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How to Confidently Grade Your Teen's Essays and Narratives

How to Confidently Grade Your Teen's Essays and Narratives
One of the hardest parts of teaching writing  is knowing how to evaluate a paper. It seems like such risky business—a subjective effort cha...
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Book Lovers Guide to Vocabulary Building

Book Lovers Guide to Vocabulary Building
We used the Kaplan SAT Score-Raising classics to improve vocabulary in our homeschool. If you have never seen those books before, they are a great way...
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 Read-Aloud Families Create Successful Students

 Read-Aloud Families Create Successful Students
I believe that read-aloud families create successful students. I requested an opportunity to review, The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie to see w...
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How to Grade English Papers over Summer

How to Grade English Papers over Summer
Staring at a pile of English papers that need a grade? Here is how I suggest that you grade right now, during summer, so you can get the job done and ...
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Learn to Teach English the Easy Way!

Learn to Teach English the Easy Way!
How do you feel about teaching English? For our family, it was a little scary, difficult to teach, and intimidating! Some people think that it's overw...
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Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond

Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond
Right now, I'm guessing that your focus is essential writing skills for high school. Once your child can write reasonably well, your next worry is a simple one. Make sure they have the essential writing skills for college and career. This post contains affiliate links . If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte. Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond I have a book recommendation for...
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What's Up with Reading Lists?

What's Up with Reading Lists?
What's up with Reading Lists? Every student should have a high school reading list as part of their college admission package. Each will be a unique reading list that reflects the child's unique abilities and interests. Online you can find many sites with  reading lists for the college bound .  They should not be used as to do lists, though. Personal reading lists vary widely - depending on the child and how much the child loves to read. ...
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Literary Analysis is Not a High School Requirement

Literary Analysis is Not a High School Requirement
Literary Analysis is Not a High School Requirement I noticed an  interesting article in the Washington Post  a few years ago. It made me wonder if they hate literary analysis as much as I do. Here is what the author, Nancy Schnog, says: "I'll never forget what one parent, bemoaning his daughter's aversion to great books after she took AP English Literature, wrote to me: "What I've seen teachers do is take living, breathing works of art and...
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Reading Aloud and Fond Family Feelings

Reading Aloud and Fond Family Feelings
Reading Aloud and Fond Family Feelings I read aloud to my boys all through high school. At one point my eldest balked at the thought of a read aloud with his mom so I told him that my Honors English teacher in public school read aloud to my class (true story). About a month ago my kids told me how glad they are that we homeschooled them. They are now 26 and 28 years old. I...
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2 Key Writing Skills for College Readiness

2 Key Writing Skills for College Readiness
2 Key Writing Skills for College Readiness Spend about 1-2 hours a day on English skills in your homeschool high school. High school English class should include about 30-60 minutes of writing almost every single day. Sometimes this includes research, and sometimes a short essay or even poetry or public speaking could be included. There are two key writing skills that are important for college readiness. Writing a short, handwritten essay. Give your child a writing prompt...
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Literature Based Curriculum on the Reading List: Venn Diagram

Literature Based Curriculum on the Reading List: Venn Diagram
When you use a  literature based curriculum , the boundaries between English course descriptions, history course descriptions, and  reading lists  get blurry! Instead of thinking you need to divide books between them all, think of it like a Venn Diagram:   Books that are ONLY in the English course description: textbooks, workbooks, curriculum. These might include: Sonlight Core 100, Spelling Power, Wordly Wise, Institute for Excellence in Writing High School Essay Intensive . Books that are ONLY...
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Literature-based vs. Reality-based Homeschool

Literature-based vs. Reality-based Homeschool
We used a literature-based curriculum for high school. My children read TONS of books! What does literature-based learning look like in a REAL world, where parents are faced with the demands of homeschooling, housework, and household economics? This post contains affiliate links . If you click and buy I make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte. Literature-based vs. Reality-based Homeschool Wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to pre-read every book and have...
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Finding College Application Essays for Practice

Finding College Application Essays for Practice
Junior year is a great time to take advantage of college application essays for practice. Use each of them as an English writing assignment. Have your child practice how to brainstorm and polish a technically perfect, self-reflective essay. But how do you go about finding college application essays? Finding College Application Essays for Practice Hi Lee - I've been perusing the sites of the schools my high school junior is interested in applying to, wanting to see...
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Free Printable College Bound Reading List

Free Printable College Bound Reading List
Are you looking for a great list of books for your child to read? Grab this free printable College Bound Reading List. This list includes books that are often listed on reading lists for the college bound. Print and put the list in your pocket for your frequent library trips. Save this list on your computer desktop and use it for online purchases. Look at these books for...
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Holiday Writing Prompts for Homeschooling Christmas

Holiday Writing Prompts for Homeschooling Christmas
My favorite Christmas school project was our yearly creative writing assignment based on Norman Rockwell art. Have you seen some of his holiday paintings?  Amazing creative holiday writing prompts! I asked my boys to choose any picture in Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book . Their assignment was to write a story behind the picture. They came up with some GREAT creative writing ideas, and the pictures really helped to get those creative juices flowing. This tradition of...
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