SPRING FORWARD …

… to Fall Semester!

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Wait! 

Not literally! 

Just in planning!

 

Everybody is eager for spring and looking forward to summer break.  What better way to enjoy the end of the school year than to know that you have your writing class lined up for next school year!  Now’s the time!

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Registration is open for Fall Semester! 

Click on

“ONLINE CLASSES – FALL 2019 SEMESTER”

(also found on the right side of this page) 

to view what’s offered.

 

Enjoy spring (and summer!) by preparing for fall now!

I look forward to working with your students!

 

Winter Writing

spring 4

Are you counting the days until spring?   It’s two months away, but this week Spring Semester’s writing classes begin!

 

Even if your students do not take a writing class this semester, encourage their writing daily with a writing journal.  Winter is a wonderful season to begin a journal about the weather.   Ask them to write how they feel about the winter storms and temperatures.  Maybe they could make up a story that has a setting in the wintery mountains.  Perhaps they could research a topic related to winter or start a nature journal.

 

Winter is the best time to begin a nature journal.  Ask your child to select a tree or a plant that has no leaves right now and draw a picture of it in the journal.  As the seasons change and the plant changes, students can update the journal with new drawings that will reflect the change in seasons.

 

Besides journals, writing can be done in many other ways, of course!  Composing a letter to a grandparent or a pen pal and sending it via “snail mail” is a perfect writing opportunity.  Once a letter is received in return, the enthusiasm to write again is sparked!  Another idea is for you to dictate a grocery list to your child to write, and you’ll even teach some spelling of words such as broccoli, asparagus, and onions!

 

There is a plethora of opportunities to write daily outside of the formal academic setting.  Writing is fun, and the enthusiasm can certainly be shared!

 

Happy winter writing!

High School Help

sat help website

This course is for independent students who are planning to take the SAT exam in the spring.  Learning the skills to effectively answer a prompt and to write a comprehensive, logical essay in the limited time is the goal of this class.   Weekly prompts are given, and students are taught the timing of each part of the process.  Like all things, practice provides comfort and confidence.  Every student who is preparing for the SAT should take this class!

To learn more and to register, click here!

Commas, Commas, Commas

Take Charge of Commas

Commas are confusing!

It’s true!  To know where to place a comma can be quite frustrating.  As I tell my students in my writing classes, we must write differently than we speak.  We pause when we speak.  We talk in fragments.  We even interrupt.

With writing, however, there are some simple rules that can guide one on the proper placement of commas that will enable sentences to flow smoothly on the paper and be grammatically correct.  For example,  ALWAYS use a comma before a coordinating conjunction where two main clauses are joined.  (What?)   One complete sentence is written, and then another complete sentence follows it.  (See the comma before the coordinating conjunction, and?)  Commas are also use with lists, numbers, addresses, dates, interruptions, introductions, attributions, appositives, negation, dependent clauses, independent clauses, and more!     This all can seem intimidating, but don’t let it be.  A few short lessons can alleviate that anxiety.

Why are commas important in writing?  They instruct the reader where to pause so that the information will make sense.  Sometimes a missing comma changes the sentence completely.  Look at the following examples:

The boy yelled, “Let’s eat, Grandma!”

                The boy yelled, “Let’s eat Grandma!”  

One of those sentences could mean the demise of Grandma!  Oh, no!

Learning about commas early in a student’s education will be beneficial in the long run.  In this era of digital technology and autocorrect, proper grammar and punctuation usage is deteriorating.  There’s still nothing better than human comprehension and reasoning when writing sentences.  Effective communication and the ability to think will always be important regardless of texting lingo; and students need to integrate grammar, punctuation, and writing skills into their toolboxes for their future success.

Tips to integrate these skills into your homeschool:

  1. Copy Work: Having a student copy a properly written sentence (while paying attention to the details of punctuation) provides a model of where punctuation is to be placed.
  1. Editing Work: Some homeschool products are just for that purpose.  A few sentences are written on a page with a specific types of mistakes to look for.  Student is to “edit” the paper and find the mistakes.  This is typically done after being taught a grammar, punctuation, or writing skill rule.

Rules are important in all areas of life, and it’s even true with writing!  It doesn’t take long to master the rules. All students can learn the basic rules of when to use and NOT to use a comma.  Provide your writers the opportunity early in their education to build confidence and sharpen their writing skills.   Those who read their writing will appreciate it!

Happy Students

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The semester is halfway finished, and I’m overjoyed with the assignments that the students are submitting for homework.  From facts to fiction, all students have already progressed in their ability to write more descriptive sentences.  I’m not the only satisfied person in this picture; the students are having fun in class while learning this everlasting skill of effective communication.

 

Spring semester classes that begin in January are beginning to be posted online.  Check out my listings under “Pages” and “Online Classes” on the right side of this page to see if there’s something that your student may need.  Classes from elementary through high school are being offered.