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…

Reading improvement with Dianne Craft Phonics Program

I've written a lot about my 12-year-old daughter's reading problems. She just wasn't getting it very easily and was afraid to read in public or to try to write anything.

See some of my past posts:
Teaching Reading
Reading Fluency for Kids
Izzy's Journey to Reading

In January, we started using the Diane Craft Daily Reading Lessons. Before we started, I tested her with the placement test in the Right Brain Phonics Program and she sadly was at the pre-primer level. This was particularly disheartening for me because we have been working so hard on her reading for over six years now. Today, four months later, she was able to test at the first grade reading level. That was huge progress for her!

Every day Izzy does all of the exercises as prescribed in the Brain Integration Therapy Manual.  As I understand it, this is to get the left and right sides of her brain to work together better and share information. It is all very physical and includes her eyes following her arms in a figure 8 pattern, and crossing her arms in front of her body to the opposite knee. It's all about the eyes crossing the midline from right to left and back. I was very lucky that Izzy did not give me any trouble about doing these and now they are second nature to her.

Then we start decoding words from the Right Brain Phonics Program, followed by Sight words, dictation and then reading. This all takes a good hour. When it is done, I read to Izzy from a book of her choice, just for fun.

Dianne Craft is speaking at a number of conventions this summer. I saw her last year but I also bought some of her DVDs and those have been very helpful as well.

Right now, I am just marveling at how differently each one of my children has been in learning to read. If you had told me 10 years ago that a child of mine would be crossing her legs and touching her toes as part of her reading lesson, I would have said that was crazy! I'm just amazed that it actually is working.

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  1. Thanks for submitting to the carnival, Elena. Great to know about resources for such an important skill!

  2. I'm glad you are having good success with Diane's reading program. I will keep it in mind for my kids. I do have the Brain Integration Manual, but have had a lot of trouble remaining consistent with it. My kids lost interest, and it was a struggle to get them to do it.

  3. I am reading this blog in August of 2014 and I am curious as to your opinion of the Dianne Craft technique. I am considering on buying it to use with my son and would appreciate your input. Do you recommend buying all of the items in the $300 price range or will just buying the Brain Integration Manual.

  4. Hi Valerie,

    I would get the Brain Integration Therapy Manual, The Phonics book and the Teaching the Right Brained child.

    I would buy my sight words from Child 1st.


    and do the spelling from Spelling U See.


    That's what I did and watched my struggling reader go from primer level to third grade level in one year. She is also easily reading cookbooks because they are of interest to her.

    Hope that helps!


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