Friday, July 17, 2009


Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in our day to day drama, worry, and stuff going on in the world. We tend to dwell on what is wrong so that we can fix it. We forget to think about what is right. We forget to think about how many blessings we have. We live in the richest country in the world, even during a recession. The news keeps talking about the gloom and doom of how bad the economy is. Well, I'm here to tell you how good the economy is. Do you have a place to live? Then you are blessed. Do you have a car to drive? Even if it's old and beat up, you are blessed. Do you have $1 in the bank or your wallet? Then you are more blessed than 80% of the world. So today, instead of worrying about tomorrow, count your blessings of today. Be thankful for what you have, and don't worry about what you don't have. Continue to work hard in all you do and remember God is with you.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Luke 12:22-25

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

Monday, July 13, 2009

Spelling Helper

Spelling, in our house, has been a bit of a struggle. My 10yo ds tries to spell things phonetically, but makes up his own phonetic rules rather than following the ones set forth in the English language. I do have to agree, though that the phonetic rules of English can be overwhelming. There are so many rules, exceptions, and then exceptions to the exceptions. I spent a long time studying Spanish, and am just amazed by the simplicity of their phonics. All the vowels have one sound, period. Just imagine how much easier it would be to teach spelling. No more long hours of spelling practice, drilling, and quizzing.

Daniel Hite has created a program that he hopes will help with the drilling and quizzing. The program is called Spellquizzer. It is a simple program to be used with your own spelling lists. You enter this week’s spelling words into the program, and record an audio to go with them. You may either just say the word, or say the word and a sentence, or whatever you feel like. There is also a function to import lists from others, including your child’s teacher if they use the same program, or export your lists to others.

Then the program takes over. Your child gets quizzed on their spelling words. They play the audio, type the word, the program tells them if they got it right or wrong. If they get it wrong, Spellquizzer shows the correct spelling. At the end of the list, the child is asked if they would like to practice the missed words again.

I don’t know if the program will work for us or not. We have never spent hours practicing spelling words. Maybe we need to do a bit more of that. My son seemed to like the program for a minute, but then got bored with it. And when we do practice spelling words, I rather enjoy spending the time with my kids. Usually, we practice them during dinner time. But if your time is limited, and need your child to get the extra practice, you may want to check it out. Spellquizzer is available for $29.95, and the website is great at showing exactly what you are getting. There is also a free trial available if you’d like to give it a try for yourself. Happy spelling!!