Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

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Izzy's Journey to Reading

Last week I blogged about some of Izzy's speech and vision problems and how they were impacting her ability to read.

This week I thought I'd blog about the program we are on just for reference and also to encourage other moms who might be having similar situations.

Izzy's reading specialist, Dr. Holinga, is very particular about where she wants her clients to get their eye exams. She prefers optometrists who will help the parents to work with the kids and also specifically test for problems with reading. For example, Izzy's vision is 20/20. It's perfect. Up close it's even better at 20/25. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have other visual problems that could affect her reading. When they did the visual perception tests she scored as a 6 year old on one and as a 9 year old on the other! So our optometrist wanted to err on the conservative side and gave us the glasses just so that Izzy can have the extra help her eyes apparently need to make sense of the letters, numbers and symbols she sees on the paper.

She also gave us a geo board and geo bands to help Izzy develop better visual perception.

The geo board they gave us looks like this!


I think a crafty tool person could whip one of these off in no time!

They also gave me pages with directions, a laminated paper that mimics the geoboard, and a dry erase pencil. I follow the directions and draw a pattern on the laminated page.



Then Izzy copies it on the geoboard with the rubber bands.



If she does it right, then I erase the laminated page and turn the geoboard 1/2 turn. Izzy then gets to draw what she sees on the laminated page.


This is A LOT OF FUN!! We're supposed to get to it twice a day.

Besides that, I am retraining Izzy on the alphabet using the Writing Without Tears method, starting with the lower case letters. She is writing them in the air, on the chalk board and then on special WWOT paper.


I ran out of the paper Dr. Holing gave me but I can make more using my Start Write Software.

Izzy is also doing a lot of mazes and word searches. I swear we have done every Halloween related maze and word search available! But this is all very good for her visual perception.

The very last thing that we do is actually read. Izzy had been through the Pathway Reader Primer twice so I put her into the Dick and Jane Book. (This is the reprint of Dick and Jane that some of us old fogie's used back in the day!) We're enjoying it and I actually remember some of the stories!

Her handwriting, math and reading are all progressing nicely now.

Adding speech therapy is going to be our next step!


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  1. Elena,

    It looks like you're doing all the right things and it's great that she's enjoying them.

    How old is Izzy?

    That handwriting looks really good!

    I remember those Dick and Jane books and my dh and I still talk about the stories with Puff and Spot.

  2. It's Fun With Chicken Jane! Sorry...but I used to watch Between the Lions with my daughter and a couple of times with my first graders and I don't think they ever really understood why I so enjoyed that segment.

    I learned to read with Dick and Jane, too.


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