reading

The Struggling Reader

For quite a while now, I’ve told our co-op teachers that my youngest son is a “late-reader”. “He just isn’t reading quite yet,” I would explain to them, and they would reassure me, telling me they understood completely, and they wouldn’t call on him in class to read. Many people would reiterate what I’ve heard a number of times: sometimes it takes boys a

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The Perfect Pet

There’s a new picture book out this fall – and I wrote and illustrated it! It’s published by Sylvan Dell Publishing, a company that combines math or science with a great story. In The Perfect Pet, a child uses animal classification to choose just the right pet. The story begins when Mom says “yes!” to a pet. To help him decide, the child starts

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Reading Poetry

I love reading and writing poetry. My poems, though, almost always rhyme, and I’m not very good at free verse yet. My children enjoy poetry too, and one of the best ways I’ve found to encourage them is by reading poetry together. And age-appropriate poems are so easy to find! There are lots of picture books that are actually poems coupled with illustrations to

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Seahorse Unit Study

We’ve been studying different sea creatures lately, and another amazing animal we’ve been learning about are seahorses. Who knew these tiny animals were so incredibly fascinating? There was so much to learn, in fact, that we developed a seahorse unit study. About Seahorses Here are just a few of the interesting facts about seahorses. The largest seahorse (the Pot-bellied Seahorse) is just over a

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The Story About Ping Craft

When I was teaching the Kindergarten class at our homeschooling co-op, we coupled reading picture books with related crafts.  One of the books we read was the classic The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack. This book tells about a little duck on the Yangtze River in China who is always the last one to return to the boat every evening. Because of this,

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Writing Game – The Rest of the Story

Need an activity to do with a group of kids? Here’s a writing game that will have everyone laughing! It can be played in co-op classes or at home with children of different ages. They just need to be able to read and write. How to Play To play, all you’ll need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Player 1

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Over in the Meadow

Over in the Meadow is a counting nursery rhyme written by Olive Wadsworth. The poem was put to music, and I remember my mom singing it when I was growing up. Today, there are lots of picture books illustrating the poem, so when I find one at our library, we check it out, take it home, and start singing. While it’s fun to see

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Be a Picture Book Critiquer

Our library’s summer reading program requires that elementary students read for ten hours or forty books to win the Level One prize (they have to read even more for the next prize). That’s a lot of books for my youngest to finish on his own, so we alternate between easy readers that he reads himself and picture books that I read to him. Although

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