Hooked on Pre-K Super Workbook

It’s fun enough, but you could do all of this on your own.

Lots of parents—homeschooling ones or not—like to search for workbooks and other educational materials for their children. Personally I have had the most luck at the dollar store, but we don’t really use workbooks much.

That said, when my daughter was a baby, I did purchase a Hooked on Phonics Pre-K Super Workbook through our book club, and the other day she found it. Granted, she’s a bit too old for it now, but even so, she was incredibly bored with the book. Flipping through it, it was easy to understand why.

Most of the activities were just coloring pages, while the letter identification pages where just as boring as the ones you’ll find in any classroom. Really? This was the revolutionary program I’ve heard so much about?

If you really want to spend money on workbooks, I recommend Kumon. They are much prettier as well as more fun, with games and interactive activities rather than static boring worksheets. You cut them up, make 3-D art, all kinds of things. Of course, learning without workbooks works well for us, too. My daughter likes to cut up her workbooks and make them into collages anyway, and she can do that with magazines!

An amazing read

One of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, is one that has a somewhat spiritual approach. Not a god approach or anything like that, but a strong belief that being in peace with oneself is the key to happiness. This book is called ‘The power of now’ and is aimed towards exactly what the title states. Living in the now.

According to the author of this book ‘Eckhart Tolle’, living in the now will create a more peaceful life for you. You’ll be able to more directly solve your problems and won’t be faced with the anxiety and worry of things you cannot change. The book teaches meditations and different exercises that can be used in your everyday life in order to enhance the quality of your life. The book teaches much more than I could explain, but is really a great lesson to learn. It is not a self-help book per say, it’s a book that should be read by anyone looking to find a sense of constant well-being on an everyday basis.

The great thing about this book is the ability to learn the lessons even if you don’t have time to read the entire book. The author also released a much shorter version of the book called ‘Practicing the power of now’. This short version simply contains all of the different essential teachings, meditations and exercises that are mentioned in the book. This shorter version allows for all of the change without reading information that may not be necessary. I enjoyed the book, but would recommend the shorter version for those of you who find this interesting, but don’t have the time to read a whole book. 

Top selling books

If you’re looking for a good book, it can be hard to decide which of them are worth your time and which of them will just be a complete waste of time. I decided to provide those looking for a good book with a small list of some of the top selling books. Each of these books are a must read by all serious book fans and they are all captivating.

‘The help’ which was recently made into a movie, quickly made the top seller list for the New York Times. I have yet to see the movie so I can’t say much about that, but the book was incredible. I’ve actually read it twice, and you know it’s a good book when you can go back into the story once again. From those I know who read the book and saw the movie, the movie does not compare to the book- naturally.

‘Private games’ by James Patterson is another to selling fiction story. I enjoyed this story a lot and if you’ve ever read any books by this author- you have an idea on his writing style. Also, if you’ve read some books by James Patterson and enjoyed them- this book tops all his previous stories! I also suggest ‘The wedding’, but that didn’t make the top selling list- at least yet.

The wolf gift, defending Jacob and I’ve got your number are all top sellers as well. I can see why- each of these stories were excellent and take up a much deserved space on my bookshelf. A few others I’d suggest if you’re looking for a good read include; the vow, heaven is for real and bossy pants. These 3 are all non-fiction, making the story even more interesting in my opinion. 

Help with codependency issues

I’ve noticed recently that a good amount of the books I own are considered ‘self-help’. I honestly don’t know why I tend to learn towards these books, as I have a great life and things completely under control. Yet, I find myself interested in learning more about methods other people offer to bring better things into our lives. One book I’ve picked up to recently read so that I could give others some information on it is called ‘Codependent no more’ by Melody Beattie.

Melody has a lot of really great books out there that offer real advice for different situations that you may be going through in your life. Codependent no more is a great addition to the others. The book is written for those who feel they are codependent on other people and want to break out of these habits. It is set up very similar to the ’12 Steps’ that are used in the AA or NA recovery programs.

This book offers advice, inserts and steps that you can take in order to change your life and become dependent only on yourself. If you are suffering with codependency issues, this should be your first choice self-help book. I’ve read a few others and I can honestly say that reading this book will save you a lot of time and money- while helping you to produce real results. I like the way the steps allow you to focus on each of your issues before moving onto the next. It gives you time to really evaluate your situation and decide which actions you’ll take to make some real and positive changes.

Must read: White Oleander

I’ve mentioned that White Oleander is on my list of must reads by everyone. I wanted to give a little overview of the book for those who may be interested in reading it. It is a great tale about a young girl who encounters so much in life, from the time she is with her mother until the time she is able to leave the foster system after being placed there when her mother is put in jail.

The beginning of the book gives you an idea of how Aster’s (the young girl) mother is. She is a selfish woman who begins implementing dangerous thoughts and ideas into the girls head from the beginning. She tells Aster that she is better than all and other rules for life, such as never letting a man stay the night. Aster’s mom then falls in love and is accused of killing the man she fell in love with because he didn’t love her back. She is then put in jail and Aster is placed in the foster system.

While in the foster system Aster faces many different situations that have a profound effect on her being. She is placed in a home where she is shot because of a suspected affair with the foster dad; she is later put with a depressed woman who adopted Aster so she didn’t feel so lonely when her husband goes on business trips constantly. She and Aster develop an intimate relationship and the women does to overdose on pills and die.

Aster is then placed in a group home and then with another family that is out of control. Aster is treated much like a slave, the lady sells all of her beautiful belongings and Aster starts to become a rebel. This is just the outline of a great story that I think everyone should take the time to read, as they won’t be disappointed. 

A scream goes through the house

I was packing up my books today because I’m moving and I happened to stumble upon a book I can’t believe I could have forgotten. The book is called ‘A scream goes through the house’. For those of you who have not heard of, you should definitely pick up a copy. This applies to those who appreciate art and literature and would like to learn more about it.

The book goes over a bunch of different pieces both written and drawn, painted etc. The book states on the back that it is a view on what literature teaches us about life and while reading the book you’ll find this to be quite true. A lot of the pieces within the book represent pain, error and devastation, which are a few of my favorite types of art. I feel it is through these pieces that an artist can truly express their inner most thoughts and feelings.

2 pieces of literature that were covered in the book cause my attention. The first piece is a painting called ‘The Scream’. It was painted by Edvard Munch who was an expressionist painter. This painting represents the complete frustration, anger and sorrow that could be building up inside. It shows a person at their end and the expression of some many feelings coming to the surface at once.

Another piece I enjoyed learning about is called ‘Anxiety’. It shows a person with saddened eyes standing in a crowd, yet the crowd fades behind them as they walk alone. I could relate to this piece as anxiety is a big part of my life, and it was almost as if I could feel the emotions the character in the painting was feeling.

If you’d like to learn more about the pieces of art and literature from our history and get an more in depth analysis of these pieces, pick up ‘A scream goes through the house’ and add it to your book collection. 

The heartache of Emily Dickinson

"Every piece that Dickinson wrote during her lifetime, allows you to see within her heart. "

Emily Dickinson is a favorite author of mine for a number of reasons. She writes wonderfully and also has a heartbreaking story that makes all of the pieces she wrote make perfect sense. Dickinson died in the upstairs of her parent’s after her heart was broken many years earlier. Back in those days, if your lover were to leave you it meant you were basically a waste. People did not move to the next, they were alone for life and it was very unknown of a lover leaving anyone.

Well Dickinson fell very deeply in love as was to be married to the love of her life. After much time together, her love left her for her best friend and was never heard of again. She was broken in a million pieces and developed a deep depression. She also developed an extreme anxiety that kept her locked within the upstairs of her parent’s home, ashamed to see the world.

Every piece that Dickinson wrote during her lifetime, allows you to see within her heart. She shares her sadness, her broken heart, thoughts and fears within her words. While she was alive, her parents wanted to have her work published, but it was turned away, as if it were no good. Shortly after her death, all of her work was published and she quickly become one of the most known and recognized authors to have ever lived. To this day, many read her work and she is studied within Colleges everywhere. I feel that knowing her story makes me love her even more. It allows me to take each word and experience it while reading her poems. 

Baby sleep books


If you’re a parent and your anything like me, you’ve probably read every parenting book on the market. My parenting book fetish began when my son was a just a few months old and insisted on waking up every 2 hours, every night. I was on a real journey to find a sleep plan that worked for him. Well, although I read about 7 different baby sleep books, he continued this pattern well into his toddlerhood.

One thing I noticed while reading parenting books is they seem to all contradict each other. For example, while reading baby sleep books, some of them told me that it would emotionally mess up my child to let them cry it out, while others said I would have a child with no sense of self independence if I didn’t let him cry himself to sleep at night. What’s a mom to do? I still don’t know what the right choice is, but with any self-help books in the future, I plan on choosing one author and sticking with it for my sanity.

One parenting book I came to like was Attachment Parenting by Dr. Sears. I give his wife a TON of credit. Seriously! I practiced what I could, but there was no way I could attachment parent exactly as they said I should without driving myself crazy. It was a good concept though and is a parenting book I suggest to many of my friends who are trying to decide how they’d like to parent their children. It’s worth a read and if you don’t like it, you can always go in a completely different direction and try The Ferber Method. 

Horror Stories

Books are the ultimate way to enter a different world and feel as if you are part of a story. There are so many different books available, it’s crazy. You could literally get lost in stories your entire lifetime, and still have more that are yet unread. The best part of books, is the fact that there are so many different types of stories; horror, comedy, reality, fiction.. you name it. I think every book reader has a favorite genre that they tend to lean towards when choosing a new book to read. What’s your favorite type of story?

Mine is certainly horror. My entire life, I have learned towards stories of horror. There is something just so interesting about things that are yet to be discovered, ghosts lurking in the dark or the girl who has no idea what’s waiting for her around the corner.  I love curing up in a dim lit room, lighting a few candles and letting the goose bumps form and I turn the page with excitement and a hint of fear.

I’ll pretty much read any type of horror book and if I like the authors work, I’ll order a couple more from Amazon and hope to get the same great results. I’ve read even Stephen King book, and seen all the movies, so I’ve now moved on to authors I’m not too familiar with, hoping to find a diamond in the ruff that can keep me entertained for the next couple of weeks. 

Ode to books

Booking reading is my absolute favorite pass time. Other than writing, book reading is the only other activity that I can spend the entire day doing and still as if I has a completely successful day. There is just something that comes with reading that I can’t get anywhere else. I do enjoy watching movies. However; a book is able capture me in the story, and make me feel as if I am within it.

Once I start reading a book I find it difficult to put it down. I tend to spend the day lying on the couch, flipping page after page until the story finally concludes and I can rest well knowing what happened. I remember when I was a young kid; I’d wheel my wagon all the way to the public library. When I got there I’d fill it with books to keep me occupied for the week. I’d do this every Sunday, and that’s how I spent much of my youth. I think that’s why I enjoy writing now, because I just always surrounded myself with the written word.

I think reading is important universally. I think it gives a way to take a break from the world, kind of escape. At least for me, it was nice to have something other than reality to look forward to at times. It still is nice. Like I said, quite simply, there is just nothing better in this world than the chance to sit down and read a good book.