Conjunctive Adverbs–Comical Sentences Plus Tricky Trick Sheet for Students!


Conjunctive Adverbs (CA’s) are one of the most confusing parts of speech to teach because they are not used that often. However, we need to teach students what they are and how to write with them because they carry so much meaning! They are amazing for transitions–and they show so many relationships between words and between parts of a sentence. (Check out the Tricky Trick student download in this post for the four places to use Conjunctive Adverbs in a Sentence!) They also have several punctuation options (depending on whether the CA is in between two sentences, at the beginning of a sentence, at the end of a sentence, or splitting on complete sentence).


52 Weeks of Talking To Our Kids: When You Have a Good Report

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids When You Have a Good Report

“Jonathan, come in here.”

Daddy was home and was calling his fifth child, six year old Jonathan, into his room.

But Jonathan wasn’t concerned. He didn’t think he was about to get into trouble. He didn’t worry that he had done something wrong.

He knew what Daddy wanted: to praise, affirm, and encourage him. Jonathan knew that he was about to hear the words that all of our kids waited to hear in the evenings:

“I heard a good report about you!”






Article from blog:

Affirmation. Words of encouragement. Words of praise. Words of confirmation. Words of affection. Words of pride. Words of belonging. These all describe that one word–affirmation.

I recently read an article about a study of hundreds of college athletes that lasted over three decades. In this article,  “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One.” these college athletes described two things that are poignant for parents of all children, including non-athletes.

The first question they answered was “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?”

The majority of those surveyed said, “The ride home from games with my parents.”

(If you have read much of what we have written or heard us speak often, you know that we focus on riding with our children in the van or car as one of the key opportunities to teach, affirm, talk, love, and train. It breaks my heart that this “sacred time” is remembered as one of the most dreadful times for these hundreds of athletes.)

Of course, we can all imagine why–because there probably isn’t a parent reading this (author included) who hasn’t come down on a child on the drive home from something about his performance–teacher conferences, speech contest, debate tournament, soccer game, swim meet, even pick-up basketball games are all opportunities to “teach” our child what he did “wrong” in the aforementioned event. 

My husband, who is truly the best dad I know, one who talks to his kids on the phone and in person quite literally hours every day, even does this, so I know it is hard to conquer. And it isn’t always the parent’s fault either–as I know our kids usually probe on the way home from a performance, sermon, or song. They ask us questions that make us feel like we should be “teaching” at that time. 

However, we really need to resist the urge to teach at that time. My experience has been that they ask and ask, but they really don’t want a lesson. They really just want to hear the positive at that time. I have to remind myself that there will be time for teaching and lessons later–when the performance, sermon, or song isn’t so fresh.

The study went on to prove this point further by telling how the kids described their joy over grandparents attending their sporting events. It seems that grandparents are more likely to watch, cheer, and then praise–with no lessons or strings attached. 

Turning from the negative and what not-to-do, to the positive, these same athletes were asked what their parents did right–what made them feel good about themselves and their performances. The majority of them said that they were filled with joy when their parents simply said six little words:

 “I love to watch you play.”

No lessons, lectures, or analyses. Just six simple words that made hundreds of college and professional athletes look back on their time following sporting events with their parents fondly.

And six little words that we can use to affirm our children all the time. 

I was happy to read this article because one of my favorite buzz lines after my kids perform is 

I could watch you _________________ forever. 

I could watch you dance forever. I could watch you sing forever. I could watch you preach forever. I could watch you teach forever. I could watch you act forever. I could watch you direct forever. I could watch you lead forever. I could watch you play forever. I could watch you study forever. 

The thing about these lines—I love to watch you…. or I could watch you ….. forever—is that our child doesn’t have to be the best to say these things. He doesn’t have to have just played a perfect game. He doesn’t have to have just scored the winning run. He doesn’t have to have given a flawless performance. 

He is our child. We love to watch him grow, do, be, become. We are saying that the child is so amazing to us–without being the gold medal winner. We are saying that he is important. That we want to be with him. That we love to watch him do what he loves to do.

We are affirming. With six little words.

I love to watch you….


Link for original article:




The prefix ir is an interesting prefix for a number of reasons:

1. It means not. There are many prefixes that can mean not, such as de, a, un, non; however, ir also means not, which is interesting to me because I don’t think it sounds like it should mean not! To me, it sounds like it should mean again or repeating or something besides not!

2. It only comes before base words that begin with R. In other words, you do not put ir in front of most any word to mean not, like you often do with un or non. 

3. This isn’t really interesting–but I like to say it whenever I teach about prefixes. A prefix is a letter or group of letters that you “affix” (which is why it and suffixes are called affixes) to the beginning of a word. It is important to remember that a prefix does not change the spelling of the base word. That is especially crucial in spelling ir words because the ir precedes an R already–and you must keep the base word’s spelling, so when you add this prefix to a word, you will ALWAYS have two R’s in a row: irregular, irresponsible, etc.

4. It is most often put before a word that is should never come before: regardless. We hear people constantly say irregardless, which is, of course, an oxymoronic word because less means without (or not) and ir means not. I guess that makes it sort of like using a double negative! You do not put ir before regardless because regardless already means without regard. With ir in front of it, you are saying not without regard, I guess…. Anyway, irregardless is not a word. So don’t use it. Okay? 🙂

Note: It is correct, however, to use irrespective, which is a substitute (some of the time) for when you are tempted to say irregardless.

However, there are many base words that begin with R that can have ir put before them to mean NOT or the opposite of what the base word means before ir is added to it.

Here is a list to get you started. Notice how if you take the ir off, you have a positive base word (or one that means yes–yes regular, yes responsible, yes revocable, etc.) However, with the ir, the word means notnot regular, not responsible, not revocable, etc.

Remember: You know more than you think you know!

And remember: Use what you already know to learn even more!

  • irregular
  •  irresponsible
  • irrevocable
  • irrefutable
  • irradiate
  • irreconcilable
  • irredeemable
  • irreducible
  • irrefutable
  • irregularity
  • irrelevant
  • irreverence
  • irreligious
  • irreparable
  • irreplaceable
  • irreversible
  • irresolute
  • irretrievable
  • irresistible
  • Irrelevant
  • WORDY WEDNESDAY–Prefixes Having to Do With Heat

    We are having a heat wave here in Indiana. We have had temperatures above ninety degrees this week. Today it was 92 degrees–a perfect day to go swimming and a perfect day to get a sunburn!

    For today’s WORDY WEDNESDAY, I thought we would look at two prefixes that have to do with July in Indiana–SOL and THERM.

    If you have been reading Language Lady very long, you know my two rules of thumb for learning:

    1. You know more than you think you know.

    2. Use what you already know to learn even more!

    Those two rules of thumb definitely apply to today’s prefixes.+

    We encourage our students to take a key word–any word that you already know–that has to do what you are trying to learn.

    In the case of sol and therm, you can take two words you already know as your “key words” to help you remember these two prefixes:

    SOL–solar….you know that solar means sun if you have ever talked about a solar blanket for your pool, solar power (generating power through the sun), or solar eclipse

    THERM–thermos or thermal…you know that THERM means heat if you have ever carried your soup or coffee in a thermos or had “thermal underwear” on in the winter to keep you warm.

    So…take your two KEY WORDS and use them any time you see the prefixes SOL and THERM:

    1. Sol
    a. solar
    b. solarium–part of a room that is exposed to the sun
    c. solstice–the pointer in which the sun stands sill

    2. Therm
    a. thermoplastic
    b. thermos
    c. thermodynamics
    d. thermoelectric

    The “solar heat” is high right now in Indiana, and the thermometer shows it at in the low nineties!

    +Remember: A prefix is an affix. An affix is a letter or letters attached to a word that give more meaning to the word. The affix itself actually has meaning. A prefix is an affix that is added to the beginning of a word–thus, the prefix to the word prefix PRE (meaning before)!

    Pin It on Pinterest