Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Teaching my right brained homeschooled girl to read!

My daughter Izzy is a bright, gentle, kind and artistic young girl.

She has not always had an easy go of it. Her birth was certainly traumatic and she was my only child born with a low APGAR. Hers was 1.  Yet as we both recovered from that she nursed well and seemed to be hitting all of her milestones physically, mentally and emotionally.

Then when she was four years old, she knocked out all four of her front top baby teeth - which made talking sooo difficult. But it also affected her ability to hear and pronounce sounds and had an impact on her ability to learn how to decipher phonograms and put them together to learn how to read.

all I want for christmas are my front teeth!

I am not a novice when it came to teaching my kids how to read.  Although slow out of the box, Samuel is an excellent reader, Gabe writes song lyrics (and he could be a better reader if he would just read more on his own instead of reading to get by) and Noah is reading books on a high school level.    I have even had experience teaching my oldest to read (another child with a traumatic birth).  I blogged about our adventures with a reading specialist back in 2004. 

I have also spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to read.  You can read those posts:
Journey to reading here.
Reading, Reading Recovery and Reading Woes
Teaching Reading
Izzy Eyes

One of my readers suggested that maybe she was just stupid. I don't think if she was stupid, nor do I think she has tracking issues or other eye problems.  If she did how could she produce art like this:
Valentines Day Party 2012

February 2012 014

Izzy's Design 028

But was clear to me is that every way that I knew of to teach her wasn't working and I had to find something that would work for her.

Last year I listened to a presentation at the homeschool convention by a woman named, Dianne Craft.  She introduced me to an entirely new way to teach reading to Izzy.  If you are interested in her entire program, I suggest reading her reading curriculum.

We have been doing this since Christmas and I have seen improvement.  The biggest piece that I want to write about here is the use of side word cards.  According to Ms. Craft, right - brained kids look at the letters in words and it just doesn't transfer from one side of the brain across into the other side for long-term storage.  It's like a computer that wipes all the new data clean every night without ever writing something permanently on the hard drive!  BUT... if you show the sight words with pictures, it sticks easily. The words and the pictures have to be integrated together. If you just have the word with the picture beneath it, it won't stick.

So we started with her sight word cards and to my utter amazement, Izzy learned all 32 words well within a week.  These were words that I had been trying to get her to read and remember for years!  and now she had them instantly.  When the 32 words were learned Dianne Crafts' store didn't offer any more so I found hundreds of Sight Word Cards over at Child-1st Publications.   I bit the bullet and bought the 306 word set, and she is about half way through them.

Some of our favorites are -

I think you can see from the examples how integrated the illustration is with the actual word.  This is why they are so effective for my right- brained daughter. So far this has been life changing.  With a little prayer and perseverance hopefully she can get up to grade level before high school.

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  1. Honestly, I can't believe someone suggested she was stupid when that is clearly NOT the case. She's intelligent in an entirely different and I applaud you for striving to work with that rather than against it. I am sort of like Izzy but in reverse in that I am a genuine speed reader and was a very precocious reader. My Achilles's heel was math and numbers. I wish that my parents had taken the care to teach me as you are for Izzy. And whomever called Izzy stupid

  2. Whoops cut off the end of my comment: Whomever called Izzy stupid can go pound sand!


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