Archive for Writing

Apr
28

A Top Ten List – What I Like To Do

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

Here’s a little something about me.

A list of ten things I like to do, in no particular order:

 

  • Write.  That’s why I’m here on this page.  I like to write stories, poems, songs; and random blog posts!  Writing down characters, plots, and lyrics; that often weave their way through my brain, helps me focus my thoughts and make room for other things.
  • Draw.  I have been doing this for as long as I can remember.  Holding a pencil in my hand feels as natural as breathing.  I like drawing from my imagination — abstract ideas and cartoons; and I like drawing things that I see around me — people, landscapes, and still life.
  • Paint.  Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums.  I find it relaxing and challenging at the same time.  I was a color-inside-the-lines kind of kid, and painting with watercolors coaxes me outside of the box; and sort of forces me to go with the flow.

 

Watercolor by S.E.Koshiol

  • Read.  I can’t think of a genre I don’t like.  I like both fiction and non-fiction — historical, fantasy, Christian romance, mystery and thriller, short stories; and poetry.  I also like reading The Bible.  I read nearly anytime and anywhere I can!  I’m afraid I may never be able to express the endless happiness that reading gives me.
  • Spend time with my family.  I couldn’t ask for better people in my life.  My family is so much fun!  Whether we are on a Sunday drive, hiking, looking for adventure; or just hanging out, talking, laughing, and playing games — we enjoy each others company.
  • Camp.  This is another great family activity!  We generally pitch tents and sleep on the ground in sleeping bags.  We’ve camped in the summer heat and the frozen cold of a spring day that was still too close to winter’s breath.  I like the great outdoors, camp fires and s’mores, lying under the stars at night; and soaking up every wonder of God’s creation.
  • Sing.  I like to sing, but I don’t like to perform.  I like to sing spontaneously, around the house and in the car.  I like the sound of blending my voice with my mom’s and dad’s, and/or sibling’s voices, whether we’re praising God; or goofing off with our favorite tunes. 

 

As I read over this list, seeing my favorite likes in one place, I realize how thankful I am that God has allowed me to do so many things.  My family has never had a lot of money, but clearly The Lord has blessed me abundantly.

I’d love to hear what you like to do.  If you share your list in the comments below,  I’ll be sure to read them!  Thanks.

 

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted; they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace, and may not be used without permission.

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Mar
24

First Steps In the Write Direction

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Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

The library is one of my favorite places in the world!  Just thinking about the endless stories, and the amount of knowledge that can be obtained there, makes me smile like a little kid who gets her ice cream before dinner.  Sometimes, when I hear we’re going to the library, I have to stop myself from jumping up and down in excitement and anticipation.  Technology today allows us to read digitally, almost anywhere.  I have a Kindle and it’s wonderful, but it’s not like holding a real book in your hands, flipping through the pages; and smelling the paper.  If imagination had a smell, it would smell like books!

 

library1

 

When I walk by the shelves of beautifully organized words, I can nearly hear them scream, “Read me!”  I can pick up a book, open its cover; and be transported to another time and place.  I can explore someone else’s mind, view life through their eyes, live their adventures; or follow their dreams with them.  I have a passion for reading and it has been poured into me, drop by drop, word by word by my mother.

I have sweet memories of being younger, sitting with my mom and listening to her read aloud.  Evenings were spent with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, the classic Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, the compelling Orphan Train Adventures as told by Joan Lowery Nixon; and many other stories.  I would snuggle close to the nearest sibling, close my eyes; and let the words make pictures in my mind.

My cultivated zeal for words and reading has blossomed into an aspiration for writing.  The pleasure I got from reading books as a child, like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, or Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, induces me to write children’s stories now that I hope will ignite similar feelings in a young one.  I am inspired by the writings of Francine Rivers, Terri Blackstock, and Frank Peretti.  I might contemplate writing for adults, but it will take some coaxing.  I am sure of two things: I will be an author, and I’ll  share the truth of God’s love with others; glorifying Him.

I want the words that I put down on paper to draw people to God  I don’t want them to be wasted.  When I was little, my dad would come into our room at night, pray with us and tell us a bedtime story.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him weave his tales of faith, humor, adventure, fantasy; or every day life.  I wanted to grow up to do that, too; and my parents have encouraged me all along the way.  I am a story teller at heart.

I believe I know the direction God would have me go, so I am setting aside the fears of failure and rejection that I have let hold me back.  I am stepping out of my comfort zone and writing a guest post, every Sunday, on this blogNo doubt, I’ll be Puddle Jumping, because I have crazy, random thoughts sometimes; but I hope you’ll follow me as I take my first steps in the write direction.

Warmly,
 
Sarah E.

 

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Oct
05

A Box of Ideas

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You might remember that I have an affection for Unit Studies.  The Unit Study Method of teaching allows me to incorporate every aspect of my focus topic, covering many subjects.  This method usually allows for a lot of hands-on learning, and often improves my child’s ability to transfer skills they learn during school to real-life situations.  Where do you get the ideas for activities that will enhance your student’s learning?  I might talk to another parent/teacher that has experience or an expressed interest in the theme of our study.  I have several home resources, an exceptional local library; and access to an array of online resources.  I have a standard bag-of-tricks, but my latest discovery is Box of IDEAs

 

 

 

There are not many boxes available, yet; but the future potential is great!  Designed for ages 9 – 16, with the flexibility for use with even younger or older students, each Box of I.D.E.As. is filled with topic-focused activities and information.  There are at least 10 modules per box that might include games, puzzles, portfolio pages, experiments and explorations, well researched web-links; and more.  All of the activities in the box are complete, but if any additional supplies are needed, like a pencil, they are listed on the module label and can be acquired before the module is even opened.

Presently, there is a Box of I.D.E.As. for World War Two, SALT, Laundry, Quilting; and the number Eleven, with Olives, Pine, and Cemeteries coming soon.  Supplementing our current study of Early America, the SALT Box of IDEAs fit well into our schedule.  The branch of interest I pursued was early means of food preservation, and there’s a module for that – Preserving with SaltAfter introducing the topic into our curriculum, I let the box of modules lead the way.  The “SALT Box of I.D.E.As. is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped shape history, nourish our bodies; and even build and destroy empires.”  We were prompted to dig into History, Geography, Science, Language, and Political Systems; while using math, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills among others.

Contents of the SALT Box of I.D.E.As.

The single most difficult thing about using Box of IDEAs was choosing which module to start with first!  So, I read the label on each module bag: Title, Contents, Materials Needed, and Related Quote; and pulled out the one that “struck my fancy.”

The Wall That Salt Built – “While most people know of the Great Wall of China, most people don’t realize that it was essentially paid for by salt.”

Salt of the Earth – “Although, most of the world’s salt comes from the US and China, there are salt producers in many countries around the world.”

Very Salty – “A plethora of hypersaline lakes exist all over the world.”

Need for Salt – “For human and non-human alike, if we didn’t have salt, we would cease to live.”

Nelson Mandela quote ~ “Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.”

Producing Salt – “Finding Salt – It is something we see and possibly use every single day, but where does it come from?”

Science of Salt – “Salt is the combination of two elements – both somewhat volatile.”

Preserving with Salt – “Pre-dating the birth of Christ, salt has been utilized to make food safe for future use through preservation.”

The Game of Preservation by Salt

Salt Peppers Our Words – “Salt provides the root for many commonly used words that proliferate still today.” The Salt March – “In March of 1930, Mahatma Ghandi chose to protest, peacefully, the salt tax.”

The History of Salt – “Salt has had a profound influence on human civilization from the beginning and in all parts of the world.”

(45) 2″X3″ Salt Timeline Cards, initially used with the Salt Chronology Game

This is one of the simplest systems I’ve ever used!  I could easily assign a module to one of my middle school or high school students for independent work.  Just take the module bag out of the box and begin.  I gather pencils and make copies of the portfolio page for each of my children participating in the activity.  I also have notebook paper available for copywork and expository writing.  I read the printed material out loud and we discuss the content.  Portfolio pages record lab results, ask fill-in-the-blank questions; and prompt essay writing, etc.  Each module includes a list of 3-4 Extensions that encourage delving deeper into the topic.  The Extension activities are varied and I tend to choose two out of a list.

Here are five of over 30 Extensions suggested:

  • Find references in The Bible to salt.  It is mentioned approximately 30 times, see how many you can find and make a list.
  • Watch the 1982 movie “Ghandi” which chronicles Ghandi’s life and fight for Indian independence.
  • Make your own solar evaporator using household items…
  • What happens if a person eats too much salt?  Set up an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician to talk about salt in your diet.
  • Pick one of the top salt producers and find out how much revenue salt production brings to that country.

 

As time allows, I have the older students follow selected Web-Links for additional reading and oral presentation.  I make age appropriate writing assignments to be done after we close the module.  We normally wrap-up with one of the games or card activities included in the Box of IDEAs.

~

Box of I.D.E.As. and their complete learning modules are an outstanding benefit to our homeschool, aiding in the retention and recollection of the topic matter covered.  I think it is a good value in the combination of physical materials supplied and the time saved with immediate access to the thorough research that’s already been done.  A physical Box of I.D.E.As. is $79 and printable PDF format is $49.

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Call – 333.506.9411

or

Write –

Box of IDEAs  LLC

7115 West Calla Road

Canfield, OH  44406

and

follow on facebook

 

 

My Crew mates have written reviews of two of the current boxes that are available from Box of I.D.E.As.SALT and World War Two – Pearl Harbor.   Click the banner below to read their well expressed opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I received the physical SALT Box of I.D.E.As., in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

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Sep
24

Let Me Introduce You to Hope

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Ahhh…reading!  Just the thought of a good book makes me smile.  It has been some time since I’ve been able to stow away and read a book just for the pleasure of reading a book.  My favorite type of story is one that carries me away to another place and time, a period piece, with golden threads of history woven through it.  These are not easy books to write.  An author will often spend a lot of time reading and researching their subject before they can even begin to put pen to paper, because most readers expect the historical account to be accurate; especially if it is a time or place that is familiar to them.

I recently found Hope.  She is a promising young author, published by Great Waters Press

 

 

The chief publishers of Great Waters Press are Hal & Melanie Young, the authors of a 2011 Book of the Year – Raising Real Men.  Hope’s first book, Book One of The Promised Land, is titled A Cry From Egypt.  It is written for ages 8 and up, and it is a superlative first effort!

Hope has researched Ancient Egypt for several years.  Her interest was kindled when she was 13 years old and her family was studying it.  Have you ever wondered how it would have been to live in Egypt during the time of the devastating plagues and the Hebrew slaves being set free?  What it would have been like to experience The Promised Land, first-hand?  Author Hope Auer has brought a cast of characters to life from this time, using her knowledge of Ancient Egypt, the few facts that are recorded about this period; and the Biblical account.  She takes no liberties with Scripture and maintains historical accuracy, while telling a fascinating story as it is lived by a 12 year old slave girl, Jarah, her family and friends.

 

 

A Cry From Egypt is set around the time of events beginning in the seventh chapter of the book of Exodus, through the 10 plagues on Egypt; and culminating with chapter 12 –

 

“…I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.”

“…I will plague your whole country with frogs.”

“…and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”

“…I will send swarms of flies on you…”

“…the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field…”

“…festering boils will break out on men and animals throughout the land.”

“…I will send the worst hail storm that has ever fallen on Egypt…”

“…I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow.  They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen.”

“…and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.”

“Every firstborn son in Egypt will die…”

 

These verses are foundational to the story, yet they are never directly referenced.  Hope has interlaced a believable story of possibilities with the Truth.  We see compassion, hatred, fear, forgiveness, unbelief, faith; and more, but it is clearly a story, not a sermon.  Through the characters, we have the freedom to question and explore, Who is Yahweh?  Can we know Him?  Does He hear our pleas for deliverance, help or salvation?  We’re reminded of God’s perfect timing and His great love for us.  We connected with Jarah and could openly discuss what it means to trust Yahweh.  Will she be willing to trust Him to lead her to the promised land?  Would we?

I chose to read this aloud to my older teens and down.  I read a few chapters at a time and then we would discuss it, not because we were having “school” but because it genuinely prompted stimulating conversation.  One evening we spent a chunk of time on, “How do you determine whether or not someone is being punished justly or abused before you step-in?  Is it ever okay to step-in?  What is the Biblical basis for your answer?  Where do we stand as a family?”

I finished the book first by myself, because I couldn’t put it down.  I wanted to know how Hope was going to write this, whether she’d mention that; and what happened to them?  I wasn’t disappointed.  The only issue I had was in finishing the chapter tease for Book Two, found at the end of A Cry From Egypt, and realizing it’s not yet written and I can’t purchase it!  Oh my, can I wait patiently or not?  That is the question.

~

You can purchase an advanced copy of A Cry From Egypt, for $12.50.  Scroll to the bottom of the Raising Real Men Web Page, right-hand side; and see Contact Us to email Hal and Melanie Young or find them on facebook – Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys  and  Great Waters Press.

If you have questions or comments for Hope Auer, she has a first-rate blog @ http://acryfromegypt.com/  and she also has a facebook page.  I know she’d love to hear from you!

~

My Crew mates had the opportunity to read  A Cry From Egypt or another new book published by Great Works PressChildren in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship.  You can read their reviews when you click the banner below.

 

 

Hope is a homeschool graduate, and so is her illustrator, Mike Slaton.  This knowledge was an encouragement to me as I teach my own artists, musicians and writers.  It also spoke volumes to my children because it is a positive, hopeful, published writing by one-like-them.  On a more basic level, my 8 year old daughter liked the action of the story and enjoyed the fact that Jarah has an 8 year old little sister and older brothers just like she has.  It is simply a good book and that makes me smile.

 

 Blessings,

Disclaimer*   I received a pre-publication copy of A Cry From Egypt, in exchange for my honest review; as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Aug
27

Making Time 4 Writing

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What do you make time for in your day to day life?  Work, devotions, music, God, family, education?  Generally, we make time for the things that we value.

One of our highest priorities is to make time for learning. Many subjects vie for the time that is available.  History, Science and Art are the easy favorites in our house, so we have to purpose to make time for the less desirable, Mathematics and Writing.  Time always seems to be in short supply.  I still teach my children how to look up a word in the dictionary, but I appreciate the ability to type that same word into a browser and have a definition in just seconds.  I appreciate crock-pot cooking, as opposed to standing over a stove, but I’m not fond of the microwave, even though it’s quick.  I appreciate time-saving choices.

One of my choices is  Time4Writing.  I think this is probably marketed as “Now is the Time 4 Writing,” but to me it is, “Helping you Make Time 4 Writing.”  Time4Writing provides 8-week, online writing courses with certified teachers.  Courses are available for Elementary, Middle School and High School/College Prep students, covering the basics through advanced essay writing, SAT essay writing and writing research papers.  Each course costs $99.

 

 

 

Using the placement chart available on the website, I chose to enroll my daughter in the High School Grammar, Usage and Mechanics course.  I wanted to make sure there were no gaps in her writing foundation. If we had determined that this was not the right course for her, for any reason, I could have changed courses or even had my money refunded within the first 2 weeks.  Time4Writing offers a 100% guarantee!  She begins her seventh week, today, and says, “This course has definitely been beneficial to me.  I already knew a lot of the material that was presented,  but I was able to identify my weak areas and discover what I still needed to learn.  Presently, I have a 96.86% for the course, but I have several classes to complete and I’m hoping to raise my final grade.  The teacher’s comments were encouraging and kept me on track.  Now, I have the confidence to conquer essay writing.”

 

 

Click graphic for Course Overview

High School Grammar, Usage and Mechanics covers:

  • Parts of Speech
  • Complex Sentences
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Plural & Possessive Nouns
  • Pronouns, Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Confusing Words & Capitalization Errors
  • Commas, Semicolons, and Other Punctuation
  • and Proofreading

 

Each course is student paced.  The student signs into the lesson and completes the assignments given.  These are not video lessons.  They are written and read by the student, reinforced by writing assignments and multiple-choice quizzes.  Tests are marked and comments written by the teacher, with the opportunity to correct and improve the grade.  I think this keeps the focus on learning and retaining the material, not on the grades obtained.  The parent is sent reports of every correspondence between the teacher and the student, and detailed reports of the assignments completed and test scores earned are available.

This system worked especially well for both of us.  I read reports and watched progress, but otherwise my time was not used for this course.  My daughter broke her ankle at the beginning of the course.  The pain and the medication she needed put her behind on her classes, but once she was feeling better she was able to make up the time.  She would work on lessons in the morning and then do an extra one in the evening.  Her teacher was attentive and helpful, even offering to extend her course time by a week, if it became necessary.  Although, the courses are a little costly to our homeschool budget, and I do wish they had a greater than 5% multiple users discount, the benefit of time gained was worth the price to me.  I hope to enroll her in the SAT essay writing course, soon.

There are numerous Free Writing Resources at Time4Writing.com.  I hope you’ll use the links I’ve provided throughout this post to gather more information and utilize the resources available.  You can also read the various reviews written by my Crew mates, when you click the banner below.

 

 

 

 

Comments or Questions?

Read the answers to  frequently asked questions, make  Contact  through the website

or

Click to follow on facebook

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I was given access to an 8-week online course from Time4Writing in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Aug
20

It Takes a City…

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You’ve heard the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”   Well, in my case, it would seem that     it takes a city to raise a speller.  Many of my children are good readers, but that doesn’t make them all good spellers.  They often face a predicament not unlike the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne’s, “My spelling is Wobbly.  It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”  I have searched for and tried different ideas, games and disciplines, to teach spelling, with most ending in discouragement, until now.

 

 

 

 

VocabularySpellingCity.com  is an educational, fun, remarkably successful in-our-household, interactive, game-based website!  It works!  It’s affordable!  Please, pardon my bit of gushing enthusiasm, but I assure you I am quite sincere.  We will continue with this program until my last child enters college!

 

The VocabularySpellingCity mission: efficient game-based study of literacy skills using any word list. 


 Watch this brief video for a detailed description of VocabularySpellingCity.com

Covering “Elementary, Middle, and High School Vocabulary, Spelling, Writing, Parts of Speech, Handwriting, Alphabetical Order” and more.  Register for a FREE Basic Account and your child can start using it right away.  Input your own words or import words,  with customizable sentences and definitions, from lists already created:

 

 

When you choose to upgrade to a 1-year Premium Membershipwhere families can register up to 5 children, for the reasonable price of $29.99, you’ll reap the benefits of full access to VocabularySpellingCity.com.

VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership Features

 

 

I have created lists for my earliest learners through college-prep age students:  Sound-Alike Words, Number Words, Months of The Year, Three-Letter Words, Six-Letter Words, 500 SAT Vocabulary Test Prep Words, Biology Words corresponding to a  Zane Education course, and several others.  As the parent/educator, it takes me just minutes to set up a week of assignments that will be taught, graded and tested by the program!  It’s easy, and it allows this busy momma to teach and trouble shoot other subjects.

The website for  VocabularySpellingCity.com   is easy to navigate.  I’ve included several links to it in this post, and I hope you will thoroughly explore the marvelous potential it holds for you and your students.

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Write ~

VocabularySpellingCity.com, Inc.
6300 N.E. 1st Ave., Suite 203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Email ~ info@spellingcity.com

Call ~ 954.357.1150

or

 follow on facebook

Makes practicing for spelling tests fun

As always, you’ll find well-written, honest Crew reviews of this product when you click the banner below.

 

 

 

 

“When our spelling is perfect, it’s invisible.  But when it’s flawed, it prompts strong negative associations.”    ~ Marlyn vos Savant, American Author

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

Disclaimer*   12 months Premium membership to VocabularySpellingCity.com was given to me free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

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Aug
08

How to Create Better Writers

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I want my children to know how to write intelligent, descriptive sentences, and have a well developed vocabulary.  I want them to know how to write great stories, strong essays, and research reports.  I want them to have every confidence that they are fully prepared for the SAT/ACT College Writing Exam. 

A road map would be appreciated!  What do I teach?  When do I teach it?  How do I teach different educational levels at the same time?

 

Reading and using

The Homeschool Writing Action Plan,

written by David Dye, the author of

is like winning an exclusive, one-on-one consultation that answers my questions, and relieves my doubts.  In his easy, step-by-step manner, Mr. Dye presents the major writing concept that every student needs to succeed!  While he has also written his own writing curriculum, How to Teach the Paragraph and How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay, he actually gives you the ability and the confidence to organize any writing curriculum into one, workable program.  It’s amazing what 54 pages can accomplish!

The Homeschool Writing Action Plan can be purchased as an e-book, for $15.95, or printed, soft bound for $19.95.

Click graphic to purchase.

How to Teach a Paragraph is built on one simple writing “trick,” as David Dye calls it, that is mastered by the student.  The concept that is taught is foundational to great writing and can be used with every subject.

Click the graphic to watch a video demo of the trick.

This is working for us!  I have seen clear improvement in writing and in some attitudes approaching writing, since using this program.

How to Teach a Paragraph is 22 pages, covering 11 Steps ~

  1. Assessment:  Students write a Paragraph
  2. Learning the Five Parts of a good Paragraph
  3. Memorize the Five Parts of a Paragraph
  4. The Paper Set-up
  5. Write a Paragraph together:  The Prewrite
  6. Write a Paragraph together:  The Paragraph
  7. Topic Sentence
  8. Closing Sentences
  9. Paragraph Assessment
  10. Practice, Practice, Practice!
  11. The Perfect Paragraph

 

“The ability to organize one’s thoughts and communicate ideas clearly is the backbone of good writing.”  Once my younger children fully grasp the trick to writing one paragraph, I think the transition to writing five paragraphs, for an essay, will no longer be intimidating.  The difference in my older ones is already notable, and we have barely opened the cover of How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay.

How to Teach the Paragraph is available as an e-book only, for $7.99, but it is free when you purchase How to Teach the Five Paragraph Essay  for $17.95 e-book version, or $19.95 for a soft bound book.  The Complete Writing Program  includes both of these books for free, plus much more, because it’s  “a workshop in a book!”

Please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post.  There are videos, sample pages, and details listed on the Create Better Writers website.  You can also read the reviews written by my Crew mates, when you click on the banner below ~

 

 

 

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Email – dye.teach@verizon.net

or

Call – 562.627.5662

This product has so positively impacted our writing that I am seriously considering acquiring  Standard Based Grammar – Home School Edition, too.  It’s a grammar curriculum written by David Dye, claiming to give a “thorough understanding of the English language.”  If you happen to purchase it before I do, let me know what you think of it.

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   An e-book edition of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thank you for your comments.

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Apr
13

Remarkable – writing with WORLD

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It’s simple enough, really.  If it had never been written, it could never be read.  So much would have been lost, from then to now, if it had not been written.  If the truth is not written, today, we may not have it tomorrow.  Writing well is much more than using correct grammar and vocabulary, and it is one of the greatest challenges a student will face.  It allows us to clearly express our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.  “Christians in particular should try to be the best communicators.  They possess The Truth and need to articulate a Biblical worldview.”  It is our job, as parents and educators, to teach our children how to write.

The publishers of God’s World News and WORLD magazine, together with education and media professionals, have developed an exciting *new writing curriculum.  Write with WORLD is a two year writing curriculum geared for middle school.  It adapts easily for grades 6 – 10.

 

Click graphic to view Sample Lesson

 

 

Year ONE and year TWO each consist of a non-consumable Student Text, a Teacher’s Edition – including the full student text, and an annual web site access pass.  The curriculum is completed, and the books are ready for shipment this summer, 2012.  The final dynamics of the web site are being polished, giving students access to the education and encouragement of journalists, photojournalists, essayists, editors, authors, and professors.

Write with WORLD concentrates on developing young writers who can think and express their thoughts through writing.  Students using Write with WORLD are connected to other writers – WORLD journalists, writer’s from God’s World News, celebrated writing professors, and student authors.  Students will benefit from these writer’s advice.  They will respond to timely and thoughtful assignments that encourage them to discuss ideas and language with teachers.  The potential for publication will energize students, giving them purpose and audience.”

Each unit is broken down into smaller lessons.  Stimulating assignments, many relevant to today, are given.  Small steps and achievements are acknowledged, built upon, corrected and improved along the way.  This is not a – here’s the writing prompt – write your paper – have it corrected for errors –  get a grade, good or bad – learn the next set of writing rules – here’s the next writing prompt – curriculum.  Many of the developers of Write with WORLD have sat through similar, boring classes; so, they recognized the pitfalls to avoid.  Grammar, vocabulary, structure, essays, narratives and compositions are included, but it never seems forced on the student.  The students develop critical reading skills, learning to detect worldview clues in writing, and learning to write from the point of their own worldview.  This curriculum is more conversational and feels almost interactive.  My own reluctant writer’s were encouraged by their steady, easy progression.  As the parent/educator, I think it is a remarkable approach and I’m excited to see how it will impact my children!

~

Write with WORLD, Full Curriculum, Year ONE or Year TWO can be purchased for $95 each.

or

Purchase both, Year ONE and Year TWO, Full Curriculum for $165.

Click graphic for more information to order.

~

Contact:

Comments or Questions?

Write –

God’s World News

P.O. Box 20001

Asheville, NC  28802-8201

Email – mailbag@gwnews.com

or

Phone – 1.800.951.5437

~


You’ll find additional reviews, other opinions, and different perspectives when you follow the link included with the TOS graphic, below, and read what my crew mates have to say.

How well can you articulate your worldview?

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  A copy of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thanks for your comments.

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories : Reading, reviews, Writing
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Mar
19

Maintaining Biblical Standards

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I don’t read every book that my older children read, now.  When they were younger I did.  Still, I am mindful of what they’re reading, what music they’re listening to, what movies they’re watching, and who their friends are.  I know their friends by name.  I trust my children, at this age, to make wise choices, following the standards we’ve set, in their reading material, music, viewing habits, and relationships.  They also keep themselves accountable.  I can pick up the current book they’re reading, borrow their MP3 player at any time, go to the movies with them, or sit in on one of their gatherings. 

There are organizations, and companies that assist me, as a parent, in maintaining the Biblical standards that my husband and I set for our family.  They’ve put the time and effort into watching, listening, or reading, and reviewing for me.  Many of these are run by other parents, with similar standards, like Progeny Press.

 

 

 

Progeny Press was started in 1992, and is still family owned and operated.  They present good literature, teaching good literary analysis, measuring all things in the light of Scripture.  There are now more than 100 Study Guides available to instruct writers and readers in grades K – 12.

 

Study Guides can be found for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, and High School.

They can be purchased Book-bound, PDF on CD, or email with attached PDF file.  The content is the same, no matter the form of delivery.

From $10.99 single guide to $27.99 book/CD set.

I have students using the Middle School Study Guide for The Cay, by Theodore Taylor –

“Eleven-year-old Phillip lives with his parents on an island off the coast of Venezuela in 1942, but when the Nazi’s begin torpedoing ships nearby, Phillip’s mother insists that he and she return to the United States. Their ship is torpedoed by a Nazi submarine long before they reach the U.S., however, and Phillip finds himself marooned on an island with an old, but strong, black deckhand named Timothy. But when Phillip goes blind from an injury, he slowly realizes how caring, wise, and resourceful Timothy really is, and the color of their skins is unimportant.”

AND other students using the High School Study Guide for The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis –

“Screwtape, an undersecretary in the Lowerarchy of Hell, has undertaken the guidance and tutelage of his nephew Wormwood, who has been assigned a human patient to secure for eternity. In a series of letters, Screwtape guides the young demon through the finer points of temptation, the weaknesses and foibles of human beings, and the disaster of his patient becoming a Christian. Though this certainly complicates things, the two infernal beings won’t let it stop them.

From this very skewed perspective, C. S. Lewis digs into the human nature, revealing some interesting, and sometimes embarrassing, tendencies. Touching on everything from sleeplessness to the “absurdity” of God’s love for humanity, Screwtape imparts his wicked wisdom to Wormwood. Though the mirror he holds up to humanity is warped and cracked, it is still painfully revealing. Wit and parody mask a very serious analysis of what makes humans tick; and though it may make readers smile, it will also make us squirm as Screwtape picks at the cracks in our facades.”

With each Study Guide, students need access to a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible, and the internet or an encyclopedia.

It is suggested that the complete novel be read first.  We didn’t know how we felt about this, as opposed to reading the book and the guide together from the beginning, but it actually makes the use of the Study Guide a little easier.  I imagine the creators of the guides already knew this.  After reading the story, the student works through the guide with the book as a constant reference.

Prereading activities are offered –

  • Written report
  • Map work
  • Time line
  • Vocabulary
  • Art work
  • Biography

 

Each Study Guide covers relative information

  • Story Synopsis
  • About the Author
  • Background/Setting

 

Did I mention that Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature are interactive for 4th – 12th grade?  They can still be printed, if you like, but the student has the capability of placing answers directly on the PC and saving his work as he progresses.  The parent/teacher is able to grade the work in the same  manner, on the PC, and leave notes or comments.  My children love it!  Especially, my son, who would rather do nearly anything instead of writing.  The Study Guides are designed so he can clearly work through the questions and vocabulary, give his attention to critical analysis, dig deeper and consider the issues portrayed in the story, while viewing each through a consistent Biblical standard.  In his case, he can give complete answers, because his biggest obstacle is removed – he’s released from hand-writing and has the option to type.  Amazing!

 

 

Optional activities include –

  • Presentations
  • Volunteer work
  • Essays
  • Research
  • Interviews
  • Brief report
  • Word search

 

Final essays are provided and post reading activities are discretionary.  High School credits are obtained 1/4 credit per Study Guide in 8 – 12 weeks.

 

(4) Completed Study Guides = (1) H.S. Credit

Click the graphic below to browse the Progeny Press Catalog.

 

 

 If you would like more information, please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post.  Progeny Press has a website that’s easy to navigate.

Also, read other reviews, from The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew members.

Comments or Questions?  Go directly to the source –

Contact:

Progeny Press

P. O. Box 100

Fall Creek, WI  54742

~

Toll Free  1.877.776.4369

or

Phone 715.877.9951 ext. 100

~

Email – progeny@progenypress.com

and


Follow on facebook

 

I have no doubt these will be the first of many Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature we’ll use.  Let me know which guide you choose, and what you think of it.

 

Blessings,

A trial period of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thanks for your comments. 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Mar
16

The Art of Argument

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I consider myself to be a logical person, but I have had no formal training in Logic.  I usually hold my own in a debate, if I am knowledgeable or passionate about a subject.  I’m comfortable making a sensible statement from my point of view.  Until recently, I didn’t realize that the art of reasonable argument can be taught.  I didn’t know that curriculum is available for teaching Logic, and that “mastery of logic is a requisite skill for mastering other subjects.”

The Art of Argument, is one of the exceptional studies offered by Classical Academic Press.  It teaches the ability to reason and to recognize poor reasoning.

 

 

 

It covers 28 fallacies of relevance, presumption and clarity, over 28 chapters.  This is an introduction to the informal fallacies.  It was designed with Junior High students in mind, but my older children, who have had no previous teaching in logic,  are learning the definitions and fallacies that are presented, as well.  The more they practice them, the quicker they are able to recognize them.

The publisher states that “fallacies are present on the political left and right (and in the middle) and in the arguments of people of all kinds of political, religious, and cultural viewpoints.  No one ‘school of thought’ is fallacy-free!”  We and our children are bombarded with political jargon, especially in this election year, advertisements and commercials, editorials, etc.  Having the skills to wade through the swamp of errant information and clearly identify the flawed arguments is critical to finding the truth.

We have not completed this course, but we already utilize what we have learned.   We have more awareness of the need to filter and evaluate what we hear, plus we’re learning to use the tools of detection and analysis that we’ve been given.  Yes, I said weI am learning to be even more logically reasonable in my arguments  discussions.  Jokingly, my husband is not amused, as he already believed my talents have been wasted and I should have become a lawyer.  I reason that I’d do well to take advantage of learning logic now, making sure my children don’t get ahead of me!

 

 

Classical Academic Press offers classical curricula and media in Latin, Spanish, Greek, French, Logic, Bible and Poetry. They back their products with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

 

 The Art of Argument student book is a workbook – text and discussion, questions and essays.  It is $21.95.

The Teacher’s Edition, includes the complete student text, answer keys, quizzes and tests, for $24.95.

A set of 5 DVD’s, teaching videos to complement The Art of Argument, is available for $54.95.

Although, I have not been familiar with the teaching of Logic, I see the value of it, and we will pursue it.  I found it somewhat difficult to teach, probably because of my lack of familiarity, and the children thought it was dry.  We tend to follow a living school  or school-of-life system of learning, and The Art of Argument doesn’t seem easily adaptable.  If it is something you are interested in, I suggest you examine the CAP curriculum.  Their focus is “clear design and structure, incremental and systematic instruction, all with a touch of delight, creativity and flair.”

For your convenience, I’ve provided links throughout this post that you can follow for more information.  You’ll also find my crew mates reviews by clicking on the TOS graphic, below.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Classical Academic Press
3920 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011

~

Toll Free: 866-730-0711
Phone: 717-730-0711

~

and follow on facebook

Euripides is credited with saying, “reason can wrestle and overthrow terror.”  Maybe he knew The Old Testament Scripture, Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Seems logical to me.

Blessings,

 

 

A trial period of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 


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