Category: Language Arts: Writing

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Writing Workshop: Depth and Complexity Icons

How do you teach literary analysis to kids?  Helping students study and analyze literature on a deeper level In our new Writing Workshop Unit this January we are going to go look at books more analytically. Some of our mini-lessons have included story structure (building to a climax, etc); finding topics to write about; looking at the opening of books (hooking the reader);  using different techniques such as similes, metaphors,...

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Homeschool Language Arts: Our Year in Review and Resources Chart

Language arts is a subject that is always in progress, so it doesn’t make quite as snazzy of a year in review wrap-up, but I thought this might be a good opportunity to share some of our free grammar resources again in a nice, organized table form since those still are so popular. The chart also includes links to our popular Homeschool Writing Workshop series.  I’ve also included links to...

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Thankful Leaves Writing Printable (Free)

I came across this really pretty fall clipart and the kids (and I!!) fell in love with it. We purchased it and decided to use them in our writing workshop.  My printer’s out of ink, but we’ll get to it soon. I have two pages of the same image in case anyone wants to print 2 per page.  And, if anyone wants me to tweak this in any way (to...

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Writing Scary Stories – Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson

With Halloween coming up and the house decorated with creepy spider webs and stuff, it’s the perfect time to dabble in writing scary stories! I thought I would share the materials I made for the kids for our Writing Workshop. This lesson was all about Writing Scary Stories! Before they delved in to writing their story, I wanted to spend some time talking about what makes a story creepy. Scary...

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson: Rules for Writing and the Story Writing Process

Have your kids read the Plot Chicken? We started our Writing Workshop off with this book. What a great buk, buk!!  In fact, I liked it so much that I created a chicken writing rules printable to go along with the book (free to download down below)!!!  So, in this post I want to share some of our Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons about the Story Writing Process & Story Structure. The...

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Our First Day of (Home)School!! (Grades 2, 5 and 7 Curriculum)

Yesterday was our very first day school.  We had such an amazing summer (and more about that in another day or so), but it is also great to be back in the groove again!  I started the day with my new morning routine (I’ll talk about that more in another post too!), but it left me organized, energized, and ready to go with the kids! ED, of course, was the...

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Writing Workshop Discussion Questions

At the beginning of the week, I thought it would helpful for the kids to think about some fundamental questions about writing… Why do we write? Why do we read? What makes for a good story? What makes a story interesting? What inspires you? What kinds of techniques can we use in our writing? What writing habits work best for you? And finally, I had the kids brainstorm alternative words for...

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Language Arts Homeschool Checklist

What skills do I want the kids to have in order to become successful writers?  For this post, I shared a list of some of the language and literary skills I want the kids to build in elementary and middle school.  These are topics and terms I want the kids to be familiar with.  As they get older I hope they are able to use and incorporate these naturally into their own...

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Our Homeschool Language Arts, Spelling, and Grammar Curriculum

So, what does our family do for our homeschool language arts curriculum?  I’ll share what we’ve been using for 1st through 6th grades. Over the past week, I’ve gotten three separate emails and FB messages asking about what we use for language arts — spelling, grammar and literature. It must be that time of year again when we start thinking about our plans for next year. 😉 I’ll start with...

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Note Taking and Research Skills in Our Homeschool

How are we introducing note taking and research skills into our homeschool? One skill that middle and high school students (and beyond!) need is the ability to take notes–either by picking out important key points from books and resources they read or from listening to a speaker or lecturer.  In the elementary years, I’ve slowly been trying to help the kids build these skills. I wanted to write this post...

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Writing Workshop: Conflict in Literature (Man vs. Man, Man vs. Self, etc)

We absolutely love our homeschool writing workshop. We don’t use any special homeschool writing curriculum, instead we’ve designed a writing routine that works really well for us. (In fact my reluctant writer now really loves writing! More about that in How/Why we needed a change in our writing program!)  Today, I wanted to share a mini-lesson series I did with the kids on the literary device, conflict.  I learned these...

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Writing Workshop MiniLesson #7 – Adding Details Exercise

This writing workshop MiniLesson really didn’t involve much writing, but boy did it drive its point home! It was all about adding amazing details. This is sometimes referred to as “Show, Don’t Tell.”  I wanted the kids to really understand how details not only add depth to the story, they can help drive the storyline.  That was my objective, though I didn’t tell the kids that when we started out!...

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Writing Workshop MiniLesson #6 – Alliteration and More

The writing workshop is more than just sitting down together and putting pencil to paper. This is also our time to learn about the writing process, to talk about different writing genres, and to  learn about different literary techniques.  During our writing workshop, we take the time to explore writing as a craft. About a year ago, I shared a number of writing workshop mini-lessons.  I wrote a series of...

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Back into the Routine – Writing Workshop Rules!

We had our first day back on Monday and it really went well.  The engineering activities I mentioned in the post on Monday morning were a HUGE hit and those activities will definitely be fun to share with you, but for right now I really wanted to write about our Writing Workshop. What I love and adore about our WW is that it virtually runs itself now. You would expect some...