Godzilla

James has a new love: Godzilla! Father introduced him to the original U.S. 1954 version of Godzilla. You know, the one with Raymond Burr. We rented it on Netflix. After that, he was hooked. We have since bought several movies included the original Japanese Version of Godzilla. It is fascinating to watch. James took it upon him to write a letter to TOHO Productions. (I found the address for him) He is interested in visiting their studios (if we ever go to Japan) someday.

Here is the letter he wrote:

Dear Toho Productions,

I am a big Godzilla Fan and would like to be involved in making a Godzilla film when I get older. What would I have to do to become a member of your production team. I would like to see more Godzilla movies made. May I visit your studio sometime when we come to Japan?

Thank you,

James (7 years old)

We edited it because he had recently watched "Herbie the Love Bug" and wanted to see a movie about Godzilla squashing Herbie. We didn't want to insult anyone, so we took that out. I added a cover letter with a request for a signed picture from one of the actors or a picture of Godzilla.

We just received a neat package from Toho Productions with several high quality press brochures. I just had to share them with you. They are beautifully done.





Five In A Row

Last year we discovered a wonderful resource – Five in a Row.

Jane and Steve Lambert designed an awesome method using outstanding childrens books. There are four volumes. Each volume has a choice of approximately 16 books. You pick a book from the guide and read it everyday for a week. The guide is simple to use and everything is laid out for you. They provide step-by-step instructions for teaching social studies, language, art, math, and science. You decide which subject you are going to teach each day. Most of the books are available at the library, but I prefer buying the books. We have a tendency to read the books over and over and over again.


Check out the Lambert’s website at www.fiarhq.com. You will be able to find out all kinds of information including what book titles are included in the manuals.

We are having fun “rowing” a different book each week and learning new things. So when I talk about what book we are rowing this week, you will know what I am talking about.


This week we are rowing “Snowflake Bentley”. Have you ever heard of him? I hadn’t. He is actually a real person by the name of Willie Bentley. He studied snow flakes. Yep, that is right. Snow Flakes. He spent his life studying and photographing them. In 1931 at the age of 66 he had a book published called "Snow Crystals" that shows over 2400 images of snow crystals. He died of pneumonia the same year after walking through 6 miles of snow during a blizzard, trying to capture and photograph more snow crystals. We will be purchasing the book soon.

My son isn’t the only one learning. I learned something new this week too!

Happy Rowing!

Reading

Wow! James reads so well, how did you teach him? The person who asked expected a simple answer. What she wanted to hear was “Oh, it was easy, all we did was show him how to read and that was it”

What she got was a loaded answer.

I start to explain it was a multi step process. First we had to teach him how to recognize the alphabet and learn the letter sounds. He really enjoyed watching Leap Frog Video’s and Between the Lions on PBS. It is an excellent show. He learned a lot from them. (her eyes start to twitch and look for a way out of this conversation). Next, we used Phonics Pathways to teach him how to read. (her eyes are glazing over and her hands are twitching) He learned to sound out words and read simple books like “Bob Books”, then progressed to easy readers. (she is shuffling her feet and looking for an excuse to escape)

I decide to let her off the hook and cut it short saying “thank you for asking. It’s actually a long process and doesn’t happen over night. He is doing great.


I guess it also helps that James has a photographic memory. He remembers everything he reads and hears and sees. Once he learned how to read, he needed incentives to read. Sure we read together at bedtime. He reads one story and I read one story. However, I wanted to establish a reading time. A time after lunch when he would sit down and read aloud to me or his dad. Plus, he had to read clearly, distinctly, and loud enough for us to hear and understand the story.

Well it just wasn’t happening. Life would interfere and I would forget to tell him to go get a book. We would get busy or he would get involved in a computer game. When he read aloud to me at bedtime, he would be tired and skip words or mumble. Not to enjoyable for the listener (me)

So! I decided to give him some incentive. I told him if he reads 25 books, he will get a video of his choice. Now, they couldn’t all be easy readers. We started the list and he fell to reading with a vengeance. He whipped through all the easy readers and went on to “The Little Engine That could” and “Theodore Tugboat” and all his “Thomas the Tank Engine” His reading skills have improved. He is speaking with clarity and even doing all the voices for the characters in the story. So for the past 4 weeks, he has been reading 25 books a week and getting the DVD of his choice.

We just decided to make it a little more difficult and change that list to 35 books.


What he read last week

1. St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning
2. Tikki Tikki Tembo
3. Choo Choo
4. Thomas the Tank Engine: Henry’s Bad Day
5. Blueberries for Sal
6. Teletubbies
7. Bob the Builder: Mucks Map
8. Bob the Builder Bob’s Toolbox Mixup
9. Jungle Book
10. Winnie the Pooh Owls Trip South
11. Paul Revere’s Ride
12. Winnie the Pooh’s Neighborhood
13. Mailing May
14. Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip (Equaled 3 books)
15. “
16. “
17. Why Cowboys Sleep with their Boots on
18. Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express ( equaled 2 books)
19. “
20. I love you, Stinky Face
21. I Miss you, Stinky Face
22. Harold at the North Pole
23. The Bee Tree (equaled 2 books)
24. “
25. The Gullywasher


He got his DVD and the new list has been started. Let’s see how long before he reads 35 books.

Welcome to my world

Let me share a little bit about our world before we get started.

I am a 47 year young home school mom, wife, student and accountant for our business.

My # 1 blessing is my husband. He is my soul mate, best friend, sounding board, massage therapist, can fix anything mechanical, wonder man. Do you think I love him just a little bit? He is master of the house and my sweet son calls him Father. So we will refer to him throughout as Father.

My #2 blessing is my one and only son, James. It wasn’t intended for him to be an only, but that’s the way it worked out.

God works in mysterious ways and we are quite a happy little family unit. I wouldn’t want it any different.

We have our own successful electronic repair business. Father will be celebrating 19 years of ownership in April. I became involved in the business while we were dating and am officially the office manager/accountant. Lots of paperwork. We are in the process of moving the business to a different site. Hopefully we will find something affordable to buy versus continuing to lease. However, we need a bigger shop in a better area. Our shopping complex has gone to heck in a hand basket due to some undesirables in the area. (Again, a juicy story to look forward too)

I just decided to go back to school and continue pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Doing it the new fangled way – distance learning through Excelsior college. I don’t have time to sit in a classroom anymore. So this works for me.
I do have an AS degree in Secretarial Science and a Paralegal Certificate. However, back when I was in my 20’s and pursuing that Bachelor’s, I hooked a bachelor instead and fell off the wagon. Fortunately that didn’t work out or I would never have meet Father.


We decided to home school (well I did) when James came along. At the tender age of 5, (sniff sniff) we decided to send dear son off to kindergarten at a private school. It didn’t work out for him so we decided to home school. (I’ll fill you in on all the juicy tidbits later) Father was skeptical at first, but after I taught James how to read and write, he was in 100%. We school year round and will be finished up first grade at the end of April. So, you will get hear all about our successes and failures with curriculum, fun trips and whatnot.

So stay tuned. I promise it will be interesting.