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 Learner to Read

I have certainly had experience teaching struggling learners how to read! But Izzy has presented special difficulties. Even with the techniques I learned with my oldest son, and even though I recognized it early, Izzy was still behind in her reading skills and afraid to read or write in public.

With her high school years looming ahead, I knew last year that I had to do something to help her catch on to reading.  SO I was very intrigued when I ran into Dianne Craft's table at my local homeschool convention.

 When I read this article by Ms. Craft, I immediately knew my daughter was a right-brain child:

How do you determine if you are teaching a right brain child? Children tend to display these characteristics at an early age. All children are creative but your right brain child will seem to be even more imaginative. The right brain learns things in wholes rather than in parts, so that child will get math concepts well but may struggle with the details like the math facts or checking work. In thinking styles, the right brainer often goes by gut feeling whereas the left brainer prefers multiple facts before coming to a conclusion. In test taking, the left brainer prefers the black-and-white choices presented in multiple choice questions while the right brainer may prefer essay questions where the whole picture can be given.

So I bought her curriculum and I started implementing it last January, 2012.  The results have been great. Izzy still isn't at an 8th grade reading level, but she is almost at the adult functional reading level (which is about a 5th grade level and what most newspapers and casual writing is geared to.  She will be able to at least function in the world at that level.)

One part of this curriculum is the sight words.  Ms. Craft sells a few of them and Izzy learned them easily. When we were done for that I found Child 1st publications and bought over 600 of their Snap Cards to continue Izzy's progress.

 Since we just started the last pack of cards, I thought it would be fun to video the process and share it with my blog readers.

So here are a series of 7 videos we did over the past two weeks.  These are very amateurish, in our home, during a regular school day.  I think several of my kids and the family dog make an appearance, but you can still get the gist of what we were trying to do and see Izzy's progress during that time period.

Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
And the last day:

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