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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Order Your Beautiful Lilla Rose Hair Jewelry Today! Contact Heather Mason

"Drop Bun"  with "Open Flower Jet" clip
"I am so thankful to have this opportunity to share a little bit about the lovely Lilla Rose hair jewelry that has simplified my mornings in such a wonderful and pretty way!

I especially appreciate the durability of the "flexi-clips" and the neat way that they stay secure all day long.

These are available in seven different sizes, flexi-clips will hold very thick, very thin or long hair in a variety of hair styles. Please be sure to check out my site to view all of the hair jewelry choices available to you.

Hair Band  "Freestyle"

I have learned many new styles by viewing the "styling videos" available on my website (please feel free to visit and watch the videos). There is also a "sizing video" available there as well.

Please remember if you should order the wrong size clip, it is easily exchanged for the correct size absolutely free of charge.


I want to offer a special to ladies who are new to Lilla Rose! If you order three (3) items from my website, I will e-mail you for your choice of any item up to $16.00 FREE! This item should not be put in your cart. It is a separate transaction for me, and will take a little longer to reach you than your other items, which should arrive within about one week." 

"Up and Down" with "Floral Design"

Please place your order by clicking here: Order Here

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"Half-up" style, with an extra-small clip

Remember, if you order three (3) items from my website, I will e-mail you for your choice of any additional item up to a $16.00 value ABSOLUTELY FREE!

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. If you have any questions please let me know and I will be happy to help you.

Heather Mason

A Few Important Words About Copy-work

From the Indiana School Journal: Volume 30, page 685, c. 1885

I. General Aim.--The aim or purpose of language work is, in general terms, to train the mind. Specifically it is to give the pupil the power of thinking clearly upon any subject, and of expressing his thoughts in good English as he thinks them. It is also the aim to gain the pnwer of interpreting the written page as easily as the spoken language is interpreted.

II. Work Of First Year.--The work of the first year is to be done incidentally in connection with every lesson given. In the first place all errors in oral language should be corrected at the instant they are made if the aim of language work is to be realized. The corrections should be made at first by the teacher; because the pupils at this stage have not sufficient knowledge of language to enable th;m to know what expressions are erroneous and what correct. But the teacher should, during this year, lead them to form the habit of criticizing errors, and should require that all criticisms should be made by them to the extent that they are able, in accordance with the principles that the mind grows by self exercise. The regular and general lessons may be made an exercise-ground in language.

The pupil should be led to tell in good English what he knows about a subject, and then by judicious questioning be led to see more. The first aim in this kind of work, should be power to think and knowledge of the object; second, power in the use of language.

Constructive work in language should also be begun in the first year. It should, however, be very simple. The following is the order in which language studies come in the scale of difficulty: (considering language work as a whole, not merely the first year's work,) oral expression, copy-work, dictation, putting the thought of another in the pupil's own language, original composition. 

It will be seen from the above that copy-work is the simplest form of written language work. This should be done in the first year, first from black board, because it is easier to take it from the board free from all distracting associations than from the book. The work should be increased in difficulty by taking it finally from the book.

In the entire work of the first year the teacher should be content with a single expression for a single idea or thought, e.g., "The earth is round like a ball," is sufficient, although they might be taught it is spherical, globular, or an oblate spheroid. This is in accordance with the thought that it is the nature of mind in acquiring knowledge (1) observe a particular, (2) generalize, (3) compare, (4) many particulars, (5) classify, (6) name and define Student.

From The Theory of the School pg.280-281, Howard Sandison, 1886
In the light of these principles the stages in spelling are four.
1. Copy-work, the simplest form of spelling.
2. The reproduction, in dictation exercises, of words previously learned, a more difficult form of spelling.
3. The spelling of the necessary words when the thought is fixed upon the idea which is being expressed, a still more difficult work.
4. The analysis of difficult combinations with a statement of the reasons for their difficulty, work the most complex of the four kinds.

A pupil should be required to copy accurately and readily before he is given the more difficult work of reproducing from memory. "That which we know thoroughly," was said by Jacotot, "contains the explanation of the unknown." "The end is in the beginning." 

Success in teaching spelling depends upon thoroughness. It is not the amount of time but the manner of doing it. The vague forms are to be made perfectly distinct forms to the eye by writing before passing to others.

"The end is in the beginning."
To develop power to reproduce from memory: After a word has been copied from the board, erase it, and have it reproduced from memory. Do the same with two words, three, a short sentence, etc. Regulate the work by the pupil's power to do it accurately. Train him to do exactly what he is asked to do.

When he can copy and reproduce readily and accurately, he is prepared for the spelling of words that are used to express his original thought, i.e., the words used in composition. 

During the time the pupil is acquiring facility in copying and reproducing, attention should be given to developing his powers of observation and description by lessons on color, form, animals, etc., and by inducing him to talk freely on all subjects that come within the range of his observation.

After a period of using words in the expression of original thought, the pupil is prepared for the fourth stage--the stage of difficult combinations.

The difficulty of English spelling arises from the variety of combinations employed to represent the elementary sounds. For example, the short sound of e may be represented in eleven different ways, as is shown by the words web, head, again, aesthetics, any, nonpareil, leopard, bury, friend, guess, says.
This difficulty is to be overcome by--
1. Concentrating the attention upon only such words as involve difficult combinations.
2. Mastering tables of equivalents for elementary sounds. For example:
The name sound of a is represented in twelve ways: In many words by a, as ale; by ai, as ail, and by ay, as bay. In a few words by ey, as they; ei. as veil; ea, as break; ua, as gauge; ao, as goal; aa, as Aaron; e and ee, as melee; aye, (meaning ever.)
3. Analysis with open book, in order that both the eye and the ear may be addressed. For example, the word police. The pupil pronounces and spells the word from the book, thus: "Po-lice, police; it is a difficult word because the name sound of e is represented by i, and not by one of the more frequent modes--e, ea, ee, ei, ie. There are twelve ways to represent this sound. The word is more difficult to spell, because the sound of 's' is represented by ce." 

The first stage occupies the first year; the second, the second year; the third, from the beginning of the third year to the end of the seventh year; and the fourth, the eighth year.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How You Can Teach Your Children Reading with the Revised McGuffey Readers

One room school-house

Someone on the CMOMB (Christian Moms of Many Blessings) message group recently asked me to give some examples of how a typical schedule or routine of someone using the revised McGuffey series could look like, so I thought I would post a few ideas here so that others might gain some insight from them as well.

Here is how we typically go about things:

Each child is assigned a McGuffey's Reader. I have chosen these, not only according to their reading abilities, but their writing, spelling and grammar abilities as well. Some of my children are actually reading a bit better than their McGuffey's level, but are not as confident when they are creating original sentences, etc.

I do not feel strange about starting a child in the middle of a reader, if that is his/her level.

Those that are at the middle of the second  reader level and above are required to read their lessons to themselves. Next, they are required to copy one paragraph from a prose lesson, and each lesson that includes poetry in its entirety (very often these will not include words lists, hence the extra work). They also must write the gist of the lesson in their own words (narration). When all of these tasks are completed, I might ask them to extend their lessons by creating a notebooking page suggested by a subject from their lesson, such as a biography of the author or a page on a bird mentioned in a poem, etc. (when they complete these assignments they are to hand their work to me and I then go over them for neatness, accuracy, interest, and correctness).

While these older children are working independently, I take time with the pre-readers. I try and keep their lessons as short and sweet as possible, and we usually sit on a couch together and snuggle a bit. This is precious time that I really enjoy.

I like to use the alphabets printed at the beginning of the Primer and the 1st reader for some general practice, just to get my youngster familiar with all of the symbols and what they are supposed to do for us. I might sing the "ABC Song" while I touch each letter, then hold her finger and help her to touch each letter while we sing together. I might continue this practice off-and-on for many days, or even weeks if the child is very immature.

A sample of my flashcards

I also love to introduce the sounds of each letter using phonics flash cards ( I have created my own set, which can be bought along with my entire guide for a minimal fee, downloaded and printed on card stock). At first I will use the whole deck and rely on the pictures to add clues as to the sound of each letter, but after a time I will cover up the pictures and concentrate on about four of these at a time until they are mastered.  Also during this time I might play "find it" with the different alphabet symbols on the first pages of the Primer.

Also, especially with those who are very new to reading, I will go over at least the first few lessons in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This usually breaks them into the idea of "sounding out." But I have also learned over the years that total reliance on sounding out each and every word is not only cumbersome, but it is also unnatural. Most of us sound out some, anticipate (make a guess based on context) some, and memorize some of the words when we are beginning to read. I allow the use of all these three strategies when I am teaching a beginner.

This is how a typical week might look:
Day one--sing the alphabet song while pointing to the letters. Have the tiny one sing with me as I point.

Day two--repeat the same lesson--keep it short but fun.

Day three--the same, only this time ask if the tiny one would like to sing along.

Day four--this time we are both singing, and I am helping my child point to each word.

Repeat the same for a few more days.

Day ten or so--take out the phonics flash cards and lay them all on the floor in a "train" fashion. Walk along the train and sing the ABC song. Have the child pick up the cards as you sing the name.

Day 11--lay the cards out in a train, only this time call out the name of a letter and have the child pick it up and hand it to you.
Play this game for a few more days.
Day 13--Begin to use the flash cards to practice the sounds. You can use or omit the "ch," "sh" and "th" cards as you wish.
* If you are not well-acquainted with the sounds yourself, try watching this series of videos with your child from Super Simple Songs (there is one instance of a which on a broom, so be prepared to explain). 
Days 13 through 20--continue to use the flash cards each of these days. This may sound too simple, but the simple repetition of this exercise in its consistency will help the child more than drills that take an excessive amount of time and tend to burn you both out.
Of course, throughout this process have your child color with color crayons, paint, sculpt with play dough, cut with scissors, etc. so that she can build the skills necessary to eventually be able to write, which makes reading fun, too.

Here it may be good to insert a few lessons, I would try and go through at least until lesson 10, from the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book.

* A word of caution here; not all children are automatically ready to take the next step. Some, especially boys, are just not capable of processing for reading yet. Don't push if you sense a lot of resistance, or if he/she does not seem to be able to remember sounds and words from one day to the next. The best remedy for this is not "therapy," but time! You can either give the child a break for a few months, or continue with your simple lessons until he/she is more mature (be careful not to leave a bitter taste in your child's mouth through prodding and scolding, or you might be postponing reading for longer than you realize--keep things light and happy and trust God).

If your child is eager and capable, then it is time to continue with the first lesson in the Primer.

First, take time to examine the book together. Discuss how it is bound, how old it is, how nice the pictures are, etc. Show her how the lessons are set up.

The first lesson is about a rat, which is a common creature which can be fascinating, distasteful or even scary to some children. Nevertheless, it is an easy word to understand. Take time to go over each of the sound presented. If you have used the "100 Lessons" book mentioned earlier, these sounds should not be foreign at all.

For the first days, I would read the letter sounds and the words while pointing to them in front of the child. At the second or third day, I would have the child read them after me. On about the fourth day, I would expect the child to be able to pick out the different sounds or words as I called them out.

I would also have a chalkboard or whiteboard handy, on which we could practice drawing rats and the child could watch me write the letters and the words as I said them. She should also be given the opportunity to practice these things on the board for herself. This is a method that was highly recommended in the McGuffey's teachers manuals I found on the Dollar Homeschool collection for the EES.

On the fourth day, I would have the child attempt to read the lesson for him/herself, with help, of course.

To keep things fresh, I would then move on to the next lesson, and proceed much in the same fashion as for the first lesson.

As the lessons progress, I would encourage lively discussions about the illustrations. Language arts is about communicating with language, and oral expression is one of the ways we communicate with each other. Instead of asking questions such as, "Do you like this picture," I would ask questions like, "What are the children in this picture doing?" and, "What do you think will happen next?"

Having the child create a notebooking page with their own drawing of the illustration in the book and a few letters underneath may be another way to reinforce what is being learned. 

* When you come to the review lesson V, you may notice some cursive writing at the bottom of the page. This is included because children were taught to write in cursive script from the very beginning. There are those that still swear by it, but we must keep in mind that most of the students of the past did not enter formal schooling until the ages of seven or eight. The find motor control necessary to produce script might be beyond most 5-7 year-old of today. However, it may be of great benefit to your child to teach him/her how to read simple script from the beginning, and if a child wanted to practice copying such writing you could definitely help him/her. 

It is very important to keep in mind that mastery is more important than progress. In other words, if a child is having difficulty with a lesson, it is better to take the time to master that lesson than to move on. Keeping the lessons short and sweet will help you to keep the frustration level down for both of you. Don't fall into the temptation to "drill 'til you drop"--this can prove disastrous! Don't let your pride or frustration get in the way of ministering to your child's heart.

I hope this helps, and I hope that it will give someone a leg-up. I have gleaned these ideas mostly from my own experience teaching 13 of my children to read so far (two more to go!).

If you are interested in finding out more, you can purchase my book, Homeschool Sanity, and/or go to my other blog, Large Family Mothering

The McGuffey readers and more can be found on DVD from Dollar Homeschool.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wasting Our Children

I was at the library with two of my older daughters to other day. We were having a grand time together; the men were at home with the little ones and we were sharing and joking around (quietly--after all it was the library!)

As we were browsing the shelves for treasures to bring home for the family, we noticed that in the empty spots on the shelves someone had purposely chosen only "politically correct" titles to display.

One book title was tragically funny to us. On the cover a sweet young girl was posed with her chin in her hand, and above her a thought balloon read, "I wonder what a green school looks like?"

The book was in brand-new condition, and I'm sure it will stay pristine until it's discarded. What was that publisher thinking? Is there any child in his/her right mind that would purposely check out such a book? Is there any reason that a child would be remotely interested in whether or not his/her school is "green"?

I suppose there is a remote possibility, that is if some poor youngster has been so brainwashed that he/she can forget what it means to be a human being.

Real children, the ones that don't have to worry about living up to the tenets of socialist humanism, have very different interests. They want to know how things are made, or how they work. They enjoy stories of people all around the world and how they have fought battles and lived in different ages. They want to know how to do useful things, such as baking some cookies or making the best kite. Besides all this, an innocent heart yearns to know that God is there, in all that He has created, and that He has been active in the affairs of men since the dawn of history.

Show me a child that is concerned about how green his school is, and I will weep and mourn for the officials and the administrators and the textbook writers, for the future of our society, but mostly for the waste of the priceless young souls which are daily being plundered of all that makes them so very precious.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

There's still time to get in on Lilla Rose specials!

From Wednesday 3/20 through midnight Saturday 3/23 you will pay no shipping charge on any qualifying online order.  What a fantastic time to try a flexi or to add to your collection.  How about that hair band you've been admiring, or a set of you-pins?  Need a gift for a special someone?  Click HERE to order!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

There is Still Time to Get in on the Lilla Rose Specials!

From Wednesday 3/20 through midnight Saturday 3/23 you will pay no shipping charge on any qualifying online order.  What a fantastic time to try a Flexi or to add to your collection.  How about that hair band you've been admiring, or a set of you-pins?  Need a gift for a special someone?  Click HERE to order!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Child's Play

The other day we had a major appliance repair and the busy technician left behind the most wonderful item; a huge magnet.

As soon as I discovered the magnet, I opened the junk drawer and dug deep until I found a handful of small metal objects and an old peanut butter jar lid. In minutes I was enjoying myself so much that I just had to share my fun with my children (did you know I'm really just an older kid myself?)

For days afterwards these items were sought after and fought over--just some discarded junk that turned into hours of delightful entertainment. Was there learning in this--absolutely. If I was well versed in education-eze I'll just bet I could have drawn up a pretty engrossing lesson objective for the whole thing.

But who really cares about all that jargon?

When I think of all of the hours children spend in front of video screens these days I become very sad. All children need raw materials to practice their immense imaginations on, like the huge, sturdy produce boxes we bring home from Sam's Club each month. They are so hefty that they can be stacked and can hold small children safely. Sometimes these boxes are cars, sometimes they are stores, sometimes they turn into kitchens, and often they are doll houses. They clutter up the basement and fill the closets, but the children have spent many happy hours lost in them (we return them to Sam's each month).

No matter how sophisticated we may think we are, learning is not complicated. It is simply a process God created that we direct, support and validate.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Get your Four Free Homeschool Resources--New Lower Prices!

Buy Homeschool Sanity today!
It's not easy being a home-schooling parent today. Educating one's children is a huge responsibility. There seem to be more “answers” than there are questions! Everyone has a textbook, a method, or a philosophy. But how are we supposed to figure out just what path to take?

Homeschool Sanity: a Practical Guide to Redemptive Home Educating is Sherry Hayes’ attempt to communicate a way back to common sense learning. We can rediscover the tools of learning that helped our forefathers overcome the great obstacles of their time! It is a pathway back to the simplicity and joy of gaining the knowledge born out of a reverence for the God of the Bible.

Readers will discover a catalog of successful methodologies for their own re-education. You won’t feel tired and anxious after you read this book; you will be refreshed and filled with real hope!

Gain clarity. Find Peace.

When you purchase Sherry's new book, Homeschool Sanity, at from we will send you a FREE download as our way of saying, "Thank you!"

Guidelines: In order to get these home-school resources for free you will need to:

1) Send us your Amazon paid order confirmation, that shows you purchased the paperback version of our new book, "Homeschool Sanity" then forward an e-mail to us at: with a subject line stating: Four Free Home-school Resources!

As soon as the email is received we will send you the absolutely free download link. These four PDF resources would normally cost a grand total of $27.49! You will receive them FREE!!!

That's all there is to it! This has been a very exciting time for the Hayes' family and we want to tell all of you thank you for your friendship and encouragement in Christ.


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Have a blessed year!

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Homeschooling When Sickness Strikes

A tiny girl's interpretation

There are times when everyone is so ill that all you can do is batten down the hatches and ride out the storm, and I have written of such an event on my other blog, Large Family Mothering, in case you are interested.

But there is something about having daily learning times that can make everyone feel better. For one thing, learning something new and interesting can keep everyone's minds off of their discomfort.

This is why we have decided to turn these "unavoidable delays" into times of "relative" enjoyment.

I have found that it's great to gather in one room together under some cozy blankets and read a book aloud; something that will keep all of the children's attention and still give us reasons to have some lively discussions.

This last bout of illness caused us to read part-way through Jean Fritz' book, Bully For You, Teddy Roosevelt. This man was larger-than-life, and gave us much to think about. I had also reserved and picked up numerous other biographical books On Theodore Roosevelt from the library, so I had each of the children sketch from the books as I read (one of the defining characteristics of our family is that almost everyone loves to draw).

Pretty good for 9-years-old!
After we tired of reading about this wild president, I cracked open Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic and everyone took turns figuring some problems. I jumped around in the book to accommodate all of the different levels of math we have going on. Using this book is like playing mental games with the children, and there is usually a lot of fun and laughter!

Then we finalized our morning with the reading of a few chapters from King Alfred's English, by Laurie J. White, and this time I had them practice taking notes. Then I gave them some time to write a brief narration of what we had covered, while I whipped up a stomach-friendly luncheon of soup and tea. Over lunch we had time for everyone to do a short presentation, which wrapped up the morning quite nicely and gave us all another opportunity for discussion.
Teddy as a Rough Rider

Our regularly scheduled plans for McGuffey's, Ray's and note-booking were not at all missed, and the children's education did not suffer, it was blessed in a greater way!

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: "Little Pilgrim's Progress"

We are such fans of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress around here--my dear husband has read it to the children three times, and every time we glean something new from it!

This is why I was very happy to find out about Little Pilgrim's Progress from Moody Press.

This book was written to be read easily to younger people, but I found as I was reading it that the original intentions were all in tact, and so it was meaningful even for me!

This is not a modern re-thinking of a text, so out of touch with the original to make it useless. Helen L. Taylor wrote her version 60 years ago, and she was careful to keep to Bunyan's ideas.

You can find the book in paperback form from Christian Book Distributors (when I looked it was under $7!) The Adventure Guide is not necessary, but it might be a fun way to explore the book. It is filled with vocabulary exercises, charts, diagrams, and Biblical applications (I found that it actually cost a few pennies more than the book on CBD, which was surprising).

If you are looking for a good allegory you could read aloud during family devotion time, this could definitely be the answer--I am looking forward to reading it to my own Little Pilgrims!