Sound Beginnings Review

I have to confess, I’ve used Mother of Divine Grace since my oldest was in 3rd grade (he graduated last year). But, I never used Sound Beginnings or Writing Road to Reading. I’ve taken several training classes on WRTR, but it never clicked. And, I’ve bought Sound Beginnings four times; I’ve sold it 3 times.

I’m not sure what prompted me this time to actually read Sound Beginnings… But, thanks be to God I did. I didn’t need another book to help me understand it; I didn’t need to read 1/3 of the book to use the program; I didn’t need to take a class.

The book begins with a four page introduction followed by by a five page Questions and Answer section In reality, I didn’t even read the first nine pages. What needs to be read are the three pages, “How to Use This Program”. Now if you did read the first four pages, you’d come to understand that the author took extensive training in how to use Writing Road to Writing. She said  she based Sound Beginnings on WRTR; distilling it into a program that could be used with a minimal amount of preparation.

The program consists of five sections:

  • the Instruction Schedule that contains 118 lesson (not necessarily daily!)
  • 25 lessons that introduce the formation of letters and numbers (handwriting and phonics – two for one!)
  • 15 sets of Phonogram Dictation exercises (review of the 45 basic speech sounds)
  • 20 exercises in Spelling Dictation exercises
  • 18 Sentence Dictation exercises  (again handwriting, phonics and grammar!) has the exact instructions for you to read over. Seriously, it’s only two pages of instruction.

The next section is the actual Instruction Schedule. It contains 4 columns per instruction:

  • Lesson number
  • lesson instructions: lesson 33: Phongram Diction 6A p. 116, Spelling Dictation 4 p 116, Worksheet p. 11&12
  • Preparation: Read Spelling Dictation 5 p. 117. Practice dictating the works listed and making the spelling markings.
  • Observation: Note difficulties / strengths.

That’s it! Once you finish those 118 lessons, then you move on to the Spelling List. Detailed information on how to use this section are provided. The spelling list will take a child through high school level spelling.

Now, in all honesty, I have no plans for moving to Writing Road to Read. What we are doing is 100% more than we’ve done before.

Now, MODG does use Teach Your Child to Read in One Hundred Easy Lessons to teach the initial process of reading and to introduce the alphabet. I do use a beginning reading program for teaching the reading.

You can buy the complete program at : Our Father’s House.

*****Note, I was not asked to write a review, nor did I receive any products for writing this review.




Christmas Wish List

12/13/13 – just updated with some additional items. I am a playologist with Simply Fun. I have found lots of great games to play with my kids that are fun and educational too. Shop through this link: Simply Fun so that I receive a credit for your orders. Otherwise, navigate to the site directly.
Favorites for our family include: Bringing Down the House, Duo Dash, Zooki, Tibars Everyday Big Board, Let’s Drive, Take Your Pick, and Trifusion.

I have some suggestions for great Christmas gifts to either purchase for your little ones, or ask for from relatives. These are the items that I’ve collected over the years. I keep them in a cabinet to be used only during school time. I would deem them mostly educational.

Each week, I set up 5 boxes (they are larger than shoe boxes) with 4 items or so in them (I have 3 little ones that will play with them). These are my busy box items. I have enough now, that they are fresh and fun each week. In addition to items listed here, I also include puzzles, paints, playdough, and crafts that I’ve picked up from local craft shops. This idea has helped me keep my little ones happy. I feel like their needs have been better attended to, so they do not get into other things, and they feel like they have received attention too. It is a win for all of us.

If you purchase via the links, I do receive a small commission from Amazon – you can bypass that by searching on them directly from Amazon.



Take Your Pick – (family appropriate get to know you game)

Zooki – (plays like Uno)

Tibbars Everyday Big Board
(awesome calendar board – uses pegs to mark, so you won’t lose magnetic pieces)

(great US geography game>

Review: Advent & Lent & Year of Faith Quest: 3 in 1! Cathletics Craft Kit

I received the Advent & Lent Quest: 3in 1! Cathletics Craft Kit to review from

I love that it can be used at both Advent and Lent. We printed the strips out on various colors of paper. And, per Monica’s suggestion, we laminated them and then cut them apart. We used “velcro” buttons to close the loops. This let use make a reusable paper chain.

My kids really enjoyed learning about various saints. Of course, each morning there was a minor struggle in deciding who got to pull off the new strip :-)

I used the strips as an starting place to learn more about the saints we chose. We studied St. Benedict, St. Lucy, St. Augustine, St. Monica and so many more. There was a nice mix of female and male saints.

Each saint strip has the name and years that they were alive. Also included is a short description of the saint. For example, St. Genevieve’s description was, ” Nun, piritual leader, protected Paris with organized prayer and fasting.”

Additional information includes their feast day, for what they are a patron saint and a short saying attributed to them. And, there were blank strips for you to add your own saints. For St. Ignatius, this was:

Lord, teach me to be generous;
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil, and not to seek for rest;
To labor, and not to ask for reward –
except to know that I am doing your will.

What is additionally included is fantastic. The Year of Faith strips include the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, all of the mysteries of each rosary, and the 5 effects of Confirmation. Blank strips are included to include additional memory work.

Finally, there is an awesome set of action strips – like reciting the Apostles Creed, or memorizing a Bible verse. One strip contained this:

The THREE theological virtues are FAITH, HOPE and LOVE,
“But the greatest of these is Love” (1Cor13:13)
Show love to someone today through a special act of kindness.
Make an extra effort to help someone today.

I wanted to have a countdown for Thanksgiving, so we’re going to use the memory work strips. Then at Advent, we’ll use the saint strips. And, for Lent, I believe we will do a mix of all three sets.

This is a great deal for a multi-use set.  I am actually going to buy a set for each of my godchildren for because it is such a good deal. What a nice way to encourage them in growing in faith (I would suggest either printing out the strips and assembling, or purchasing the physical copy so that it doesn’t sit in a To Do pile). Remember to purchase a set for those outside your family.

NEW! Saints Scripts Cathletics Craft Kit Series!

(posting from the website) – these look great (could use during Advent as a Saint a Day activity)

Each kit includes 20 Saints (+ Jesus or Mary) in a  little recipe card format filled with Saint stats, a full color  Kelly Comics pic and a brief biography.

Each kit ALSO includes 20(+1) half page black and white templates with the colorable pic, plus information format for kids to research and fill in the Saint details.  Instructions and suggestions are included for different ways of using eachSaint Scripts Cathletics Craft Kit at home or in the classroom!

These Saint Scripts Cathletics Craft Kits are available as comprehensive PDF craft kits you can print at home!


Saint Scripts Series ONE contains the full color recipe cards plus blank templates with coloring picture for these Saints: St Andre, St Anthony, St Catherine, St Clare, St Dominic, St Faustina, St Francis, St John, St Jude, St Nicholas, St Pio, St Patrick, St Paul, St Peter, St Raphael, St Rita, Bl Teresa, St Therese, St Vincent AND Jesus



Saint Scripts Series TWO contains the full color recipe cards plus blank templates with coloring picture for these Saints:  St Agnes, St Anne, St Augustine, St Benedict, St Bernadette, St Cecilia, St Gabriel, St George, St Gerard, St Gianna, St Joan, Bl John Paul II, St Joseph, St Juan, St Kateri, St Lucy, St Maria, St Maximilian, St Michael, St Monica AND Blessed Virgin Mary

Kolbe is adding new online courses

I can’t wait to hear some reviews of the courses. The course costs are $550 for unenrolled and $495 for enrolled. This is the latest lineup:


  • Intro to Sacred Scripture
  • Mass & the Sacraments/Ch Hist I
  • Apologetics/Ch Hist II
  • Morality/Ch Hist III


  • Greek Literature (2 sections)
  • Roman Literature
  • Literature of Christendom
  • Modern Literature


  • Ancient Greek History
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Era of Christendom
  • Modern & US History


  • Geometry
  • Honors Geometry
  • Algebra 2
  • Honors Alg 2/Trig


  • Intro to Physics and Chem (2 sections)
  • Biology w/ Lab
  • Honors Biology w/ Lab
  • Chemistry w/ Lab
  • Honors Chemistry w/ Lab
  • Physics w/ Lab
  • Honors Physics w/ Lab

Foreign Language

  • Latin I
  • Latin II

For course times, instructor bios, and how it works, go to

More Catholic Online Courses

Now Kolbe has stepped into the market for online classes for Catholic homeschoolers.

In addition to these companies:


Don’t forget the leader of the pack: