you.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Not My Blog

I just want to keep fresh in you minds that this blog is yours.  And the majority of what is discussed is controlled by you.  So tell your friends and family that this blog is here, so I can put this blog to true use by helping you understand and give ideas on how to help you help your children with their school work at home.  The help that we are giving our boy has helped so much.  Just this morning he was reading some books that he could not have read a couple of months ago.  These books don't have 4-5 words on them,  it's more like 15-20 words per page.    It is truly  amazing to watch and listen to him read.  I love it, and didn't think that a kindergartener could read that much by the end of the year, cause I don't think that I was reading that much by the end of kindergarten.  Well remember this is your blog, so make it yours and ask questions.

Great learning to you.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Boys and Girls are different

Yes boys and girls are really different in their ability to learn and when they start making progression in their learning ability. My wife was very concerned with our son and if he needs extra help since he is one of the lowest in his class. (This was something that his teacher offered if we wanted, yes she left it up to us to decide. She didn't think that he was so far behind that he had to have it. We said that we would work with him, and he is now showing progression.) But this (lowest in his class) is because he is one of the youngest, which really makes a difference with boys and their learning abilities. My little girl right now at age 2 is far more advanced than my boy was at that age. Girls always seen to be a little more advanced and mature than boys, and yes even at a young age it happens. So if your little boy seems to be behind he really could be behind and needs help, but also his mental ability hasn't developed enough to really make strides in his education. so just be patient and help him out at home.

great leaning to you


Friday, March 12, 2010

Time with our Children

Today I was subbing, and in the class that I was in there are 4 kids that have some real problems at times. They have a tracker that you have to fill in every half an hour on how well they were. You know, some of that is the students themselves and you really need to work with them in trying to provide the very best environment for them. Sometimes that is hard, other times its not to bad when you are able to get a good relation with the student. But a lot of the times it is the environment that is at home. That might sound harsh, but it is so true.

Even tiny little things that we as adults don't think have much impact, really affect our children. At times I can see this with my kids, not to say I am a terrible parent. Kids truly are sensitive to a lot of things that us as adults have become numb to. Time that we spend with our kids is truly one of the best things that we can do to help our children succeed. I mean true time that we spend with our kids, one on one real meaningful time, time that our children think is the best.

My son is really into his Dad right now and when I don't give him some of the individual time that he needs , it almost seems like he feels that he is not as important to me. (And yes sometimes this impacts how he feels about his homework, does he want to do it or not, or how he does it when he does.) Even little time like doing the chores outside means the world to him. And little things like that can mean the world to our kids and make a world of a difference in how they feel at school and their success.

True Time to our Kids


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Topic Rotation

This blog is for you and your questions. How can I help my child with their math homework? How can I help my kid with their reading? Yes I could just answer questions like this, but why I am doing this blog is for you, so for this blog to truly be effective for you, and be the type of blog I would like, I need questions to answer and then research if I don't know the answer. When I don't have questions I think that I am going to set up a schedule with educational tips and insights to help you help your kids with their homework at home.

So starting in April this will be the rotation.

Topic rotation

1st month--Literacy,

2nd month--Math,

3rd month--Science,

4th--The Arts (music, drama, art)

5th month--General help for you at home.

This is going to be the rotation with the topics that I post about. In addition to the questions that you ask. So yes these topics will be posted as well as your questions.

Great learning to you


Friday, March 5, 2010

Our Kids health

Our children's health is one of, if not the most important factor for them to be able to really learn at their full capacity. When they are hungry they suffer, their brain is starved of the energy and nutrients that it needs to function properly. Give you kids the health that they need to reach their full capacity.

Here's a great place to help.

Great Learning. At home. At School. Everywhere.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our children need us to be involved with them to truly Succeed

I have noticed that my son has made some leaps and bounds from were he was to where he is now just by taking some time with him and sit down with him while he does his homework. There is some extra things that I am doing with him at home that has really helped him read better. Things like this is what I want to share with you. And in the future I will be sharing some great techniques with you. Remember that your child is far more confident when you are helping them succeed. You are a great parent and know everything that your child is learning, your just have to go retrieve it in your super computer, your Brain.

Great learning to you and your child.

Wes G.