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Newsletter – Shop Local – May 17, 2024

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Hello Book Bums families!

This week in the newsletter Dr. Christy shares how to approach tough words and make learning them fun. We've included a downloadable game for your kiddos to build and play at home.

We're also thinking about goals, entrepreneurship, and shopping local. Do you have some big or small goals that you're working towards? is an Amazon Associate; We earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on a link to and make a purchase, We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We do recommend the products. Feel free to find them by other means.

Word of the Week

vespertine (vess-per-teen) adjective/describing word - active during twilight hours, flourishing in the evening.

Moths are vespertine creatures, most active at dusk.

Literary Calendar

May 20 is Eliza Doolittle Day.
Eliza is a main character in the musical My Fair Lady, which itself comes from the play Pygmalion.
In the song "Just You Wait," there is a line declaring the twentieth of May Liza Doollittle Day. You can watch a clip below.
Learn more about the show and what it says about language and speech in this NPR article.

From our Bookshelves

Change your Paradigm

I have been listening to Change Your Paradigm, Change Your Life by Bob Proctor. I’m probably on the fourth time through. Here’s the thing: I love my life. I don’t want to change much about it. But there are some things I’d like to change. And I’m convinced that I am often the one getting in my own way. I am about twenty pounds heavier than I want to be. I am still paying for my doctorate. I’d like to make some time for more overlanding trips with my husband. And, long ago, before there was a Book Bums, we had a family meeting where we decided to forego the inground swimming pool we had excavated for so we could open up our own coffee shop that promotes literacy. Friends, I still want that pool.

I’m learning how to move forward with my life and accomplish my goals by changing my paradigm—my framework for how I behave in my world. I’m learning that it’s okay to want more. I’m learning to ask myself what I really want, and I’m believing that I can have it.

If you feel you keep getting stuck in some old grooves in your life and you want to accomplish something BIG, this might be a book for you.

Tips for Families

Childrens Entr

Did you know that every month you can find a children’s entrepreneur market not too far from our Book Bums locations in the greater Cincinnati area? There’s one in Fairfield in May, one in Cincinnati in June, another one in Fairfield in July, and one more in Green Township in August.

If you have some young people in your life who’d like to learn about entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership through experiential learning, the Children’s Entrepreneur Market, where kids “rise to the challenge of deciding what to sell, create a booth, talk to customers, and handle money” just might be a great fit.

This children’s entrepreneurial program provides video lessons, curriculum, and a blog ( that shares other kids’ experiences. The organizers make it very clear that parents are not to help at all, so kids really get to see if they have what it takes to be in business for themselves.

For more information, click here to visit the site.

Speaking of entrepreneurs, if you like shopping local, I want to share about a couple of businesses very near the Book Bums West Chester location.


First, if you have not visited Key Stop Locksmith, do yourself a favor and drop in. Get a couple extra copies of keys you’ve been meaning to have made. Though the hours are limited (Go in the morning, between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.), you’ll meet a terrific guy, Rod Herdman; and you’ll receive great service. While you’re waiting for your keys to be made, you can view lots of the museum-quality locks and keys he has on display. His collection is truly a marvel!

The address is 7860 Cincinnati-Dayton Road. It’s tucked right behind Ace Hardware. (They’re the ones who sent me to Key Stop when they couldn’t duplicate one of my keys.)

WC Meat

I also wanted to share that the former Steve’s Meats & Deli has changed ownership and names. Today, you can visit West Chester Meats and Provisions where Chef Jason Louda is enthusiastically bringing his passion for exceptional food and his commitment to preserving the rich traditions of butchery. Chef Jason served in the US Navy, and he credits that experience for his extraordinary discipline and dedication.

Chef Jason’s hope is that the community will see his shop as more than a place to pick up a sandwich and some sides (which I do), but to also shop for your family’s meat products on the regular. He’s open to ideas; so if you’ve got something in mind, run it past him. That’s a great benefit of shopping local. The owners look into your eyes, and they hear you. Stop in to say hello and ask what he’s recommending for dinner. Who isn’t looking for something different to make for dinner?

Tips for Readers and Writers

making memory cards

In this image, one of our Book Bums students is making Memory cards using the words tough, though, through, thought, thorough, and throughout. Those words are TOUGH! They all have an o-u-g-h but the sounds don’t make it easy to determine which word says what. UGH.

Here’s what we do at Book Bums: We teach our kids the word tough. We notice the spelling and try to match the sounds with the letters as we decode the word. (Why is that o in there?!)

I usually share a cheer we did when I was in high school (when there was only one Lakota, and our mascot was the Thunderbirds—T-birds for short.) We said, “T-O-UGH, Say what? Get tough!”

The word tough is the only one of the six tricksters that begins with only a t, not a t-h, so kids usually get that one fairly easily.

Next, we introduce though. It looks just like tough but it has a t-h, not just a t at the beginning. This is the trickiest word of the six, because the t-h in though makes a buzz sound, not a puff sound. Tricky.

The third word we introduce is the word through. It looks just like though except there’s an r in there. If we make the sounds in order, we’ll probably decode this one correctly. An additional hint is that there’s a hole (the o) right through the middle of the word through.

The fourth word we introduce is the word thought. Thought looks just like though, but it has a t at the end. We’re essentially teaching our students about the “dead giveaways” that indicate what each word says. We almost never do this with the explicit, systematic phonics instruction we embrace at Book Bums. We Make the Sounds We See because we know that it’s a No Guess Zone. With these words, we make the sounds while also noticing what makes one word stand apart from the others, because these look a lot alike words are ridiculous!

After we recognize that the word thought has a t at the end, we notice that the word thorough has not one but two o’s. They did a very thorough job of putting both those o’s in there. We note that though o-r usually says /or/, in this word it’s a bossy r. The o doesn’t make a sound at all.

The final word is the easiest. It’s throughout. It’s pretty easy to spot the word out at the end, and it’s also the longest word.

After making our way through these six words, noticing all there is to notice about: tough, though, thought, through, thorough, and throughout we make a Memory game by gluing two of each word onto slightly larger pieces of construction paper (so you can’t see through the paper) and we organize those cards into three columns of four.

To play Memory, students are taught how to remember where the words are once they’ve overturned them. They learn to say the words aloud, they turn them over, and then tap the overturned cards, naming the words again, to help them remember which word is where. The goal is to learn how to remember AND to decode these tough words and find the matches.

Here’s a PDF so you can print the words, make word cards, and play the Memory activity with your young readers. Remember to make it fun!

Wordology Workshop

• The Latin root vesper means evening.
• Evening prayers are often called vespers.
• You can also find it in our Word of the Week, vespertine.

Practical Grammar

aisle isle ill

The words I’ll, isle, and aisle are homophones. They are pronounced with exactly the same sounds.

I’ll is a contraction. The definition for the word contraction is to make smaller. When writing I’ll instead of I will, we eliminate two letters—the w and the i. We, indeed, made it smaller.

The word isle means island and is typically used for an especially small island.

An aisle is the walkway between seats or between shelves in a store.

Just for Fun

Here’s a fun way to remember the Great Lakes! I prefer this one to HOMES because this mnemonic device moves from west to east and places the lakes in the correct order.

Shake my hand evil octopus

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