Oct25

October 2014- When the Christian Mommy dressed her Baby as the Devil

My now 7 year old has so much of the word of God on the inside of her! So much so when I showed her the photo I dredged up from my old MySpace page of her dressed as the world’s interpretation of the DEVIL she forcefully screeched, “WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING MOM!” Oh, she was serious and she wanted answers! She wanted to know why I had her cute little face wrapped inside of a devil costume!

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I never hide anything from her! I give it to her straight in language and terms that she can understand. I always have because I don’t want her to ever feel like I have watered down information just to SAVE MY FACE!

I told her about how mommy always believed in Christ, but didn’t care much about what His word said. I explained to her that I didn’t really take time on my own to read the Bible too much or go to church. She was appalled. She had no clue and quite frankly, little Ailani was disgusted with my behavior and she held no words back, chiming in saying, “Now you should know better than that!!!!!”

I continued to explain to her that I did things just because it was ALWAYS the thing to do in my family or what I saw and that I never bothered to question it. I just did it to fit in or continue the tradition of doing what has always been done. It’s Halloween, we always got dressed up so I am supposed to dress up my baby…RIGHT?

I recalled the night distinctly. I was super tired. Ailani had no costume to wear on the night of Halloween. I went to every store and they had nothing to fit my 7-month-old girl. It was late and I decided to stop by a POP UP HALLOWEEN STORE (yup they want your money and we freely give it not knowing WHY we give it) and I found the infamous devil costume! I felt accomplished because she had a costume to greet all the Trick-Or -Treaters and it would fit her perfectly. I rushed home to get her dressed and immediately started posing for pictures. I needed the pictures to record such a tradition; after all there were photos of me during this time of year adorned in crafty costumes so I had to continue the tradition, right?

I immediately posted a picture on Facebook and my lovely Aunt Karen commented, “couldn’t you find anything else?” I immediately got offended. Didn’t she see how cute she was! Can’t she just appreciate that I continued the tradition. I’m a good mom because I rushed around and found the costume and spent 36 dollars on it just so she could have it! I was offended, thinking nothing of why the comment was made.

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Only to fast-forward 5 years later and have my little girl be completely offended for dressing her as the devil without considering what I was doing. The next year, I opted for something more pretty. I dressed my little girl and her side kick (cousin) as fairies this time feeling slightly convicted because Aunt Karen’s comment, “couldn’t you find anything else;” challenged me! It challenged me to figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I DOING? What did I rush to do? Why was I spending money to be a PART OF A TRADITION I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT? Better yet why was I giving money to POP UP HALLOWEEN SHOPS before I even started my child’s college fund or deciding to opt for life insurance. WHY?

I researched and I DID NOT LIKE WHAT I SAW! This tradition was rooted in some pretty eerie stuff and I was a “scaredy cat.” I won’t bother to rehash the details of where Halloween came from because we live in an age where information is literally at our figure tips. I challenge you to be informed. The year I dressed Lani as a fairy I wasn’t a “Holy Roller” as I know some of you call me behind my back (lol) so I wasn’t like, “JESUS said NO,” Jesus said, “NO Halloween!

I was just thinking, what and the world are we doing; does anyone else know this information?

But yet and still I dressed her a second time around because I was afraid of what people would say about me for choosing NOT to participate.

No, you won’t find any red words in the Bible where Jesus is telling the masses, “Thou shall not participate in Halloween.” So please don’t take my words as if I am saying such. I will say, go to the Word of God. If you claim to be a believer please don’t be like who I was, one who took little time to find out what the word of God said for myself. Don’t have your children participating in ANYTHING just because it’s something you’ve always done.

I had one of my 5th graders tell me about where the childhood game Ring Around the Roses came from and I was shocked. It was fun to play it. She said, “Ms. Smith (now Wilkins) I told my 3 year old brother not to sing the song or play the game because it had a negative beginning.” What I am trying to say is be educated. Be informed. Create traditions because they are unique to your family and what you believe in. If you feel convicted about ANYTHING in your life that you are participating in it may very well be worth the time for deep thought, research and most importantly prayer. If you have beliefs STAND FIRM IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE because you will be rewarded.

I am extending an invitation to my Jersey Friends and Family to come to Living Faith Christian Center October 29th- 31st for a free play for you the adults, separate age appropriate play for the 1st-6th graders and Bible Boot Camp for the PreK & K children. Everything is free and you can rest assured that they will leave more enlightened by participating in the program and with enough candy to save you a trip to the dentist. Ailani and I will be there. In fact, I will be serving with our little ones (preK and K). The address is 2323 Route 73 in Pennsauken and everything starts at 7pm.

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I welcome your questions and comments on the topic because I know it’s not easy for little ones to understand WHY everyone is a part of something that I am not. But a lesson we want our children to learn early on is to make informed decisions based on your belief system and morals not based on what looks fun or what everyone else is doing….. JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE WORLD AROUND YOU and YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO LEARN THIS CONCEPT EARLY IN LIFE.

 

Romans12:2 – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (NLT).

 

 

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Sep26

NOW- In the MOMENT- September 26, 2015

I was a bit relieved when my lovely running partner got off course this morning during our 5 mile run around the track. Because I began to talk to the birds! A surefire reason for someone to deem you as partially insane.

 

But if you know me, then you know that I am a bird watcher! I love them…

Well maybe until they try to land on me. lol

 

Sometimes I think that God made them for me! Or maybe He sends them to talk to me; to show me things. Before you click OFF this journal entry and write me off as a CRAZY CHRISTIAN just read further.

 

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

Man, look; I don’t see the birds stressing about a single thing. I wake up and they are up before me singing songs of happiness and love. I see them in flocks on lawns, fields, in trees and they are always nibbling on something. Cruising in the air watching and waiting but, knowing not where their next meal will come from, but SURE IT WILL ARRIVE! This fact, always reminds me that I am much more valuable to God then birds, if He created provision for them to always be cared for then He surely has me and my family covered because we serve Him and only Him.

I say to myself when I get stressed financially or even with something as simple as, “what am I going to cook tonight;” HE CARES ABOUT THE BIRDS DOESN’T HE! That’s just my reminder to stop tripping and just BE! Pastor Theodore Winsley reminds us that, “Being never stops!”

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Have you noticed that the birds are gathering (in Jersey) and preparing to get the HECK UP OUTTA’ HERE?

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But really, they GATHER and ORGANIZE themselves to move away to a more secure location when they know that the location they are in is:

  1. NOT FAVORABLE FOR THEM
  2. GETTING READY TO BE A TRICKY SITUATION FOR THEM TO THRIVE IN
  3. HAS CHANGED AND THEY NEED A BREAK FROM IT.

Now someone please help me figure this out; how is it that those birds naturally make those observations and instinctively adjust accordingly and we humans sometimes linger in situations, environments, relationships, careers that SUCK THE LIFE and DRIVE from our beings?

So when I see them organizing and preparing for migration it’s a call for me to check the status of things in my life. Am I letting go of things or beings no longer “serve” me? Am I still in a continual mode of education to prepare for whats to come? Am I holding grudges or false hope trying to change situations, environments, people that I don’t have the power to?

So you see, those birds STAY TALKING TO ME!

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BUT WAIT!

I was running and I saw the bird in row front of the “V” during migration fall to the back of the line. I thought, “Oh he must’ve been tripping and they said look buddy you can’t lead us anymore!” “Or maybe he (the bird) got tired and just needed a break so he let someone else lead the flock.” He didn’t QUIT. Not one of those birds was like, “AYE YO’ UMMM YOU’RE IN MY SPOT, I WAS HERE FIRST!” The sequence adjusted and no one was left behind.

NO ONE WAS LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE:

  1. the bird didn’t quit
  2. the other birds didn’t react negatively when the bird decided to fall back into someone else’s space; they shared. 
  3. it was natural for them to adjust the sequence.

These principals reminded me of life I try hard to live!

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Just mind boggling to see HUNDREDS OF BIRDS ORGANIZE themselves and prepare to head to “paradise!” I am sure that we were engrained, created with those same or similar principles.

Maybe we’ve forgotten.

Maybe we allow the word to TEACH us other principles to make us think we are surviving.

One thing I do know, there is no such thing as unlearning what you’ve been created to do or be. We just have to slow down to figure it out.

 

OR JUST TALK TO THE BIRDS LIKE ME! 

 

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~Sherrie Yvette

Please share this journal entry if you found it useful, remotely entertaining, or just to spread the news that the lady talking to the birds on occasion is NOT really crazy. Order Selah, Stop & Think, my book which is really an extension of my purpose here in the Earth. I don’t seek to gain wealth from book sales. I’ve put it together because the contents help me navigate life. It doubles as a personal journal and there’s a book chat coming up via conference call. Head to my homepage, make the purchase, make the investment, prepare for change, prepare to thrive!

 

“WE ARE MORE ALIKE THAN WE ARE DIFFERENT.” ~ Sherrie Yvette Wilkins 

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Sep16

PREPARING TO BE A HELPMEET- reflection from June 18, 2013

PROVERBS REMINDS US THAT, “You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.”  WE SHOULD ALL HAVE THAT ONE FRIEND THAT NOT ONLY HAS YOUR BACK BUT HELPS YOU STAY AT THE TOP OF YOUR “GAME” OR PUSHES YOU CLOSER TO GOD.  MY FRIEND CRYSTAL IS THAT FOR ME! SHE KNEW I WAS DATING AND HAD THE GOOGLY EYES FOR MY NOW HUSBAND THEREFORE, SHE SENT ME THE BOOK PREPARING TO BE A HELPMEET BY DEBI PEARL VIA MAIL FROM AMAZON.

 

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NOT ONLY DID SHE BUY IT FOR ME, BUT WE READ IT AT THE SAME PACE AND CALLED EACH OTHER WEEKLY TO DISCUSS THE CONTENT. I WAS BLESSED ON SO MANY LEVELS BY THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK AND OUR DISCUSSIONS. I REFER BACK TO THE BOOK OFTEN NOW THAT I AM MARRIED AND I LOVE STUMBLING UPON MY JOURNAL REFLECTIONS LIKE THE ONE BELOW.  THIS CHAPTER HAD US REALLY DIG DEEP ABOUT HOW WE VIEWED OUR PARENTS AND OUR INTERACTIONS WITH THEM. LOOKING BACK 2 YEARS LATER THIS BOOK NOT ONLY HELPED ME PREPARE FOR MARRIAGE BUT, BEGIN TO RESHAPE MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY MOTHER.

 

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OK. OK. HERE IS THE ENTRY FROM 2013…

 

 

AFTER READING PREPARING TO BE A HELPMEET PAGE 190

I’m committed! I’m committed to being committed to God’s design for marriage!

I will reverence my husband! Today I vow to show more honor towards my biological father by heeding his advice and stopping the thoughts that I know better than him, he is a wise man!

I vow in this day to stay clear of behavior, words, actions, looks that make my mother feel less than a mother. I will even cast down those thoughts that may lead to such! I will try to see her as Abba sees her.

I don’t want to take these dishonorable behaviors into marriage to only unknowingly transfer them to my husband.

I will honor him because Abba says so. I won’t do it begrudgingly, but joyfully knowing that I am being a “good girl.”

Even when I think I’m right or have a better idea. I will respect his authority in my life.

I will be submissive just as he is submissive to Christ.

 

 

 

*HOPING THAT YOU HAVE YOUR COPY OF SELAH, STOP & THINK FOR THE UPCOMING BOOK TALK VIA CONFERENCE CALL THIS FALL! RETURN THE THE HOMEPAGE AND PLACE YOUR ORDER. IT’S ALSO AVAILABLE FOR ALL OF YOUR E-READERS (iPads, Kindle, Nooks) TOO!

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Sep12

September 14th 2014- LAST YEAR’S BIRTHDAY JOURNAL ENTRY

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Today is my Birthday. I’m not going to worry about single thing or person. As I cracked my eyes open for the 3rd time this morning (the birthday text woke me up first, Lovely Dione woke me up second to serenade me with the tune of Happy Birthday and the 3rd….) the Holy Spirit said, Psalms 23:5. I had no idea what it said so I went there and it reads, You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭5-6‬ NLT).

HALLELUJAH; (what a way to wish me a Happy Birthday Abba).

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So look, I’m not spending any more years of my life worrying about a single person or a thing. I’ve learned that Abba has me and them covered (if they allow him). Therefore, if one wants to not be supportive or excited for me, throw shade, block me, ignore my calls, text, my acts of love, and attempts to maintain peace than so be it.

There’s several things I’ve learned in my now 32 years of life and I’m thankful for all the lessons and the people and yes situations that taught me them. But I’ve learned myself! I love her! I know that she’s an amazing WOMAN who cares about EVERYONE, is very SELFLESS and never does anything to seek to hurt others (grown girls<women) therefore, if one can’t see such then I’ve got to fall back and continue to be fabulous. There’s a future riding on my fabulousness! 💁

32 years in the Earth have shown me many things. Many things that make me want to work feverishly for the Kingdom of God.

I’m excited for what’s to come. There’s so much I know my eyes have not seen, my ears have not heard. I’m certain my Heavenly Father has so much in store for me because I love Him.

 

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I GUESS THAT YOU FIGURED THAT I AM 33 ON 9-14-15! HOPING THAT YOU WILL TAKE SOME TIME TODAY AND SPEND A SMALL AMOUNT TO PURCHASE A COPY OF MY BOOK. THANKS FOR READING. USE THE SHARE BUTTONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ENTRY TO SHARE THIS WITH OUR FRIENDS.

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Aug31

New Poem- August 31st, 2015

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I DON’T DESERVE THE FAIRY TALE

by Sherrie Yvette

 

So you see,

I don’t deserve the fairytale.

Because fairytales have a happy ending and I’ve lived long enough to know that happiness is only temporary

I don’t want my relationship to end when the happiness subsides.

 

So you see,

I don’t deserve the fairytale.

 

To many Sistas got it twisted looking at me thinking that my relationship is only blissful,

but I’ve said I’m sorry to him more times than I can count.

 

 

So you see,

This is not a fairy tale.

 

In the fairytales there are only passionate I love you’s

 

And the bad guys and girls are only known as the Villians.

 

They don’t show you what happens when his Queen gets in her stank attitudes and in stuck all up in her feelings.

 

So you see,

I don’t deserve the fairytale.

 

My man looks like me.

His skin is brown and sun kissed so eloquently

And the authors of those fairytales don’t think that someone that looks like HE deserves to be the prince in those tales.

 

So you see,

I don’t want the fairytale.

 

But when the beast comes after me, there’s no chase or weaponry for you to see instead my man takes my hand and bends on one knee and prays for me endlessly.

 

So you see,

I don’t deserve the fairytale.

 

I am not always dolled up and he doesn’t expect for me to be and when I tell him how much my heart bleeds from past scenes that sometimes haunt me he pulls me close and sweetly calls me his queen.

 

 

So you see,

I don’t fit the fairytale.

 

My man is who God has for me and fairytales are sagas that only little girls dream to be.

So Sistas’ please heed me,

What God has for you is uniquely for you.

Don’t strive for the fictitious fairytale.

 

 

*Take some time to Selah (stop & think) with Me. Order my journal and begin to journal your thoughts, prayers, poetry, scriptures, memories. The journal is signed by me if you order directly from my website! Begin to write until your heart is content.

 

 

*SNAPCHAT @sherrieyvettte you can hear my poetry there too

 

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Aug6

What I Managed to Overcome this Year- by my 5th grade baby whom I’ll call The Stylish Chica

THE MENTAL & SPIRITUAL WELL BEING OF ANY CHILD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE THAT I CAN EVER TRANSFER TO HIM OR HER!  SO EACH DAY IN MY CLASSROOM STARTS WITH A MORNING MEETING WHICH INCLUDES A CIRCLE OF POWER AND RESPECT. WE SIMPLY EMPOWER ONE ANOTHER WITH OUR WORDS WHICH EQUATES TO POWER. BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR THE STUDENTS WHERE ASKED TO RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION, “What have you managed to overcome this school year?” BELOW IS AN UNEDITED STUDENT RESPONSE. I HAVE SHARED THESE RESPONSES WITH THEIR PERMISSION.

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This year I managed to overcome being called mean and rude names:( Also, I overcame being shy, I still am shy and I overcame that a tiny bit. When I was called fat, I was so upset and not jubilant at all 🙁 Even though people call me those rude mean names I tried to hold on and be strong. Someday, I won’t be strong enough to hold all those negative names in and I’m just going to burst.

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People always try to help me but it doesn’t block out al of the tings I’ve been called! But, Mrs. Wilkins told me to always hold your head up high and don’t listen to them. That sort of helped but the fact that my cousin called me Peter Griffin (because I have a butt chin) really hurt me; also this guy said that I have sausage fingers. But at the end of the day I’m still me and no one can change that.

 

I don’t are what people think of me, even though it hurt me, I need to know that those things aren’t true. But people are always mean to me. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been born because of everything people said to me. I always hesitate to say something back but instead I just look away and start tearing up. But, Mrs. Wilkins also told me, “those things never matter and you are you always be yourself.”

 

Every time I get called a name I always try to make it positive not negative and sometimes what they say is hard to forget and I can never make it positive only once I said, “**** you’re not this and you’re not that” I can never hold my heard up high though. I’ve changed this year because I use to run away and cry and tattle on them but now I just try to get rid of all the negative things and sometimes I KEEP the positive things and agree with what the other person said.

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MY RESPONSE TO HER:

Girrrrrl… YOU ARE AMAZING. VERY STYLISH AND A GREAT FRIEND. YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE HATERS, JUST KEEP LOVING!

 

 

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Aug4

What I Managed This Year- by my 5th grade baby whom I’ll call the Artist

FOR ME EDUCATING THE WHOLE CHILD IS IMPORTANT. ACTUALLY THEIR MENTAL & SPIRITUAL WELL BEING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ACADEMICS TO ME. SO EACH DAY IN MY CLASSROOM STARTS WITH A MORNING MEETING WHICH INCLUDES A CIRCLE OF POWER AND RESPECT.  WE SIMPLY EMPOWER ONE ANOTHER! WE EDUCATE EACH OTHER WHICH EQUATES TO POWER. BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR THE STUDENTS WHERE ASKED TO RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION, “What have you managed to overcome this school year?”  BELOW IS AN UNEDITED STUDENT RESPONSE. I HAVE SHARED THESE RESPONSES WITH THEIR PERMISSION.

11168454_10153028659708283_624218615024194512_nCreated for me by the Artist!

 

This year I managed to overcome all the negative comments people have made about me.  People used to call my pictures ugly, and that I needed drawing lessons or that I, myself was ugly.  But I have learned from my teacher, Mrs. Wilkins, that I can stick up for myself.  Mrs. Wilkins taught me a hodgepodge of solutions I can do to stick up for myself.  But when I tried them out, everything changed.

 

Everyone stop bullying me, I was free from all the negative people.  I have learned this school year that I can choose whether or not I want the bullying to stop or stay haunting me.  But I choose to put an end to all of this!  No one should be treated the way I was treated!  There may be bad people in the world, but don’t let that get you down!  Take the negative and make it into something positive!  And with Mrs. Wilkins help, I managed to overcome everything that was negative.  Before, I would hesitate to say what was on my mind because I thought that the bullies would throw a punch at me.  But now I can tell those bullies what’s on my mind without having to hesitate.

 

I will never forget every single circle of power and respects we had just to get me to this point.  Thank you for teaching me that I can stick up for myself without having to hesitate.  Thank you Mrs. Wilkins and I will never forget all of the advice you would give us.  I will always remember you! Even in the darkest of times, Thank you.

 

MY NOTES TO HER:

THIS MADE ME CRY!  YOU WERE LISTENING AND LEARNING.  ALWAYS STAND UP FOR YOURSELF SWEETIE!  <3 YOU! 

 

 

 

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BEGIN TO WRITE YOUR CHALLENGES & START THE PROCESS OF HEALING TODAY. ORDER YOUR COPY OF SELAH STOP AND THINK. IT DOUBLES AS A PERSONAL JOURNAL AS WELL; A CATALYST TO BEGIN TO SEE CHANGE AS A FEASIBLE NECESSITY!

~Sherrie

 

 

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Jul29

July 29, 2015, AHORA, My last “SUMMER HOMESCHOOL” ENTRY for now

Gr8….

Wanna….

Wuzup….

LOL…

OMW…

OMG…

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So we think this is only text talk? WRONG. I cringe when some of my students turn in published or finished assignments using this language. Some don’t quite delineate the difference in between texting and submitting written communication in an official or NORMAL manner.  So with that said, would you believe that weekly spelling test are FROWNED upon in the school setting.

 

Yup, weekly spelling test are past practice that research says cause stress, anxiety and really don’t assist with really mastering literacy concepts that are crucial to developing a child who spells well.

WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT THIS?

I agree.

I don’t like the idea of giving a predictable spelling test. One that requires the teacher giving new words at the beginning of the week or month and then expecting the children to MEMORIZE the correct spelling of the words. That approach is TORTURE! UGH!

If one of my students were reading this they would say, “Mrs. Wilkins why do you give them to us then?”

 

I think spelling test are necessary only as a means of assessing prior knowledge and progress, but should not be routine.  For an example, at the start of “summer home school” with my little girl I gave her spelling test using the 4th grade No Excuse Words (she’s reading at a 4th grade level although she is entering 2nd grade) composed by Pemberton Township School District (the district where I teach and she attends school).  I gave her the test as a preassessment to determine which word patterns, root words, prefixes and suffixes gave her the most trouble. Using the spelling test allows me to plan mini lessons based upon the word patterns she needs to practice.

I have seen success in my teaching career by focusing my instruction on root/base words, prefixes and suffixes.  I also check spelling regularly when students turn in work or during what we call Writer’s Workshop (literacy block where the teacher presents a 10 minute mini lesson and the students spend the time applying the skill by writing a piece of their choice usually within a genre selected by the teacher).

Those of you who have been following these journal entries may have heard me mention the No Excuse Words.  The No Excuse Words are a list of words composed by the curriculum department in the district where I teach.  I do like the idea of having these words.  They are broken down by grade level (k-6) and simply are what the title of the list says, No Excuse Words.  These are words that each student should be able to read and spell before entering the next grade level.

 

When I begin the school year I test the children starting at the beginning.  YES I DO TEST 5th GRADERS USING KINDERGARTEN WORDS.  Do you want to know why? Because the way the public school system is set up, I have students entering the 5th grade sometimes reading at the 1st grade reading level. Am I exaggerating, ABSOLUTELY NOT.  So I preassess ALL students using this list and then differentiate instruction based upon individual needs of each child. I DO NOT HOLD WEEKLY SPELLING TEST. I have them as needed for assessment purposes to see which word patterns need to be addressed for mastery.  I monitor spelling by viewing each student’s writing on a regular basis. Less stress!  WEEKLY SPELLING TEST ARE LIKE “ahHA I got ya’; you didn’t study hard enough!”  With my experience I understand that thats NOT the case in most occasions.

 

DO YOU WANT TO HAVE THIS NO EXCUSE WORD LIST? If so, please email me the grade levels you are interested in having and I will email you those particular list.  Just as long as you promise me NOT to give your child weekly spelling test or make him or her write these words 3 TIMES EACH!  WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THIS LIST?

 

Here’s what I’ve done at home and in the classroom:

 

*Rainbow Write– write each letter of the word in a different color.

*Word Wall– exactly as it sounds; place the words your child struggles with on a wall in alphabetically order, preferably where your child does homework or plays.

*Play– ZAP (refer to this journal entry http://wp.me/p50t6c-hg )

*Jokes– pick 10 words and use them to write knock,knock, jokes.

*Voice Notes– record you or your child reading and spelling or maybe even RAPPING the correct spelling of the words.

*Cartoons– get creative and turn the words into cartoon drawings.

*P.I.N.S.- buy yourself some Post it Notes and stick these bad boys around your house in the most uncommon areas. Seeing them regularly is important.

*Choral reading– read aloud with your child reading at the same time. Then go on a word hunt for the words on the No Excuse Word list.

*Word Searches– create homemade word searches using these words. There are tons of websites that will do this for you, just do a Google search. My girl LOVES these things!

 

AGAIN, I LOVE THIS. MY MIND JUST INSTANTLY CREATES ACTIVITIES! If you would like activities specific to your child’s ability and reading level please email me.

 

WANT THE NO EXCUSE WORD LIST? Email sherrieyvette@outlook.com

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Jul23

July 23, 2013- Sharing these strategies TODAY spiked my baby fever temperature

When you are 2 you really don’t want to be lectured and you definitely do not have the attention span to sit through a mini lesson that your mom decided to put together all because your buddies are talking and complete sentences and you’re still talking that baby talk which she thought was cute when you first began it.

 

If you’re 5, chances are you have discovered a love for the iPad or video games and reading a book, which requires you to flip the pages, really seems less appealing than your touchscreen whatever!

 

As a teen, you’re like, “Bruh, I texted for 20 minutes; can’t that time count for tonight’s 20 minute reading assignment!”

 

So sometimes your kids maybe like, “Look mom, I’m not about that life!” But that doesn’t take away your need to want to have them be at the top of their class. No one wants to attend a parent teacher conference in the 3rd marking period or semester and find out that their child has fallen behind their peers.

 

This JOURNAL ENTRY WILL INCLUDE PRACTICAL WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME A LITERACY RICH ENVIORNMENT.

 

My little girl is 7 years old and is excited about entering the second grade. I am proud of her. I am thankful that she has always been very eager to learn and as her parents, her father and I have ALWAYS BEEN EAGER TO TEACH HER! As a result, she is reading at a fourth grade reading level and mathematically she has a strong set of skills and understands numerical concepts that aren’t taught until the 3rd grade (I can’t take credit for that). I was super shocked when she said she wanted to learn to divide this summer. As my first and only child so far she is not just my pride and joy but my guinea pig, therefore, I will be referring to our experiences throughout this entry.

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Some of you are probably thinking, “Well it’s a no brainer you were trained to be a teacher; I can’t accomplish this!” Purposely making your home a literacy-enriched place will make a world of difference. Here are some strategies I know to be effective, fun and low maintenance yet HIGH IMPACT:

 

* Forgo your typical radio stations and POP IN AN EDCUATIONAL CD. Going back to work after delivery was a nightmare for several reasons. One being that my baby HATED THE CAR SEAT. I tried driving and holding her hand, pulling over, the cute little mirrors, screaming, “Mommy’s here, I am right here baby!” She would just scream louder than me. I decided to pull out some old CD’s from my preschool teacher days and WaaaLA! The crying stopped instantly. She was tuned in the entire car ride for EVERY CAR RIDE. She was soaking in each word, rhyme, rhythm and beat! When she started to talk the singing and dancing was so cute! When I started teaching her to read at 14 months the concepts and skills taught through the musical sounds and lyrics in the songs had done their job. Now, if you are thinking, “look we like a certain type of music.” GET OVER YOURSELF! You will soon have your favorites and will be listening and dancing when your child is not in the car. LOL TRUST ME. I am so thrilled because my little girl is now in the process of PRODUCING HER OWN ALBUM of this nature with my husband. You all better download or buy it when it’s available but in the meantime, here are our favorites:

Dr. Jean and Friends

Jack Hartman Hip Hop Bop 2

Raffi Singable Songs for the very young

More Reggae for Kids

51uWcK-7RhL._SX300_142761D7oTgEa3LMore-Reggae-For-Kids

 

* LEARN AND TEACH AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE. No I am not fluent in sign language but, I can’t stand WHINING AND CRYING it drives me insane. Therefore, I needed my child to be able to communicate her needs to me before she knew how to talk. When I was a student teacher the mentor teacher taught the 1st graders sign language to help with the memorization of their sight words. BRILLIANT! I knew I wanted to do this with my little girl and I started early because the guessing whether she wanted milk, or did not want any more peas or sweet potatoes wasn’t something I liked to do. At 6 months I started teaching her simple signs such as milk, all done, eat, more, sit down, stop talking, etc. The list grew as she got older. I will not tell a lie. Within a month my Faith was signing to me. The key is to introduce one sign at a time and use it often. Repetition is important. I also went to my town’s library and checked out books specifically for babies that had the pictures with signs and read then practiced them often. I also told her caregivers that we were working on sign language so that they could reinforce these skills too. Do you want to know something even more astonishing? When my nephew was in my care at 3 months I started signing with him and that little man was signing milk to me within 2 months time! LOL I was stoked and shocked! Now at 3 he is really so intuitive and it’s no surprise to me anymore. Teaching sign language can help with communication skills and memorization of sight or vocabulary words when it’s time. Imagine the feeling of your child meeting someone who uses this form of communication and being able to say something to him or her.

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My nephew, Jordyn signing (love, more, all done).

 

* PLACE FLASH CARD IN ODD PLACES. Once Ailani learned that print corresponded to spoken language I began to place simple sight words around the house. For instance, I’d place the words I and THE, A on the back of the bathroom door and practice while she was in the bathtub. I taped LIKE, IT, WE to her dresser drawer and we’d practice before prayer or while getting dress in the morning. This type of practice doesn’t force your child to sit still for a long drawn out lesson but, the repetition and seeing them daily helps commit them to memory. Start with small words. I do have a list of sight words (what my school district calls No Excuse Words which I will highlight in my next entry) for each grade level; please email me if you are interested in having that list. You could also label items in your child’s room just as they do in the preschool setting (bed, window, shelf, etc.). Invest in a pack of what I like to call P.I.N.S (Post It Notes) and get this started TODAY.

 

* PLAY ZAP. What is that? Well ask anyone who knows Ailani, they’ll be able to tell you! She became OBSESSED with it and challenged everyone who entered our home to a game of Zap. Super easy to make using items around your home (see photos); coffee can, popsicle sticks or plastic utensils, vocabulary/sight words, letters sounds, etc. of your choice. Once you write all the words or letters on the sticks or the ends of the plastic silverware place them in the can with a few that say ZAP, GIVE ONE AWAY and SKIP A TURN. Take turns drawing a stick. If someone draws the ZAP stick he or she must put all the sticks back into the can.   If the word or letter is read incorrectly your child must put the word back in the can BUT BE SURE TO TELL HIM OR HER WHAT IT SAYS SO THAT THE NEXT TIME AROUND HE OR SHE WILL BE ABLE TO READ IT WITHOUT FEELING DISCOURAGED (please note that sight words are words that are NOT easy to sound out thus them being called sight words). The repetition will have your child reading those sight words or recognizing letters and letter sounds in no time. This past school year, Ailani’s amazing 1st grade teacher allowed her to partner with her kindergarten teacher. She would go read to the students and I sent the ZAP game with her to play with the kindergarten students. I passed the game on to the teacher for those students. You must make this game and pass it on when you are done!

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* WRITE LOVE NOTES TO YOUR SWEETIE. Invest in a journal (my book, Selah Stop & Think doubles as a journals order your copy today) or a simply composition book and begin write to your child. This is a great idea to keep the lines of communication open as he or she grows. If your child is a techy, open up a special email account just for the two of you to correspond with one another. I like the idea of writing because then you really get to tap into grammar, spelling, and handwriting all those components that we teachers call conventions. If you do this don’t go over board with corrections. Maybe choose one skill a month to focus on (starting sentences with uppercase letters, periods at the end of sentences). If your child can’t write, start with him or her drawing a picture and then you scribing a caption. This process builds so many concepts about literacy, such as the fact that spoken language corresponds to print, we read and write from left to right, we turn pages right to left, etc. These are all important concepts that must be understood and believe it our not these are things your child’s teacher will look for upon entering a school setting.

 

Again, I LOVE THIS I can go on and on. These are just 5 of my favorite ways that stuck out in my memory that had a lasting impact on my little Faith. Try having some enthusiasm about this process because then your child will too. If you would like more tips specific to your child’s personalities, struggles, age, etc. please email me, Sherrie at sherrieyvette@outlook.com. Share what you have found success with using the comment section in this post.

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Jul21

July 21, 2015 Today I am sharing the links for FREEBIES for READING

I have met children who absolutely will avoid reading at all cost. They’d fail an entire test simply because they did not want to read the passage to go along with it. When I was a novice teacher this behavior use to baffle me. But, I now like to think I am seasoned enough to know better.

Most times those children have not had many enjoyable experiences associated with reading. I just wish and pray for those parents of struggling readers to take a book of their child’s choice and read it to him or her. Even if they have reached their teen years. It’s what I use to do with my brother when I would visit when I came home from college and later in life when he was in my care as a teen. We would read the chapter books together. He would read a page or up until I saw that he was losing comprehension and then I would read several pages stopping periodically to ask questions and make inferences (use what we have read to come to conclusions).

At first he hated it!

He had great reason to dislike the experience because reading was not his strong suit. But eventually, it became a relief to him because he knew that I wasn’t going to make him read the bulk of the material and it became a time for us to bond.

I enjoyed it.

It was time for us to talk to one another! We began to bond over books. He’s almost 18 now so getting a chapter book and having him read it maybe a little far fetched but, purchasing that new grill and handing him the instructions is now a subtle way for us to spend time together; still reading and incorporating something he’s good at, which is creating and building things.

What I am really trying to say is that it is important to create enjoyable experiences associated with reading. It should never be seen as a chore or something that your child is FORCED to learn to do, which is why I said in the previous journal entry that if your young (not school age) child bolts out of the room after the 2nd sentence or flash card DO NOT FORCE HIM OR HER TO SIT STILL FOR A READING LESSON OR STORY. Experiences associated with reading should be pleasant.

So this week before accessing these SUMMER READING FREEBIES, really sit down and discover creative ways to engage your child. DO NOT PRINT THESE OUT AND HAND THEM TO YOUR CHILD AND SAY HERE I WANT YOU TO READ AND THEN FILL THESE OUT.

Step outside of your comfort zone, get on your child’s level, do some research, discover your child’s interest (they change) and make reading this summer memorable in your home. For some of your children you will have to get really sneaky, or tap into their competitive side.

So does this mean work for you; yes! But here are a few tips that helped me build a strong reader who always has a book in her hand without me having to ask:

 

*SET CLEAR ROUTINES. I started when Faith was a baby; dinner time – bath – story time – family prayer – bed time.  The routine has never changed.  With this foundation being set she has always expected us to read together and now associates reading with pleasure and one on one time with Mama. This routine has really developed a lifetime love of reading.

 

*ALLOW CHOICE. Choosing the genre or story for your child can cause issues. A lot of time at school the reading material is selected for him or her. If your story time is around bed time and you are SUPER tired. Pre-select 3 short choices and have your child choose from the 3. That’s the sneaky way to make them feel like they are in charge of the selections but, you’ve really already limited the choices (this concept works for many other areas when dealing with children and eliminates unnecessary battles if you do it often).

 

* CHORAL READ WITH YOUR CHILD. Choral reading requires you to read a sentence and then your child repeats the sentence after you. If your child can read just a bit but stumbles over some words you two read the sentences together at the same pace.  This process builds confidence and familiarity with sight words and vocabulary.

 

*PARTNER READING can really be a time for developing a stronger relationship with your child, especially when choosing a chapter book. But please beware! Choose a book at your child’s reading level or else you risk them becoming discouraged and not wanting to be a part of this activity at all. With the insane amount of testing in schools today, your child’s teacher can provide you with his or her reading level then you can search out books that are at your child’s level. Partner reading requires you to take turns reading aloud with your child.  Here is my go to site to find the levels of books. www.arbookfind.com

 

*WATCH THE CARTOON OR MOVIE FIRST and then read the books. This is a great way to hook a young child or one who doesn’t like to read.

 

*TAKE A BREAK FROM BOOKS. Choose to read the newspaper (comics), magazines (there are subscriptions that you can order specifically for children or have them sent directly to your eReader), grocery circulars, maps of local amusement parks, etc. This is where you will have to tap into your child’s interest. If your child struggles, whipping out a book can bring anxiety.

 

Quit honestly, I LOVE THIS! I can go on and on with ideas. But these are just a few that I have found success with over the years. If you would like more tips specific to your child’s personalities, struggles, age, etc. please email me, Sherrie at sherrieyvette@outlook.com

 

Share what you have found success with using the comment section in this post.

 

 

HERE ARE THE LINKS AS PROMISED! Print the reading logs and show them to your child and this may create a sense of excitement on it’s on.

 

 

TD BANK- free saving account with cash balance

http://www.tdbank.com/summerreading/

BARNES & NOBLES- free book of choice 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570/

HALF PRICE BOOKS- Bookworm Bucks (must go into store to cash them in)

https://www.hpb.com/fyb/

BURLINGTON COUNTY LIBRARY- this is the local library in my area; Google your county library they all have summer reading programs with incentives 

http://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/calendar/summer-reading-weekend-kickoff

http://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/unmask

CHUCK E CHEESE- free tokens

http://www.chuckecheese.com/_content_assets/files/images/calendars/2015/ReadingRewards_RC_1214.pdf

BOOK ADVENTURE- create an account and earn prizes for reading success 

http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx

SCHOLASTICS- log the minutes your child has read and win prizes

http://www.scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2015

BOOKWORM CINEMAS- free movie entry on Wed. with a book report.  I wish this was in my state but it’s not. Check the list to see if it’s available for your family. 

https://www.showcasecinemas.com/programs/kids-and-families/bookwormwed2015

 

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