When (Exercise) Plans Go Awry

In This Issue: Our reading program is getting an upgrade, and this is connected to our new freebie–scroll down for details! And my exercise plans didn’t work as well as I had hoped. It’s been a mixed year.

We are also back on social media! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram, and by request, I’ve even put a couple of videos about our curricula on YouTube. Please be patient with us as we navigate these unfamiliar waters and learn new technologies.

Reading & Spelling Through Literature

Our reading program is getting an upgrade and a new name! The first book in our new Reading & Spelling Through Literature (RSTL) program is now available. The instructions have been greatly expanded to make the program easier to teach. In addition, I also added more markings to the words in the included Elson Reader to help beginning readers make the transition from reading their spelling lists to reading their stories.

RSTL will also have workbooks now! The first workbook begins with pre-writing exercises and then teaches the first 26 phonograms–the alphabet. Students have a variety of activities as they learn how to write all the letters in the alphabet and practice the sounds with phonemic awareness exercises. Workbook A also teaches CVC words and type 1 silent e words. This workbook can be used BEFORE beginning the RSTL Primer textbook. After completing it, you can move on to the RSTL Primer text and Workbook B, which will include activities for practicing the spelling words from the Primer text.

I’m working on a new sample package. Until then, you can take a look at the sample pages that I posted on Instagram and on Facebook. And we have a brand new FAQ to explain the major differences. As always, let us know if you have any questions! My assistant Beth and I are happy to help.

When (Exercise) Plans Go Awry

Aloha, y’all!

I exercised every single day for more than eight months this year.
That sounds impressive, right? So impressive that I’d love to leave it at that and close this newsletter looking AWESOME. But while the statement above is true, it’s woefully short on details.

I did an exercise reset last January by doing a 30 day yoga challenge. This is how I began exercising originally a few years ago–first with walking, then adding yoga and weight lifting.

At some point during that month, I decided to go all out and have myself a 365 day yoga challenge. I would do yoga every day for a full year. It worked quite well for a time. I worked my way up from very short sessions to sessions lasting 30 minute to an hour. It felt great!

BUT. I’m still not sure how, but I managed to hurt my back this year. So I backed off of hardcore yoga (yes, yoga can be hard core), and I didn’t touch any weights at all. My back would improve slightly, but then I’d do some push-ups or spend an insane amount of time outside weeding, and my back would get worse again.

So you see, many of my exercise days consisted of just 5-10 minutes of yoga–not pressing myself, just trying to stay limber while I healed. And finally, at the beginning of September, I stopped completely to see if that niggling pain would finally stop. (It never did.)

So I didn’t accomplish everything that I wanted to accomplish this year. I hate that.

But I did manage the big one, for eight long months: I showed up every day. I grabbed my mat, tossed it down, and moved. And I’m learning (I hope) to be gentle with myself when necessary. I’m learning (I hope) to be patient when the goal can’t be reached as quickly as I would like. And I’m learning (I really hope) to accept when it can’t be reached at all. My year of exercise did not at all as planned, and yet, as is so often the case, it’s still bearing fruit.

And although I quit partially because I felt like exercising so little was just not worth the time that it took to take out my yoga mat, here’s another thing I’ve learned since September: Even 5-10 minutes a day of light exercise can make a tremendous difference in how my body feels every day. Tiny aches and pains fade away when I make time to move a little every day.

Time to dust off that mat again. Journey before destination.

Mālama pono!

Kathy Jo


This month, we have a new freebie–Reading & Spelling Through Literature Mini-Workbook. This is a pared-down version of the new RSTL Primer Workbook A, and in addition to some pre-writing exercises, it teaches children to read and write the letters of the alphabet.

New freebies are available for one month! We also have three permanent freebies. A Walk in the Park discusses our homeschool philosophy. Daily Devotions for Kids includes four prayers for each day of the week to help children develop a habit of prayer. And the ELTL Spelling Journal will make your prepared dictations as simple as opening a book to a favorite passage.