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Teach Your Child to Read Series

Teach My Child to Read… Learning the Alphabet

Teach Your Child to Read Series is definitely off to a great start!  If you missed last week’s kick off, please head over and read through Teach Your Child To Read… 5 Concepts to Master Before Learning to Read.  It has all of the details for this series that I am hosting this month.

I introduced the 5 Concepts to Master Before Learning to Read last week, and this week we are going to cover in detail the first concept, Learning the Alphabet and HOW to teach the alphabet.  I am including tons of resources and activities that you can utilize to teach the alphabet to your child.  So, what are we waiting for… let’s get started!

How to Teach Your Child

In order to learn to read, your child must first know the alphabet.  In the beginning of learning the alphabet, your child might forget some of the letters or even mix them up and that is 100% okay.  The goal is not perfection, but instead, over time and with continued education from you, your child will slowly stop mixing up the letters.  It could be a slow progression, which means it is important for you to not become frustrated or to expect perfection.  As the teacher, you need to recognize that young children often learn & retain the most when taught through play, dance, music, and art.  And lastly, please remember this is not a one-time lesson, but instead; something that needs to be continued until the child has mastered learning the alphabet.

It is also critical for you to recognize the way your child learns.  Do they have a long attention span?  Do they prefer doing one type of activity over another?  Are they able to sit at a table for 15-20 minutes?  The reason knowing the answers to these questions is important is because it will affect which activities you decide to do with your child.  At this point, you’re just going to have to use trial and error to find what works best for you and your child.  And don’t forget to get creative!  If you don’t see something on this list and you think it would be a great way to teach the ABC’s to your child… USE IT!  You are the most knowledgable person when it comes to your child and what will work and what will not work… don’t forget that!

Activities to Teach & Reinforce the ABC’s

Sing the ABC’s

  1. I started singing the ABC’s to my kiddos when they were babies. When I rocked them, when they were fussy, and when they were done riding in the car and we still had an hour left in the road trip.  We also played various songs that sung the ABC’s as well as songs that included the alphabet.
  2. A quick search on any music service or YouTube generally supplies a pretty large list of a variety of ABC songs.

Read Books about the ABC’s

  1. If your child is hesitant about having you read, you could always try letting them select the book that you’re going to read. If that doesn’t work, maybe try sitting with them to just look at the picture and discuss what they think is happening in the book.  You could even go as far as creating your own story with your child using the pictures as a guide while still learning about the alphabet.  Create a story out of the pictures in the book and include your child into the story… kiddos love to be part of things!
  2. Now, I know some kiddos just don’t like to sit still and listen to stories, so I would suggest trying audio books. You can listen to them in the car or put them on at bedtime when the kids are getting ready to go to sleep.  Some exposure is better than none.
  3. One big thing I would suggest when selecting books to read is to be sure to get ones that have great pictures, books that include topics that your child enjoys, and remember, it’s supposed to be fun!  Here is a list of books that both my son and daughter enjoy:

There are so many wonderful books out there that can help in learning the alphabet.  I recommend doing a search through Google or on Amazon to find what you are looking for and where to purchase it.  If you do not want to purchase the books, be sure to visit your local library, and if they do not have what you are looking for; usually the library can order it for you.

Flash Cards

  1. Using flash cards is a great way to point out each letter to your child as you’re singing the alphabet. It allows your child to recognize the connection between singing the song and how the letters look.


  1. Alphabet Kids’ Floor Puzzle

Arts & Crafts (also helps with fine motor control)

  1. Print out each letter of the alphabet. Then once a day, select a letter and do some art with it.  You can have your child decorate the letter using paint, finger paint, markers, crayons, or you can have your child glue various items to the letter (beads, sequins, stickers, etc.).  Not only are you helping them to learn that specific letter, but they are also getting exposure to different art mediums, developing fine motor control, as well as getting to express themselves creatively.  I suggest you keep each letter and use them as reference to reinforce the learning.


  1. Alphabet Yoga – ABC for Me:  ABC Yoga:  Join us and the animals out in nature and learn some yoga by Christiane Engel – This is a great book that you can use to not only learn the alphabet, but to get some yoga in.
  2. Go on a nature walk and find items that you can make into the shape of the letters of the alphabet.
  3. Melissa & Doug Building Blocks ABC/123.  As you play with your child, say the letter on the block and show the child as they are using it to build.
  4. Seasame Street Elmo’s on the Go Letters
  5. Vtech Alphabet Apple
  6. LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set
  7. Foam Fun Alphabet Letters and Numbers for Bathtub Education

Please remember, you do not need to purchase things to teach your child the alphabet.  However, you can browse the things I’ve suggested and find ways to use things you already have at home to teach your child the alphabet.

Cartoons & iPad, iPhone, Computers

  • ABC Kids – Tracing & Phonics (app)
  • Super Why Story Readers (cartoon on Netflix)
  • Leapfrog Letter Factory (cartoon on Netflix)
  • ABC Mouse (online subscription)

A quick search on whatever service you use, will pull up suggestions.  A few guidelines I would follow are making sure to limit the amount of screen time, don’t solely rely on this to educate your child, and make sure it is age/rated appropriately.

Reading is such an important concept for a child to learn to be successful in their education.  The majority of today’s information and communication is processed through reading, thus teaching your child to read is a necessary component to their overall success.  Depending on your child’s age and attention span, I would recommend starting simple and adding additional activities as you see fit.  Please keep in mind how long each activity you do with your child is, and that it matches your child’s attention span.  This will help you from overwhelming your child with new information and also (hopefully) prevent disinterest in learning the alphabet. REMEMBER to KEEP it FUN!


Happy Learning,



Teach Your Child to Read Series
The Perfect Planner & why it works for me

The Perfect Planner & Why It Works for Me

How many of you have searched for the perfect planner?  Or worse, who has thought they found it, only to find themselves disappointed after using it for only six months (sometimes less)?!  This is usually me… I select my planner, get it all organized, and then a few months in I realize it’s falling short on my needs and expectations.  And usually a few months later, I realize I am not even using it anymore.  Some years, I purchase 2+ planners in an attempt to find the perfect one.

Last year I was at a loss for a way to stay organized using a planner. I needed one that included meal planning, had room for to-do lists, keeping the kiddos’ extra curricular activities in order, and space for notes & shopping lists, on top of its regular duties.  Obviously, that is a lot to fit into something that isn’t the size of your 8th grade Trapper Keeper!  So I decided to use my research skills to make a list of all of my favorite planners that I had used in the past, so I could figure out what I loved about them.  I also wanted to know where they fell short on meeting my needs.  Then I took the results, and did some brainstorming about how I could combine all of those qualities into the perfect planner.

The Perfect Planner

And that folks, is how the Perfect Planner was created!  I started using it last August, and to date; I am still using it!  Almost ONE YEAR with the same planner and let me tell you… it has been USED!  This is the longest I have every had a setup that I have used consistently and it has actually helped me to stay organized, aware of my schedule, meal plan, and helped me cross off my to-do lists. To top it all off, it fits in the average purse or bag, so you can easily take it with you.

The Perfect Planner

How to Create Your Perfect Planner

Now, if you are interested in creating your own perfect planner, I suggest taking a look at the supplies list and then how it is put together to decide which supplies are actually needed for your needs.  Remember, this planner is designed to fit your personal planner needs and budget.


How to Put Your Planner Together:

Step 1:

Take apart the Katie Daisy on-the-go 17 Month Calendar.  Using cord, securely tie it going through the holes at the top of the planner, then lace it through to the bottom holes, securely tying it in the back.  Cut any excess cord.

Step 2:

Divide the Katie Daisy on-the-go 17 Month Calendar in half, and slide it under the first strap in the Webster’s Pages Traveler’s Journal.

Step 3:

Take the Katie Daisy Travel Size Journal (5×7, 192 page) and divide it in half and slip it under the second strap in the Webster’s Pages Traveler’s Journal.

Step 4:

Now to create the meal planner portion.  Take one of the Traveler’s Notebook Refill Inserts and open it to the first page.  I titled this page Favorite Meals and I add to it as a meal is requested frequently from my family.  Then on the next page, using washi tape; divide the page in half.  On the first section of the divided page, using washi tape; divide it into 7 sections (using 6 pieces of washi tape) horizontally. Then use a pen to mark each section with the day of the week and the date.  On the other section of the same paper, use a pen and title it Shopping List.  I meal plan for the week and as I find things that we need or that we have run out of, I immediately add it to our shopping list. Of course you don’t need to use washi tape for this… you can simply just use a pen or pencil to section off the pages to create the same useful meal planner. Style & usability preference is totally up to you!

Step 5:

Take your newly created Meal Planner and using the front cover, slip it into the front pocket of the Webster’s Pages Traveler’s Journal.

And that’s it… you now have your very own perfect planner!  The great thing about this planner is that it is really easy to make it your own, including decorating it however you see fit.  Hopefully you love this planner and find it helpful in organizing your busy life.

Purchase Planners

Now if creating your perfect planner is just not your thing, here are a few planners I would suggest purchasing!  They each have their own style and price point.  Hopefully you’ll be able to find a planner that fits your needs and budget.  And if you are just not a planner person and just looking for a way to keep track of chores or habits, check out A Chore Chart in Pixels.

  1. Erin Condren Life Planner
  2. Clever Fox Planner Weekly & Monthly
  3. The Happy Planner
  4. Planner Perfect

I hope you have enjoyed this post and found the information in it helpful, and as always; feel free to contact me if you have any questions!  Let me know in the comments what is your current favorite planner!

Cheers & Happy Planning!




The Perfect Planner



The Perfect Planner



The Perfect Planner & why it works for me
5 Concepts to Master before teaching your child to read

Teach Your Child To Read Series

Happy summer, folks!  I am so excited about warmer days, outside playing, and late night s’mores with the kiddos.  Summer is also a time for later bedtimes, letting the rules get a little slack, and focusing more on having fun than what needs to be accomplished in a day.  However, summertime is also a time to help better prepare kids for the upcoming school year (whatever that may look like).  So, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce my fun & FREE reading series… Teach Your Child to Read.

Teach Your Child to Read Series

How do I teach my child to read?  This is a start-to-finish guide to teach your child to read.  It will include concepts to teach your child prior to learning to read, and how to teach those concepts.  Links will be provided to activities for your child to do to help strengthen what they are learning.  I will share a reading program that I love, reading lists for your child to encourage reading practice, and tips & tricks to get your kiddo excited about reading.

This series is perfect for the child that does not know how to read, to the child that is struggling to read, to the child that reads fluently, but would like continued practice. It is also perfect for every type of parent that is out there.  I will provide easy to follow instructions, provide tips & tricks to being successful, all while being simple and fun!  I truly feel the majority of children at all different ages and levels can benefit from this series.

We will kick off this reading series by first focusing on what a child should know prior to learning to read.

5 Concepts to Master before Learning to Read

  1. Know the Alphabet… it’s a must!

It is vital for your child to know the alphabet in order to learn to read.  A great tool to use to start the learning of the alphabet is the ABC’s song.  Even if they miss a letter here or there or mix up some of the letters, this is a start to a great foundation for learning to read.

Here is a link to a YouTube video with the ABC song to get you started!

ABC Song

If your child does not know their ABC’s and you are not quite sure how to teach them, please look for the next article in this series where I explain with examples and provide activities to do to help you teach your child their ABC’s.

  1. Letter Recognition

Letter recognition is the ability to hear a letter and identify what that letter looks like without assistance.  You should be able to show a letter to your child and they should be able to identify it. Make sure you are not asking the child to identify letters of the alphabet in order of the ABC’s, because they might answer out of memorization rather than actually recognizing the letter.

  1. Upper Case vs. Lower Case Letters

Just like it is important for your child to know their ABC’s prior to learning to read, it is just as important for them to know what lower case letters look like and how they are the same as their upper case letter.  This also creates the foundation for writing sentences later.

  1. Be able to Write the Alphabet

It is important for your child to have exposure to how to write, as well as learning how to properly write each letter of the alphabet.

  1. Understand the Concept of Reading

This is a big one guys!  The foundation of reading is based on seeing a letter and understanding that letter makes a sound.  When you combine letters to make a word, you can then learn how to sound out that word… thus allowing you to read.

Whew…  Let’s just say I am incredibly excited to be able to share some pointers to help your kids learn to read!  I love reading and being able to pass these skills on to children is so important to me.  I don’t want to see any child struggle, especially if there are ways to make it easier for them.  I also love helping you learn how to teach your child.

Cheers to Summer Reading,







5 Ways to Support a Blogger or Maker

5 Ways to Support a Blogger or Maker

Hi, my name is Lisa and I am a blogger and I make things.  I always get asked what I do for a living, and when I respond with the previous sentence I get a lot of confused looks and “oh that’s insert confused word here,” and that’s where the conversation ends.  In the past, those responses would frustrate me and make me sad that people either didn’t get it or didn’t think it was a real job that could bring in money.

I can’t tell you how many times I have avoided telling someone what I do, and instead went with the easier response of, “I’m a stay-at-home mom.”  Yes, I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am also a blogger and an Etsy Shop owner. So, why did I avoid telling them what I do?  The simple answer is because a lot of people don’t know what bloggers or makers do, or how they generate income from being a Blogger or Maker.  And, even if someone knows someone that is a Maker or Blogger, they may not know how to support them.  Since this is a consistent theme for me, I have decided to share with you some ways to support a blogger or maker.  It’s a short list explaining ways you can be supportive without it taking money from your pocket.

5 ways to support a Blogger or Maker:

  1. Subscribe to their blog’s email list

    Every time you get an email saying they have a new post up, be sure to visit their blog and read their post.  The great thing about this kind of support is that it doesn’t cost you any money… just some time to show your friend or family member that you support and care about what they are doing.

  2. Favorite their Etsy Shop

    By favoriting their Etsy Shop, every time they renew an item or put a new item in their shop you’ll see it in your Etsy feed.

  3. Follow them on all of their social media channels (Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram).

    Share their posts or projects on your social media channels.  The more people that see their work, the more beneficial it is to the Blogger or Maker.

  4. Leave a kind comment

    When they post on their blog or on social media, leave a kind comment. Interaction like this increases their presence on the Internet and can drive more traffic to their sites.

  5. Purchase products from them

    If they are selling something you want, and it fits in your budget, purchase it from them. If you do purchase something from them, be sure to leave a review of their product or service you received so other people can get an idea of how great it is.

Now that you’ve read through some of my ideas, what do you think of them?  Would you be willing to do the above ideas to help support your friend or family member that blogs or is a maker?  I hope you find this post helpful!  If I missed another way to support a Blogger or Maker, be sure to leave it in the comments.





5 Ways to Support a Blogger or Maker