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Tag Archives: grammar

Free Writing Printables

Confessions of a Homeschooler is offering free story writing printables. These look really good!

Here is what is included:

Editing Checklists: (These are small 2×3 sized cards that can be laminated then hole punched. Store them on a keyring for quick access to help students edit and proof their writing! 

  • Editing Checklist
  • Proofing Marks
  • Capitalization Checklist
  • Grammar Review
  • Punctuation Listing

Writing Pages:

  • My Story Plan Web
  • Writing Structure Outline
  • My Story Writing Pages (3 different line heights)
  • My Book Report Outline
  • My Report Writing Pages (3 different line heights)
  • Friendly Letter Template (2 different line heights)
  • Thank You Letter Template (2 different line heights)
  • Vocabulary Word Template
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Free Spelling Course

Marie Rackham, from Splashes From the River, is offering her Basic Cozy Spelling Course free. It contains 30 lessons for grades 6-8. but Rackham used it in the public arena with grades 7-9. You be the judge.

The Course Outline:

Spelling Rules, Lessons, Exercises, Dictation Exercises, and answer keys.

 

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You’re Never Too Old

Sometimes I forget how older kids, say 6-12th graders, still need to study things like homophones or antonyms. I guess I tend to think those skills are just for the younger kids. Well, they are NOT just for the younger kids. Older kids still have problems with homophones especially.Some examples of harder homophones are things like: boar, bore; allowed, aloud; ware, wear; complement, compliment; meddle, medal…

                             

Are you on Facebook? Do you have kids who are “friends”? Have you ever noticed a problem with homophones when they make a post? I know I have. Spelling is also another big problem. I have to say though, it is not just kids making these mistakes. Do you like to look at Craigslist? My husband and I love to look at Craigslist. We get tickled all the time at the ads folks place. I guess they don’t have any tools to check for correct spelling or grammar. Some are outright hilarious. One of my favorite mistakes that I see quite often is “chester drawers” for “chest of drawers”.

               

I think you can use Craigslist as a fun online teaching tool. Have your older kids sit with you as you look at various ads together. Let them spot mistakes and tell you how they should be written. You will see mistakes such as spelling, punctuation, fragments, improper homophone usage, the wrong name of an item…

Caution:  Make sure you or your kids are NOT drinking milk when you do this learning activity. You would hate to have milk come out of your nose while you are laughing!

 

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Blog Your Way To Writing

My daughter LOVES anime. She loves to watch it, read it, sing Japanese songs, and draw anime characters. Because she loves it so much, I use it as part of her schooling. Surely no Mom has ever tried to sneak a little schooling into fun! You could say this is a little sneaky, because it is. I just say it’s creative. I use it as a portion of her reading and art assignments.

Lately, the two of us have been working on writing skills. It’s not always fun, in fact, she thinks it is down right boring. Though she enjoys writing, she doesn’t like our “writing” lessons all that much. Go figure! The key word here is “*lessons.* In her mind, writing is fun, but learning about writing isn’t.

I decided to introduce her to the idea of starting a blog. So what do a blog and writing lessons have in common. They have my child and your child in common. Whenever a kid writes something, they usually say, “Mom read this.” Most kids want others to read what they have written. A blog is a super way to find an audience and encourage a reluctant writer. My daughter uses her new blog to write anime stories…fan fiction.

Since I use WordPress, she decided to use it as well. Some other choices would be Blogger or Typepad. She had fun setting up her blog, deciding what theme to use and such.  Now she is in love with the ability to showcase her anime stories for others to read. I am “in love” with the fact that she lets me use the blog to help teach writing.

Her new blog has given me a fantastic avenue for discussing grammar and writing. She doesn’t mind talking about her writing because it is real, not just an assignment. Since she has “ownership” of the post, she is very interested in making sure it is written correctly. She doesn’t want others to go to her blog and see junk. I think that is awesome…no more begging and bribing just to get her to write a story.

Each time she writes a new chapter in her fan fiction, she and I sit together to edit. We call it co-editing. The more we sit together and edit, the more she learns from her mistakes and the less I see those same mistakes. We also discuss sentence structure, story flow, adjective use…

I encourage her in something she loves, and in return, she gains new skills and strengthens ones she already has.

Does she still make  mistakes? Sure she does, but she learns more each time she works on a piece. Blogging has made learning to write much more interesting and fun for her, and for that, I am one thankful Mom!

 

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Classical Schooling–Learning Latin

My daughter has reached a time in her schooling where we have to consider learning Latin. Unfortunately, it was not taught when I was in school. I am very glad that it has made a recent comeback. I believe learning Latin has many advantages. The first thing I can think of is that it gives you a better understanding of grammar-English as well as French and Spanish. You will develop and expand your vocabulary by learning Latin roots. You will acquaint yourself with mythical references in literature. You will learn words used in medicine, law, and pharmacy. Being the history lover I am, I can’t leave out the fact that it also allows you to learn about an ancient culture. It will increase your knowledge of the past and of our own history. A biggie for kids headed to college is that it will help you maximize your SAT scores. And then don’t forget, it can be fun!

More than half of all English words derive from Latin. If your child has problems with grammar, then Latin could be an answer for them. Learning Latin helps establish good study habits such as building your memory skills, concentrating on word order, and being cautious about attention to detail. In Latin, you must focus on the origins of words. According to ACE-Academy For Character Education, Latin teaches grammar far more effectively than any English curriculum. Here is an excerpt from them, “This claim astounds and confounds many homeschoolers, but you need only look at the masters of English style from the Renaissance onward and ask what they all had in common. The answer: They did not study English, a subject not even available in their grammar schools, but Latin. Lots and lots and lots of Latin. The same was true of their counterparts in other countries. Think about it this way: You can teach English grammar, and your child knows English grammar. Or you can teach Latin, and your child knows Latin…and gets English grammar as a bonus.”

One easy way to practice Latin is by playing Latin matching games. I played the online games for quite a while. It became almost addictive to me to see if I could get them all correct. It was lots of fun, too. Oops, wasn’t I supposed to have my daughter playing these games? Oh well, I think parents need to practice, or learn, as much as the kids.

 

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