Alpha Phonics Indepth

This is a sponsored post (I received materials for free in exchange for my review). I have talked about some of this companies materials already. This post is from the company. I thought that would better serve you to understand what it’s about because I don’t have a little one that needs to learn to read. There is a link towards the bottom to see what other parents, that have used the program, think of it. 




To those interested in teaching someone to read, a familiarity with phonics is essential. Although there was some debate regarding the superiority of phonics, especially in the last half of the 20th century, it is now clear the preponderance of convincing evidence has landed squarely in its favor. Those who have used phonics to teach reading have known this all along and have wondered what the big deal was – phonics works and works well!


Phonics vs What?


As always, there will be attempts at finding a new and better way to do something. In teaching to read English, the strongest contestants to replace phonics have been the “look-say” and “whole language” methods.


There is no doubt that the so-called “look-say” method, so popular in the early 1950’s, did indeed work for many (I’m proof of that) but it suffered from the lack of a method to “decode” words, or break them down into their basic parts to discover their meanings and learn how to pronounce them. Up to a point a child could indeed learn and memorize many words from sight but there are just too many words in the language for this method not to have a severe, inherent limitation.


In the 1980’s the “whole language” theory of teaching reading reached some prominence, taking a completely opposite direction than phonics. It’s premise was more complex and complicated than what I would even care to attempt to explain here. Its approach was ‘holistic” and its adherents believed the best method to teach reading was to begin by recognizing words as whole pieces of language that must be interpreted according to their relationship with other words, and certainly not by breaking them down into letters and groups of letters as is taught in phonics.


Like many other attempted reforms of American education, it tragically resulted in lost time and needless experimentation on children, many of whose lives were irrevocably handicapped as a result. What’s more, kids with dyslexia and other language disorders experienced their problem becoming even more acute as a result of being taught to read by the whole language approach.


Eventually it became obvious (again) that phonics students could learn to read with much more speed, ease, and success than with any other method. If you are interested in a non-proven, convoluted, and potentially harmful method, look into “whole language” by all means. By the time you think you understand it, you could have taught your kids to read with Alpha-Phonics, and they would be well on their way to the joys and rewards of functional literacy.


Why Alpha-Phonics?


The number of children who have learned to read with Alpha-Phonics is so vast that it is probably useless to even guess at it. Developed by Samuel Blumenfeld about 30 years ago, it has not changed since its first edition. If you came across a used copy of one of the first editions, the only major difference you would see would be in its condition. It worked so well from the very beginning that it just hasn’t required updating or changing. Oh yes, there was one functional improvement that was made: the addition of a spiral binding that allows the book to lie flat on a surface.


Alpha-Phonics reduces the phonics approach into a number of easily digestible lessons in such a logical way that the student will be able to read simple sentences after as little as three lessons (possibly the first day!). The student just needs to learn the 44 basic sounds of English as communicated by the various groups of letters. One they are learned, he will then be able to “decode” any new words he comes across. As we know, English is such a dynamic language that this valuable ability to decode words will come into play on an almost daily basis. The simplicity of Alpha-Phonics also results in an ease of presentation for the tutor as well. Anyone can successfully use Alpha-Phonics to teach reading, which makes it a basic and valuable tool for the homeschooler as well as the parent that wants to give their child a head start.


To see what many parents have said about Alpha-Phonics, please visit us HERE. [Insert URL: ]



There are only 44 basic sounds that a child has to learn.


Reading is really simply learning to sound out words, using the 44 basic sounds.

Free ebooks and apps – May 16

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Here is the list of free ebooks and apps for the week! These books were all free when I was writing this post. Some are only free for Amazon Prime members. Please, please be sure to check the prices before purchase!! The prices on these things can change in the blink of an eye. Literally! I would hate for you to think that you were getting something for free only to discover that the price had gone up/sale had ended. Especially if you have one click purchasing turned on. :)  I’m especially excited about the Sixth Grade games app!!! I have a sixth grader this year and I’m always looking for free educational apps for their Kindle. 

You can view all of these ebooks on your computer with the free Kindle Reader. However, Kindles are extremely affordable now! You can view all of the Kindles for sale on Amazon via this link. Have a great weekend!!

Free Ebooks

Free Non-Fiction

How To Knit For Beginners

$1 Per Pound Grocery Shopping

How to Grow Plants

Frugal Cooking for Simple Living

Organic Gardening the Beginners Guide

Free Fiction


In Search of a Love Story

Total Victim Theory

It Had to Be You

New Math is Murder


Free Cookbooks


Incredibly Delicious Vegan Recipes from the Mediterranean Region

30 Easy Weeknight Dinners

Thai Cooking in 30 Minutes

Fruit Popsicles

Slow Cooker Recipes in 15 Minutes

Free Kids Books

A Collection of Crazy Poems

Dog Aliens 1

Storms, a Weather Book for Kids

The Principal’s Son

Bell’s Big Move

Free Android Apps


Cubis® – Addictive Puzzler!

Red Herring


Sixth Grade Learning Games

Online Resources to Educate Our Kids About Veganism

Today’s post is about online resources to educate our kids about veganism. Yesterday, I shared some children’s books about being vegan. While I have quite a few links in this post, only one of them is really a lesson plan. And it’s about vegetarianism, not veganism. This tells me that there is a need for a vegan lapbook or notebook or something! Hopefully, I can get something together. We’re coming up on our next move (I’m already packing this house) so I don’t know how much free time I’m going to have. I really have a TON of updating to do! We found out that I have fibromyalgia along with the arthritis we already knew about. Now I understand why I’m so tired all the time and why I hurt so bad I cry! Anyway, this post is about educating our kids. I’ll catch you all up on me soon. :)


*Brendan Brazier had a free online course back in 2012 called “Plant-Based Performance Nutrition: How to unlock your mental and physical potential through food“.

Here is the class description:

Learn how to boost mental and physical performance on a plant-based nutrition program. Topics will include:

- High net gain nutrition: what it is and how you can benefits from it
- Biological debt: what it is, why it’s rampant in North america, and how to ensure you’re not a victim
- Boost energy holistically, without stimulants
- Enhance sleep quality (and therefore reduce amount of sleep needed to function at your best)
- Reduce recovery time needed between workout and therefore improve athletic performance
- Building a biologically younger body: how you can do it
- Alkaline-forming nutrition: How you can ensure what you eat will enhance your body’s efficiency and conserve energy with every move
- How to enhance mental clarity and improve focus and productivity

Now, this one is definitely something Mom needs to be present for. It’s a Q&A session with Brendan about being a plant-based athlete. I think this is great information for kids (and Moms)! Here is this great athlete who doesn’t eat animal products. He’s super fit and cool. I just really think this will appeal to kids. The course is an hour long. Breaking it up is probably a good thing because it’s not geared toward kids. Their mind may be mush if you have them watch the whole thing at once. I recommend stopping every few minutes and discussing what you just heard with the kids.


*PETA Kids 30-day vegan pledge has some info about being vegan and it’s geared towards kids. I’m not a fan of PETA. I don’t like their tactics at all. But they do have great info.


*PETA2 is the teen site for PETA, but it has some good info! Please watch the videos before you show your kids. They are graphic. My boys are a bit too gentle and animal loving to see them. They are the typical videos of factory farming that I’m sure we’ve all seen (and cried about).


*Teach Kind (another PETA thing) has free curriculum packs for teachers. Homeschool teachers included. Now, these are more about animal cruelty and living the kind life. Not really vegan living, but great FREE resources. That’s why I’ve included them here.


*TeenVGN is a great social site for vegan and veg teens! As with any social site, please check it out thoroughly before letting your kids on there. And please keep tabs on them. I’m not saying I think we should spy on our teens or invade their privacy, but I do think we need to know what’s going on in their lives and make sure they’re on the right path. :)


*The Vegan Society’s page “Why Go Vegan” has some good information and their page for “Raising a Vegan Family” has some good insights, too.


*This one is veg, not vegan but it’s a really good site! Young Veggie has it all and it’s all geared towards the kiddos.


*Generation Veggie is going to be an AWESOME resource for veg and vegans in the future. Their IndieGOGO just ended in March. I cannot wait for this to go live!


*I thought this was cute:  Top 10 Cool Ways to Celebrate Veganism With Your Kids


*Here is an actual lesson plan to teach kids about vegetarianism! There’s a bit a veganism, too.


*Ok, this is awesome! This is a list of kids that are vegan and their moms were vegan while they were pregnant with them. This one is GREAT for helping kids feel connected to others!


Ok, that’s what I came up with for online resources to educate our kids about veganism. I’m sure there are more great resources out there. If you know of any, please link them! I think I really should put together a true lesson plan to teach kids about being vegan. If you have any insight, I’m all ears!



Vegan Education Materials for Kids

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I had someone ask me about vegan education materials for kids on the Vegan Homeschool Facebook page. I can’t believe I haven’t talked about this before! It’s always just been a part of our day, so I haven’t really done a lot of research on the matter. I know of a few things, but that’s not good enough for you guys! So, I spent yesterday and this morning online searching for all of the free and paid resources I could find. I will absolutely let you know which ones were free at the time I found them and which are ones you will need to purchase (or maybe score at the library). Today’s post will be books. Tomorrow I will post any online resources I’ve found. I started out putting them all in one post and it just ran way too long! :)

Now, the woman that asked for this has a third grader that wants to eat like their 17 year old omni big brother. What kid doesn’t want to be like their big bro?! I think that having the brother tell the little one that he thinks it’s awesome that the little one is vegan would go a long way in keeping the third grader vegan. And maybe it will make the 17 year old think a bit about going vegan! Or at least veg! :)  

Not all of the resources I found are going to be quite at the third grade level. But I think they’re all totally doable with Mom’s help and guidance. 

First up is the hottest vegan book for kids ever. It is supremely awesome!! Lots of controversy (which totally got the book in front of people that never would have known it existed, which is awesome!) over this one. Meat companies weren’t happy. Dairy peeps were not thrilled. ;) The book is called “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things” by Ruby Roth. Ruby has a few books on veganism for kids. I’ll be linking to them all. This is available as a hardback or paperback. No Kindle version.

 Here is the description from the Amazon page:

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals uses colorful artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers (ages six to ten). Written and illustrated by Ruby Roth, the book features an endearing animal cast of pigs, turkeys, cows, quail, turtles, and dolphins. These creatures are shown in both their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the terrible conditions of the factory farm. The book also describes the negative effects eating meat has on the environment. A separate section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, such as:“Celebrate Thanksgiving with a vegan feast” or “Buy clothes, shoes, belts, and bags that are not made from leather or other animal skins or fur.” This compassionate, informative book offers both an entertaining read and a resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject.


Up next is another of Ruby Roth’s books called “Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action“. This book goes a bit beyond “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals” in that it tells kids how their actions spread the love. This is a great activist book for kids! This one is only available as a hardback.

Here is the description from the Amazon page:

In Vegan Is Love, author-illustrator Ruby Roth introduces young readers to veganism as a lifestyle of compassion and action. Broadening the scope of her popular first book That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, Roth illustrates how our daily choices ripple out locally and globally, conveying what we can do to protect animals, the environment, and people across the world. Roth explores the many opportunities we have to make ethical decisions: refusing products tested on or made from animals; avoiding sea parks, circuses, animal races, and zoos; choosing to buy organic food; and more. Roth’s message is direct but sensitive, bringing into sharp focus what it means to “put our love into action.” Featuring empowering back-of-the-book resources on action children can take themselves, this is the next step for adults and kids alike to create a more sustainable and compassionate world.


Our next book is “Steven the Vegan” by Dan Bodenstein. This one is all about how to explain to your friends what it means to be a vegan. And maybe a bit about how to bring them over to the Dark Side. ;) This is a really cute little book! Some of the information is a little too “kidified”. As I understand it, there’s one part about how eggs would hatch into baby chickens. Well, no. Laying hens lay eggs period. If there’s not a rooster around, she’s still going to lay eggs. I understand the point he was trying to make, but I would explain to your kiddo how that really works. I would say that this one is for K-2. This one has a Kindle and paperback version. The Kindle version is not available to borrow.


And here’s the description from Amazon (there’s a typo that I corrected):

On a field trip to a local farm sanctuary Steven’s classmates learn that he is a vegan. Steven proceeds to explain to them what that means and why animals are his friends, not his food. The story teaches children where their food comes from, and why Steven has chosen not to partake of foods that come from them. It is a lightweight tale that teaches one aspect of a vegan lifestyle, and help vegan children learn ways of explaining their lifestyle to others.


Next we have “We’re Vegan!” by Anna Bean. The reviews for this book are absolutely glowing! Preschoolers through grandparents all love “We’re Vegan!” and it’s message of compassionate living. This one is free for Kindle owners to borrow!! There is a paperback version as well as the Kindle version.


Here is the description:

Petra and John are vegans. But what does that really mean? And why are so many people going vegan? And what DO vegans eat? This book makes it all clear.
The vivid drawings and rhyming verses will delight children aged three to eight, and explain the vegan philosophy clearly to both vegans and non-vegans of all ages.
This book addresses THE social justice issue of the century: how humans treat the non-human animals that they share the planet with.

The reviews really sum it all up. Take a look!

Our final book for today is another by Ruby Roth called “V is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind“. This is an ABC book of veganism. This one says ages 3-7/grades P-2. This one is not free on Kindle, but there is a Kindle version as well as the hardback.


And the Amazon description:

Introducing three- to seven-year-olds to the “ABCs” of a compassionate lifestyle, V Is for Vegan is a must-have for vegan and vegetarian parents, teachers, and activists! Acclaimed author and artist Ruby Roth brings her characteristic insight and good humor to a controversial and challenging subject, presenting the basics of animal rights and the vegan diet in an easy-to-understand, teachable format. Through memorable rhymes and charming illustrations, Roth introduces readers to the major vegan food groups (grains, beans, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits) as well as broader concepts such as animal protection and the environment. Sure to bring about laughter and learning, V Is for Vegan will boost the confidence of vegan kids about to enter school and help adults explain their ethical worldview in a way that young children will understand. 


I hope this list of vegan education materials for kids was helpful to you! Remember, these are just some of the books that are available. Tomorrow I will bring you online resources!

Free e-books and apps for April 18th

Free e-books



Economic Survival Pantry for Beginners

Vertical Gardening: Grow Your Garden Up to Harvest Beautiful Fruits, Vegetables, and Plants in Small Spaces

The Joy Of Minimalism: How To Simplify Your Life With Less

Easy, Elegant and Adorable Easter Treats

Prepping on a Budget

C.S. Lewis: A Life Inspired





One Chance To Love

The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Skeletons in the Closet

The Tourist Trail




Never Buy Condiments Again! Deliciously Cheap Recipes and Tips for Homemade Condiments

Paleo Slow Cooker Soups and Stews: Healthy Family Gluten-Free Recipes

Rhubarb Delights Cookbook: A Collection of Rhubarb Recipes

Plant Based Dinner Recipes

Home Baked Bread: How to bake bread at home and get perfect results


Kids books


Buster’s Undersea Counting Expedition 1 to 10

Why Kimba Saved the World (Cats in the Mirror)

Treasure from the Past, Big Honey Dog Mysteries Easter Special Edition

101 Facts… STARS! Amazing Facts, Photos & Videos

Henry Burp – Mind Your Manners


Free Apps


Mini Drivers – Learn to count and recognize numbers for toddlers and preschool

Rain Sounds Relax n Sleep

Fourth Grade Learning Games Free

100 PICS Quiz