While in the wilderness, do the essentials…
God put order in the camp by providing laws for the people to follow and the Tabernacle for them to walk with God (repent of sins and give thanks).
The kind or type of curriculum using is not important!
What is always important… your family goal, the plan to reach that goal, and the resources needed to accomplish the goal!
If our purpose is to glorify God anytime, anywhere then we should be accomplishing the same purpose that Jesus did when He was on earth…to know God and make Him known.
The next question is how do we do this. Some things are the same no matter what is going on in our lives… PRAYer, Bible study/meditation, walk by faith in the Spirit not the flesh, be good stewards, and to love/bless others. And of course we have to work to eat, keep a home to live in, and obey any government edicts as much as possible. Jesus had to do all these things as well.
I remember one of our wilderness times… we moved to Mississippi and it took us a year to clean the land cutting down trees and clearing trash, etc. Each day we helped with the building of our house but also the maintaining of our home which was an abandoned building on the site., and we also had to maintain our business to eat and pay taxes, etc.
But we made sure we kept the basics… meals, cleaning the home and ourselves, personal devotions and family devotions, and we would reward ourselves on Sundays for being faithful to the tasks that week by having an all day fellowship with other families on Sundays…meal, games, worship, Word, testimony, Lord’s supper, etc..
It was a hard year, it took denying ourselves, doing the task faithfully, and walking in the Spirit.
We daily SOWed like this…we each had a notebook that we would write love letters to God praise, repent, ask, and yield. I chose a book of the Bible to study (BTW… I do this for holidays, summer time, etc.) like Proverbs or Romans, etc. In our notebooks each day we would choose (as a family or individually) a KSV and a summary (what=topic, who= character, events=how, setting=when & where, and the application= why) of each chapter. The little ones drew pictures and words. We would share for family devotions. Any flesh characteristics we would bring to repentance immediately giving consequences of actions. I also picked out a good Literature (SOW has lots of selections) book that we would read as a family together or go to the library and have them pick out a book each to read. You could check out great decoumnetaries to use for science, geography, & history to watch each night as a family. Saturday nite was game, movie, etc. with special meal, snacks, desserts. Those who earned it participated, those who did not, did extra chores. They will never act up again if they have to do that while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Keep tract of their flesh & spirit traits in their notebooks with marks, erase bad marks for repentance and being a blessing to the offender. Remember parents are the Moses in our family bringing them to the Promise Land. If you let them they will grumble & complain, and even want to stone you, and go back to Egypt. “Be of good courage and do not be afraid for God is with you where ever you go.” Joshua
Praying that God will give you and your family wisdom, peace, provision, healing, etc. !
May God Bless,
This is what I am learning form the book of John…
The author of the book of John was the Apostle John. He described himself 4 times as the “disciple whom Jesus loved”.
Why was John so confident that Jesus loved him?
John had walked intimately with Jesus for 3 years; the only disciple that was with Jesus throughout his ministry and witnessed Him … change water to wine, walk on water, feed the 5000, cast out demons, heal the blind and the sick, resurrect the dead, love the Samaritans, forgive prostitutes, rebuke the Pharisees, arrested in the Garden, die on the cross, and resurrect form the dead, and also hear Jesus …teach truth- “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”, “love your enemies”, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”, etc..
Jesus’ love for John so impacted his life that he gave up his job as a fisherman to become a disciple of Christ, an out cast of Israel, persecuted by his own people, a criminal to the Roman government, a Bishop of Ephesus, and exiled to the Isle of Patmos. While there, he wrote the gospel of John and the letters John 1,2, & 3 and Revelations before his natural death in 98 AD.
“We love because God first loved us.”
As I went to sleep that night thinking on these things, I woke up and wrote this poem…
I am loved!
by Merle Reece
He is interested in all I think, say, and do. He listens attentively to all my past failures, preset troubles, and future dreams. I am loved!
He can tell what I am feeling by the expression on my face. When I am sad, He comforts me. When I am glad, He rejoices with me. I am loved!
I know I am important to Him because He is never too busy to make time for me. I am loved!
He gently corrects me when I am wrong and helps me find the truth in all things. I am loved!
No matter what I have done or said, He has never rejected or abandoned me. I am loved!
Nothing is too hard or difficult for Him to talk about. He answers all my questions patiently, gently, and truthfully. I am loved!
He does not mock, curse, slander, or speak crudely or rudely of anyone and especially me. I am loved!
I can trust Him to do what is best for me, because He serves me generously, gratefully, and sacrificially. I am loved!
He is not afraid to tell me the truth and is quick to forgive me when I am wrong. I am loved!
Though I have a lot of fears, doubts, and anger, He died for me anyway, so that I may live forever with Him. I am loved!
Have you ever met someone who truly loved you?
I have… His name is Jesus!
No matter what age, we had “quiet time” from 1-3pm in bed. For infants-4 that usually was a nap. The older ones could play a quiet game (no computer or cell phone) but a puzzle, Legos, draw, or read a book. No one could not talk or interact with anyone else. Breaking this rule meant an extra clean up duty. Why?… Time to read a book, devotional, prayer, nap, rest, think (a great luxury in today’s world). Everyone learned to be creative and to be by themselves not demanding attention from others.
Mom time…to make phone calls, plan, rest or nap, hobby (sew, etc.). I would recommend “quiet time” for any home…”So then let us pursue the things which make for peace” Romans 14:19
Hours spent learning a subject transfer into credits…the SOW is overly sufficient to meet the required needs for high school students, except in math, chemistry, and foreign languages (Hebrew/Greek introduction only).
History, Geography, and Science alternate…
- World Geography -7 continents, the Middle East region, your home country, and your home state for 3 weeks each … 10 X 15 days = 150 hrs.
*Also add hrs. that include the preparing and presenting of a geography project each year,
- World History taught by timeline (periods) such as Mesopotamia, Babylonian, etc.; also history taught 1 week in each continent study…30 x 5 = 150 hrs.
*Include preparation and presentation of history project each year.
Note… American History & Geography included in World History & Geography. Art, Literature, Religion, Government, Culture, etc. are taught every week in both Geography & History making this an extensive study.
- Science taught by topics…
- 21 x 5 =105 hrs. in Astronomy/Earth/Origin
- 36 x 5 = 180 hrs. Botany/Zoology/Human Anatomy/Health
- 20 X 5 = 100 hrs. Physical/Chemical
- No Chemistry
*Add hrs. for preparing and presenting experiment/project every year.
- Grammar= 144 hrs.
- Literature=144 hrs.
- Writing=144 hrs.
- Speech=144 hrs.
- Spelling/Vocabulary=144 hrs.
- Bible… over 700 hrs. in inductive study & history.
- The SOW has 144 hrs. of electives…music, family traditions, arts/crafts, home economics, community service, drama, field trips, etc…. See Electives.
- SOW teaches home management & time management skills daily… See Charts.
- SOW encourages sports (weekly) & PE (daily)…See PE.
- SOW endorses Biblical mentoring/apprenticeship in every area of life…vocation, ministry, life, marriage/single/family. See Apprenticeship.
- The SOW Co-op section has suggestions for weekly fellowship, sharing (speech), classes (hands on activities/labs for each subject), playing (alternate sports), outreaches, field trips, etc..
- End of the year SOW Graduations celebrate the student’s completion in each subject in which a scrapbook is exhibited, a project in each subject is prepared and presented, and a diploma/certificate given, pictures, invitations, and refreshments provided. Seniors are given special recognition.
- SOW recommend using the SOW Student Progress Report to record all resources, hours, grades, tests per subject.
- New…The SOW now has an Advanced Skill Level for advanced high school students (who have used the SOW for a year), Bible college equivalency, or adult discipleship which covers every book of the Bible; World & American History, Government, Geography, Art, Literature, Religion, etc.; all English, Vocabulary, Writing, Speech skills in 2 years.
Biblical discipleship is the focus of the SOW Curriculum. We believe God’s Word to be true and will invest our lives proving it …
2 Timothy 3:16,17 ”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
*Contact Merle Reece for more information…1225-590-3444 or email@example.com
Though each age is important, this is a critical time in a young person’s life. The Bible warns us that Satan tempts us at an opportune moment; this is that moment. They are facing monumental mountains, giants, walls, etc…. body changes, testing of their faith, peer pressure, flesh desires at their peek, the lure of the world, contradictions that they observe in how we live and what we say, different Christian interpretations, and future decisions of vocation, married or single life, ministry, etc. weighing on their minds.
You will need to be united as a couple walking in the Spirit and in the Word using every weapon in Ephesians 6 available during this time.
*I will share what we did and what I would do differently…
The name of our home school was SOW Reece Academy of _____ (city, sate with address).We SOWed year round (breaks in December, April, August & holidays), 4 days a week (Co-ops- Fridays).
The high school student used a SOW weekly schedule, SOW daily accountability sheet, SOW skill level worksheets, recommended SOW resources, & SOW SE.
*Suggested SOW High school schedule..
- Breakfast (protein, grain, fruit, & dairy)
- Chores (personal hygiene, bedroom, kitchen duty, & house duty)
- SOW PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask, & Yield) Letter
- SOW Bible Study (read, inductive, precept, survey & application)
- SOW English (parts of speech, punctuation & capitalization, sentence)
- SOW Writing -paragraph or essay (notes, outline, essay, dress up, edit)
- SOW Language Arts (Spelling/Vocabulary, Penmanship, Foreign Language, Memory)
- Lunch…protein, vege, fruit, grain
- Maths…Consumer, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II… Math not included.
- SOW World and American History or Geography (Government, Map, Literature, Art , Report, Biography, Timeline, Missions, Military, Religion, Literature, Family Tree or Current News)
- SOW Science… Creation, Earth & Astronomy, Physical, Botany, Zoology, Human Anatomy (Report, Biography, Illustration, Biblical view, Timeline, Observations, Illustrations, Experiment/Project) Chemistry not included.
- Foreign Language…Sign Language, Latin, Spanish I, Spanish II, Hebrew/Greek… Not included in SOW except Hebrew/Greek introduction.
- SOW Check out…1/2 hr with each student to review schedule, check work completed, reteach, if needed, and introduce new concepts, check daily time sheet & give reward or consequences (teach principle of walking in the Spirit)
- Exercise…1/2 hr aerobics, conditioning, strengthening, etc. (bike, skates, walk, trampoline, or sport, etc.)
- Music…1/2 hr practice on instrument and/or sing
- Elective…(choose 2 or 3 once a week to practice & then do at co-op with other families.) … apologetics, drama, sports, band, choir, computer, art or other
- Supper…cooked protein, grain, veges, plain Greek yogurt w/fruit
- Chores… Kitchen & house cleaned
- SOW Family Devotion… 1/2 hr with family to worship w/ song & instrument, PRAY, SOW sharing, brief short story or bio, or Biblical discussion of hot (family issue) topic
- Family fun time (at least once a week)… watch TV/movie, play a game, read a book, inside or outside activity (puzzle, bikes, etc.)
- Blessing (5-10 minutes before bed)… massage feet, back, and hands) & prayer or song over person and talk about the day.
- Ministry Outreaches (once a month)-prayer & meals to sick & needy, visit elderly, Retreats, Christmas Caroling, Thanksgiving Feast, etc.
- Men / Women (13 and older) Discipleship Group – for Bible study, prayer, accountability, & life skill (men & women alternated every other week for 3 hrs.)
- TGIF (once a week except when having monthly outreach)…families met to share a meal, Bible study, talent or SOW lesson learned, fun activity (sport, game, movie, etc.), testimony, fellowship, gospel presentation, etc. ( families rotated hosting and leading)
- Family Co-op (once a week)- Parent led in which students shared or parents taught lab classes on any subject (Bible & Prayer, LA (writing, spelling, English, Speech), Science, History/Geo/, Electives (music, sports, foreign language, computer, art, drama, etc.). K-5th students were. K-5th had separate classes
*SOW recommended Resources for High school …
- Bible… SOW Bible study lessons
- 1. Holman Bible Handbook … http://www.amazon.com/
- 2. Holman-Bible-Handbook-David-Dockery/dp/1558193324/ref=pd_sim_b_20
- 3. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary … http://www.amazon.com/Holman-Illustrated-Dictionary-Archie-England/dp/0805428364/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_1
- 4. Rose Publishing Bible Charts, Maps, & Timeline … http://www.rose-publishing.com/productdetails.cfm?SKU=314x
- English Grammar… SOW English skills lessons
- 1. Easy Grammar Plus (Wanda C Phillips) http://www.easygrammar.com/egp.html
- 2. Rod & Staff English Handbook
- Spelling…SOW Spelling skill lessons
- 1. Webster Collegiate Dictionary
- Writing… SOW Creative Writing lessons
- 1. Writing Inc Handbook
- 2. Institute of Excellence in Writing skills
- Geography…..SOW lessons learned by continent each year
- 1. World Book Encyclopedia
- 2. Internet
- History … SOW lessons learned by chronological order
- 1. BJU World History, Literature, Government
- BJU American History, Literature, Government
- World Book Encyclopedia
- Science… SOW Science lessons learned by topic
1. Creation (Answers in Genesis & Unlocking the Mystery of Creation) & BJU Space and Earth Science
2. ABeka Biology (Botony, Zoology, Human Anatomy)
- BJU Physical Science
- Chemistry ( not included in SOW)
They also participated in Teenpact (a Christian government/citizen week long workshop with homework) for their senior year.
*Testing for high school students…
I regret that I did not test once a year my first 3 children. It created a fear in them that they would not be ready to go into the world and not knowing if they had learned what was being taught. I expected them to master everything that was done…so it was redone until it was A standards in every subject. For example wrong answers in math were redone. Editing was required in writing. We tested with ??? (I will get this name & info) ordered online for each grade level for a week in July. Before graduating, they either took the ACT or GED. *ACT preferred even if not going to college confirming to the government that they were qualified to enter college. Student was equipped to make choices, he felt God wanted him to do.
I used the SOW Student Progress Report each year to keep tract of subjects completed and texts used.
*Mission Trip…. My desire was for each to go on a mission trip before graduating to minister in a poor nation or city. None of mine got to do this; a regret.
*Senior Scrapbook…Each year, we took a week to make yearbook/scrapbooks…editing papers, including pictures and notes, finishing whatever was not finished, etc. These are treasured as they grow older.
*Caution… There are 2 schools of thought…give the student absolute freedom and cloistering are 2 extremes. Personally this is what I would do … Parental involvement with training and teaching a priority…doing lots of purposeful activities so they are not bored and lonely. Instead of a job…I recommend volunteer service at hospital, animal shelter, homeless shelters, Sunday school, Red Cross, Habitat, etc. under Christian adult supervision for training in vocation/ministry for high school. The times, we allowed these freedoms, I regret. Allowing them to sleep overs, have computers (unsupervised & for research only), cell phones (30 minutes after tasks are finished to same sex friends or family, only, if any), cars, jobs, or dating (group no single, if any) during high school gave them independence too soon. Youth groups that foster dependence on the pastor and the above list are discouraged. Instead create your own family environments ….TGIF, Women/Men discipleship groups, Co-ops, Church.
Graduation…Each student was required to finish the SOW and all high school requirements. There was a planned special ceremony where the student sent out invitations to family and friends, gave a speech and/or shared talent, received a diploma, displayed a senior scrapbook with exhibit board, & cake & punch and/ or meal. Freeing our young adult to make decisions on their own should be granted after graduation of senior year. This was a special time when they were released to obey parents to honoring them as adults and were free to seek employment, vocation training or education, marriage, ministry, etc. After senior year, they were required to work outside the home (15 hrs if going to schools) to earn money for saving, giving, & spending, …a car, car insurance & gas were first purchases….goals during this time were earning good credit, training for a vocation, ministry, single/married life. Involvement is critical during this time and age. Staying at home, as a young adult, to save for a home of their own are good options. I will write more about this time for young adults after high school in another article.
The highest priority was their personal walk with God, that centered on PRAYer, Bible study, Christian fellowship, ministry, discipleship, and family.
SOW will help the Christian parent accomplish these goals.
Purchasing options for high school students…
- Purchase SOW TE/RE/SE I -VI & 6th-12th Skill level worksheets; complete SOW I-VI in 4 years by doing 36 lessons per year.
- Purchase SOW TE/RE/SE I-VI & 6th-12th Skill level worksheets; complete SOW I, then do SOW IV- VI to complete in 4 years some OT and all NT.
- Purchase SOW TE/RE/SE I-VI & new Advanced Skill level worksheets with 2 tear scope & sequence that includes all Bible, world & American history & geography, all sciences except Chemistry, Hebrew & Greek introductory, all spelling & English skills, & writing essays. (This level recommended for high school students who have SOWed 6th-12th for at least a semester (do this semester with IVB-the book of Matthew), then start advanced schedule. This is equivalent to 2 years of Bible college and should be used by students who have only 2 years and are self motivated
- NOTE… Once the SOW I-Vi is purchased, the teacher may change the scope & sequences by adding or subtracting subjects, lessons, etc. to fit family’s needs. Call to discuss other options for your family… 1225-590-3444.
“Does God Exist?”
Have you ever wondered where the first seeds of life came from and why do you exist? There are two views concerning these questions. The Atheist thinks – everything came from nature and a Theist believes that all creation was created by a Creator.
Law of Nature states everything has a cause or beginning. Though none of us were there in the beginning, we can observe everything has a design and a purpose. We cannot see the wind, but we can feel it and see the effects of it.The same is true with faith and love. Believing there is no cause or beginning is like a twin saying to his other twin in his mother’s womb, “There is no mother because I can not see mother.”.
The existence of nature and natural laws do not explain the cause or beginning of anything. Nature has never produced matter nor force or energy. For example, Liddle designed the rocket engine from matter using energy. Thinking nature produced itself is giving it characteristics of God…all knowing, all present, all powerful, etc. . It is like a snowman saying, “The snowflake made me!”. Isaac Newton, a scientist, who believed in a Creator, states this, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.”
The best explanation of how and why all things were created is God, an all powerful, all knowing, all present, eternal, personal being. I believe; this formula definitely describes the cause or beginning … designer/creator + (matter + force/energy) = creation. Creation is God’s best evidence for His existence. For example, man was created unique…”in God’s image” to worship & intimately fellowship with Him and to care for all of creation that God provided. There truly is a “Circle of Life” that gives everything purpose and meaning. Since everything is uniquely and purposefully designed and created, there has to be a Designer and Creator.
King David in, Psalms 139 :13-14 declared this about His Creator, “You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, my soul knows very well…”. I believe; God exists! Do you?
When I volunteered to tutor an autistic child a year ago, he was only seven years old but already a pack of dynamite. He certainly fit the characteristics defined as autism plus more… extreme narcissism, short attention span, unable to socialize, no eye contact, always demanding attention, selective focus, hyper, did not react well to change or large crowds, violent, and hated authority. No one could tolerate being around him except his mother, therefore he was lonely, bored, angry, frustrated, and suicidal frequently saying he hated himself and wanted to die.
There was no room for him at the private school and the public school system quickly placed him on medication which subdued some of his behavior but did not cure him. The parents were of mixed religions so they had chosen not to give him any religious training so he had no fear of God nor did he know the love of God. The first day, I tutored him, he was like an animal … restless, uncontrollable, not teachable, screaming I hate you and crawling on the floor threatening to run away. I prayed throughout the whole session, “Lord give me compassion and wisdom to reach this child the love of God”.
God had already convinced me through His Word and His Spirit what this child needed… to be a disciple of Christ, and what I needed to do…to disciple him in Christ. I chose to keep my focus on God’s command…”Seek first the kingdom of God and ALL things shall be added.” My desire was for this child to see and understand God’s love for him, the difference between good and evil, and that he had a choice to walk in either but with consequences, one for blessing the other for destruction. I was going to do this using the SOW Curriculum, an unconventional but comprehensive program for K-12th subjects. The SOW vision is to know God, the SOW method …discipleship, and the SOW text…the Word of God, the Bible. It included…
- SOW Scope & Sequence… specific schedule of Bible readings, key Scriptures, topics, characters, etc.
- SOW Charts…schedule, spiritual & carnal, reward & consequence, student progress report, etc. .
We met every week for two hours for a year and half. Starting in Genesis, we read or watched free online Bible videos of men and women, who chose to walk with or without God. And followed up by using these K-3rd SOW skill level worksheets to draw or simply write one word, phrase or sentence answers to questions…
- SOW outline …recall major events in sequence.
- SOW Character study … recall facts, traits, choices and the consequences of each.
- SOW Topical study…recall who, what, when, where, how, & why of the main theme.
- SOW Setting…label a map of the region and the travels of the main character.
- SOW Word study…define the key word or topic.
- SOW Prayer letter…write a letter praising, repenting, asking, or yielding to God.
I recorded the student’s behavior, participation, completed work, and attitude by noting the spiritual or carnal traits of each, such as grateful vs ungrateful, obedient vs disobedient, respectful vs rebellious, lazy vs diligence, etc. using the student progress report. By noting the difference between spiritual and carnal traits, the student was learning how to walk with a loving, forgiving, merciful, but just & holy God and the Biblical principle of “SOWing & Reaping”.
We would culminate the lesson by role playing good/wise and bad/foolish choices and their consequences receiving either a reward…praise, stickers, free time, $1 treat, etc. or discipline…rebuke, extra chore, time out, etc.. Teaching repentance-turning from bad choices to do good choices was also taught and practiced.
We recently finished our last session for this year. The dramatic change is evident to all. He has a healthy fear of God and authority believing that they are for his good and not his harm and a desire to please them. He can sit and listen attentively, answer in complete sentences with eye contact, express wise thoughts about a subject, wait for gratification, does well in a classroom or crowded environment, produces better grades, and exhibits understanding of Spiritual things such as a loving and holy God, good vs evil, repentance, walking in the Spirit verses the flesh, sowing & reaping, etc. .
By faith, I relied on God’s Word to change a life! God is faithful and His Word is true… 2 Timothy 3:16 ”All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.”
Though you may substitute any SOW recommended resources to use your own favorites, we believe; the SOW Curriculum has designed an excellent comprehensive reading program, which utilizes good resources, and include step by step lessons, that easily and successfully teach all the necessary reading skills such as spelling, writing, English, phonic rules, blending, sight words, critical thinking, comprehension, recall, sequencing, oral & silent reading, etc..
The following are some unique characteristics about the SOW reading or phonics program…
A. It is a “wholelistic” approach to learning how to read. Unlike most programs in which the student’s spelling words are different from the student’s writing and reading words, the SOW uses the same family words (bat, cat, fat, rat, etc.) to learn English, spelling, writing, and reading skills.
B. Most phonic programs require the student to read library books to learn how to read. The SOW utilizes Merrill Linguistic Readers, which reinforce only the words of phonic sounds already introduced. This gives the student consistent and instant success in oral and silent reading.
C. The SOW reading program concentrates on teaching reading skills and the practice of those skills to read. We have a separate program for analyzing and learning Biblical principles. See the SOW literature program for list of books, poems, etc.. Skill texts and workbooks are used to teach and reinforce reading, spelling, and English skills such as recall and identify words, context, comprehension, sequencing, matching, inferring, critical thinking, sentence structuring, etc.. All of these reading skills are essential for successful reading.
D. In the SOW, there is a step by step oral lesson, in which the student decodes each word according to families such as in, win, fin, tin, sin, etc. It is during this session the student hears, sees, and blends the sounds to make words.
E. While the student is learning to read, the SOW encourages the student to write each word by tracing or copying the words using manuscript print, only. We believe; the student should write the words exactly how he reads the words in books. Other types of writing such as italics,
calligraphy, cursive etc. should be taught after the student learns to read well.
F. In the recommended SOW readers, there are no pictures, therefore the student is forced to read and draw conclusions from what he is reading, not from the pictures. He is required to use each word in context by drawing pictures and/or writing sentences of his own.
G. Phonic rules and phonetic spelling are taught with each sound teaching the students principles of reading that will make better readers, spellers, and writers.
H. There are four step by step phonic lessons in the SOW Curriculum:
1. Consonant sounds: The student will learn consonants by matching capital and small letters, placing them in alphabetical order, identifying each letter’s sound, writing all the letters, and recalling each letter’s name using fun resources and activities. Specific hands on resources are selected for this lesson.
2. Short vowel sounds: Short vowels are introduced one at a time orally in which the student is taught to blend sounds to make a word….such as b-a-t= bat. Specific phonics worksheets, spelling and writing activities are given to reinforce what the student is learning. The student will learn other words correlating with each sound learned such as bat, cat, fat, sat, etc.. These set of words are called family words. Using the Merrill readers & skill texts, and spelling and writing activities, the young student is able to read successfully and easily on the first day. After the student has finished his first reader and work text, he is able to be self taught because of the simple and methodical way the material is introduced. Only about 15 minutes a day of guidance and teaching is needed.
3. More vowel sounds: Long vowels and other vowel sounds are introduced and word families are learned by blending the phonic sounds to make words such as boil, coil, toil, oil, etc..
4. Advanced Phonics: This lesson is for the older or mature student, who needs drilling in the sounds for better spelling and reading.
Note: The only disadvantage to using this recommended resource, Merrill Reading Program, is the difficulty of purchasing the teacher editions. BUT, we believe; the lessons are explanatory and easy for the teacher to use without the teacher editions.
For those, who desire to purchase the Merrill teacher editions, the publishing company requires the home school family to send in verification from your verification in with your order.
Compared to some reading programs, the Merrill Linguistic Reading Program seems costly for 7 readers @ $25.00 (soft cover) – $50.00 (hard cover) each & skill texts (consumable) for about $20.00 each.
Remember…This program also includes English, spelling and writing. So there is no need to purchase each of these separate texts, making this a very affordable, if not less expensive program than most.
Hint: For those on a tight budget, like we were, we purchased only the readers and skill texts, as needed. After all of your children have learned to read, you can sell the readers.
Truthfully, I am concerned by the many homeschoolers, who are opting for less expensive and incomplete reading programs to teach their children to read. This is one area of home schooling that should not be compromised. Many of these reading programs…
-lack reinforcement in reading skills such as sequencing, comprehension,
identifying, recalling, critical thinking, etc.
-require a separate spelling, English, and writing program, frustrating the student with too much busy work and conflicting methods on how to read.
-introduce sounds too fast expecting more memorizing than needed.
-need teacher participation and guidance at all times making the curriculum too hard for the student to independently learn and too time consuming for the teacher.
We believe; many homeschoolers burn out because of the reading curriculum choices made.
The Merrill Linguistic Reading program is worth the time and cost to have such an easy, thorough, and fool proof method of learning how to read.
*Those, who have used other programs, and switched to this program, found it easy to use and very thorough to teach ANY student (exceptions to blind, deaf, and severely mentally disabled) how to read.
*As a special education and elementary teacher, I used this program in the public school, easily and successfully.
*Personally, I found it difficult to teach my oldest son to read using other methods, but when I switched to using the Merrill Linguistic Readers and skill texts along with the Modern Curriculum Press (MCP) workbooks and activities as suggested in the SOW, he quickly learned how to read along with all my other children. Some of them moved through the program quicker than others depending on their God given abilities. They all read fluently by the 4th grade any text including the Bible. The method and resources were easy to use with multiple aged children and successful with various learning abilities and disabilities.
These are the specific readers, skill texts, and MCP workbooks with their suggested grade levels that the SOW recommends …
- K… See SOW Resource List
- Grade 1…I CAN, DIG IN, CATCH ON & MCP-A
- Grade 2…STEP UP, GET SET, LIFT OFF & MCP-B
- Grade 3… TAKE FLIGHT, & BREAK THROUGH & MCP-C
Note: The Merrill Reading Program is not found on their website and can not be ordered from their website.
Merrill Linguistic Readers & Skill texts …
Modern Curriculum Press: A-C…
Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps for Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling … (A new resource)
All three of these resources will give you (teacher/parent) the confidence needed to teach reading, writing, spelling, English, and phonics the SOW way!
Other SOW blog articles pertaining to topic… http://sowcurriculum.com/blog/?p=143
If you have more questions, please contact me…
May God Bless, Merle Reece
When I receive reports from some SOW families of how they are SOWing, I have to wonder, if they are using the same SOW Curriculum.
Why is it so difficult to follow a schedule? When is any student required to write too much? Is your day or week cluttered with too many unproductive activities? Is your family living by Biblical principles of “sowing and reaping”, “love, pray, and bless”, etc.? Are you keeping faithful to the Lord’s command to make disciples?
The vision and goal of SOW is simply to know God and make Him known. We accomplish this through discipleship…teaching and training of the Word and walking in the Spirit.
The SOW is designed to fully disciple the student by teaching them how to …PRAY, study the Bible Inductively, walk in the Spirit not the flesh, and learn a Biblical view in every subject.
The SOW is easy to use with any type of learner…
- Each student follows an individualized practical weekly schedule, which leads to a specific lesson…Praise-Repent-Ask-Yield letter to God, an inductive Bible study (read, outline, topic, character, setting, word, application), spelling, English, penmanship, writing, literature, and either history, science, or geography.
- Answering the questions in each lesson is made easy by choosing any of these various ways of communicating through k-3rd skill level worksheets (oral, drawn, simple word or sentence), 4th-8th skill level worksheets (paragraph), and 9th-12th skill level worksheets (a 3 paragraph essay).
- Though the Bible is the main and final source of learning, resources are repeatedly utilized in each subject…Bible, atlas, dictionary, concordance, English handbook, writing handbook, literature, encyclopedia, or science, history, or geography texts, etc.
Multilevel learning unifies the family, maximizes creative interaction, less expensive, time efficient, and creates teachable moments, etc.
Weekly family co-ops that include field trips, sports, music, drama, art, apprenticeship, & play activities are encouraged, therefore SOWing (discipleship) is fun, yet purposeful.
Individualized mentoring available by phone call 1-225-590-3444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SOWing…How we celebrate Easter as a holiday (Holy Day)…
by Merle T. Reece
At our house we take this time to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and the hope we have as Christians…. Jesus said ” I am the Resurrection and the Life, those who believes in Me, even though they die, shall live forever.”
Our main goal is for Jesus to be the focus of this celebration.
These are some ways our family has done this…
*house decorations…Decorate the house with lambs (Jesus the Lamb of God- the sacrifice for our sins), crosses (Jesus’ death for our redemption), & eggs (new life for Jesus’ resurrection and our hope of resurrection & to teach the triniy.).
*Passover Feast…Reading of the Passover story… Reenact Passover…hide & find yeast bread (label with different sins such as lie, steal, mock, covet, etc.); taste bitter parsley reminding of bondage of slavery (sin); eat piece of roasted lamb (Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins);
*Resurrection eggs… Read Scripture and show the item in each egg to tell the Way of the Cross. Purchase or make your own … http://wantingwhatyouhave.com/2009/03/make-your-own-resurrection-eggs.html or buy them http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Eggs-Familylife/dp/1572297220
*Lord’s Supper… Reading of Lord’s Supper.. .drink grape juice (blood of Christ needed for forgiveness of sins) and eat no yeast bread -Jesus is the bread of life (male lamb, perfect without blemish or sin that was crucified for our sins).
Washing of Feet…Reading of washing of Feet…Head of the household (He came to serve.) wash feet & pray a blessing over each.
Jelly bean trail… http://familyfun.go.com/easter/easter-games-egg-hunts/jelly-bean-trail-847693/
Egg toss… get partners, toss raw egg at various distances, last partners standing with whole egg wins.
Egg race… each person races with egg on a spoon. First to finish line wins. If you drop it start over.
Egg pocking…after egg decorating then take favorite egg and hit edge of egg onto another person’s egg… do this till 1 egg left not cracked .
Egg hunt… hide wrapped candies (for all ages) or plastic filled eggs (healthy choices…raisons, play dough, stickers, etc.) and have all ages find the candy or eggs. Optional :Give a number of eggs each can find and then they have to help others find their quota).
Crossword puzzle… http://www.dltk-bible.com/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.dltk-bible.com/crosswords/b-crossword-withwords-easter.gif
Also playing bubbles, balloon volleyball, flying kites, & making paper airplanes
Egg decorating… http://familyfun.go.com/easter/easter-crafts/easter-egg-decorating/
bonnets (glue or staple fresh or silk flowers on straw hat or paper plate with ribbons, fasten to head with a ribbon)
Lamb …. Glue cotton balls to the lamb http://www.dltk-kids.com/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/poster/bposterlamb.gif
Cross (older kids craft)…http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/crosscrafts.html
Beaded cross necklace… http://www.christianbook.com/beaded-cross-necklace/pd/779150?event=CF
Resurrection cookies… (nuts optional) http://www.creativebiblestudy.com/resurrectioncookies.html
Breakfast- Egg wraps: cook eggs add rotel, & cheese and serve on soft tortilla (10 seconds in microwave)
-Roasted lamb with mushrooms
-Potato Salad – mashed hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, chopped green onions, & boiled potatoes
-Angel food cake with strawberries & whip cream
-Spinach salad – cherry tomatoes, chopped walnuts, sliced thin purple onions, & sliced boiled eggs
SHARE IDEAS YOU HAVE DONE WITH YOUR FAMILY!