Tag Archives: homeschooling

A Writing Tip for Eleventh Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year: Eleventh Grade

Eleventh Grade: Guide your student in editing his papers.

Editing papers is one of many students’ most hated tasks. However, if our kids are guided in how to do this from the early grades, it will not feel so overwhelming to them. This post has suggestions for teaching the high schooler (and junior high student) editing tricks that they can use right away…

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A Writing Tip for Every Year: Ninth Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year: Ninth Grade

Ninth Grade: Teach pre-writing skills that are needed for the type of writing your student is doing.

Besides the aforementioned “writing idea” problem we sometimes create when we do not direct our students in their writing, another difficulty is that of not equipping the student with the skills necessary in order to write what we are asking him to write. It is so difficult for a student to complete a project if he has not been given/taught the skills that are needed in order to write that project well.

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A Writing Tip for Ninth Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year: Ninth Grade

Ninth Grade: Teach pre-writing skills that are needed for the type of writing your student is doing.

I cringe when I see a writing project that requires various skills without the lessons on those skills as well. (Check out our Meaningful Composition samples to see how skills should be taught with every writing lesson, especially involved skills such as quotations, dialogue, scene setting, researching, and citing sources.) This next tips explains this more fully…. Read more →

A Writing Tip for Seventh Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year - Seventh Grade

Seventh Grade: Teach your student to apply his grammar learning to writing.

While my students often groan when they are told to mark the Checklist Challenge for that week’s homework assignment, they know (and I know) that it really does help. A student just told me this week that her sister had her scan and email her a copy of her Checklist Challenge to use in college—because she had used our CC for every writing project and knew how helpful it can be in revising writing…..

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A Writing Tip for Sixth Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year: Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade: Use good writing models for your student to write from.


Using good writing models for students is an outstanding teaching tool—as long as you do not use given source writing only. Students need to use a model to write from, then write that same type of writing themselves. This week’s tip focuses on how I do that with my students….


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A Writing Tip For Every Year: Third Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year: Third Grade

Third Grade: Use a Question and Answer Template to teach this age group how to write a paragraph.

One of the biggest obstacles facing young writers is that we often do not teach them how to write. We have writing idea books galore. We study a topic in social studies or literature, and we tell our student to “write about it.” Even when we give a topic (“Write a paragraph about your dog”), a third grade student (okay, third grade boy!) will often say, “I don’t know what to write.”


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A Writing Tip for Every Year: Second Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year: Second Grade

Second Grade: Pen for your student for as long as necessary.

Children often think they cannot write because they do not have the penning skills to compose sentences or paragraphs or the spelling skills to spell the words they want to use. Right off the bat, the young child grows to dislike writing. He feels inadequate (and thus, the many “I don’t know how to write” or “I’m bad at writing” mentalities of this age group).


Usually a child’s creativity and thinking processes are way above their small motor and spelling skills. That is, a child can think (and orally compose) way above what he can write (spelling-wise and writing mechanics-wise) or spell (encoding; just because a child can “decode”—sound out words—does not mean he can ‘’encode”—spell the words). This is where penning for your student (especially for dyslexic/dysgraphic ones and/or “late bloomers”) makes the difference between your child seeing himself as a writer or as a student who is “behind.”

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Introducing The Spelling Notebook

Introducting The Spelling Notebook


Fifteen years ago I began writing my complete language arts program for second through twelfth grade students (what is now Character Quality Language Arts, CQLA). I based that program, loosely, on six programs (language arts, editing, writing, vocabulary, spelling, etc., programs) that I had been using for a dozen years with my older children. I wanted to take all of the best “part language arts” books and put them together in one. And I did that!


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A Writing Tip For Every Year: First Grade

A Writing Tip for Every Year First Grade


First Grade: Don’t rush “writing” when a child is learning to read.

I haven’t taught first grade in ten years. I have missed teaching a child to read—so much that I have actually considered trying to get some hours at a tutoring center just to be able to teach beginning reading again. (I know; I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to teaching!)


Notice this tip is in the first grade paragraph—not the kindergarten one. My children learned to read in first or second grade (okay, um, two in third).

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Getting Ready for School 2015: Delight in the Dailies

Getting Ready For School 2015 Delight in the Dailies

I have probably said this a thousand times in the past twenty years of speaking to and writing for homeschooling moms: do your dailies! I learned this the hard way (by not doing my dailies!), and once I learned this TRICK (and it does work like magic, so I guess you can call it a trick!), my days were amazingly better.

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