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Karin Katherine

Your family is…

Name 5 homeschool products you cannot live without.
laminator, color copy machine, Homeschool Tracker, computer, and Interactive Whiteboard

When you were little, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Be a mom and a vet

How many houses have you lived in?

Favorite Bible verse?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Are you an introvert or extrovert? How do you know?
Introvert. I refuel by being alone. I was told that is how you can tell the difference. Extroverts refuel by being around people.

What kind of homeschooler are you?

Do you have an accent?
hmmm, I don’t know. Do I?

Favorite dessert?
anything with sugar is my favorite

What are you good at?
vacation planning & organizing!

What are you horrible at?
meal planning

Reviews by Karin: Wordly Wise 3000

I first learned about Wordly Wise while I was standing in an enormous line at our state’s annual homeschool convention. I felt like I was the only one in the line not holding a Wordly Wise workbook and even worse, I had never heard of it. What kind of Review Specialist did I think I was? Out of curiosity I purchased a workbook and I’ve been hooked on the program ever since!

What is Wordly Wise?
In a nutshell it is a systematic, sequential vocabulary program that develops the critical link between vocabulary and reading comprehension. Flexible lesson plans allow for lessons to be completed in 20-25 minutes, 3-4 times per week.

In books K–1 students are introduced to vocabulary through a carefully sequenced
progression of exercises that develop sophisticated oral vocabulary. Books 2–6
incorporate the use of context clues, word study (Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes), reading comprehension, and writing. Students in grades K–6 will significantly build the vocabulary they need in order to successfully comprehend content area texts.

Why start a vocabulary program so soon?
We all know that toddlers understand more words than they can say. Children can also understand a greater vocabulary orally than they can read or spell independently.

There are 120 key vocabulary words selected for instruction in the Kindergarten book and 150 in the first grade book.

How does it work?
-Children are taught each word directly and then shown how it works in a meaningful context.

-It focuses on connections between words and concepts, as well as prior knowledge, instead of just memorization of meaning.

-Children interact with words in a variety of ways to gain fluency.

The word lists are developed by literacy experts and are age appropriate. The words are carefully chosen to be challenging but are still developmentally appropriate.

Although the program is written to be used in a traditional classroom, I find it is easily implemented in the home.

Program Components and Features:

Colorful student books provide a variety of vocabulary building activities that reinforce key vocabularly concepts.

A section called, “My Word Lists” at the back of each student book provides a place for children to collect and categorize vocabulary words they have mastered. Words can be words that were learned through stories in the book or words they already know or read elsewhere. There is also a page for them to write any words they wish.

Concept cards and picture cards help introduce key concepts and vocabulary words for each lesson and help show words in different contexts.

The Teacher’s Resource book provides lesson plans and a script for introducing each lesson and vocabulary word, as well as ideas for extending the lesson. The lesson plans are clearly outlined and easily adaptable into shorter or longer lessons. The back of the book contain reproducible black line masters that can be used for review.

At Heart of the Matter we evaluate curriculum programs in their entirety, in the manner they are developed to be used, with the understanding that each family should and will adapt them to fit their own individual needs. With the Wordly Wise program I have noticed that some homeschoolers only use the workbooks without the teacher’s guide or other supplemental materials. I really feel that all of the components are valuable to the program and should be strongly considered.

While I’m not usually a fan of “instruction scripts” in Teacher’s Guides, I gladly follow the scripts in Wordly Wise and my children are none the wiser.

Here are a few sample scripts:

Picture Card 27: decay Say: Decay means rot. You know it’s important to brush your teeth so they don’t decay, but sometimes, decaying is useful. When dead leaves and other plants decay, they turn into soil. Then new plants grow in the soil. Look at these pictures. The y show how dead leaves and grass slowly decay and become soil. Let’s say decay together.

Picture Card 29: skeleton Say: What do you see in this picture? Yes, it’s the skeleton of a dinosaur. A skeleton is made up of all the bones that support the body of a person or an animal. Let’s say skeleton together.

Wordly Wise provides vocabulary programs for grades K-12 and are available from a variety of resources, including Rainbow Resource.

K-6 program overview
Grades 6-12 program overview
K-12 Vocabulary word list

Karin Katherine is a proud stay-at-home mother of four who feels blessed to be the mother of 5 year old fraternal twin boys and two daughters, ages three and 10 months. You are invited to follow her homeschooling adventures at and her adventures as a mother, wife, homemaker, decorator and organizer at

Reviews by Karin: Sequential Spelling

The Sequential Spelling program is based upon the concept of teaching children to spell the same way many of them learned to read—through word families, or “rimes.” Although there are other spelling programs that build off of this belief one of the most important differences in the AVKO (Audio-Visual-Kinesthetic-Oral) approach is that the workbook or tests are used as the learning device and not as a method of evaluation. In using this program children will correct their own mistakes when they make them (not hours, days or weeks later), so that they can learn from them.

The 7-year program does not require students to learn spelling rules or memorize word lists. Instead, through the daily 10-minute tests the student can see and learn the patterns and proper spelling for themselves.

The multi-sensory approach allows students to:
Hear the words given by their teacher, in a sentence.
the words when the corrected spelling is shown by the teacher
Write the word family’s patterns repeatedly as different examples of the word family are given Repeat the word after the teacher.

Each level is its own individual teacher’s guide. A Student Response book may be purchased separately or students may use a ruled spiral notebook.

Please note:
The volume levels do not correlate with grade levels. Students who can read and spell at the 2nd grade level can begin using Sequential Spelling Level 1.

Homophones and heteronyms are included but are to be taught at the teacher’s discretion.

A DVD program of Sequential Spelling level 1 has been released which will allow the student to learn with minimal direction from the parent teacher. The video may be viewed on a television or computer and is comparable to the book version although with the DVD parents will not need to come up with their own word sentences to accompany to the lessons.

This is a very well thought out and researched spelling program that has proven to be especially effective with dyslexics. The Wave 3 Learning website provides a wealth of information and support for instruction.

Karin Katherine is a proud stay-at-home mother of four who feels blessed to be the mother of 5 year old fraternal twin boys and two daughters, ages three and 10 months. You are invited to follow her homeschooling adventures at and her adventures as a mother, wife, homemaker, decorator and organizer at

Yeah for Karin!!

We have a very exciting addition to the already fabulous speaker line-up of the 2009 conference … our very own Karin Katherine! As this is Karin’s very first homeschool conference speaking engagement, I hope you will join us for her session titled The Best Online Tools.

As home educators the world is literally at your fingertips. With a click of your mouse you have access to some amazing online educational resources and tools to aid you both in your teaching and homeschool organization. Many of the tools are absolutely free and a few are available for just a nominal charge. Join Heart of the Matter review specialist Karin Katherine as she shares some of her favorite online finds and a few off-line ones you should know about too!

Not only will you get to glean from the wisdom of Karin and other speakers such as Andrew Pudewa, Sonlight’s Sarita Holzmann, Linda Hobar, Workbox System creator Sue Patrick, Debbie Strayer, and more…you’ll receive more than $250 worth of freebies in your goodie bag and be entered to win some amazing prizes including a $259 Rosetta Stone software package, a complete Workbox System including shelf and boxes (value $85), and products from Lego…we have over $1200 worth of giveaways!

You can view the official conference schedule here and sign up join us here.