Explode the Code

When people ask if I can recommend curriculum for teaching children to read, I always mention the Explode the Code series. Explode the Code is a sequential approach to teaching phonics. I used this series as a major component in teaching all of my school-age children to read. There is a pre-reading series that I highly recommend completing before starting with book 1 of Explode the Code. You may notice that some books have “1/2” increments. These books provide further practice at a level if you feel your student has not fully mastered a level. For example, buy Book 2 1/2 if your student needs more reinforcement of book 2 skills. Continue reading Explode the Code

Raising Chickens

Raising chickens is something my wife and I have wanted to do for quite some time but our current neighborhood has a no chicken policy in the covenants.  We were first introduced to the idea of raising chickens by two different co-workers and friends of mine back around 2008.  Both of them were raising chickens in their backyards and taught us a little about the basics of raising chickens.  Our interest was heighten this summer when we visited my sister in VA.  My sister’s family raises chickens in their backyard and our kids got to spend some time interacting with them.  It seems like everywhere we go we bump into people raising their own chickens or selling custom chicken coops.  Even Williams Sonoma sells chicken coops now! Continue reading Raising Chickens