Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven Curriculum Giveaway

It is so, very schoolish around here these days, folks.  Complete with wailing and gnashing of teeth and discovering that the 10:30 a.m. dance class actually starts at 9:00 and it's 8:03 and your big 'uns are still in bed.  And then being reminded, as they careen around to be ready in time, that you've not sewn the elastic straps onto their ballet slippers yet.  So you grab the sewing box but there are no stinkin' needles in the pin cushion because certain children are constantly doing "projects" which involve taking my things and strewing them about the house like so many pieces of pointy confetti so you holler "And you wonder why I'm always telling you to put away your stuff!  Well you're gonna find out when you have to go to your class BAREFOOT!".

Yep, that just happened.

You know what's not giving me trouble?  The actual school work.  Especially the boy and his kindergartenny kindergartenness.  So in his honor, let's enjoy a super duper giveaway, shall we?  Yes we shall!

Have you seen Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven yet?  Sarah Park, author, mom and all around sweet lady wrote this Catholic, preschool curriculum and asked me if I'd like a copy (yes please) and if I'd be interested in giving a copy away (double yes yes please please).  It is so sweet and low pressure and quite Charlotte Mason - y if you ask me.  Also, shout out to my FUS readers, 'cause your homegirl is now a published author so you best support the heck out of her, okay?  Okay. (also, sidenote: she is thisclose to delivering bebe #6, so say a quick prayer for her.  Right now.  Just do it.  Yay!)



The book is organized by letter of the alphabet (Get it? 26 letters?), followed by activity ideas, saints, virtues, poetry, math practice, and recipes based on each letter.







Now even though technically this is called a pre-school curriculum, I'm going to say that based on my experience of what goes on in a kindergarten classroom, you could easily use this for your 5 year old without worry or guilt.  On the contrary, he or she would be quite the clever, educated little thing by the end of the school year.




And her ideas are just plain fun!  I kind of suck at coming up with ideas, but I totally rock at following instructions.  So this is perfect.  Perfect, I tell you!

Oh, and let's not forget the 26 coloring pages at the end that you can photocopy for any and all of your kids to color.  Am I a dork for totally loving coloring pages?  I love them.  Love.


You totally wanna win this, don't you?  I love winning.  Winning is my favorite!

So git to clickin' and then I'll git to shippin' then your kids will git to learnin'.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

p.s. I totally picked a winner for the rosary and the calendar/planner, but didn't announce them here- just directly to the winner and also on the facebook page. I think.  Anyway, now you know just in case you were waiting to see if you won before you bought those goodies yourself.  Or something.

I need coffee.

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137 comments :

  1. I don't have any tips just yet because, so far and thank the Good Lord, my kiddos seem to just learn stuff on their own. lol Teaching handwriting, however, makes me nervous, especially since my little girl (3-years-old) appears to be left-handed.

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  2. I am just beginning this homeschool experience, so no tips here, but I am a little nervous because I think my oldest may have a tinge of dyslexia. Should make learning to read an adventure!

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  3. Sounds like a fun preschool book. I hope I win!

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  4. No tips. But like Bethany I'm nervous about teaching my kiddo to write because I think James is a lefty. So if anyone has any tips for how a right-handed mom can teach a left-handed kid I'd be grateful!

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    1. I have three lefties and a righty. I use Handwriting without Tears, because a friend recommended it specifically for lefties. I like it, the kids like it, and gives generally lefty tips, like make extra copies of reproducible worksheets to place on the right so your kid can read as they write. Good luck! I am finding personality has more to do with success with handwriting, as opposed to which hand is dominant!

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    2. I'm using Handwriting without Tears for my Paul this year, and although he isn't a lefty, I love it so far. The way the little boxes show them how big to make the letters is really helpful to him for some reason.

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  5. I'm nervous about teaching my kids to live for God in this nutty world...and we aren't homeschooling or even at the sex-talk ages yet! Lord, help me!

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  6. Oh, and I am always nervous I will totally skip something major they should know.

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  7. Ok I blogged about my favorite teaching littles thing AND what makes me nervous, 'cuz I didn't realize you meant you wanted me to COMMENT HERE with those things, even though the little window up there under your post SAYS "Leave a blog post COMMENT" right there. Anyway....

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  8. I am nervous that I wouldn't be very good at it...but I hope to give it a try some day sooner than later! :)

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  9. I have a five year old who would love this! Please, random generator? I have no best tip for teaching little ones, except maybe learn to love Leapfrog DVDs. (Shame on me.)

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  10. I'm teaching a 3rd grader and a kindergartener (this book would be perfect for us!). I guess my best tip would be to use concrete materials! Lately we have been using a lot of the following: beans, pebbles, teeny, weensy seashells, acorns, leaves... Count them, sort them, paint them, sketch them, make up stories about them, arrange them to form letters or pictures. I'm finding that my girls like my homemade school materials better than the ones I bought! You can go outside on a nature walk and pick plenty of natural materials to use (and you will learn a lot just while you are exploring!). Have fun with them!

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  11. This book looks fabulous! I want it!

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    1. oops, I was supposed to leave a tip! Um I just started this week so I don't have much...I guess I am most nervous about how "normal" my kids will be...haha I don't know why that worries me but it does!

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  12. Please please please pick me!!!!!!

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  13. This book looks great and I think I will buy it even if I don't win. I am inexperienced and don't have any tips, except my general mothering advice that I need to enjoy myself or no one else will.

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  14. My 2 year old's not quite there yet, but he'll get there eventually!

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    1. I just started 2 weeks ago but I'm nervous that the whining will never go away.

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  15. I'm starting preschool type stuff with my oldest who is 4, and I'm just nervous that I won't have it together enough to get anything done! We have baby #4 on the way and so life is a little busy around here. I know it will all work out, but still have a little anxiety for sure.

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  16. I'm nervous about teaching my young 3 year old while I have a crazy 1 yr old boy crawling all over me!

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    1. Make sure to allow yourselves to have fun, especially at that age Lisa! There is so much learning in play for the littles like that, so I forbid you to stress yourself out :)

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  17. I'm nervous about making learning fun. I think kids enjoy learning with music and I am not very talented in that department. I sing in church because I hope no one will judge me there! My son was in his first year of preschool last year and I am teaching him at home this year. Therefore, he has expectations! I'm afraid I won't live up to his expectations!

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  18. My tip is to be patient with their sloooow pace ;-)
    msagala1 at gmail dot com

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  19. It looks wonderful. Count me in! Thanks!

    I must have missed the request for tips but others seem to have seen it. The most important tip I can think of with little ones is keeping it fun. Whether they like coloring, exploring, science videos, dancing, singing, drawing, painting, playing or whatever… keep it fun. They will then enjoy learning and it will keep you from getting stressed. :)

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    1. Excellent advice! Y'all, Kathrine is a mommy of 4 exterior and 1 interior babe and never seems stressed out to me, so listen to her, okay?

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  20. I have no good tips as I have a newborn, but the whole concept of being in charge of his education makes me nervous! Thankfully I have a few years to work it out. ;)

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    1. Yes! You know what's incredible? We teach them SO much from zero to 5, and then suddenly we stress out that we can't teach them anymore once they turn 5. 6 thru 18 is easy cheesy compared to the baby years. You just hang in there, mama. You've got this.

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  21. I'm nervous about finding time, and getting my very sassy 3 year old to straighten up and follow my directions, because she thinks her way is always better.

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  22. I am concerned that my teaching style may not mesh well with his learning style. Perhaps we have respect issues, but whenever I go into 'teaching mode' my preschooler stops paying attention to me and answers all my questions with his baby talk words. And then I get frustrated.

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  23. I use a game yo teach letter and number recognition. I put them scattered around the toom and ask them to wiggle to a letter, our jump to a certain number. Love having the kids use their whole.body to learn

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  24. Just starting to formally teach my oldest (4) and I don't have any tips other than I just finally started doing some phonics during nap time (for the 2 year old and 9 month old) and he loves it. I just had to start...starting is sometimes the hardest part!

    This would be AWESOME. Thanks, Heather

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  25. Im not a homeschooler, but love this!! I'm saving this info ... Looks like an amazing book!!!!!

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  26. I love coloring pages, too! This book looks like a keeper.

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  27. My favorite tip for teaching preschoolers - be flexible! Every day is different. If today doesn't go well then give it another shot tomorrow!

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  28. You know what makes me nervous? Everything. I still can't believe they let me take me kids home from the hospital. Now I educate them?!?!?

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    1. They??? Who are THEY?!?!? No one loves and knows your kids like you do, Sarah. Full stop. :)

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  29. Waaaaaait. We are supposed to be educating them??? See? That's why I needed that planner... Maybe I can catch them all up with this sweet book.

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  30. I am just starting this journey with my Kindergartener and almost 3 year old so I do not have any advice to give. But this book looks awesome and I would love to try it out!

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  31. My son is only 6 months, so we have a while to go, but I think I would be nervous that I couldn't explain things in a simple way that's easy to understand. I'm a very heady type person, but I'll be sure to hold off on giving him the Summa until he's mastered the ABC's.

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  32. I'm nervous about adjusting learning for different children and their needs.

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    1. Oh yeah, we have some VERY different personalities in this house. The beauty of homeschooling (one of the many beauties, I guess) is that if something isn't working, you can just change it. You don't have to stick with the prescribed curriculum or slog through a bunch of homework that's making them cry. And with the internet and such a huge support community? You'll do great!

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  33. I tried to win a copy on another blog, but didn't. I think Jane and Nick would love this. My tip? Take time to observe your children. They will show you what they want to learn about and how they want to learn it. It has taken all of my kids to teach me that!

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  34. I'm nervous about balancing everything. I'm such a detailed, history lovin' mamma & I hope I can keep things simple. Guess this is why I married a math & science engi-nerd!

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  35. We're living overseas where preschool is big bucks right now, so we do what we can at home. I do a different "genre" of activity each day of the week and give it a name the kids love, like "Artsy Fartsy Friday." It helps keep them excited, too.

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  36. I've been noodling schooling methods, ages, and I'm thinking that shifting methods as they grow is better than sticking with one. And unschooling is best for the littles. Let them chase their interests as far as they're willing and able to go

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  37. Be confident that you can teach your kids just as well as a teacher with a room full of little ones. These are YOUR kids! You can do it! :-)

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  38. FUS pride right here! That looks pretty wonderful!

    (ashleyantone83@yahoo.com)

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  39. This looks great! Like some of the other folks, I will buy this for sure if I don't win it.

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  40. This looks so cute! No tips, yet, but I'm nervous about keeping things interesting and on-track. Like Melanie said, I will also buy this for sure if I don't win it!

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  41. Neat looking book! Teaching tip for littles? I don't know, just let them do everything along with you that they can. Let them help you cook, let them help you clean, let them feel like one of the big kids. And lots of song and dance :)

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    1. Excellent! Lots of song and dance is my fave :)

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  42. We read lots of book, spend lots of time outside, and listen to lots of music. And then I yell at them to stop climbing all over me while I teach the big kids. Scratch that. Ignore that. Sorry.

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  43. I am just starting to homeschool my almost three year old. But how do you make it work with a baby? The swing only ltd so long.

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  44. This curriculum looks great! We are doing 3 year old preschool at home this year, and I have been piecing things together from my teaching years and the internet. This would help me so much!

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  45. A better question would be what DOESN'T make me nervous...my youngest just turned three, so I haven't started yet, however I attempted to teach CCD to 1st graders once...not good. I was actually bitten on one especially awful day. Needless to say the experience didn't inspire confidence in my pedagogical skills...

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  46. This looks awesome! I'm just starting our homeschool journey with my 3-year-old... pretty much nervous about everything!

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  47. Having homeschooled since the beginning and having ten children, my biggest tip? Don't freak out when you have to repeat the same thing a hundred times in a fifteen minute period. Suck it up, you will be doing it.

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  48. I'm nervous that I won't notice if my kids don't actually get it, that we'll keep chugging along until one day I realize that I've totally failed at homeschooling.

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  49. Stickers. I don't homeschool, except preschool, and honestly, it's consistency and stickers. That I guess and pushing through the frustration (mine and theirs). And...not worrying so much about it. I had this idea with #1 that he had to be reading when he was 4. Well 4 came and went, and it was so frustrating to repeat letters and letter sounds, and the same sight words over and over. Well now he's a 3rd grader, and he reads well, well above his grade level (and I can't get him to STOP reading sometimes!), with his sister at his heels, so just calm down already, super paranoid mom, right?!

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  50. My 2.5yr old son LOVES music and singing and so do I... so we put EVERYTHING to music. Bonus points if there's a silly dance to match. So far I've managed to work in catechetics, good manners, potty training and welcoming a little brother - does anyone have a good idea for a learn-the-names-of-dinosaurs song?

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  51. Love this! Though my daughter is only 20 mo, I am definitely going to look into it even if I don't win.

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  52. Patience and more patience and then some more. Which, I guess is why I usually feel like my 2nd youngest isn't learning much. But then he amazes me by reading a word when he's just 3.

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  53. My tip for the littlest littles is to follow their lead. Encourage their interests and don't push too much.

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  54. I'm always looking for opportunities to enrich my kiddos' learning!

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  55. Tips for teaching littles...you wouldnt think, but playing classical music in the background helps them stay calm and be more patient. I also use the website Starfall.com which is excellent in teaching letter sounds, fun sing-a-longs for phonics.

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  56. My tip for the littlest little, is having every thing ready and on hand BEFORE we start. If I have to keep running back and forth to get stuff, she's done.

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  57. 3 preschoolers in this house and I can use all the help I can get!

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  58. I don't homeschool, but I'm a book junkie, and could probably kick start a school here if the notion hit.

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  59. I print out each letter and place in a plastic sleeve. Then I let my almost-2-year-old trace the letter with water. Water plus learning... amazing.

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    1. Wow, I've never heard of this water idea. Interesting!

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  60. I would love to win this!!! We've just started homeschooling and it looks great!

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  61. Mine is only 17 months, so we still have a little way to go, but what makes me nervous, and this is ridiculous, is that he's a boy! An active, aggressive, spunky little boy. When I have imagined scenes of homeschooling, I picture docile little girls coloring and poring over picture books and that's not who I have. I'm going to have to switch up my fantasies to suit my real life precious child.

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  62. No tips yet. I'm nervous about being able to come up with creative ideas for helping my kids learn (hence why this book looks so helpful!)

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  63. We need a little learning inspiration around here!

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  64. I would love to use this for Leo! Then maybe I could start using homeschooling as a punishment instead of the time-out chair. "If you're not obedient, we're going to do the letter N!!" Wait- that's not how it works??

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  65. That I will push him too hard in learning or not hard enough. I am nervous to push too hard to make him learn letters and numbers right now, and I think this is the right approach with him only being 2.

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  66. This looks great! We need some fresh material around here!

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  67. i am nervous about missing obvious things as we go through the school year. we are first time homeschoolers this year, so we have much to learn!

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  68. Would love to use this with my son.

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  69. I'm nervous about missing something big, or everything....I'm terrified, period.

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  70. I'm nervous about keeping his attention or that I won't push him hard enough/too hard. He's 2 so we're just barely starting letters and numbers.

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  71. We're doing a similar type of thing already this year, but how great is it to have it all organized and planned out for you in a beautiful book?! I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance, and just letting us know about this curriculum.

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    1. Oh and my tip? Don't give up if they don't like what your suggesting they do right now. Maybe tomorrow they'll be more interested. Gear things to what they like to do. My son couldn't have cared less about coloring, but my daughter is happy to color all day long (Thank you God!).

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  72. Oooooh! Pick me! I'm terrible at coming up with ideas/taking opportunities for teaching moments!

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    1. My stupid computer is freaking out right now. No tips yet, but I'm nervous about not meeting my daughter's learning needs. I know it will all work out in the end, though.

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  73. I have no tips, our oldest is a whole 1 week old today but i'm nervous about finding ways to teach the faith in an engaging way to her.

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  74. My tip is to use humor. People remember things if it made them laugh. :-)

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  75. I'd love to win! I've been contemplating buying this book for a couple months now since I've started homeschooling my preschooler. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  76. I give my littlest lots of coloring books, Color Wonder pages, playdoh, beans for sorting, etc. to play with. Hopefully, she's learning something along the way! :-)

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  77. Patience. My daughter loves to move a lot! patty dot durow@gmail.com

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  78. My tip for homeschooling is have a schedule and try to follow it.

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  79. My tip is when they are young, don't push anything. Read a TON, be purposeful in what you present, and in what they play with, and include them in everything--especially cleaning, cooking, and chores--that will pay off in the end when you have little helpers!
    JennyM

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  80. My tip: read to them tons. And give them a tray of sand or salt to trace letters in (pre-writing skill)

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  81. Wow, so many good ideas. I don't have any tips for y'all for schooling little ones since I've only ever tried it with bigger ones and never taught anyone how to read. It's such a lovely looking book, though. It would come in very handy with grandchildren!

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  82. Repitition & routine have worked well for me.

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  83. Yay for FUS! Still too early for preschool for my girl, so I try to just read to her a lot. :)

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  84. I'd love to win this to use with my youngest, who is about to turn 3!

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    1. Ah, just saw the instructions. My favorite tip is to be flexible with when you do formal teaching with little ones. Don't try to push it if they are not in the right mood for it!

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  85. I don't have any tips, as I'm just starting out. Aside from pray. Pray, pray, pray. And remember in the difficult moments that the best thing you can do for your child is to show them with every moment of every day what sacrificial love is, and that is what homeschooling is about (I stole that from my spiritual director's sermon, so it's not really MY tip!).

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  86. I'm a beginner so no tips from me, sorry! But this program looks so wonderful and I'm sure my daughter would love it!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Kebattaglia@gmail.com

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  87. Find something they love to do and turn it into a learning activity. My son loves to squirt things with a squirt bottle, so I started teaching shapes and letters by drawing them with chalk on the driveway. I would them tell him which ones he was supposed to find and squirt. We had so much fun with this activity!

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  88. I am a Speech Language Pathologist and so impressed with the reviews of this book! It looks like an amazing tool to build language skills, literacy skilles, and print awareness! I love the book lists associated with each letter! We are expecting our first baby and this looks like a great resource to have on hand, especially because education at home is really important to my husband and I! -Amy Heise humphriesslp@gmail.com

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  89. I'm new to this, so no advice from me, but I love what you have shown me from this book! I can't wait to use it!

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  90. I don't have any advice as my eldest is just preschool age, but this looks great! I too have difficulty coming up with ideas to cement the concepts I am trying to teach him. I can say that I think my son would enjoy this since he focuses much better when something can be tied to our faith. As evidence, I submit that we have had him in phonics at his daycare center for more than a year...and he prouldy knows exactly 2 letters, "J" and "A", and he still writes the "J" backwards and when I ask him what word starts with "J" he proudly says "J, mmmm, mmmm, mama", ugh.

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  91. My tip is to always make learning fun! The kids really do pick up on mom's mood and it all goes so much better when everyone has a positive attitude. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

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  92. Yes! I love this idea and would love to see more. As a parent to a single almost two year old, I'm clearly a novice at best, so it's probably best for all involoved if I do not leave any advice, but I'm loving reading what everyone else is saying! Thanks!

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  93. I started kindergarten with my 4 year old a month ago and it's going so well! I also have an almost three year old, so this book would be perfect for them to learn together. My best advice so far is just to do a little every day and remember that your child is learning All. The. Time.

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  94. My 3 and 1 year-old would love this book! My daughter is recently interested in God and learning about Him!

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  95. My favorite tip for teaching my littles is constantly answering questions...why leads to why leads to why...and on and on!

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  96. My tip is to be flexible and work with the needs of that child, whether or not it actually goes with what YOU wanted to do. I had some great plans once and was getting all bent out of shape because it wasn't working out, but in the end it wasn't the best for that child anyway.

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  97. i'm nervous about teaching my little girls about god, i just became catholic this easter and I was a pentecostal before. Guess I'm nervous I'll teach them the wrong stuff. I better get studying myself bc at such a young age they sure do have a lot of hard questions about God lol.

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  98. want want want want want.

    actually, the more technical term is covet covet covet covet.

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  99. My tips for teaching littles is just to play with them. They learn so much from life, they often just need our time and attention.

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  100. My wife would enjoy using this one with our soon to be 4 yr old:

    http://thisstitchofmine.com/thru-the-eyes-of-a-3-year-old

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  101. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have this book and will probably have to splurge and buy it even if I don't win it here :)

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  102. I have no idea how to teach my toddler anything . . . that's why I need this book

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  103. This book looks so easy to use!

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  104. I saw this book a few weeks ago and loved it. Would love to win a copy.

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  105. No tips as my little one isn't quite a year old yet. My sister though has two little boys 4 and 2 and has been looking for a book like this. I would love to get it for her!

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  106. This exactly what I need for my boys! :) Thanks sis for telling me about this!

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  107. What a great book! Perfect solution for my unwarranted trepidation in teaching our little ones about our Faith.

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  108. I was JUST thinking that I wanted to do a letter of the week with my 2 year old. I want to homeschool when he gets older, but feel like I need to "prove" that I can put something together now. This curriculum looks awesome! My tip.... patience and repetition. :)

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  109. I work full-time outside the home and have twin foster children, so I'm not in the homeschool demographic right now. However, I hope to be someday. My tips are to have patience and humor with everyone, especially yourself. ;)

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  110. For my littlest who is learning letters and sounds his favorite has been the weighted chicka chicka boom boom tree I bought from Lakeshore with velcro letters. He puts a new letter on the tree each week and we review all letters and sounds on the tree every week while he learns the new letter of the week. The hands on letters have helped him a lot and he adores the tree.

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  111. I'm nervous/ don't really understand how to homeschool my almost four year old with a hyperactive 19 month old and another on the way in 6 Weeks. I know it's been done a million times, but I'm not convinced that *I* am capable of doing it.

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  112. I'm nervous/ don't really understand how to homeschool my almost four year old with a hyperactive 19 month old and another on the way in 6 Weeks. I know it's been done a million times, but I'm not convinced that *I* am capable of doing it.

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  113. Totally nervous! Its our first year homeschooling our 5 yr old....did I mention I'm nervous?

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  114. 1. Don't be nervous. Be confident. You have been called to this so God already gave you the graces to handle it.
    2. Expect incredibly short attention spans.
    3. Find the one thing they love and use that to teach other things. For example my daughter loves art. So Science and History are always incorporated into art projects.
    4. Don't push them. Know when they've had enough.
    5. Don't compare your kids to other kids who are homeschooled and don't compare yourself to other moms who homeschool. It always seems like they are doing more than you or a better job than you or their kids know more than yours. They're not and they don't.
    6. Don't spend a lot money on curricula.
    7. If the only thing you get to do with them all day is say a little prayer, you're already more successful than any preschool.
    8. The two most important things littles need are LOVE and FREE PLAY.
    9. Have fun and just enjoy your kiddos.
    10. Pray for guidance. Be patient. Trust God!
    (mom of a 3 yr old and 6 yr old)

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