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Learn When to Use Who/Whom With Language Lady!

The who/whom question is a tricky one. Out of all “pronouns” (some grammarians call who/whom pronouns; some call them subordinators; some call them…who knows…grammar is so subjective!)…anyway, out of all pronouns, who/whom is the trickiest to use correctly because it simply doesn’t sound as “wrong.” (We all know that you don’t say “Her is coming over later!”) Stick with Language Lady—and I’ll give you a tip for every usage problem you encounter (okay, maybe not every one…but I’ll sure try!)

Are Proper Adjectives Even a Real Thing?


So many grammar debates, so little time. And here’s yet another one: Are proper adjectives a thing? Or are they really just proper noun elements within a common noun?

We will likely never know for sure….

However, it really doesn’t matter what you call them. They need some proper capitalization!

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Punctuation Puzzle: Proper Nouns and Quotations with Pinocchio


By Zac Kieser and Donna Reish


Oh, proper nouns and quotations. Where do I start to explain the myriad of difficulties that students (and adults!) have with these. Am I starting to sound more like Lamenting Lady than Language Lady in the openings to these Punctuation Puzzles? If so, I am sorry! When you have taught fifty to one hundred students (in second through twelfth grades) English/language arts every semester for nearly twenty years (and you write books and products for them literally every year for nearly two decades as well), you just start to really feel sorry for these precious people who have to navigate the grammar waters with all of its exceptions and varying rules. (Sympathetic, she is!?)

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St. Patrick’s Day Pistachio Cake


I made the guys a St. Patrick’s Day Pistachio Cake tonight. I actually made two–one for the guys and one to take to a dance tomorrow night. I got the recipe from Just a Pinch and revised it a little. The guys gave it rave reviews! And it was simple!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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12 Tips for Building Emotional Intelligence in Our Children


There is a lot of talk in the world of “adulting” about emotional intelligence. People who are emotionally intelligent know how others are feeling. They know what to say and what not to say in a social media thread. They are aware of their surroundings, etc.

I recently came upon yet another list of commonalities of those with emotional intelligence. As I read through the list (they truly are good commonalities), I couldn’t help but think about how many of them were our goals for our children before we had ever learned about such a thing as emotional intelligence. (Many of them are, after all, grounded in the golden rule!)

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My Chance to Vote in 1984


My Chance to Vote in 1984*

I like Nixon very much,
I like McGovern too. 
But if I had a chance to vote,
I don’t know what I’d do. 

First, I think I’d panic,
Then I’d stand and shout:
“Doesn’t anybody know 
What this election’s all about?”

I just hope whoever wins
Can stop this awful war. 
Because I want my chance to vote
In 1984. 

*In honor of President’s Day, I am sharing my first “published” poem. It was chosen for me to read over the PA system in my elementary school during the election when I was in fourth grade! My kids think it’s hysterical that I can still recite it!

The Number One Reason I Chose Homeschooling After 32 Years


We used to get asked a lot WHY we homeschooled…like all the time….twenty years ago or more. Nowadays, reasons for homeschooling are as diverse as the number of people homeschooling.
There are not just a handful of reasons any more—and many of the reasons (especially the fear-based ones) are not as prevalent as they were. (Not sure if this is all good….we need to fear some things for our kids.)
After thirty-two years of homeschooling (and being done for two years now—well, done with our own kids, but not the 170 kids in our classes and part time programs!), we have narrowed it down to one big reason—with lots of sub reasons.
Truly, TIME is the biggest reason that I would homeschool if I had it to do all over again—and is something I would like for you to at least consider in your decision to homeschool or not, go to school or stay home, continue on or end. Because TIME is big—and can never be redeemed.

Blessings to you and your family on your journey! Enjoy every moment you have!


P.S. Feel free to share this video. I don’t think it is something that people talk about a lot….but it was hugely impactful to our family!

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Eleven Year Old Learns That a Baby In-Utero Is Truly a Baby!


With the partial-birth abortion ruling, our grown children had a lot to ponder and share. They know that a baby is a baby early on–not just because we told them forever or they learned it through their homeschool teaching, but because they experienced it first hand at young ages. Here is one daughter’s latest FB post–and her view of our stillborn baby when Cami was only eleven years old. Feel free to share with others.

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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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