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

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

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. 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 era, the writings that … Read More

How We Homeschool Grammar

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 Wednesdays here in 2016 I will be sharing a quote and a musing. I’d love to get some discussion going about what it means … Read More

How to Teach Writing Without a Curriculum

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

Teaching Kids to Keep a Commonplace

If you missed it, check out my review of Kathy’s wonderful language arts materials and Book of Centuries. This is a guest post by Kathy Weitz. The Schole Sisters have done a fabulous job of telling y’all what a commonplace book is and why you should do it. I have also written about my own personal journey with commonplacing. Commonplace books are a fixture in our homeschool and in our local classical liberal arts co-op, Providence Prep, where I teach … Read More

Cottage Press Review: Language Arts & Book of Centuries

It’s time to be browsing curriculum materials for next year, and I am excited to share a few resources with you that you may not have heard about before. Kathy Weitz, owner of Cottage Press and keeper of The Reading Mother blog, produces some fabulous language arts resources. Yes, there are numerous writing programs out there, and this one is similar to First Language Lessons while also teaching children how to write by beginning them with copywork and rewriting fables, … Read More

What is the point of learning Latin?

In “How We Homeschool Latin“, I said that there are generally three reasons given for the study of Latin: It helps with vocabulary and thus with high test scores. It helps with logical thinking, because it’s grammar study that actually makes sense. It is the language of Virgil and much of the literature of Christendom, which we should be trying to read in the original. I’ve been reading in classical education circles for over ten years now, and while there … Read More

How We Homeschool Latin

Because we are following the classical model of education in our homeschool, we have added Latin to our average days. I have zero background in Latin and only 2 barely-passed years of Spanish under my belt. Yet, I agreed with the principles of classical education so much that I decided we’d take the practice of Latin on trust and see what happened. There are generally three reasons given for studying Latin: It helps with vocabulary and thus with high test … Read More

1 2