2.21.2009

AAS Introduction


All About Learning Press (AALP) is a publishing house that produces several unique and extremely effective language arts products: the All About Spelling and All About Reading series, All About Homophones, and the Beehive ReadersIn early 2009, I was personally invited by Marie Rippel, AALP's founder, to serve as a regular contributor to AALP's first interactive website, The ChatterBee, which she ran from February, 2009, through September, 2011. This article served as my introduction to AALP readers.

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Hello, Everyone!

I’ve been posting comments on a few of the discussions since I joined The ChatterBee a few weeks ago. But, as I begin to add regular blog posts, I thought one of the best first things I could do is introduce myself more formally. I don’t know about you, but I always like to know a little about those whom I read!

I’ve been homeschooling my girls, Rachel and Abigail, since the beginning. To some, that means since they started a more formal education, at age four, five, or six; for others, it means that I’ve served as their primary educator since the day I brought each one home from the hospital. Either definition works for me!

Though we, of course, have our rough moments, I am thrilled to be in this role. My husband and I have chosen to homeschool for several reasons, but primarily it’s because we believe we’re called by God to do so. As such, we’re trying to lean on Him daily to guide us through this adventure of home education. And I’m sure I’ll blog a great deal about our journey.

In addition to homeschooling, I operate a small, in-home daycare called Teachers’ Tots to supplement our family income. As the name implies, I specialize in caring for teachers’ children; in fact, except when I serve as a friend’s emergency backup, I only watch teachers’ kids…because teachers’ schedules work perfectly for us: the children go home by 4:30 every day; I get regular breaks when the teachers have days off of school; and we have our summers “just for us.” Currently, I provide full-time care for two toddler girls from different families; each is approaching her third birthday so I look forward to starting some loosely-structured preschool activities with them in the fall. You will undoubtedly hear about these precious girls in my blog posts.

Another reason I chose to care for teachers’ children is that I was a public school teacher – with certifications in PK-12 English as a Second Language and 6-12 Language Arts – in “my former life.” I adored my job and felt as called to it then (for nine wonderful years) as I do to my current roles. In fact, if we hadn’t been blessed with children, I would still be there, teaching English to immigrant kids in the local secondary schools. It’s been a while since I was in the classroom, but I still have stories to tell and, hopefully, some wisdom to share for those who are currently “in the trenches.”

Perhaps I’ll also write about some of my other interests and activities: working out (I get most of my best writing ideas while walking the track at my local Y!); scrapbooking; serving as a vocalist on my church’s worship team; and writing (on my personal blog, for a ministry called Celebrate Kids – for whom I write regular email newsletter columns – and hopes I have to publish other things, among them children’s books and a novelization of King Lear).

I discovered AAS last October, when I was searching out a good spelling program for the girls. I was immediately sold when I read that Marie designed AAS using Orton-Gillingham methods, and we’ve been using it since November. We’ve just finished Step 13 in Level 1, and I have seen amazing growth in both girls – in terms of their actual spelling skills and in their spelling confidence (so now they are much more willing to try spelling things on their own…and I can see them applying the AAS strategies in those situations!). Obviously, all of us here on The ChatterBee realize what a gem we have in this program; we can work together to get the word out to others! And I look forward to getting to know many of you as we journey through AAS together.

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