You know how teenagers gush about Justin Beiber? well I gush about TED. He’s not a good looking celebrity but a website that curates some great talks about Ideas Worth Sharing. Sometimes the sheer wonder of the internet and all the possibilities it opens to us HS parents boggles me. One of my favourite websites is TED Talks. The spin off TED-Ed is just as inspiring. If you have not yet checked them out, you should. NOW.

TED Talks rawk my world.

Great talks to stir your curiosity. Browse by subject, length, or rating (inspiring, jaw-dropping, funny…)


And TED-Ed is even better.

Use engaging videos to create customized lessons.
You can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube.


I wrote this long and emotional post but it seems to have disappeared so I’m going to take that as a sign from the Universe that it was inappropriate. So instead, here are a couple of links that have been extremely helpful with helping Bern to finally figure out the magic of reading.

Letters and Sounds

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

It has a a complete sent of free downloadable reading aids which I think is excellent.

CeeBeeBies Fun With Phonics

Through a mixture of lively, colourful and entertaining sequences, Fun with Phonics introduces its very young audience to the 42 most common sounds that provide a foundation to literacy.

Each programme celebrates new sounds and is devoted to an individual phoneme (or sound). Children have to learn all of these 42 initial phonemes.

Individual phonics are brought to life through inventive animations and vibrant graphic characters, as viewers are invited to read with Whirlyword and spell with Pollyphonic. They can also extend vocabulary and increase familiarity with each sound, through stories, poems, games and documentary inserts featured throughout the series.

Parents can watch Fun with Phonics with their children to help them build their vocabulary, learn new sounds and practise using them to read and write.

The educational value of the show

Fun With Phonics helps children to:

  • Learn the 42 most common phonemes (sounds) that provide a foundation to literacy.
  • Increase their familiarity with each phoneme – through stories, poems and games featured in the programme.
  • Have fun experimenting with sounds and words – and, in doing so, enjoy the process of learning to read

I’m very pleased to say the days of watching my son struggle; nights of wishing I could somehow fight that battle for him, those days are on the way out.