Author Archives: Donna

Teaching Prepositions (with Facebook Live Teaching Video!)

Teaching Prepositions (with Facebook Live Teaching Video!)

My co-author and co-teacher (and amazing first born) just asked me a crucial grammar question: “How can any program not start out teaching how to find prepositional phrases and subordinate clauses?”

Of course, this led to a lengthy discussion about the two—how students can isolate these and then match up their subjects and verbs correctly; how they are crucial for sentence variety with sentence openers; and much more. (I love these discussions with my grown kids!!! 🙂 )

I touched on this in my previous blog post, “Why Teach Prepositions” that you can find here at the blog.

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Why Learn (or Teach!) Prepositions

 

Why Learn (or Teach!) Prepositions

“Prepositions show position!”

That is where I start. The very basics. Catchy. Easy to recite. Simple to remember.

From there, we branch out to the explanation: Prepositions show position of one thing to something else.

Of course, prepositions show time, space, and direction (among other things) of one thing to another thing. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

 

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Natural, No-Sugar Children’s Chewable Vitamins

Natural, No-Sugar, Children's Chewable Vitamins

Flintstone Vitamins’ cuteness, novelty, and nostalgia aside….

(Go ahead, try not to sing along with…..

“Flintstones. Meet the Flintstones.
They’re the modern stone age family.
From the town of Bedrock,
They’re a page right out of history.

When you’re with the Flintstones
Have a yabba dabba doo time.
A dabba doo time.
We’ll have a gay old time.”)

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Twice Told Tales: Story Writing Curriculum

My Meaningful Composition co-author (my oldest child Joshua) and I have been writing a novel for, um, four years now. Well, truth be told, he has been writing it for nearly twenty years as he started outlining it when he was eighteen years old. It is finished actually, but Joshua is a perfectionist (at teaching, instructional writing, lesson plan preparation, and novel writing), so it isn’t finished in his eyes. We recently got it back out, dusted it off, and dug in to find his perfect spot again (and add in more technology…do you know how much things change in our world in four years?).

 

Twice Told Tales: Story Writing Curriculum

I have written seventy-five books in the past fifteen years—averaging 800 pages a book. The first forty were completely new books, and the next thirty-five have been re-writes and new books taken out of the original forty (i.e. half of the MC lessons came out of Character Quality Language Arts, for instance). But it has been a long journey nonetheless.

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Read Aloud Time!

It’s winter! That means snuggling under a fleece, matching sweatsuits on, and reading all day. (Okay, you don’t have to do the matching sweatsuits…but trust me, your kids will remember that when they are adults….um…..I’ve been told!)

Read Aloud Time!

 

I have a lot of material at the blog about reading aloud to your kids—unit studies, morning read aloud, Bible time, story time, family read aloud, and more. We did them all…nearly every day for twenty-five years….and I wouldn’t trade those hours for anything!

 

But there are logistics…especially if you are trying to do this with a large family…multiple ages and interests, etc.

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[Product Highlight] Write On, Peter Pan!

Welcome to another product launch! We will be launching eight to ten new Book-Movie-Book writing books in the coming weeks, and I am super excited about them! They are darling (no pun intended….they are about the Darling family!); easy to use; and fun for students! We had such a great time testing these books last year—as evidenced by the amazing samples that are included in the books by our wonderful students!

Product Highlight Write On, Peter Pan! Level III

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Dividing Paragraphs

I remember writing reports in middle school. I remember enjoying the writing process—but I also remember turning in papers that were two pages long—but all one paragraph. Anybody else out there remember that?

Dividing Paragraphs

I also remember the teacher giving my paper back to me and telling me to divide it into paragraphs. What I don’t remember is any lessons on paragraphs. I think those would have come in handy! 🙂

When new students come to my writing classes, the first “writing” problem they encounter is that of paragraph breaks. And I would expect no less. Paragraph breaking is difficult. We tell them that when they change topics, they should change paragraphs—but the entire paper is about the same topic! We tell them that each paragraph should be a unit of thought—but the whole paper feels like a unit of thought to them!

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The Annotated Christmas Book List for Families

True confession: When my two oldest kids were little, I read aloud to them three to five hours every day. (Well, some of it was devotions and bedtime stories with their daddy too.) My husband worked twelve to thirteen hour days, and I had several small children.  So I read.  And read.  And read.

The Annotated Christmas Book List

Through the years, our reading time went down to two to four hours a day. And we all look back fondly on those days—even my thirty-four and thirty year olds still talk about all of that read aloud time. And how wonderful it was to have that much time to read and learn together.

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