Reading Loudly Aloud

Rebekah is the youngest of six children, and the only one in our homeschool. Two of our children are married, two work full time and one is a full time student. So, when the grandkids and their friends come over, we take full advantage of the situation.

I think it is important for kids to read out loud.  As I was writing this blog, I pondered over the question, ”Should I say aloud or out loud?”

I’ll let you look up the answer yourself.

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This is one of those moments of homeschooling where I actually felt like patting myself on the back, instead of slapping myself.

Rebekah had a moment to shine.

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There are two baskets in the living room for books. One  for library books and
one for books according to the current theme. 
At the beginning of the year, we looked for pioneer topics.

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These are some of the books I assigned for Rebekah to read out loud.

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Since we see the grandkids often and have neighbor kids, it usually isn’t too hard to fulfill.

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Since I love history, I discovered I easily can find books on the topics we are studying historically.

When it comes to Science, we outsource to the library.

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These Little House books are shorter versions for younger kids and are delightful.  They’ve already created a love for all things prairie in the younger kids Rebekah read them to.

Be creative when reading out loud if your classroom is lacking listeners.

  • Skype the grandparents or any friends or relatives willing to engage with your early reader.
  • Video record your child reading. (I use a FLIP, but you young moms probably
    have one of those cool cell phones. Oh yea, after a year of owning my camera, I realized it had a video function, too.)
  • Listen while doing a mundane task, like peeling potatoes, making dinner. For me, that would be anything in the kitchen. For you it might be folding laundry.
  • Have them act out the story with toys or dolls.

Got Manners?

Our assignment was to talk about manners,
all because Laura was rude enough to interrupt Mary.

I’m not sure what I think about Emily Post,
but I’m pretty big on manners.

Manners in the 1870’s were different.

My husband and I never agreed with the
“children are to be seen and not heard”
theory at our dinner table.

We welcome our children in the dinner conversation,
but they cannot rule the table.
We love good, respectful, spiritual conversation,
but I have to admit,
laughter is the main characteristic of our family meals.
We love being together.


Not that all family meals have good manners.
Don’t say, “Please pass a roll” because it will literally be passed.
Like a football.
Just don’t tell Pa Ingalls, OK?

In my other, other blog, I blogged about it,
the bad manners, that is.


Yea, thanks for asking,
I have another blog, because with six kids,
two in-laws, one husband, one cat and three grandchildren,
I have so much free time on my hands.


It’s called Momma Mindy’s Moments
and you can follow it  here, if you have free time,
or just want to find out why I wear sticks in my hair,
or what is  Grandpa-Renting.

There’s a great video I made about
my husband’s manners,
but it didn’t migrate to WordPress.

I will link you to Blogger, but iffin ya’
wanna’ follow my other blog,
go to WordPress.
Please and thank you.
Phew!  I almost forgot my manners!

So, I had to teach my daughter manners.
If ya’ watched the above video, you figgered out I was on my own.


The family wasn’t going to be much help.



Studying Manners
Beka pulled these books off the shelf  and stacked them on the table in front of me.
Tears welled up in my eyes.
”Beka, have I ever told you about how the Lord provided these books?”


She smiled, and said no, with a look that told me she knew a big story was coming on.


Just like the Ingalls, I have stories I pass on to my kids.
I have a passion to share with them
the provision of the Lord,
the protection of the Lord and
the power of the Lord.

I don’t want them ever to forget what He’s done for our family.



The story I told Beka goes like this:


Once upon a time were living in Wichita, Kansas, where Daddy was teaching business and math at a private Christian high school.

Packrats, mice, opossums, and brown recluse spiders shared living quarters with us in a single-wide trailer home in the country. One of our neighbors had cows, so when I did dishes, I could look out my window and watch the Hereford cows grazing around a small pond in a treed area. It was beautiful. We were so thrilled to be living in the country.

Our student loan bill took 25% of our salary, the car loan the other 25%.  Over and over I’ve added up the bills and it always comes way over what we made.  We survived because of the Lord. Anything we needed, we relied on the Lord to provide, which was a joy and delight to Daddy and me. It was an exciting, happy time for us to serve the Lord and grow in Him. We were also and happy to have the Lord bless us with  children.

One day I had to drop off Daddy at work and drive to an appointment in a part of Wichita I wasn’t familiar with.  There was around $3 in my wallet, so I planned on stopping at a thrift store if I could find one. Daddy and I had a deal.  If he ever took a dollar to buy a can of pop at work, I could have the change. At the end of each day, I emptied his pockets and squirreled up the change.  The early years, pop was  $.50, so I was guaranteed two shiny quarters on pop day. After two pop days, I only needed a few pennies to cover tax, and I was ready to shop. I could buy three items of clothing for the kids in the $.29 bin.  A dollar had power back in the early 90’s.

I walked around the store, giddy with my $3 shopping power.  I headed back into the children’s department, excited to buy some toys or books for my three little ones.  On the children’s bookshelf was a row of nearly-new, hardcover books by Joy Wilt Berry, a series I had longed for. I picked up the stack and counted the books.  I looked around for a sign with prices, but didn’t find one. I opened my wallet and recounted my money. It seemed doubtful that I could afford all the books, but couldn’t decide which ones to put back.  Since the store was so far away, and we only had one car, I knew I wouldn’t be in that part of town again for a long time.  It would also take a long time to save that much money again. The kids played happily around me while I crouched near the bookshelf.  I prayed.

With uncertainty,   I walked up to the counter and asked the young clerk how much the books were, explaining prices weren’t posted.  She spread the books out on the counter, but didn’t find prices on them.  She counted the books. I can still feel the eternity of waiting while she figured and I prayed. Finally, she looked up and gave me a price.  I had enough to buy ALL the books.  I had more than enough.  I could buy all those books for my precious babies. At that moment the counter was an altar, as I worshipped the Lord for His gracious provision.


For over 20 years, these books have been loved and read by our family.
However, they teach more than just manners and correct behavior.
They preach the glories of Jehovah Jireh, my Provider,
whose grace is sufficient for me.




Layout of The Prairie Primer

The Prairie Primer was published in 1993 by Margie Gray when she discovered a lack in homeschooling curriculum.

She filled a huge void.

Gray defines her book as a “Literature Based Unit Studies for Grades 3-6 Utilizing the “Little House” Series.


I heard about this curriculum years ago,  when an acquaintance used it with great enthusiasm and success.  At the end of the school year, she and her daughters took a field trip and visited as many places featured as possible. They read, cut, colored, crafted and cooked their way through school.

I wanted to be that kind of homeschool mommy when I grew up.

At that stage of my life, I always had a baby in the womb and usually one on the hip, so doing anything other than traditional worksheets was out of the question.

It might be debatable about whether I’m grown up, but my kids have, and I feel the liberty to branch out and try a new homeschool approach.
(read the WHY here)

(click on any pic to enlarge)

Weekly Planning Guide

The book is so organized, it makes me wonder what Margie’s linen closet looks like.

Her towels are probably neatly folded, and I’m sure she knows how to fold a fitted sheet.

I added removable tabs on the edge for each week.

Weekly Planning Guide p. 2

For a list-maker, a weekly planning guide for EACH week is awesome.

It gets even better.

Daily Assignment Page
There’s a DAILY list of things to do.

So, all nine books are divided into weeks and days.

The whole year is planned out for you.

If I had known this was so user friendly, I might not have put it off for so long.

Little House in the Big Woods Journal

For each book in the series, we’ll be using a softbound journal, the cheap kind that are usually under a dollar.

We copied the cover of the book and my daughter Mod Podged it on. We called it “crafts” for the day.

Spiral bound notebooks are messy, the pages fall out, the wire unspirals
and puts holes in clothes, and they don’t stack well.

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Since there are so many activities listed for each day, you choose what you want to do. To make sure my daughter isn’t sitting around waiting for me to tell her what to do, I write daily assignments she can do on her own in the journal.

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We made binders for storing all the projects, writing and worksheets, with tabbed dividers for each book.

What kinda’ homeschool mommy do you wanna’ be when you grow up?

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I’m finally the Prairie Momma I dreamed about.

Someone pinch me, please, before I wake up.