Books

Novel-Writing for Kids and Teens

For many writers, the month of November is synonymous with NaNoWriMo, a shortened form of National Novel Writing Month. Would-be authors ages 13 and older can go to NaNoWriMo.org to sign on to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. But NaNoWriMo isn’t only for adults and teens; younger writers can also accept the challenge. The NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Program (http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/) is designed

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The Reason for a Flower

If you’re looking for a good starting place for a unit study about plants for your elementary students, The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller is a picture book worth checking out. Although this book contains a minimal amount of text, the text it does have introduces the students to many different aspects of plant life, including pollen and pollination; the parts of

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WriteShop

This past week we started back with our co-op classes. This year, I’m teaching a middle school/early high school creative writing class, using WriteShop for our curriculum. WriteShop was designed by homeschooling moms who loved to write and wanted their children to love to write, too. When they didn’t find a course to suit their needs, they designed one themselves, creating a two- (or

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Lunchtime Read-Alouds

Unless we’re running a lot of errands, most days we’re home at lunchtime — one of our favorite times to read together. It’s become a fun time to share a book, especially since my children all have different bedtimes, and finding a good time to read together in the evening can be difficult. Once everyone’s lunch is ready, I pick up a longer book

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Work Those Brains! – Worksheets for the Elementary Grades

Often, children who don’t work on any academics during the summer will forget some of what they learned the previous year. Time is spent in the fall, then, reviewing what was covered in the spring instead of moving on. Textbook companies know this, so many math and grammar books only contain review material for the first several chapters. While you may choose to continue

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Summer Reading for Older Students

Finding books for your middle school student or young adult can sometimes be difficult, as the content in some of the books may not be a good fit for your family. Authors of works for older kids will often try to “push the envelope” by including scenes or language you might feel are inappropriate for your children to read. How then, do you find

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Summer Reading for Elementary Students

Whether or not your children are working on school lessons the summer, it’s still a good time to keep them reading. Often, libraries will have summer reading programs or contests for kids to keep them motivated. If you’re looking for some good books for your children but aren’t sure where to start, ask your librarian for a recommended reading list. Or, even better, ask

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Build Character With Fish!

Summer is a good time for me to catch up on some reading, especially when I’m sitting by the pool as the children swim. One of the books I just finished has served as a great reminder to me that even as a homeschooling mom, I can choose how I approach my daily work. The book is Fish! by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and

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Bookmaking for Kids

This week, I’ve been helping with an art camp for kids in our community, sponsored by the local artists’ association. Because my class was working on writing activities, the art teacher had the kids make their own books. They made two different styles: 1. The accordion-style: The theme of this art camp was “Art Around the World”, so when we talked about Asia, the

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Stories to Tell – Folktales for Kids

This week, I’ve been teaching writing classes at a local art camp. The theme of the camp is “Art Around the World,” so in my lessons I’ve incorporated folktales from around the world. Throughout the week, the students will hear folktales from various countries, then they’ll work to write their own. Although you can find folktales in print today, these stories were originally meant

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