Archive for January, 2011

What Legos and Language Have in Common

Wordbuilding is fun!

“Mommy, look what I’ve built!” There he stands, face beaming up at you, holding out his multi-colored LEGO™ creation for your inspection. These simple, multi-colored interlocking construction toys have been around since 1949, providing children with a seemingly infinite variety of building fun. The concept is quite simple: LEGO™ bricks are assembled and connected to form vehicles, buildings, and robots. Parts can then be easily switched around to create entirely new objects.

As I considered this simple process, it dawned on me: words can be built in the same sort of ways. The building blocks of words are phonograms, which is a letter or set of letters used to represent one or more sounds we hear/say in the English Language. There are 45 such sounds which we spell in 70 basic ways. It follows then, that the quickest, most natural way to learn how to spell, to write and ultimately to read is to learn these phonograms, the “building blocks” of language. For instance, as seen in the picture above, the word birthday is composed of 5 “building blocks” of sound: b – ir (two letter phonogram) – th (another two letter phonogram) – d – ay (a third two-letter phonogram).

Once you grasp this basic concept, it becomes the key to unlock the English Language. English is often blamed for being difficult to teach, much less understand and consistently apply! But once a student masters the 45 “building blocks” they can build words with ease, analogous to constructing a LEGO™ creation, assembling and disassembling objects (words) at will. Not only does this method establish a solid foundation for analyzing and building words from the simple to the complex, but it gives both teacher and student a clear and consistent road map to Language Arts success.

One language arts curriculum that applies the above concepts remarkably well is the Spell to Write and Read program. In addition to teaching the phonograms, author Wanda Sanseri has formulated 28 spelling rules that guide and govern how to consistently use the phonograms in building words. No matter what language arts curriculum you choose, if you help children see the building blocks of language, the light bulb will come on, and soon you’ll hear, “Mommy, look what I’ve done!”

Games for Homeschoolers!

Homeschool Child's Game

Everybody loves a great game, and homeschoolers are no exception. Not only are games fun to play, they actually provide unseen educational advantages that are too important to pass up. Games that homeschoolers play help them bridge the gap between learning and remembering. Additionally, games draw families together in unique bonding ways, offering everyone a chance to grow while having fun and making memories. And finally, games offer students a different pathway into learning as they enjoy hands on activities.

Being educated at home gives students plentiful access to all kinds of games. There are the standard games you can buy and adapt for educational uses, such as the popular and ubiquitous Scrabble (spelling), Monopoly (math), and Chess (logic). Or just fire up the imagination and use everyday objects around the house. There is no limit to the games you and/or your students can come up with. To get those creative juices flowing, we’ve compiled an Educational Games book of 50+ homeschool games for all ages and subjects complete with a learning styles index Here’s a free game taken from that book you can start using with your kids today.

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Podcast! Heartbeat of a Homeschool Family: The Mungers, Part 2

Heartbeat of a Homeschool Family: The Mungers, Part 2


Subscribe to The Homeschool Show Podcast on iTunesOn Itunes Subscribe to The Homeschool Show RSS Feed Get Podcast Feed Download the The Homeschool Show Podcast as an MP3 fileDownload MP3

Every homeschooling family has a unique story to tell, a heartbeat of how they got started, challenges they overcame, and goals they reached. Continuing this week on The Homeschool Show is our guest Bonnie Munger. She and her husband Greg have served the NC homeschooling community for the last 20 years, managing an homeschool testing business that offers homeschool achievement tests and homeschool curriculum to homeschoolers nationwide. In today’s show, Bonnie discusses further aspects of her homeschooling journey, offering tidbits of wit and wisdom after graduating all 4 students from Charis Academy.

This is the 2nd part of a 2-part interview. If you missed the 1st half, don’t worry, you can listen to it or download it right here. Next week, you will be able to hear from the Munger Children!

Homeschooling’s “Secret to Success”

Family-Passing down Truth from One Generation to Another

The Secret to Success in Homeschooling

We believe that the key to success in all education (whether that be academic or other) lies outside of ourselves. It does not come with the expansive homeschool curriculum or the expensive teaching aids you or your homeschool might buy. Nor is it developed by bringing in highly specialized teaching staff. This element that is so necessary is not a result of expensive school facilities, politically correct indoctrination on current American political and socio-economic issues, or even exciting and dynamic youth programs sponsored by local churches or community groups.

Rather, the one component that is foundational to all others is when one generation passes down the Faith to another, by teaching and modeling before children of all ages the understanding of and the adherence to the truths of God’s Word as revealed in the Bible.

This key is discovered as we take a simple basic academic curriculum and study every subject through the prism of God’s Word. It is utilized when we take God’s truth as the touchstone (the test or criterion) for measuring the quality or genuineness of things in our lives. And this verity is realized as we use family closeness, fond responses, and freedoms to explore and learn (at the child’s pace and style) to teach the life-changing doctrines of the saving grace of God found only in the person and work of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We believe that it is especially important for families – and in particular the father or head of each home – to take up the responsibility and privilege in leading the family in daily devotions. A good place to start is with the doctrine of the authority and infallibility of the Scriptures. Our family found The Westminster Confession of Faith and Study Guide to be both subservient to and agreeable with the Word of God, as well as extremely helpful in systematically discovering the great doctrines of the Bible. In addition to this, we drew from the wisdom of those men who have given their lives to the study of God’s Word. The books Beginning at Moses: Finding Christ in the Old Testament and Complete in Him taught us how and where to find Christ in the Old Testament. These guides also helped us understand the continuity between the Old and New Testaments as well as the relationship between God’s law and the Gospel of grace found only in Jesus Christ. All of these books are also available through our sister website, www.pesdirect.com, or you may write or call us for more information.

Another wonderful source for your family or school is Sermonaudio.com. Sermonaudio is an amazing free service that offers hundreds of free downloadable MP3 sermons, speeches, sunday school lessons by top speakers, plus provides an extensive online hymnal with audio recordings and full hymn text, a daily devotional by C.H. Spurgeon, and many other tools that will assist you in your study of God’s Word.

Remember, home education is not an end in itself; it is merely a means to an end. And that end is to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” (II Peter 3:18). May the Lord richly bless you and your family as you use the education of your children to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

~ Greg Munger

Podcast! Heartbeat of a Homeschool Family: The Mungers

Heartbeat of a Homeschool Family: The Mungers


Subscribe to The Homeschool Show Podcast on iTunesOn Itunes Subscribe to The Homeschool Show RSS Feed Get Podcast Feed Download the The Homeschool Show Podcast as an MP3 fileDownload MP3

Every homeschooling family has a unique story to tell, a heartbeat of how they got started, challenges they overcame, and goals they reached. This week’s guest on The Homeschool Show is Bonnie Munger. She and her husband Greg have served the NC homeschooling community for the last 20 years, managing an homeschool testing businessthat offers homeschool achievement tests and homeschool curriculum to homeschoolers nationwide. In today’s show, Bonnie recalls what it was like homeschooling her four children.

This is the 1st part of a 2-part interview. Next week, you will be able to hear from the Munger Children!

Number Homeschooling Continues to Grow

number homeschooling continues to grow

Our parent company, Piedmont Education Services, was privileged to be a part of the recent research study undertaken by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute . His latest data and assessment of the state of home education in America indicates a steady growth. Read the full article and then share your thoughts. Why do you think homeschooling is growing? Do you think the trend will continue? What are some of the most important reasons you continue homeschooling? We’d like to hear your thoughts!

Stats show definite climb in home schooling