Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Museum of Family Prayer Is Opening!

Venerable Patrick Peyton, known the world over as "the Rosary priest", popularized the maxim, "The Family that prays together, stays together."

He also founded Holy Cross Family Ministries, a family of Catholic ministries that continues to inspire, promote, and foster the prayer life and spiritual well-being of families throughout the world today.

Holy Cross Family Ministries

The latest initiative of Holy Cross Family Ministries is the opening of the first ever FREE Museum of Family Prayer with a Grand Opening on September 15, 2019 and open hours weekly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesdays to Sundays after that.

Image may contain: text that says 'MUSEUM OF FAMILY PRAYER'

This museum is a first-of-its kind and offers a unique, interactive, digital experience of prayer that your entire family can experience together.


My family was able to get a sneak peak of this small museum today, and I will tell you, it is lovely! 

Among the beautifully designed displays which tell the story of prayer from Adam and Eve to the Hebrews to Father Peyton's rosary rallies to today, there is plenty to capture adult attention. There are also touch screens, magnetic puzzles, artifacts to see, videos, audios, and more to engage people of all ages.

Young children are not forgotten in the museum design either.  In fact, there is an entire room dedicated as a family prayer room which has a touch screen, video screen, balls, comfy seats, coloring, and more. So, little ones can take developmentally appropriate time there.

All who visit the museum can learn about the history and power of prayer, take time to reconnect with family and faith, enjoy a spiritual experience, and, of course, pray!

Within the museum building is a lovely little chapel, out on the grounds is a walking rosary path, and, nearby, is the burial place of Venerable Patrick Peyton, where you can take a pilgrimage.

You can also schedule group tours (for 10 or more people), special Masses, and retreats.

Families of all sizes and faiths are welcome!  So, if you are close to North Easton, MA, go check it out.

Also, if you'd like to support the museum, consider a membership.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Transition Students from Elementary to High School Science with Apologia {A Review}

Some links which follow may be affiliate ones.

If you are looking for a General Science curriculum with a Biblical Worldview to help you middle schoolers bridge the gap between elementary science explorations and high school studies, the updated and revised Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition by Apologia could be just what you seek. 

Apologia generously sent me the Textbook, Student Notebook, and Solutions and Test Manual for review, and, I have to say, this homeschool science for middle school program is one I am glad to have on hand

A Well-Designed Textbook 

The Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Textbook goes both broad and deep

 It is a 400+ page hardcover book written in a conversational style that goes broad in that it covers a wide range of topics over 14 modules, including Astronomy, Geology and Paleontology, Meteorology and Oceanography, Chemistry, Physics, Life Science, Biology, Marine Science, and Environmental Science.

It goes deep in that it covers the History of Science, Scientific Inquiry, the Scientific Method, Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results, Scientific Analysis, and Science and Creation, all while encouraging independent study, mastery of knowledge of contemporary scientific concepts, and the grounding necessary to transition to high school science and continue on with a lifelong passion for exploring God’s creation.

The author of the course has this to say about its design and big ideas:

Within each of the 14 modules in the Textbook, there are several related topics covered, experiments and activities, study guide questions, and more.

Modules are designed to take about 2 1/2 weeks with a 4 day schedule of 45 minute class periods, which adds up to a 33 week course with plenty of wiggle room for those busy weeks when you might need to flex. 

Each module is easy to locate with color coded tabs and top margins in the text. 

Each module starts out with a “Quaestio” (or question in Latin), which gives you something to think about as you enter into the new module.

Text words in blue boldface offer definitions to memorize and those in black boldface signal important terms to comprehend.

 Right from the beginning of the Textbook, there are also several “What To Do” instructions that guide you with notetaking, experiments, and to filling out your lab reports. 

“On Your Own” questions help you to see if you are understanding and retaining the information. Answers for these can be checked at the end of modules, so you can easily see what you might want to go back to study again. 

Activities come in two types: “Experiments” and “Explore More”.  These are clearly marked and explained.

Experiments are concise and described in an easy-to-follow way. They can be completed with things that you likely already have or you can obtain at your local grocery, pharmacy, or hardware store without trouble. (A complete list of supplies is broken down by module and experiment in the back of the book.) 

The “Explore More” are quick, appealing, hands-on activities help you better understand concepts you’re learning. 

The entire book is visually appealing with helpful color coding, a decent amount of white space, short paragraphs, plenty of photos and graphics, etc.

A Lay-Flat and Super Helpful Student Notebook

Student Notebook is a 540+ page, full-color, spiral-bound, consumable resource that helps you truly get the most out of the course.

It begins with information on notetaking, experiments, and grading for parents and teachers and has a handy lesson plan/checklist and grading rubrics.

Then, there are sections for each module, where you will find: 
  • a colored box called “What To Do” at the beginning of each lesson which tells you all the information needed to complete that day’s lesson. 
  • areas for notetaking.

  • prompts.
  • tables and infographics.

  • “Creation Connections” sections which encourage you to freely express your thoughts on how you view the world in relation to what you are learning and how what you are learning applies to their everyday life.

  • material lists for experiments.

and more.

At the end of Student Notebook, there is also a lab report checklist and grading rubric.

Easy-to-Use Testing Materials

The Solutions and Test Manual contain blank copies of tests and copies with solutions on them for all modules except the Science and Creation one. 

These are separately bound so there is no temptation for students with a test booklet to look ahead at answers (not that any would 😉) and the first two module tests suggest that you take them in an open-book test method with access to the Textbook and Student Notebook.

Tests are fairly brief and include fill-in, multiple choice, matching, and short answer questions. 

In my opinion, an additional notebook for writing out your answers is necessary for the short answer portions, but, otherwise, the tests are open-and-go.

Final Thoughts

In addition to the materials I have already described, there is also an MP3 Audio CD and/or the Video Instruction Thumb Drive available to go with Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Textbook, which, unfortunately for me and mine, we were not able to get yet. 
However, I have used the CD’s with past 
Apologia curriculum and can attest they are usually very well done and hugely helpful for my family which is often on the road and includes one child with reading challenges.  In fact, for me and mine, the audio book is typically an essential part of the program that makes it flexible, accessible, and just what we can use.

That said, truly each of the program components is well-designed and can help get you working independently, diving into science, doing experiments, etc. with proficiency, passion, and a Christian worldview. For these reasons, I recommend A
 Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Textbook to anyone with a middle school level student that is ready to take the next steps in science learning and discovery!

Learn More

If you'd like a larger taste of what the program has to offer, click to view a 

You can also view all our prior Apologia reviews.

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Now Is the Perfect Time to Begin a 3-2-1 Examen Journal {Free Printable}

St. Ignatius of Loyola's feast day is July 31 - a perfect time to renew or build a habit of making some sort of daily examen.


In the past, my children and I have used our Five-Finger Daily Examen...

Read more here.

...with a simple craft that we made during a super fun St. Ignatius of Loyola Feast Day party.

sensing the saints st. ignatius playdate
Host a St. Ignatius of Loyola feast day party with games, activities, and food.

Then, more recently, we began using a notebook tool that my children made at a co-op.

When a simple tool helps form holy habits...

The binding on the notebooks are barely holding together, though, so I was considering making new ones with my children for St. Ignatius of Loyola's feast day. That is, until a link for the the 3-2-1 Examen at Shameless Popery popped up on my computer screen recently.

As soon as I read the quick daily examen credited to a Kansas City priest named Fr. Andrew Mattingly, my plans changed.

I simply love the simplicity of the 3-2-1 Examen:

  • Turn to the Father and thank Him for at least 3 things from your day.
  • Turn to the Son and ask forgiveness for at least two failings.
  • Turn to the Spirit and make one concrete, measurable resolution for the next day.

What a simple, concrete, and powerful examen!

In praying this examen, we become present with God.  

Then, as we thank the Father, we review our day and find the good in it, noticing things large and small that truly highlight for us how we experience God's presence in our lives.

While reflecting on the day, we might recall places where we sinned of did something we regretted. That is where the focus on asking the Son for forgiveness comes in. We recognize our own shortcomings and our need for mercy, ask for forgiveness and feel prompted toward reconciliation.

Finally, we look toward tomorrow and think about how we might collaborate more effectively with God's plan for our lives. We specifically as the Spirit for guidance and resolve to enter tomorrow in union with God with God's will.


Even better for me and mine, the 3-2-1 Examen dovetails nicely with other practices we have focused on as a family before, such as 
shared greatness and building habits of gratitude and greatness. These practices often turned from moments of sharing to moments of prayer and, now, will be a helpful lead in for me to introduce the 3-2-1 Examen.

So, my intent now is to turn composition notebooks into 3-2-1 Examen journals.


For the cover, we will each pick one image of St. Ignatius of Loyola they like from Wikipedia to print out.  My choice will be Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Vision of Christ and God the Father at La Storta by Domenichino.

File:Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Vision of Christ and God the Father at La Storta LACMA M.89.59.jpg
Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Vision of Christ and God the Father at La Storta by Domenichino

Alternately, if any of my children want to create their own image or color or paint a pre-drawn one, I will, of course, say, "Have at it," and will have the free coloring page offered on Brother Francis on hand.

Around the image, we'll write 3-2-1 Examen.

Then, cut out a simple free printable 3-2-1 Examen Journal Page and attach it to the inside front cover:

Find the FREE PRINTABLE here.

With that, the journal will be ready to guide us in making and journaling a simple daily examen.

Perhaps you would like to do the same thing. I would love to hear about your experience if you do.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

3 Truths about Building Catholic Community

Recently, I was asked about how to build Catholic community with children.

As I thought about all the successful ways that my family has worked at building kid-inclusive Catholic community among our homeschool network and in our local church collaborative, I realized three truths.

No Catholic community thrives - or even survives - without the Eucharist at its center and regular participation in the Sacraments among community members.

Years ago, when my own parish was undergoing some changes, I asked multiple families at a nearby parish what they thought was working to make their community such a close-knit, faith-filled one.

I expected to hear about children's programming, coffee hours, faith formation classes, Bible studies, church outings, and more.  Instead, every single family I asked said the same thing: the Eucharist!

As I understand, a priest who had a great love for the Eucharist had transferred to their parish and had become a driving force for Perpetual Adoration. He also added more times when people could receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After that, things just began to bloom at the parish and the warm and friendly "external" initiatives that I had been witness to grew. 

The "internal" seed of love for Jesus in the Eucharist and a focus on the sacraments makes a huge difference for church communities. It also makes an enormous one for families. 

So, if you seek to build a strong Catholic community for your children, do partake in the Sacraments and get close to Jesus in the Eucharist as often as you can. Make participation in Mass, Reconciliation, Adoration, and more a regular thing. This will increase grace and strengthen you. It will also, typically, help you become familiar with other Catholics in your area and plant the seeds that can grow into a supportive, vibrant community.

Beginning Children's Adoration

If your parish does not offer regular Sacraments or opportunities to participate in Holy Hours, Children's Adoration, or family Adoration, talk to your priest about initiating such things or find another parish close to you to be your Catholic home-not-far-from-home for these things.

Likewise, do not be afraid to branch out from your local parish to attend events, Masses, Adoration, Reconciliationrelic tours, and more at nearby parishes when opportunities arise. Doing so can keep you and yours focused on Christ while also widening your Catholic community. Plus, as you live wonderful faith-filled experiences, you can share them with friends - new and old - as mini religious pilgrimages.

A Pilgrimage with Friends
Going on a Pilgrimage with Friends

Similarly when you're traveling, continue to make God a priority, never missing a Mass, but going to to find a parish close to where you are. You might even consider making a holy pilgrimage as part of your vacation by visiting the shrines and other holy places or checking out The Real Presence to find a place to pop in to see Jesus.

Processing during a Day of Prayer

As you and your children focus on Christ and participate in Masses, the Sacraments, and faith events close to home and further afield, your will gain grace and experience truth and beauty. You may also meet some wonderful people while your children come to understand that Catholic community does not stop at the doors of our own churches. We are truly part of one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Our community extends to every part of the world, praise God!

Prayers have power - especially when shared.

As the Venerable Patrick Peyton said, "The family that prays together, stays together." This is certainly true, and I would venture to say that the community that prays together also stays together. So, when building Catholic community with kids, do focus on prayer.

Begin praying in your own domestic church daily:

  • Set prayer pegs.
  • Read from Scripture.
  • Make time to pray the Rosary with each member of the family offering an intercession with each decade or even with each Hail Mary in a single decade if that;s all you can manage.
  • Pray at meal times.
  • Offer morning prayers and bedtime ones.
  • Allow your children to witness you in private prayer, and encourage them to pray daily on their own, listening for God’s call and responding to it when they hear it.
  • Of course, pray for the Lord to put into your path a strong community of faith-filled friends and acquaintances.

Find times for you and your family to pray structured, formal prayers and unstructured, free-flowing ones, and you will find your family strengthened.

 Celebrating the Assumption with Friends
Honoring Mama Mary with Friends

Then, let the strength flow out to the community. 

Invite others to pray with you, go to prayer events, partake in the Children's Rosary. Build traditions based on the seasons celebrated in the liturgical calendar and invite others to pray, feast, and play with you during these annual celebrations.

Understand that there will be times that others do not accept your invitations, but there will also be times when many may. Whatever the case, embrace the relationships that begin to bloom as God answers your prayers for community. If your experience becomes anything like my family's, you will find yourselves in a garden of blessed relationships!

Relationships take time and bloom beautifully when we remember PEPS.

Just as we don't come to know and love Christ all at once, but rather keep developing a relationship with Him throughout our lives, we do not go from meeting fellow Catholics with kids to making lasting bonds with them in mere seconds.

Relationships need time and space to grow.

Thus, I am a big advocate of intentionally making time to share with other Catholic families - both at faith-centered events and just in everyday ways - so that relationships can germinate, grow, and bloom.

In doing so, I like to follow a model I call PEPS: Pray, Eat, Play, and Serve. With these four ideas as cornerstones, I have found community grows.

As I have already mentioned, centering ourselves in the Eucharist and praying are vital to building Catholic community.
Joining in Community Prayer

Of course, Mass is the ultimate prayer to share together, so, whenever possible, it is fruitful to share Mass experiences together.

Other communal prayer options can sometimes seem awkward at first, but little unites people in the end like prayer can. For prayer is such an intimate act that, when shared, it draws people close to each other over time and also becomes a natural part of being together as Catholics.

Just the other day, when a Catholic friend of my son's was at my home for a sleepover, I had a message from a friend about a sudden and serious health concern. Immediately I called my children to pause everything and, together, my children and our sleepover guest paused and prayed a decade of the Rosary together for our  friend's special intention. It was natural, beautiful, and unitive.

Similarly, mealtime grace, prayers for the dead, emergency vehicle prayers, prayers for special intentions, and more have each been shared by my children and their friends as we go about our daily activities.

Likewise, adults and children in our Catholic community are always just a word, phone call, or private message away from sharing prayer intentions and making offerings for one another. This network of praying friends is such a beautiful and powerful thing for which I am grateful!

Jesus broke bread with others and so should we.

Of course, just as families should enjoy regular meals together, making at least one mealtime a day a family priority for togetherness, inviting communities to get together for meals in small groups or as a parish is something to prioritize as well.

sensing the saints st. ignatius playdate
Celebrating with Faith through Food and Fun

There is just something about eating together that bonds people. Plus faith through food is fun, especially for kids!  

Start meals with a prayer, enjoy conversation, linger, and love one another.  

Pair eats with a book club meeting, Bible study, faith video series viewing, movie night, outing, or anything else, and it becomes an event.

Without doubt hospitality is a pleasurable and important part of Christian life and a prime way to build community.

Potlucks, picnics, teas, sit down meals... Any time we share meals with others, we build community.
Eating together with those we wish to grow in faith alongside can become such a welcome part of community life.

Most certainly kids love to play, and play is good for adults, too. So, when building Catholic community, remember to include the levity of play.
Impromptu Playdates on Saint Days Can Be Fun

We've always found that pairing formal prayer times with hands-on activities or good old-fashioned play helps children who have the wiggles and also brings about giggles.

We've also found that occasionally layering liturgical year celebrations into regular playdates works beautifully as does centering playdates specifically around saint days.

When Saint Day Meets Playdate

Similarly, we've come to recognize that just getting together with friends who are strong in faith to hike, swim, boat, play board games, ... whatever is a blessing. Not everything has to be planned out, directly related to faith, or paired with something more somber. Simply enjoying relaxed fun time together is essential to building Catholic community with kids!

Jesus is a servant-king that asks us to serve one another, too.

Getting together with others to serve is an excellent way to connect and opportunities abound. 

You can cook together for a meal train for new moms, sick friends, etc.

You can join community events to pack meal boxes for the hungry before holidays.

Volunteering as a Family with Friends

You can participate in gift drives and wrapping.

Make Pro-Life Gifts

You can create events where kids get hands-on making things for pro-life causes, homeless people, neighbors, and more.

 Making Love Buckets
Making Love Buckets

You can simply focus on Works of Mercy together.

There are many ways children can enjoy living a life of service, and, undoubtedly, as children do good together, they form even closer bonds.

Relationship with God and with others go hand-in-hand.
As you keep Christ at the center of your life, focus on the Eucharist and Sacraments, pray, and remember PEPS, no doubt you will begin to find that an enriching, supportive community of friends develops which will help you and your children stay connected spiritually and socially.

I believe God places a natural desire within each of us for fellowship and, if we listen to that desire and prioritize participation in experiences that match our needs and schedules, we will discover deepening relationships with Christ and others - and ensure our children do as well.

I would love to hear about your successes and challenges in building Catholic community with kids and plan to share more about this topic in the future, so stay tuned and enjoy every blessing of community that comes your way!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

6 Reasons Learning Dynamics is a Great Tool for Homeschoolers and Tutors {PLUS a Coupon Code!}

Some links below may be affiliate links.

Use the coupon code THAPPYHEARTS for 10% off!

Whether you have a child who is ready to learn to read or one who is a struggling reader, the Learning Dynamics Reading Program by Learning Dynamics can help!

We received this structured, multisensory, phonics-based system for review, and since then, I have been using components of it successfully with my own children and with tutoring students.

In doing so, six things have really stood out to me about the Learning Dynamics Reading Program:

1. It comes in a sturdy little box that makes it easy to store, transport, and use.

Okay, I know packaging is not the first thing one usually thinks about when considering a new reading program, but, let me tell, you, the Learning Dynamics Reading Program package is such a well-designed one!

It immediately caught my kiddoes' eyes and made them want to dig right into the program, reading through the readers in the box during independent reading time and with me as a way to "fill in holes".  (My children are beyond the initial learning to read stage, but one likes "easy stuff" to read during solo reading times sometimes and another has dyslexia and appreciates decodable books that can help her fill in holes and gain confidence.)

The packaging also caught the attention of my tutoring students.

One saw the package on my table, and, although she was "beyond" the level of 
the Learning Dynamics Reading Program materials, she asked if she could read some of the readers.  So, of course, I let her, and she enjoyed them.  They are just so inviting with their four colors standing in the box.

Another tutoring student, who is older than the targeted age for the program, but has learning difficulties, liked the look of the box, too.

When that student saw it on my table, opened it with me, and dug into by request, he took to it right away, so I asked my own child if they'd mind if I used the Activity Book (which is something your child writes in) with him and they agreed.  So, he's become my primary user of the program while my own children - and other children who come to my house - enjoy the readers and other components.

There is something to be said about packaging that invites children to learn and acts as a handy way to store, transport, and grab-and-go with a program, and the Learning Dynamics Reading Program nailed it in designing theirs.

2. It has varied components to keep learners engaged (but not so many that Moms, Dads, and teachers go crazy!)

Learning Dynamics Reading System

Over the years, I have taught a lot of children in the United States and overseas, and one thing that I have come to recognize is that each student is truly different, so one size rarely fits all.

Thus, when I look at a new program, I appreciate something that can adapt to many types of learners - those who like repetition and those who like variety; those who tune into songs and silly stories and those who prefer visual stimulation; those who like things cutesy and catchy and those who like them straightforward and with plenty of white space... In other words, I like one program that can reach many students, even if it takes a little tweaking with some.

Learning Dynamics Reading Program is such a program. 

In the weeks that I have been using it, I have found that it hits the mark for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners as well as interpersonal and independent ones. (Independent only for those who have already progressed with reading and are using program materials to "fill in" holes or practice skills.)

The bright, bold illustrations with expressive faces appeal to visual learners while the fact that the books are printed with a large, bold font and plenty of white space appeals to my child with dyslexia.

Auditory learners and those who like songs and ditties can appreciate the audio CD and also will benefit from the conversation and systematic teaching of sounds and blending that are a part of the lessons.

Kinesthetic learners get opportunities to write, color, match things, manipulate cards, and complete extra little fun activities as described in the concise, yet complete Lesson Manual

They can also play extra games with the flash cards if you know some, as I do.

Those who like cutesy things, stories, and rewards can have them.  Those that don't, can skip them.

The Learning Dynamics Reading Program offers enough materials to provide variety and to appeal to children with a range of learning styles, but not so many that it becomes tedious for moms, dads, tutors, or other teachers to keep track of them and use them.

Included in the program are:

  • a concise. spiral-bound Lesson Manual that allows you to open-and-go. 

  • 50+ full-color decodable Easy Reading Books that allow students to build a library while also developing stronger and stronger reading skills.

  • a CD with 34 learning songs.

  • an Activity Book/Workbook with simple activities to reinforce learning

  • cute little Letter Rewards.

  • a variety of Flashcards which can be used as directed in the Lesson Manual and can also be used for other games and activities.

These all fit neatly into the box the program comes in and can be tailored in use to your child's needs and likes.

3. The program can unlock reading within just four weeks.

The Learning Dynamics Reading Program was created to make teaching children to read easy and Learning Dynamics is so confident about the design and success of their program that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

I don't think you'll need to use that guarantee, though, if you try the program, because it really is well designed so that you can bring a child in preschool through second grade from hearing sounds, to matching them to phonograms, to blending them to make words, to reading decodable books in just four weeks and, then, progress further with reading in subsequent weeks.

Enjoyable, 15-minute lessons work through a system of introducing an attainable challenge to your child, practicing it, having your child meet success and be rewarded, and, then, moving on with the traction gained from your child's growing confidence and skills.

In doing so, the program helps your child to: 

  • develop phonemic awareness (or, in layman's terms, the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds of language).
  • learn explicit letter-sound correspondence (which is essential for both reading and writing).
  • master frequent letter-sound relationships systematically (which is great for all children, but, especially for those with dyslexia like one of my own children, and, I believe, some of my tutoring students).
  • sound out words with letter-sound blending.
  • use decodable text to practice letter-sound relationships (and enjoy reading independently!).
  • read interesting stories to develop language comprehension (and chat about or narrate them with a parent, tutor, or teacher).

You can read more about how it works here and also in reviews from other Homeschool Review Crew Members who used the program with younger children.

I used components of it it with my eight (now nine) year old for review and fun and also with my eleven (now twelve - they both had birthdays during the review period) child with dyslexia so that she could fill in some holes and gain confidence. I also used it, primarily, with a nine-year-old delayed reader who I tutor and he is progressing nicely with it!

A friend of mine who just happened to have bought the program for her five year old around the time I began using it as a review, noted that we have the same program and said her five year old is enjoying and succeeding with it, too.

So, I truly believe t
he Learning Dynamics Reading Program works for young learners even if I am using it with older ones.  

4. It adapts well for struggling readers beyond the target age of pre-k-8 years.

As I have explained, I am using t
he Learning Dynamics Reading Program with older learners. 

With my own children, I pretty much let my eight- and twelve-year-olds read through all the readers on their own and occasionally read them to me. I also use specific lesson flashcards or books to highlight specific reading/spelling patterns as I note they need help/refreshers with them.

With my tutoring student, we do not use the music CD, but rather, I buzzed through the first lessons reviewing materials he had previously learned, and, then, slowed when we got to the first lessons that use the books.

Since then, I use the lessons pretty much as directed sans the CD and the rewards and picture flashcards.  Instead, I read the silly story that goes with each sound when the student is writing the phonogram for it.

We also use a notebook to play additional games with target words from the readers and tend to reread one or two books and tackle a new one each lesson.

We also use the flashcards to build words and play games.

It is working out quite well and we will stick with this program moving forward.

The readers engage and challenge my student and allow him to level up, gaining skill and confidence.

5. Anyone can teach it!

The Learning Dynamics Reading Program was created with parents in mind. It is designed in such a way that anyone can follow it with little to no preparation. Simply open the box, pull out the Lesson Manual, and follow the instructions in it using the included supplies and a writing utensil, and you're all set.

Each lesson is structured in an easy-to-follow manner with everything you need to teach a typical learner included.

You can see more about it here:

As for learners that need a bit of a different approach, the program is good for them, too. However, you might want to tailor and tweak it to meet a particular child's needs.

Being a long-time teacher (former classroom teacher, current homeschool parent, and long-time tutor), such tweaking comes naturally for me, and, I have found that I can do it very easily with almost no outside materials when using 
the Learning Dynamics Reading Program.  (Seriously, all I have used besides the lesson materials when teaching with the program are a small whiteboard, whiteboard markers, a notebook, and some gem stones.)

6. It is reusable!

Almost the entire program is reusable - the books, the flash cards, the letter rewards, and the manual.  The only piece that is not reusable is the consumable student workbook, but additional copies of that piece can be purchased separately for just $18.

That means you can teach many children to read with one program, or, like me, teach one and review skills with others.  

The lesson manual walks you through each step and the program has a 98% success rate and is backed by research from the Unviersity of Oregon and the International Education Institute.

It is simple, engaging, adaptable, multisensory, and great for more than one child!

We definitely recommend it!

It is obvious that we have liked Learning Dynamics here.  
My nine-year-old said:

I think this would be good for kids who are just learning sounds and reading. They are also good for older kids who have reading troubles. I liked reading the books. They are easy.

My twelve-year-old said: 

It is a good review of my skills. I read almost all of the books during my lesson times.

I don't really like the pictures, because they are so cartoony and I don't like cartoony, but they do have expression and tell the story, especially when the words in the early books are simple.

I would recommend this product to people who are just learning to read or who are having trouble reading. 
There is not much writing on a page, there is a lot of white space, and there are pictures. This can help kids with reading problems.

And, I've said a lot already in this review, but will sum it all up by saying the Learning Dynamics Reading Program is a well-designed, well-packaged program that can serve as an open-and-go way for any parent or teacher to help a young child learn to read or as a convenient and adaptable set of materials for a parent or teacher of a struggling reader to invite skill building and confidence.

I am glad to have been introduced to the Learning Dynamics Reading Program through the Homeschool Review Crew and have used the program regularly with kids since it arrived on my doorstep.  If you'd like to try it out, you can get 10% off by using the coupon code THAPPYHEARTS.

Connect with Learning Dynamics.

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