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Punctuation Puzzle – Prepositional Phrases and Commas With Dumbo

By Donna Reish & Zac Kieser

 

Comma rules are super subjective. As a matter of fact, I tell my upper high schoolers that commas following sentence openers will generally not be the errors in SAT/ACT/PSAT testing sentences. These rules are that subjective! I hear and recognize all of the commas in Zac’s examples in this week’s Punctuation Puzzle. So even though these rules are subjective, we have to have some guidelines to follow, or students will not learn to put commas in anywhere!

 

I follow an important sequence in teaching prepositions to students (one that anyone can use whether you use my materials or not):

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How to Grade the Checklist Challenge

 

The Checklist Challenge (CC), a challenging checklist of editing tasks, is included in ninety percent of the assignments in all one hundred of my books. It is taught extensively in the first couple lessons in each first semester Meaningful Composition book for grades 4 through 9 (and books 2 and 3 have lessons scattered throughout them). There are even downloads teaching nothing but how to complete this amazing editing tool (I really love the CC!).

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Thinking of Joining a CI Class or Program in January!?!

 

It’s mid-school year—that time when we re-evaluate the first semester and try to make changes that will help us meet our goals for our classroom, home, and family in the coming year. For many homeschoolers, meeting some of our academic (and music, arts, physical, etc.) goals will mean securing outside teachers and tutors.

This isn’t a bad thing! In my thirty-two years of homeschooling, I either hired or bartered for woodworking, quilting, sewing, violin, viola, flute, piano, voice, science, electronics, art, worldview, debate, and much more! It helped my kids develop skills in areas that I was not as skilled in (okay…some areas I had zero skills in!), and it lifted the load for me many times!

So in this video today, I describe some of the programming we offer in our Teaching Center in Fort Wayne through Character Ink (including some new offerings this year!) and how you can join mid-school-year if desired.

Blessings on your learning, loving, and growing in 2019!
Donna

 

 

 

1) General Info

a. Classes start week of January 7th and run for 17 to 18 weeks depending on weather/cancellations
b. Three locations—Mondays First Assembly; Tuesdays Bluffton; Thursdays Aboite area/SW Fort Wayne
c. Half-Day Homeschool is in SW FW in our home and is in mornings only (unless you are a private or semi-private student—times vary)
d. Some new classes are starting; others have options of joining mid year with pre-requisites

 

2) New Classes

a. Jump Start II: Bluffton—students in grades 7 through 12 who are ready to write three paragraphs or more but haven’t written extensively (Tuesday afternoons)
b. Four Research Reports: SW FW—Upper Level High Schoolers who are ready to write up to 24 paragraph research reports (we start out with twelve paragraphs) using MLA approach to citation (Thursday mornings)
c. Private tutoring for all levels most subjects—locations and times vary
d. Online writing and language arts for existing groups or co-ops–contact us!

 

3) Two Semester Character Ink Cottage Classes

Click HERE

a. Mondays—complete language arts 7th through 12th grades; biology; chemistry; Spanish; speech and debate; middle school speech; junior high math—can join if complete language arts kids do four hours of videos at home to learn the program and if other subjects have the first semester done at home or elsewhere
b. Tuesdays—complete language arts for 2nd through 12th grades; can join if kids do four hours of videos at home to learn the program
c. Wednesdays–southwest FW–High school economics, advanced biology, world history–contact to see if your student is at the same spot we are
d. Thursdays— complete language arts for 2nd through 10th grades; can join if kids do four hours of videos at home to learn the program

 

4) Half Day Homeschool

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a. All academics taught for you and most work done here with oversight by teacher most mornings from 8:30 to 12:00
b. SW FW
c. Can possibly join in January (call Ray for details: 260-450-7063)

 

5) Private Tutoring

a. Various locations and days/times
b. Few openings
c. Price based on number of meetings per week

 

6) Online Tutoring and Writing–groups and co-ops

a. As requested
b. Call for availability 260-450-7063 or 260-433-4365 

 

 

Singing Through The Christmas Story

For not really being “singers”—and for most of us not really knowing that much about music—we are a pretty “sing-ee” family! We love to sing hymns and worship songs while we’re driving or sitting around the living room. If one of our pianists is here (Kara and Cami), it’s even better! At Christmas time, we really getting into the singing spirit! We love to memorize a complete carol (all the verse) and sing it together; we love to drive around looking at lights and have someone lead out when a certain decoration or sight reminds him of a carol; we love to “sing through the Christmas story.”

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Christmas in the Car {reprint}

 

Tonight as we drove home from an extended family Christmas gathering, reading aloud and singing, I was reminded of an old article I wrote for our newsletter several years ago—Christmas in the Car. I will post it in its entirety below—gotta sneak in those family times any chance we get as our kids get older!

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Fix Those Christmas Grammar and Usage Errors!

 

Merry Christmas from Language Lady and Character Ink Press! It is the time of good cheer, festivities, magical moments with children, celebrating the Nativity–AND grammar errors galore! Usage errors are to be expected since many of the things we are writing this time of year are things we only write once a year. It’s hard to remember grammar and usage protocols that we use daily, much less ones that we only use yearly. I hope this post will clear many of your Christmas grammar issues up!

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Charlie Brown Christmas (reprint)

 

“Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.” Harriet Van Horne in the “New York World Telegram” December 1965

Every year our family enjoys reading about Christmas traditions and songs—how they began, what they mean, etc. One of my favorite readings is the story of how “A Charlie Brown Christmas” came about—and continues to bless people today. Read my “story behind the Charlie Brown Christmas” below aloud to your family—then watch the movie (or at least check out the given links from youtube). Have fun!

On Thursday, December 9, 1965 (nearly fifty years ago!), “A Charlie Brown Christmas” made its debut on CBS on television screens all over the United States. Surprising the network executives, this darling Christmas story was an immediate hit. It seems that its creator, Charles Schulz, battled with the powers-that-be at the network concerning the show’s religious content (CBS thought it was too religious) and the kids’ voices (citing that they should be professional actors, not children). Additionally, they felt that Vince Guaraldi’s theme music was too modern for kids’ tastes. (The jazz soundtrack has, by the way, become a classic.)

Rumor has it that through the years it has been suggested that Linus’ reading of the Christmas story from Luke be taken out of the movie. However, forty-five years later, this classic still contains that powerful passage from Luke, those sweet child voices, and that catchy music*—and each year the true story of Jesus’ birth and the reason for the season—is proclaimed via the secular media.

 

 

“A Turkey for Thanksgiving” Book Review (With Book Report Template for Your Students!)

Another favorite Thanksgiving book! While we listen to and read audios about the first Thanksgiving (an Odyssey one is playing right now as I write this!), I am one who loves whimsical, funny, clever stories, including Thanksgiving ones. That is why I love the book described below. It is incredibly creative and clever—and catches kids (and adults) off guard when Mrs. Moose simply wants to invite Turkey to lunch—not eat him for lunch!

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Helping Kids With Manners and More During Holiday Get-Togethers!

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what
you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

 

Many years ago when we had seven children fourteen and under, we decided that we wanted our children and our family to be blessings to others—not burdens. We knew that bringing seven kids into situations can seem overwhelming to hosts. We wanted people to look forward to our family coming—not dread seeing our big thirteen passenger van pull in the drive-way! We decided that when we went to a get-together, as Christians, we should be energy-givers, not energy-zappers!

We knew that going to a family get together of any kind, but especially any with non-Christians, and trying to “show” people our Christianity by our standards wouldn’t work. Non-Christians do not care about your standards—they do not worry about what you are wearing, what you are not watching, and other outward signs that we often think are important (and they might be, but they seldom show our faith as much as we think they do). What non-Christians care about is how they are treated (which is what everybody cares about, really!).

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20 Ways to Practice Sentence Types With Elementary Kids

 

1. Use three key words to introduce sentence types. Sometimes just shortening longer words to their base can make them easier for students to grasp. I like to use the punctuation marks as part of the key word teaching in phrases like these:

a) Declarative–You DECLARE something. Just stating something.

b) Interrogative—Are you a suspect in an INTERROGATION room getting questioned?

c) Exclamatory—You EXCLAIM something in loud words with an exclamation point!

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