Category Archives: Uncategorized

“He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli

“He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli is a beautiful song about finding our satisfaction in God. Having raised all of my children to know and love our Lord, it is so pleasing to see my daughter using her talent for His glory. As I have mentioned before, my daughters have a band called DaVida. Together they write, sing, and play guitar. My fourth child, Olivia, did a cover of Francesca Battistelli’s song and I am very excited to share it with you.

You may not know this, but Olivia was the first child I attempted to teach to read as a baby. I had just discovered early learning, and was so excited to teach my baby everything I could. I spent a lot of time creating flashcards, books, and other materials to show her. Unfortunately, I spent more time making the materials I needed to teach her, than actually teaching her. Perhaps that is why her younger brother and not she was the first to read as a baby. While she was a baby I made the materials, but I actually had time to use them with my son.

Nevertheless, I have seen the benefits of early learning in my daughter’s life.  Since I’ve practically been teaching them since they were born, they are definitely advanced in their schooling and this has been a great advantage. Even when my children were very young, they were always surrounded with music. Since I homeschooled all of my children, I had the opportunity to play music for them all the time. They were always singing along to some kids’ praise CD or writing praise songs of their own. From a young age I have seen them drawn towards music and it has been such a blessing to watch them grow in this area.

I had never intended to homeschool my children, but I know now that homeschooling my children was definitely God’s hand working in my life. One of the greatest benefits my children have experienced is the freedom to be creative. Due to the flexibility of their schedule, they have been able to invest much time in learning guitar and writing songs.

Throughout the day, they would pause their school work and hurry to their rooms to go work on a song idea. This was always so beautiful to witness and I am so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to homeschool my children. I believe this to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. Besides being actively involved in my child’s life each day, it is so rewarding to see them develop their interests and grow in their talents.

Since their music has been a blessing to me, I hope it blesses you as well. Today, I am sharing with you my daughter’s cover of “He Knows My Name.”  Enjoy!

Presidents Day Matching Game

Presidents Day Matching Game

Happy Presidents’ Day!

To celebrate this special holiday, we’re offering you a FREE Presidents Day matching game. If you’re looking for a fun activity to help teach your kids the presidents, then this game is just the thing you need. This fun Presidents Day Matching Game introduces children to the first sixteen presidents. You can even use this Presidents’ Day Matching Game as flashcards. Also, if you would like to learn all of the presidents, here is a great song to help you remember them.

If you liked this song, you can get the mp3 here for $1.29.

Here is your freebie of the day!  Simply print, cut, and play! We would love to see you and your little ones playing this game. Share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Presidents' Day Matching Game

Presidents Matching Game

Setting SMART Goals for Your Child

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“My name is Michael. I’m three years old. When I grow up I’m going to be a _ _ _ _.”

The little boy was silent for the first time that day. All morning he had buzzed around energetically, chatting with anyone who would listen. Now he stood still and looked up at his mom uncertainly, as if to say, “What?”

I asked her what he wanted to be. She smiled at her son but shook her head. “I don’t know.”

I’m sure you’re familiar with this situation. Many children wonder what they’ll be when they grow up. As parents, we should prepare our children for their future. We need to direct them, encourage them, and help them become the very best that they can be. And, we do this by helping them set goals and accomplish their dreams. Continue reading

MonkiSee Releases New DVD – Animals Under the Sea

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The newest addition to the MonkiSee videos is officially here.
We are pleased to announce that Animals Under the Sea is the second installment in the new series of MonkiSee DVDs. Howie and Skip, along with their friends, Miss Krista and Gabriella, discover the wonder of the underwater world in this latest addition to the StoryTime series.

“Let’s dive into the deep blue ocean,
What do you think we’ll see?
Swim under the shining water,
Explore the deep.”

The fun begins when Miss Krista brings her book of sea animal riddles to Howie and Skip’s StoryTime. As they read and try to solve the riddles, they learn all about the sea animals and uncover incredible facts about these creatures.

Your child will be captivated by this engaging story time with Howie and Skip. Filled with original music, poetry, and illustrations, this is a story time like never before. Kids will learn the importance of teamwork and cooperation. Howie, Skip, and Gabriella work together to solve the riddles. “Animals Under the Sea” is a great way to entertain children while building their vocabulary, promoting listening and observation skills, encouraging reading aloud, stimulating imagination, and introducing them to logical deductive thinking.

Animals Under the Sea engages children with thought-provoking riddles and fun upbeat songs. Filled with beautiful illustrations, real-life video, and vivid imagery, your child will discover the wonder of the world beneath the waves.

After much anticipation, Animals Under the Sea is finally here. We know you’re going to love it, so join the adventure and together let’s discover the animals under the sea!

Get your DVD now: http://stores.monkisee.com/monkisee-animals-under-the-sea-dvd/

Available for digital download: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/howieandskip/99294976

New Learning Games at MonkiSee

At MonkiSee, we’re all about having fun while learning games; and that’s why we’re so excited to announce the addition of the Learning Resources games and activities to the MonkiSee store! Now you can enjoy a whole new element of early learning fun. With the Learning Resources games and activities, your child can learn about a variety of subjects while they enjoy playing these creative games.

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We’ve given you a great selection of learning games and subjects to choose from. Your child can learn about anything from letters and vocabulary, to addition and subtraction all while playing these entertaining games.

The Learning Resources games are a great way for kids to expand their knowledge while having fun. With games such as the award-winning Snap It Up! Card Games – Addition & Subtraction, kids develop and practice their math skills while competing with other players.

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Check out this learning game and many more at : http://stores.monkisee.com/kids-educational-games/

Stay tuned for more reviews of the Learning Resources games!

Your Kids Can Be in a New MonkiSee DVD – Animals Under the Sea

We are filming a new MonkiSee video called Animals Under the Sea.  We would love to feature your child in the video.  Watch the clip below to find out how you can have your child participate in the video.

We are working on a new MonkiSee DVD – Animals Under the Sea – and we want to feature your kids in it! To find out more about how your kids can appear in this MonkiSee DVD, just watch the video above. Teach your kids the hand signals and take some video of them doing it. Here are some key points to consider when taking your video:

Take HD video
Film on a clean, simple background (avoid a busy background)
Check for good lighting
Use a tripod (or just make sure that you a really still when filming)
Have fun!
You can send us your video through DropBox (if you don’t have an account let us know and we will send you an invitation) or you can mail it to us on a flash drive. If you have any questions just send us an email!

We can’t wait to see your video!

New Books for Early Readers

Check out these news books designed specifically for early readers and children who have learned to read with Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, or MonkiSee.  They are a perfect addition to your library.

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I just found out about theses delightful new books for early readers series that really encourages reading.  Bird and Butterfly by Amanda Stanford has bold, beautiful illustrations that children will love.  The simple story keeps the text and the illustrations separate.  This is brilliant as it naturally draws a child’s attention to the words on the page, encouraging young children to read the story themselves without being distracted by the pictures.  These books are exactly what I spent days creating for my kids when we were teaching them to read as babies and toddlers.  It is so nice to be able to purchase quality products to encourage early readers without having to create everything yourself.  Amanda Stanford has several more books in the works which look really nice.

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You can even teach your child to read using these books.  As you can see above, the text is isolated, causing no distractions.  As you read the book over and over and point to the text as you go, your child will learn to read easily and naturally.  I truly believe that if all books were formatted in this way, kids would learn to read much earlier.

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The Kissing Tree by Amanda Stanford is a sweet story that children will request again and again.  It won’t be long before your child is reading these stories to you. 

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I’m thrilled that Amanda Standford has decided to create a series of books with the early reader in mind.  Any one of her books make a great addition to your reading library.  You can purchase these new books for early readers in the MonkiSee store.

Please Bury Me in the Library – Book Review

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Please Bury Me in the Library

A book that can summarize my feelings about books so exactly is worth mentioning.  I came across this book a few weeks ago and realized that this should be the epitaph inscribed on my tombstone when I die.  Oh, how blissful it would be, to spend eternity reading.  Please Bury Me in the Library is a really cute book of poems for kids. I really like the poem and thought I would share it here.

Please Bury Me in the Library Please bury me in the library
In the clean, well-lighted stacks
Of Novels, History, Poetry,
Right next to the Paperbacks, Where the Kids’ Books dance
With True Romance
And the Dictionary dozes.
Please bury me in the library
With a dozen long-stemmed proses. Way back by a rack of Magazines,
I won’t be sad too often,
If they bury me in the library
With Bookworms in my coffin.

If you like poetry books for kids, this is a short, sweet addition to add to your read alouds.  My kids and I really enjoyed it.  The poem What If Books Had Different Names inspired me to write a few new parodies myself.

Reading Goals For My Kids For 2014

Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year.  This is a great time to assess where we are in our lives and where we want to be.  In 2012 I joined some other moms in trying to read 1,500 books to my kids that year.  We did it and it was a very interesting experience.  Then last year, some one suggested that we read 2,013 books to our kids during the year.  I eagerly signed on and was ready to go for it.  That would require me to read 6 books a day to my daughter, which didn’t seem at all impossible. 

Well, the air quickly went out of my sails, and I realized that we have entered a new phase in our reading which consists more of chapter books.  While I was hopeful that I could read six picture books a day plus chapter books, I quickly realized I couldn’t.  So, I did something I really don’t like to do.  I quit the read aloud challenge.

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Coincidentally I just read Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition this past December.  He mentioned a family that set a goal to see how many days the father and daughter could read together without taking a break.  They kept a running total that was well over three thousand days.  This included proms, a divorce and their read aloud days ended when she left for college.

I found that story to be so inspiring.  I realized that while I did read my kids a lot of books, we still had days that no reading aloud for pleasure was being done.  More than having a list of all the books we read, I craved reading to be a daily habit.  So three days before the New Year I began our daily reading adventure to establish reading together as a daily habit in my home. I am so pleased with the results.

It is amazing how making a commitment can bring about changes.  I got a new calendar and each day that we read together I write a number showing the consecutive days we have been reading.  The kids have gotten used to me saying prior to enjoying a family movie night, “Wait, we need to read a chapter of our book.”

Worst case scenario, I read one chapter of our book.  Best case, I usually read for about an hour.  Won’t you join me in establishing reading as a daily habit  in your home regardless of the age of your children?  My children range from six years old through eighteen years old, but none of them have grown tired of sharing a read aloud with their mama.

If you want to get motivated to read to your kids look no farther than The Read Aloud Handbook.  It is a fabulous book and includes lists of great books to read to your kids.

My Reading List for 2013

I hope 2013 was a great year for all my readers.  I feel very blessed to have been able to read so many great books last year.  According to my records, I am one book short of doubling what I read in 2012.  I do hope to be able to do a lot of reading in 2014. Certainly the list of books I want to read is very large and tends to grow each day.  I recently came across a children’s book called Please Bury Me in the Library.  The title spoke to me as a book lover and is now on my shelf beckoning to be read.  If only I could find a profession that required me to read for 6-8 hours a day.

My list is a collection of books I read to and with my children, books on education, business and faith.

  1. Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry – Jack Prelutsky gives guidance and instruction on how to write poetry.  This was a great book for anyone who likes Jack’s silly style of poetry.
  2. My Dog May Be a Genius – Jack Prelutsky book of poetry
  3. Little Britches – Father and I Were Ranchers – Ralph Moody details the story of his life in this first book in the series.  I loved, loved, loved this series.  Every one in our house heard the series last year.
  4. Raising Your Spirited Child
  5. Feed Your Skin – Starve Your Wrinkles
  6. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen  I love this book and plan to read it again.
  7. The  Merry Adventures of Robin Hood  The kids and I loved this book.
  8. What’s Whole in Whole Language
  9. Man of the Family – Ralph Moody
  10. Self-Leadership and the One Minute Manager
  11. Take the Risk – Dr. Ben Carson This was a great book.  I really like Dr. Carson.
  12. The On-Time, On-Target Manager
  13. I Just Want You to Know – Kate Gosselin This book inspired me to write love letters to my own children.  I really liked this book which surprised me because I am not a Kate Gosselin fan.
  14. Something Beautiful For God – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  15. One Thousand Gifts – I did not care for the writer’s style although the message is good.
  16. Teaching Your Child Music
  17. Defeating Darwinism
  18. Mary Emma and Company – Ralph Moody
  19. Marketing Without Money
  20. Helen Keller – The Story of My Life – What a fascinating and inspiring person she is.
  21. The Story of Doctor Doolittle
  22. Neat Mom, Messie Kids
  23. The Fields of Home – Ralph Moody
  24. Life Without Limits – Nick Vujicic This guy is amazing!
  25. Intense Moments With the Savior
  26. Shaking the Nickel Bush – Ralph Moody
  27. The Dry Divide – Ralph Moody
  28. Horse of a Different Color – Ralph Moody
  29. Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning
  30. Keeping a Nature Journal
  31. Raising a Reader – Jennie Nash
  32. Ginger Pye
  33. Raising a Reader – Simple and Fun Activities for Parents to Faster Reading Success
  34. Viking Quest – Raiders from the Sea
  35. The Magnificent Obsession – Anne Graham Lotz She is a favorite author of mine and this book did not disappoint me.
  36. Start
  37. Son of Charlemagne – Read this to the kids and loved it.
  38. The Trumpeter of Krakow – Read this to the kids and loved it.
  39. Enjoying the Closeness of God
  40. Secret of the Andes
  41. Wicked History – Francisco Pizarro
  42. Squanto – Friend of the Pilgrims
  43. Don Quixote – Wishbone Classic – This book was so funny.
  44. The Magic of Thinking Big
  45. Grammar Land
  46. Wicked History – Sir Francis Drake
  47. The Scarlett Pimpernel – Very exciting read.
  48. A Pizza the Size of the Sun – Jack Prelutsky book of poetry
  49. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – loved the poetry in this book
  50. The Mark of Zorro – Possibly my favorite read this year.
  51. The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow – Great book to read to the kids.
  52. Melchizedek – King of Jerusalem
  53. The Wheel on the School – The kids and I really liked this book.
  54. Write It Down, Make It Happen
  55. Cathedral
  56. Shipwrecked
  57. The Self-Propelled Advantage – Very interesting.  Challenged some of my methods for homeschool.
  58. The Fallacy Detective – The kids and I loved the lessons in this book on logic.
  59. Christian Heroes Then and Now: Hudson Taylor – Excellent faith building story.
  60. Christian Heroes Then and Now: Amy Carmichael
  61. Tending the Heart of Virtue
  62. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
  63. ScreamFree Parenting – Did not agree with the author in his methods.
  64. To Selena, With Love
  65. The Core – This is a great book on Classical Education.
  66. One, Two Buckle My Shoe – Agatha Christie
  67. A Child’s Introduction to Poetry
  68. Poetry Matters
  69. The Bible
  70. Secrets of Mental Math – Arthur Benjamin – So many great things to learn about math here.
  71. Gentle Ben – The kids and I loved this book.

Do you have any recommendations that aren’t on this list?  Please don’t hesitate to share them.