February 24, 2016 Edition 
Don't Tell Me Writing is Easy (Show Me)
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Hey Mama,
Whether you have reluctant writers, or a child who wants to write professionally, you can teach your children the skills of writing a little at a time, to get them writing where they need to be.

And remember ...

Your kids learned today. You invested in them. They spent time with you and benefited from those hours. Life went on and will keep going. Learning is continuously taking place. You're just there to guide it, to implement it, to respond. You initiate, organize, and finalize the lessons. Don't treat it like an institution; these kids of yours are not wards of an institution. They're yours to love, cherish, and teach. It's gonna stick; believe me, it's all sticking.

Lots of tiny steps make for one giant accomplishment. Keep walking. Small steps don't make for lost progress; they make the finished tapestry strong--too strong to tear down.

~ gena


Apologia Curriculum

"I'm thankful to God for Apologia's excellent science material with simple and effective experiments, written from a perspective that honors the truth of God's Word!  All four of my children love their science textbooks and notebooks, because it honors God. Thank you for the excellent resources. I always recommend your products!"

"I've used Apologia curriculum for the past few years and can't rave enough about it! The Young Explorer series has been such a blessing. My son loves the Notebooking Journals that go with the text book. Thank you for raising and maintaining the level of excellence in homeschool curriculum."
Apologia science believes that students' education should prepare them for eternity, not just a semester. Our award-winning science curricula teach elementary, junior high, and high school students to recognize, appreciate, and understand the wonders of Creation. By writing our texts in a conversational tone, challenging science concepts are presented in a personalized format. 
Our Young Explorer Series actively engages elementary students in the scientific process. Notebooking Journals provide a written history of experiences, observations, and thoughts that students can reference to create opinions and draw conclusions about the way their world works.
Apologia's junior high curriculum prepares students for the rigorous high school sciences. The Student Notebooks teach students how to take notes, while guiding them toward becoming more structured, logical, and independent!
Apologia high school students are prepared by our college preparatory curriculum to understand and evaluate the discoveries that will occur during their lifetimes. Our academically rigorous curriculum can be studied independently, with the aid of instructional DVDs, or through live interaction of Apologia Academy.
Each of our creation-based, award-winning science curricula have experiments that require only readily-available materials, online resources that expand textbook concepts, and access to Apologia instructors through the Apologia helpline.


The Power in Your Hands

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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
Dear Friends,
When it comes to writing, think about all the various components, including:
  • penmanship for handwriting
  • keyboard skills for computer
  • good content
  • descriptive words and well-chosen phrases
  • grammar and spelling
  • logical, appropriate flow
These are the mechanics of writing, things to be studied in English class. Each takes time to learn and practice to master. Some of these are appropriate for young students, while others won't be fully mastered until high school (or beyond).
There is a writer's maxim, however, that we sometimes miss when we are teaching our kids:
Write what you know.
For homeschoolers, I'd like to change that slightly:
Write what you LOVE.
Once they connect the mechanics to their passion, students will suddenly find themselves motivated to write. In fact, you might find it hard to get them to stop!
When they are in the early elementary grades, have your kids dictate a story that you write down for them. Then, to develop their penmanship, they will copy it out in their own handwriting.
Add to this little by little. Some students will have a natural aptitude for writing, and they will find it fairly easy to master the mechanics of writing. Others who struggle with the mechanics, may find enjoyment in communicating about the things they love. (For older students, using a microphone and recorder may help the creative juices flow.) Be patient and kind in this process, however long it may take.
Remember, stay relational,

P.S. In today's video blog, I talk about the difference in attitude when we go from "teaching our kids" to "helping them learn."

Write for Success Today_

Enjoy the convenience of online writing courses from the 
comfort of your home for grades 4-12. 

The Familyman 
Here are some truths to stick in your hat:

For spelling kids, spelling is easy.

For math kids, math is easy.

For memorization kids, memorizing is easy.

For reading kids, reading is easy.

For talking kids, speech is easy.

For writing kids, writing is easy.

As it applies to this week's topic, that means that for all the non-writing kids, writing is difficult. It only makes matters worse when we frustrate them with comments like, "You're just not trying ... it's not that difficult ... your brothers and sisters didn't have any trouble with it ... kids your age should be writing at a higher level ... IF YOU WERE IN REAL SCHOOL, blah blah blah blah blah."

I do not believe that all kids were created to be authors. I have a daughter who has written several books,* but she was born with a propensity to write. I have other children who are very talented, yet struggle to write a coherent paragraph. Both types of children are masterpieces, created by God for different purposes.

That said, I sometimes think we make writing even more difficult for the non-writers. We buy a curriculum, discuss protagonists, meter, and parts of speech, and then assign them to write on some obscure topic, like the paramecium.

Here's my advice on writing (For the record, I am a writer.):  Tell your kids to write like they talk. They have no problem texting or emailing (which is writing), so let them email or text you their thoughts on something they're interested in. Don't worry about grammar, vocabulary ... or form. Just tell them to write the way they talk, and then praise them for what they wrote, followed by a tiny bit of "instruction" (read--not criticism).

Again, this is for your non-writers. For your writing kids, just point them in the right direction and get out of the way!

Be real,
PS - You can buy my daughter's wholesome and edifying medieval fiction books (written for your tween to teen daughtershere.


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The Power of Penmanship
The Power of Penmanship
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
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Contest Corner 
For the month of February 2016  
Are you ready to eat your homework? Ann McCallum Books can help!

Ann McCallum has a Masters degree in education and has taken to writing fun educational books for children. What better way to pique a child's interest in learning, than through their stomach?
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