Category: Language Arts: Writing

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Practical Pointers for Working with a Reluctant Writer (or any writer!)

How do you help a child who throws his hands up and declares he can’t write, refuses to write, only writes “I suck at writing” or prose of that sort?  Well, it has been a long hard journey for my son (10), but things have started to turn around this year and I wanted to share how we’ve made it over that hump… most of the time. *Have a space where...

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Wonderful Free Writing Resource for Young Writers

I was so excited to come across the Young Writer’s Survival Kit by Melissa Forney. It has been an amazing resource for our writing workshop.  At times when it’s writing time, I haven’t thought of a writing mini-lesson for the day. If I pick up this little booklet, I can flip through and I’m sure to find a good, quick writing lesson. These are fabulous writing tips for kids!  ...

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Biography Research Paper Resource Pack (Free)

Last semester, the kids worked on their first mini-research paper.  They hadn’t done a project like this before, so I took them step-by-step through the process of finding books and Internet resources, creating a bibliography, taking notes and writing a paper.  They had a “due date” and I graded their paper and gave them feedback on what they could do better next time. I wanted them to have the experience...

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Writing Workshop: Dr. Seuss Style

Yesterday I mentioned that we read the Sneetches (while talking about some of the lessons about the Civil Rights Movement: Civil Rights Movement Lessons – Prejudice Stereotypes Groups and More).  We talked for a long time about how it feels to be left out. We talked about fitting in and sometimes how it’s hurtful not to wear the right thing or look the right way. I told the kids a...

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Free Writing Workshop Resource Pack (30-pages)

A couple of weeks ago, I started writing a series about how and why we started our own Homeschool Writing Workshop. This is the fourth post in the series. Since it’s been a while, let me link to the first few posts in the series Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop — Post #1: How and Why We Got Started with a Workshop Model. Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post...

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Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop — Post #3 (Mini-Lessons and Useful Resources)

In the first post in this series, I explained how we had dabbled in writing, but had never found a “program” or curriculum that worked well for us.  I found some expert advice from primary classroom teachers, though, and set about creating a workshop that works for our family. I learned about the 6+1 writing traits (the basic qualities that make writing work and include: ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence...

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Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post #2 (Creating a Space)

Getting the Writing Workshop Area Ready One of the things that jumped out for me from all the reading I was doing about writing workshops is that it is important to have a space, routine and materials completely ready to go.  We had always fit in writing pell-mell whenever it fit in to our homeschool day. I wanted there to be a designated space (both physically and mentally) for our...

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Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post #1

For the past six months, I’ve been alluding to the fact that we have really changed the way we approach writing.  Part of me has been wanting to write a post for ages, but I just wasn’t quite sure where to start.  Time to jump in! First, a little background.  LD has always been a reluctant writer. When he was K-1, we worked a lot on handwriting and copywork. We...

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Free CDC Lesson Plans Grades 4-8 — Science Ambassador Program

Over the summer, I stumbled across the Center for Disease Control’s Science Ambassador Program. What a great find!  It has a series of lessons (maybe mini-unit would be a better term for them) on all kinds of various topics with challenging activities for students to learn about. Topics include — autism, birth defect, Hantavirus, HIV/Aids… and many more. What I like about their lessons is that they require the students...

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Preschool at Home: Handwriting

ED really enjoys writing…  Here’s a picture of ED writing in her journal from last January. The kids and I made a special trip to Staples for them to pick out their own journals. I offered to write whatever they wanted for them, so they could record things about their day. While I wrote heaps for DD and LD, much to my surprise, ED insisted on writing in her journal...

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Independent Writing – How we Tackle Daily Writing

This year, we added in a new subject to our day — independent writing.  My eldest has always been a reluctant writer. I was taken by surprise because he learned to read extremely early… by 5 he was reading easy chapter books… by 7 he was reading long novels. But his writing lagged behind; he seemed paralyzed to try writing.  Mistakes made him freeze up, no matter how much I...

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Grammar Worksheets: it’s or its; they’re, their, or there

I made this practice sheet for the kids to practice choosing between its and it’s  or they’re, their and there.  If anyone else can use this, it’s free to download: Grammar Practice: its-it’s they’re-their-there     We’ve been covering quite a number of different grammar points lately (homophones, commas, apostrophes, underlining and so forth).  You can browse through all our (free) grammar worksheets by clicking on the categories button in...

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DD’s Writing Captures Homeschool Life Beautifully!

Today in their writing notebooks, the kids had to practice writing something with a dialogue. It didn’t matter what they wrote as long as it had people talking.  DD’s entry made me laugh pretty hard and with her permission I thought I’d share it here. Mom said, “Do your math DD.” DD said, “No, I’m playing.” Mom said, “You better do your math!” Seventeen hours later Mom said, “Bed time DD.”...

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Grammar Practice Sheets: Apostrophes, Quotation Marks and Underlining (and others)

We tend to switch back and forth between our spelling program and our grammar work.  This past week we worked on grammar and I made a few more sheets that paralleled the topics that were covered in our Write Source Skills Book (here’s a link to Grade 2 and Grade 4).  If you’re interested you can download the worksheets I made for the kids. They cover the use of apostrophes, quotation...