2018-2019 School Year Plans: Elementary Plans for the 8 & 10 year olds

posted in: homeschooler 9

I suppose my two middle kids would be in 3rd grade and 5th grade respectively, but as homeschoolers we know that such labels mean little when it comes to individual students; and it’s individual students we’re planning for and teaching. These two make a good pair to teach together, like my older two did, during the elementary years. So I’m combining them here in this planning post as well. When I was working through Plan Your Year Autopilot, I made … Read More

What Worked & What Didn’t for Our Elementary Kids

posted in: homeschooler 5

So in my last post I shared what did and didn’t work for my middle school boys, and today it’s all about my elementary middle kids. This last year I had a precocious (in all but handwriting) first grader and a third grader. Next year will mostly be a continuation, because now on my third and fourth time teaching this age, I have pared down to what matters, figured out what works, and become more consistent. Even so, it’s helpful … Read More

5 Tips for Tutoring Writing

posted in: homeschooler 6

Fourteen years ago, a fresh English major graduate, I was hired by a group of homeschool moms to teach their middle schoolers how to write and tutor writing with them one-on-one. They gave me the original IEW teacher-training VHS tapes and 3-ring binder, and I gave it a shot. A couple weeks later I had a stack of student paragraphs, which I stared at blankly. Sure, they had their adverb openers and they had retold the fable, but was that … Read More

What would classical preschool look like? – Quintilian on books & twaddle

Quintilian, an education philosopher of the first century AD, has much to say about the bringing up of children. His education philosophy does not begin when they enter school, but when they first start forming their first words and their first thoughts. Today’s excerpt from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being summarizes what Quintilian had to say about what we would call preschool and kindergarten, and it will probably rub you … Read More

Assigned reading, free reading, and raising readers

posted in: homeschooler 12

My husband and I were both homeschooled and both read many books. My husband has many WWII facts memorized not from drilling or from chanting, but from reading and rereading and rereading his favorite books as a child. I read mostly Christian romance twaddle with a side of cookbooks and everything L.M. Montgomery. But after my first couple English literature classes (which I took at the community college while I was 16 & 17), I couldn’t go back to the … Read More

Even STEM kids need English – Cicero on subject integration

Summer is for reading, right? Of course. The mornings can be a little looser, the routines ease up to make sure there’s plenty of margin not only for reading – but for marginalia and commonplacing as well. CH060: Education Requires Language So I continue pecking away, a page or two a day, in The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being, a collection of the writings about education from Plato to the modern … Read More

How We Homeschool Grammar

posted in: homeschooler 9

At long last, here is the post I promised back when I wrote about how I teach writing on how I teach grammar. Grammar and diagramming is not something that has always come easily for me. I remember 7th or 8th grade when diagramming was introduced in my Bob Jones Language Arts workbook. My mom and I both gave up because we didn’t get it. Fast forward a few years and I was an English major at the University of … Read More

Learning requires the language arts – Isocrates on education

In this section from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being I felt validated in choosing English as my major and in my homeschooling approach. Classical education bills itself as strong in language – and it is – but lately it seems the voices want to clarify that CH060: Education Requires Language Wednesdays here in 2016 I will be sharing a quote and a musing. I’d love to get some discussion going … Read More

How to Teach Writing Without a Curriculum

posted in: homeschooler 32

Writing, I believe, is one of the most vital skills we can teach our students. It is so poorly taught in modern education, yet in modern society written communication is necessary & unavoidable. Teaching our kids to write well is one of the best ways to set them apart from the crowd and help them stand out both in college & life. After all, our children will be writing cover letters, business proposals, sales pitches, emails, church announcements, thank you … Read More

2015-2016 Fifth Grade Plans

posted in: homeschooler 7

FYI: Some, but not all, links in this post are affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, you can support my planning and blogging habit by buying your own school supplies through my links. Thanks! It’s hard to believe I now have a second-born in double-digits. Jaeger has always worked in advance of his years, simply because he was reading fluently at five and always eager (and quietly competitive) enough to keep up with his older brother. This will … Read More

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