Tag Archives: Phonics

Alphabet Monster

Alphabet Monster GraphicYou may not know this, but my home is over run by monsters.

I don’t know why so many games I make up seems to have monsters in them, but the kids love them, so why quit? (See Garbage Monster for an example.)

Alphabet Monster is one of our favorite monster games. It’s been around since Pepper (11) was just two years old, and I started playing around with teaching her to read. That means that Alphabet Monster is older than my decision to homeschool–wow! Now I’m playing it with my youngest, Bok Choy (5), and it’s still as fun as ever . . . although it has gone through a few variations through the years.

It’s a great game when you’re just teaching the sounds that go with each letter. I’ve played it with just one kid or with all four kids at the same time. And it’s fabulous for the kid who just can’t seem to sit still.

Here’s how you play: Continue reading



Filed under Games, Learning Activities

How to Teach Handwriting in 8 Easy Steps

Despite what you might think, teaching handwriting to your seven year old isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Just follow these eight easy steps . . .

Step 1: Decide that your seven year old needs to learn how to correctly form her letters, despite her hesitancy to try anything new and hard. Determine that her resistance to handwriting is actually a product of fear–and not because she is incapable or unready. Determine that this is something you feel ready to require her to do.

Step 2: Spend an afternoon looking through your boxes and shelves of curriculum for the handwriting workbooks you were given years ago. After a fruitless search, determine that you must have given away that curriculum at some point because you decided you didn’t believe in workbooks any more. Continue reading


Filed under Examples and Stories, Learning Activities, Resources and Reviews

A Giant Science Opportunity

On a day I’d rather not remember, I mentioned we started out by watching science videos by the very cool, very talented, very musical group “They Might Be Giants.”

We found said videos because I had borrowed their alphabet CD, “Here Come the ABC’s” from the library, and we had listened to it over and over and over again in the car . . . and in the living room . . . and in the kitchen.

Why I went searching for videos, I can’t remember. But I stumbled upon an entire YouTube channel of They Might Be Giants educational videos. And what a treasure trove it is.

I really enjoy their alphabet and number songs (they have a CD for each with a DVD that has a video created for each song), but the one they did for science has turned out to be my favorite!

You can watch all the videos on YouTube for free. (Here’s the science videos. And the alphabet videos.) I ended up buying the CD/DVD combo for the science one because I loved it so much and wanted to own a physical copy. How can you not want to own songs about the periodic table, cells, and photosynthesis? And what’s not to love about lyrics like these: Continue reading


Filed under Resources and Reviews