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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Another Child Becomes a Reader

Another child is becoming a reader. Woot! 


Sometimes, I feel like I don't quite know how this happens. One day, we're sounding out words together. The next, he's grabbed a chapter book and off he goes. 


I thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit one of my more popular posts. Summer is a great time to concentrate on reading ability as other school obligations are on break.

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How My Children Are Becoming Avid Readers ~ A List of Ten

It makes me a tad nervous to write this post. I have little ones, and the jury is still out on how avid their reading will become. But I have received the question from a reader on how my children have come to be avid readers. It's an excellent question, and I thought it was a good time for an update.

I love lists almost as much as I love reading, so I made a list of how we have encouraged our children to become readers. J
  1. My husband and I both value reading and model that to the children. We always have a book we're reading {sometimes more than one!}. The children see us reading, and we talk about what we're reading with the children.
  2. My three oldest children are avid readers, so the Littles see them reading and want to emulate them.
  3. Our primary decoration in our home is bookshelves filled with books. It's what the children see all the time, not a big-screen television or a bunch of babbling battery-operated toys or a stack of video games. The children have bookshelves in their rooms, we have large bookshelves in the living room, and we have an upstairs library with two more bookcases.
  4. We encourage the reading. I go to special effort to find books I think they'll like, keep up with how much they are reading, encourage them to read, and then talk about it with them in an animated conversation. I focus my attention on them and the book, not multitasking.
  5. I write. Remember Under Duress, my Love Inspired Suspense novel? J I also talk about what I write. I ask my children to brainstorm with me, and that shows them the value of story and the written word.
  6. My husband and I read {and the Bigs read} to the Littles, copiously. With voices.
  7. Birthdays and Christmas always include gifts of books.
  8. We visit the library once each week where we check out many, many more books than movies.
  9. We participate in summer reading programs, including our local library and Half-Price Books. We also participate in the winter reading program at our local library.
  10. I pray for my children to love reading and learning.

Now, the $60,000 question ~ which of these work the best? I have no idea, but prayer is always worth it.

Happy reading!









How do you encourage your children to read?


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I'm Still Scanning ~ A Follow-Up to The Great Purge of 2015

Hello, my name is Meghan, and I'm addicted to scanning.

Last fall, I did a series about decluttering ~ The Great Purge of 2015. I think I need to rename it, because the decluttering continues. It's been a slow process, but we're pleased with the progress.
In particular, the scanning continues. It has become a pastime of sorts, something I can do while I read or watch a movie or {sometimes, off and on} guide a child through a workbook page or pray. 


The reward is an incredible encouragement...to throw away something that had been taking up space. But I also know I have a digital copy that will last indefinitely and that I can share easily with one or all of the children someday. 

I got my first portable scanner (my only scanner) last summer. Since then, I have eliminated boxes and boxes of paper and books from our home. No, that is not an exaggeration!


I have kept some keepsakes...special papers my children have written whether practicing their names in kindergarten or high school research papers, certificates and awards.... I have also kept some important papers that I need in original form but I also wanted a digital backup, just in case.


But lots of papers I want to keep but I don't need the original hogging precious shelf space.

  1. Law school notes.
  2. Bar review course notes.
  3. Undergrad English Lit notes.
  4. Completed Bible studies dating back more than 16 years.
  5. The children's Patch the Pirate books. (They only contain fill-in-the-blank devotionals and the occasionally-completed Fun Page.)
  6. Sunday school story handouts.
  7. House drawings.
  8. Payment receipts.
  9. Menards-Home Depot receipts from home-building.
  10. Children's school papers, like spelling practice and tests and math worktexts.
  11. Owner's manuals.
  12. Interesting blog posts I had printed out and put in binders.
  13. Greeting cards from years past.
  14. Notes and the programs from homeschool conventions.
  15. Recipes.
  16. Magazine articles worth keeping.
  17. Notes I had hand-written or printed out for various books I’ve written.
  18. Homeschool curriculum including lesson plans, quizzes and tests, and answer keys.
  19. Decades of sermon notes.
  20. Medical history for all of us.
  21. Papers related to our timeshare ownership.
  22. Insurance information.
  23. Receipts from automotive work.


It has been so freeing to digitize all those papers! Imagine how much easier another move could be! I'm giddy just thinking of the lighter load. Who says you need a ton of stuff and papers when you have a big family? J








What have you scanned? I need some ideas. I might be missing something. J


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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

First Lines of Famous Books Answers + A Winner!

Last week, I posted a quiz of ten first lines of famous books. The one who got the most right would win a signed copy of my Love Inspired Suspense, Under Duress.

There were many great responses, but only one got every single title correct plus the authors.

And the winner is….

~ Diane ~

Congratulations!

Here’s her comment ~

“What a fun challenge! Thanks for sharing.

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
2. Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
3. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
4. Charlotte's Web, EB White (? not sure about author)
5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
6. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
7. Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maude Montgomery
8. Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens)
9. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
10. Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan”

E.B. White is the correct author of Charlotte’s Web, and she even gave Mark Twain’s given name!

{An interesting side note: E.B. White was an English professor who co-wrote what writers just call “Strunk & White,” a brilliant little book actually titled The Elements of Style.}

Here are the first lines again with their matching titles and authors.

  1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. ~ Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  2. Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs. ~ Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  3. Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. ~ A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  4. "Where's Papa going with that axe?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. ~ Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
  5. Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids. ~ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
  6. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. ~ Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  7. Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof. ~ Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
  8. "Tom!" No answer. "Tom!" No answer. "What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You Tom!" No answer. ~ Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  9. Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay out scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. ~ Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
  10. As I walk’d through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a Dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a Man cloathed with Rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a Book in his hand, and a great Burden upon his back. ~ Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan


Happy reading, and thanks for entering!











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