HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick

This week on HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick.

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick. Tips for helping homeschool high schoolers develop skills for research paper writing.

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick

Our friend, Dr. Kat Patrick, joins us for this episode to help guide through the important task of writing research papers.

Kat has helped us out with an episode about homeschooling in the United Kingdom and the United States AND in another episode, she shared how to teach Shakespeare and enjoy it.

Kat and her family have lived in England for 25 years (where her husband teaches at Oxford). They recently moved to Texas, where Kat was born. Kat started Dreaming Spires Home Learning, a Charlotte Mason inspired online program. She offers lots of popular live courses in lots areas.

Kat Patrick of Dreaming Spires Online Homeschool Courses, Interviewed on Homeschool High School Podcast

Photo used with permission.

Kat is an expert in teaching writing skills. She began teaching research paper writing during her graduate studies at University of Delaware. (Interestingly, just a few miles from where the 7Sisters live, we just never met at that time.) Kat loves teaching the skills of research paper writing, especially in taking notes and noting sources.

As Vicki points out, teens often complain about writing research papers while in high school because they are a LOT of work! However, they often come back to her to thank her for that requirement, because in college they more easily earn top grades in their composition courses. Even non-college-bound skills benefit from writing research papers.

Life skills that all teens gain from writing research papers include:

  • Building attention to detail
  • Building stick-to-itiveness and organization skills for doing large projects
  • Building patience for redos until things get batter
  • Building research skills for life (such as products, trips or services teens will need in life)
  • Building skills to evaluate sources (they can apply this to things they read on social media and elsewhere)

What are some resources Kat recommends?

  • Books (usually more than one book, including more than one perspective)
  • References from library
  • Good Reads website
  • Google Books
  • Sources listed at the bottom of Wikipedia articles (the sources cited in the article), not the article itself
  • Primary sources, including digital documents of out-of-print sources. (Simply Google search: *Primary source for…*). This is good because teens can begin to come up with some of their own thoughts by reading original docusments, rather than only discuss other people’s thoughts. (This is particularly helpful with MLA and Chicago-style papers that are thesis based papers.)

Discuss plagiarism.

  • Help teens understand: How long a quote can you use and how do you cite it? (Follow the guidelines for each paper style: MLA, APA, Chicago Style.) Teens in college can lose scholarships and fail classes if they plagiarize. Here is a post to help explain plagiarism to your homeschool high schoolers.
  • Discuss paraphrasing and citing the paraphrase. (Developing this skills is one reason Kat loves Charlotte Mason’s traditional paraphrasing of books!)

Teach note-taking skills:

  • Remind teens to research before they start the paper or even write a thesis. They need lots of information before they start writing their papers.
  • Use index cards for note taking. Put quotes, statistics and other important information. Put citation information. Number the cards. Using card helps prevent accidental plagiarism.
  • Mind map or spread out the cards on a table to help teens organize their thoughts.

Teach time management skills:

Work with teens with solid dates on when they start researching, finish their cards, complete the first rough draft, final draft, etc. 7Sisters freebie Scheduling Backwards can help with this. All of 7Sisters’ Research Paper Writing Guides are chunked out into day-by-day assignments to help homeschool high schoolers stay on track.

Kat suggests this order for writing research papers.

  • Research
  • Write the first draft of the paper
  • Read the paper and find the gaps in the information presented
  • Research to fill in gaps
  • Rewrite
  • Check citations
  • Edit for grammar, punctuation, etc
  • Complete a final draft

Kat also includes these 2 fascinating requirements that truly help her homeschool high school students succeed as writers:

  • Students keep a journal where they daily record what they have done on their research paper.
  • At the end of the paper, she has her students write a *review* of the paper-writing process. It is a self-reflection about what they have learned about the process and the topic.

There are many styles of research papers, however, these are the most commonly used papers for high schoolers:

Check out Kat’s online courses such as English Literature that includes writing extensions, including research papers as well as multi-genre experiences with Prezis and plays. Also visit her at:

Keep an eye out for Dr. Kat Patrick’s upcoming text on Chicago-style research papers. Also, download Kat’s FREEBIE: Shakespeare Copywork.

Join Vicki and Kat for this fun discussion on research papers, your teens will benefit from the tips you learn!

You’ll also enjoy these posts and this HSHSP episode with more information on research papers.

Suggested Syllabus for 7Sisters MLA Research Paper Writing Course

What are Chicago-Style Research Papers and Why Should Your Teen Write One?

High School Research Paper: Should You Choose MLA? APA? Other?

HSHSP Ep 144: Writing Research Papers, Interview with Kat Patrick

Finding, tracking and winning scholarships

Finding, Tracking and Winning Scholarships

Episode 15: Finding, tracking and winning scholarships

1. Finding Scholarships

* Use Scholarship Search Engines
My favorite scholarship search engines:

Other scholarship search engines: Peterson’s, Fastweb, Cappex, Collegeboard, Scholarships.com

* Scholly App

* Local school websites

* Google search – “scholarship” + major / hobby / achievement etc

* Facebook – follow people like Monica Matthews

2. Tracking Scholarships

* put all scholarships and requirements and deadlines on Google sheets and share with your child
* child updates when it is submitted
* create a dedicated email for scholarships

3. Winning Scholarships

* Use Google sheets to track volunteer hours, workshops attended etc so you have all the info at hand
* Parent should research see what the chance is of their child winning anything – look for previous winners, read winning essays, watch winning videos
* Keeping it all organized on Google sheets means you shouldn’t miss deadlines, leave anything out.
* Use spell checkers / Grammarly (also human eyes!)

—> Check out our sponsor, FundaFunda Academy‘s summer challenge for high schoolers. Part of the challenge helps students figure out what they need to do to win scholarships, and where to find them. And students can win money in the challenge to put towards their college tuition!

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Finding, Tracking and Winning Scholarships

Teaching Your Struggling Writer How to Write

LCP Ep 10: Teaching your Struggling Writer How to Write

Helping Your Struggling Writer #homeschool #homeschooling #writing #strugglingwriters #teachingstrugglingwriters #literarycafepodcast
Have you ever seen your learners with “a deer caught in headlights” look when holding a pencil over a blank piece of paper?

Is it a struggle to get your child to write down more than a word or two?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares tips and practices in getting even your youngest learners more comfortable putting pencil to paper and conveying their thoughts into written words.

You’ll soon be using these techniques every day in your own routine easily and naturally.

 

Show Notes

Quick Writing Practice Opportunities

Post cards or letters to friends or relatives about a trip or event.

Pen pals.

Science nature journal or sketch pad with captions or labels on a nature hike or walk.

Grocery lists or other lists – favorite things, to do’s, menu, people.

Emails.

Thank you notes for birthday or Christmas.

Birthday cards or other cards, including invitations.

Posters, flyers, brochures, book jackets.

Journal or diary (can be just a sentence or more about their day).

Scrapbook or photo album with captions or names underneath.

Use invisible ink or secret code to make writing more interesting and fun.

Write using different media and materials – colored pencils, gel pens, scented pens, colored paper, chalkboard, white board, window or mirror, eraseable writing pad (the one with the plastic pencil and you lift the plastic sheet up to erase your writing.), driveway with chalk or water with a brush, large poster board or paper with paint, write in sand or at the beach.

Creat slide shows with Powerpoint or Google slides or Prezi.

Collaborate and take turns writing a story, taking turns one sentence at a time.

Write a story as a character or famous person using “I”.

Interview someone for real or pretend and write down what they say.

Write about an event or nature hike using “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how” to tell you what to write about.

Write a revision of a well-known story revising an event or a character in the story in your retelling. Write a new ending. Keep it a simple story like Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears or Three Little Pigs, or The Gingerbread Man.

Websites to Help You Draw and Write Your Own Story

These sites assist your child in creating a picture for a scene or multiple scenes in a story either drawing your own picture or using graphics they supply. Once they create the picture/s, they can type in the story and either read it online or print it off for their own book.

Story Jumper

Read Write Think Printing Press

Story Starters by Scholastic

My Storymaker

Writing with Writers

Imagine Forest

Writing Prompts

If you choose to use writing prompts as a topic instead of the retelling of a read aloud or a short simple story, I highly recommend you let your struggling writer draw a picture of the scene that comes to mind from the writing prompt. This way they can write about what they see happening in the picture and it will be less challenging for them to verbalize a story from the prompt. (Remember – in the podcast we discussed that creating a story from scratch takes the writer away from focusing just on getting over the overwhelm of putting words in a sentence on paper.)

Writing Prompts for Kids

Free Writing Prompts

Daily Writing Prompts

180 Journaling Writing Prompts

251 Free Creative Writing

Writing Prompt Printables for all Ages

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has overcome the “deer caught in headlights look” or the overwhelm of putting pencil to paper! Or, what techniques from this podcast or list of ideas you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for January’s topic when we discuss essential writing skills in the upper grades! You will definitely want to catch this episode to make sure you are preparing your children for college and life with their writing.

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers whose children struggle with writing or even those just trying to make it easier and more fun!

Helping Your Struggling Writer #homeschool #homeschooling #writing #strugglingwriters #teachingstrugglingwriters #literarycafepodcast

 

 

Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

LCP Ep 9: Valuable Benefits from Reading Classic Literature in your Homeschool

 

Stack of classic books for valuable benefits from reading classic books in your homeschool podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #classicbooks #classicliterature #literaturestudy #literarystudy #highschoolliterature #highschoolliterarystudy #middleschoolliterature #middleschoolliterarystudy #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolmiddleschool #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolpodcast

 

Do you cringe when you think about “classic literature”?

Are you intimidated by the thought of tackling challenging vocabulary or complex sentences that seem to go on and on?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

Join Katie Glennon as she shares important benefits from reading classic literature, starting with easier books and working your way (and their way) up and through more challenging works as they progress through middle and high school.

There are so many academic and personal benefits that you most likely have not considered in reading classic books, but make the effort extremely worthwhile. They range from the very practical like expanding vocabulary to developing your child’s understanding of themselves, their world, and their individual viewpoints and worldviews.

Show Notes

 

Here is a summarized list of the benefits from the podcast. Please listen to the podcast for details and examples about these benefits.

When I use the term “classic literature”, I am not referring to the ancient literature of Socrates or Sophocles or Oedipus Rex. I am discussing books that have withstood the test of time and have earned a valuable place in our culture and on our bookshelves based on their theme and content or their rich use of language to express ideas.

I have compiled lists of suggested book titles for middle and high school for your reference when considering what books to include in your literature study.

Suggested Middle School Reading List

Suggested High School Classic Literature Book List

Important Benefits from including Classic Books in your Homeschool Literature Study

Learn to Appreciate the Written Word as a Piece of Art

When reading quality literature, we can envision a picture in our minds the scene the author is expressing through the written word. Through vivid descriptions, imagery, literary devices and other writing techniques, we are brought into the world or story that the author is describing. We can hear, feel, or see what the characters experience. We absorb the mood and get to know the characters through their dialogue.

Writing is a craft on paper, much like that expressed by artists with paint on a canvas. What we are reading has so much more meaning and we appreciate and enjoy it more when we can understand the techniques that a writer has used to transport us into another world for the moment.

Learn to Understand and also Absorb Complex and More Interesting Sentence Structure

Classic books, especially as you enter high school level literature, contains more complex and sophisticated sentence structure. If we start exposing our children to easier to understand classic books in middle school, they become accustomed to the longer and more complex sentences and how to tackle them when reading. When they enter high school, it will be less daunting to read some of the more challenging works because of the practice they have already gained.

Our children will also start to speak and write in more interesting sentences, because they actually start to absorb this way of expressing themselves. It comes naturally.

Enrich and Expand Vocabulary

When your children are regularly exposed to a more challenging vocabulary increments at a time, your children will become adept at using the sentence around the word to decipher the meaning of the word in its context. This is a very important and practical skill. They also more easily learn and retain the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence and the story, as opposed to weekly vocabulary lists that are not attached to a memorable story.

These words will then appear more naturally in their speech and their own writing.

Practice Identifying and Analyzing Worldview

In this day, it is important that we help our children identify worldviews that exist today and appear in the written and spoken word as it is presented in books, social media, television, and movies. We need to share with them our family viewpoints, morals, values, and our personal worldviews. Through this filter, we can then identify worldviews in speech and written word we come across or study with our children. It’s important to compare the viewpoints presented by others to our own personal worldviews and determine if they fit with our own and accept them or reject them.

It is through this study and discussion that our children develop their own views and are prepared to enter the world ready to stand by their own beliefs or be swayed and habitually change their viewpoints depending on their surroundings.

Classic literature with its content, themes, and viewpoints is a wonderful resource for this practice and discussion. Wordviews have been presented and have changed throughout literary time periods through history. (In the podcast, we have discussed this with more detail.)

Looking at Literature as a Reflection of History and Society

Because writers do not write in a vacuum and live during different time periods in history and changes in society, their writing will reflect their surrounding events and societal views and their own experiences. When we read classic books, we get a front row seat to events and feelings and beliefs of that time period of that author or of the story.

We can see why and how we are today because of the progression of ideas, events, and beliefs that have come before the present we are experiencing.

Looking at Literature as an Influence on History and Society

Writers not only write about events and beliefs around them to reflect what is happening, but also to influence those events and beliefs to bring about a change. Examples would be Thomas Paine’s Common Sense or Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both were written to influence society and instigate change.

The written and spoken word can be powerful tools. Learning to identify pursuasive rhetoric helps our children learn to use these tools effectively and be able to discern when this rhetoric is being used to persuade them to adopt an idea or a belief.

Develop and Practice using Higher Order Thinking Skills

When interpreting and analyzing literature for its worldview and meaning and tying in our own views and experiences, we have the perfect opportunity to practice higher order thinking skills. From comprehending what we are reading to synthesizing what we have read to meld those ideas with our own, there are different kinds and levels of thinking skills that are naturally incorporated in reading and discussing a classic book.

 

Identify and Explore Universal Themes found in Literature and in Life

Classic books are a great opportunity to look at the theme presented in the story and compare it to life and our own personal experiences. These themes might be jealously, greed, grief, love, pride, revenge, or good versus evil. When we read about and explore a theme of a story, we have the opportunity to look at the consequences of actions of the characters and learn lessons from their experiences.

We can compare our own thoughts and feelings from our own experiences and examine them and learn from them. We begin to understand these “universal life truths and human experiences”.

This leads to our next benefit.

Understand and Develop Empathy and Sympathy for Others

A scientific study examined children when they read fiction versus non-fiction and they found children learned something when they read fiction. From reading about different characters and their experiences and being able to see and be a part of the characters’ thoughts and feelings in reaction to those experiences, the children in the study developed an understanding and empathy for those characters.

They were able to learn to take what they learned from those characters and those experiences and transfer an empathy to other people who were feeling a certain way because of the discussions about those characters and comparing their experiences to their own experiences. The children were able to project what they would do and how they would feel and act toward others in different circumstances that demonstrated an understanding of the feelings and motivations of other people. Practicing this with characters in literature helped them to develop this skill.

So you can see that studying classic books does not have to be a dreaded experience of convoluted sentences and long and difficult words and thoughts. It can be a wonderful practical experience to acquire not only academic skills that will help them in college, but important life skills to bring them into adulthood.

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share about how your family has studied any classic books! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for December’s topic when we look at ways to help your struggling writer learn to write! Don’t miss this episode as I share practical and easy ways to help your writer get over the frustration and “the deer caught in headlights look” when faced with a blank piece of paper.

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page! And make sure you share this page with other homeschoolers with middle and high school aged children!

Stack of classic books for valuable benefits from reading classic books in your homeschool podcast #homeschool #homeschooling #languagearts #classicbooks #classicliterature #literaturestudy #literarystudy #highschoolliterature #highschoolliterarystudy #middleschoolliterature #middleschoolliterarystudy #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolmiddleschool #literarycafepodcast #homeschoolpodcast

 

 

HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?

This week on HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?

HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School? Otherwise known as hybrid schools, university-model schools or charter schools. Either way they are good resources for many families.

HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?

What kind of support is there for homeschooling high school families? There is so much these days. One of the most valuable supports is the umbrella school.

Join Sabrina, Kym and 7SistersHomeschool’s Marilyn as they discuss umbrella schools.

Other names for umbrella schools include: charter schools, university-model schools, hybrid schools, one-day schools.

7SistersHomeschool’s birth came out of Mt. Sophia Academy, an umbrella school registered as a non-public school in Delaware. Since its inception in 1996, Marilyn has served as principal, Vicki was academic advisor for 18 years, Sabrina, Kym, Sara, and Allison have served as teachers and other leadership positions.

Umbrella schools are generally designed to help homeschooling high schoolers as:

  • A liaison with the state Department of Education
  • Accountability
  • Transcript service
  • Academic and career advising
  • Optional on-campus courses
  • Support groups

When families are part of an umbrella school, the school is support for you, but you are still the in-charge person. They are not homeschooling your children FOR you but WITH you.

If you are a member of an umbrella school, be sure to

In the group classes, teachers usually provide a syllabus for course. This will provide information on assignments, tests, projects, along with texts and grading scales.

Tips for parents who are teaching umbrella school courses.

  • Help set a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
  • Set atmosphere of brining new teens in an accepting them.
  • Teach teens how to do classroom discussion, explain how it works. (Sabrina has some great ideas, listen in!)
  • Use *participation chips* to encourage classroom discussion (Sabrina and Kym give out poker chips for participating, which give teens extra credit OR teens must earn X-number of chips each class.)
  • Talk about expectations on the first day.
  • Talk about respect of each other, adults, facilities.
  • Train teens to initiate questions on homework and assignments, rather than parents. This is a great life skills.

Join Sabrina, Kym and Marilyn for this helpful discussion on homeschooling high school with umbrella schools. You’ll also enjoy these posts:

5 Steps for Catching Up When Your Homeschool High School is Behind.

Helping Teens Learn to Use a Syllabus

How and Why to Write a Syllabus

How and Why to Write Course Descriptions

HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?

Learning from the Pilgrims & Puritans

Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literary Study

LCP Ep 8: Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Report Ideas and Literary Study

 

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas #homeschooling #homeschool #languagearts #reading #bookreports #literaturestudy #literarystudy #elementary #middleschool #highschool #literarycafepodcast

 

Running out of ideas for what to do when your learner finishes reading a book?

Are you looking for book report ideas or ways to conduct a literary study and keep your learner interested?

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage  or her Facebook Group.

 

Join Katie Glennon as she shares tons of fun and creative out of the box Book Report and Literary Study Ideas to get even your most reluctant reader excited about reading.

You’ll be surprised and excited by the ways you can use your child’s strengths, interests, learning styles, and talents to capture their interest in reading and conducting a literary study while learning about literary devices and story elements and practicing different kinds and levels of thinking skills at the same time.

Show Notes

 

I usually present to my students and my own children different choices of activities after reading a book where I want them to do some of kind of literary analysis or learn specific skills and concepts. The activity would focus on that skill and concept, but the type of activity would be geared to the learners’ learning styles, personal interests and talents so that they will be motivated and interested.

These activities are geared toward specific skills or concepts that are included in the literary and story elements for the book, but are of a nature to make sure to capture the interest of the learner.

The ideas below are just a list of ideas that are fully explained in the Podcast and summarized with descriptions in this printable handout – Descriptions of Out of the Box Book Report and Literary Study Ideas to Motivate your Readers pdf

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas Geared toward the Visual Learner

 

Construct a mobile

Write an advice column

Character email or letter exchange

Character Facebook Page

Journal or Diary

Character Resume and Cover Letter

Character Dossier

Retell the story from a different point of view

Symbolic Time Capsule or Museum Exhibit or Suitcase or Collection

3 D Relief Map or a Diorama (For Hands-on learner as well)

Photo Album

Foldable Display Board

Drawing Projects (Book Jacket, Comic Strip, Collage, Flip Book or Trading Cards)

Mini Quilt

Charts (Timeline,  plot map, analogy chart, Literary Devices Chart, Compare and Contrast Books or Authors)

Wordle

 

Ideas for the more Auditory Learner

 

Drama (Acting as a character or author, a monologue, a speech, a dramatic reading, a mock trial, puppet show)

Write poetry, songs, or raps

Book Club (just discussions, a tea, a party centered around a book with costumes as characters, theme games and refreshments)

Audio or Video Recording (talk show interview as a character or an author)

Radio Play (Imitate an old fashioned radio show with sound effects and character voices of a scene)

Videos (News report, movie trailer, commercial, sales pitch – recording video or using animation software or creating movie with Power Point or Prezi)

 

Ideas Geared toward Hands-on Learners

 

Games(Create board game or a game to play, or scavenger hunt)

Cooking and Baking

 

Be sure to comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in engaging your reluctant reader! Any great book titles or authors to suggest? I would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for November’s topic when we discuss why you should study the classics and the benefits! You’ll be surprised by what your learner will receive from reading these books that have withstood the test of time and why many people treasure them and read them over and over!

Make sure you download our podcast at iTunes or subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Book Report and Literary Study Ideas #homeschooling #homeschool #languagearts #reading #bookreports #literaturestudy #literarystudy #elementary #middleschool #highschool #literarycafepodcast

 

 

LCP 08: Essential Guide to Out of the Box Book Reports and Literary Study

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

LCP 6: How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

 

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

Every homeschool mom eventually asks herself, “How should we study grammar in our homeschool? Should I use diagramming or not? How do I apply the grammar to learning how to write?”

Join Katie Glennon as she shares years of experience in her own teaching and homeschooling to answer these questions and provides easy to use tips and suggested resources to use in your homeschool.

Visit Katie’s website for more fun ideas and tips to use in your homeschool at Katie’s Homeschool Cottage or her Facebook Group.

You’ll walk away more confident in tackling this sticky area of Language Arts.

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool

How Should we Study Grammar in our Homeschool (PDF download for you to print)

Show Notes

How to Study Grammar in your Homeschool

Grammar Resources

Use your learner’s writing to assess what skills they need to review and practice each week.

Other review and practice for grammar skills can be found with these resources –

Diagramming –

Rod and Staff – (books go up to 8th grade, but the concepts and skills are up through high school work.) These books use diagramming and are very well explained. If you have a learner that loves following and making lists of steps and learns best this way, you might want to try diagramming. However, if it is frustrating or challenging for you or your learner to understand the “diagramming process”, it may not be worth using that method to learn the grammatical concepts.

Old Warriner’s English and Composition textbooks are a secular alternative that provide valuable instruction and practice with sentence diagramming for all grade levels starting with upper elementary through high school grades. You may find them on Amazon or Ebay or used book store websites.

Hands-On Grammar –

If you have a hands-on learner, you may want to check out Winston Grammar. This program uses a hands-on approach and labels parts of speech and how the words are used in a sentence. Basic and Advanced levels are available.

Non-diagramming –

Another program I recommend is the Easy Grammar series. The Easy Grammar books have the text and instruction to learn and practice new skills and the Daily Grams are workbooks that have a daily review with 5 different kinds of grammar concepts with one sample of each per day for a total of 5 quick review samples to practice. Loved this! As your child moves into high school, you may want to use the Ultimate Series that has the text and instruction and the practice in each. There are placement tests on the website to assist you.

 

Incorporating and Practicing Grammar Skills in Writing

Narration –

When your learner retells back to you what they have just heard, it not only improves their listening, recall, and comprehension skills, but also the process of organizing their thoughts, practicing vocabulary, and formulating sentences to express their thoughts. These are all important skills in the “Pre-Writing” process, and what a writer needs to be able to do before putting pencil to paper.

After getting into the habit and practice of “Narration” in this manner, the next step we followed was – writing down what they just told me orally.

For my younger guy- this might be drawing a picture of what he just told me about and writing just one sentence about the picture.

For my older guy- this meant starting with the first sentence of his oral narration to me – writing only one sentence at a time as he says it aloud.

The grammar came into play when some of their narrations on paper – were used to review proper grammar. We would read each sentence together and make corrections to certain errors I felt we had already learned and needed practice. So that the next narration on paper they did, I made sure to look over their shoulders and point out to them the mistake they made last time so that this time and next time, they wrote it correctly. We repeated this process every few narrations and always reviewing and adding a new concept or two to correct and practice in their writing.

Dictation –

We would practice dictation with our spelling words. I would dictate a sentence to them for each spelling word they had for the week. This would be for a weekly spelling test. I would grade them for the correct spelling of the word. But use the sentences to see how they were doing with their grammar. I would pick and choose which mistakes to review with them and make sure that in future writing I would steer them in the proper way to use that particular grammar concept.

Copywork –

Copywork – was sentences I would select from novels we were reading aloud together or novels they were reading on their own.

This might be C.S.Lewis or Tolkien or Mark Twain. These were quality classic type books. – even starting with something like Charlotte’s Web. I would look for a passage (the length depended on their age and ability) that contained various skills and concepts of grammar that they had or were in the process of learning.

They would practice copying these passages almost every day for a week. I would look at it with them and point out punctuation, capitalization, and other grammatical features and any corrections needed.

This also gave them practice in their handwriting. I would print out worksheets with the copywork passage at Handwritingworksheets.com that would show the proper way to write the letters as well.

I began to notice, that as young as fourth grade, my guys would want to write their own stories and their writing started to sound like Tolkien from doing so much copywork from that author.

Their natural sentence structure and vocabulary was influenced by the practice of this copywork.

 

Be sure to subscribe to  iTunes so you don’t miss an episode and comment in the Comments box any ideas you’d like to share that your family has used in studying grammar or practicing it in your writing or any of these ideas from this podcast you found helpful! I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting! Come back and visit the Literary Cafe Podcast for September’s topic when we answer the question many moms ask, “My child hates reading. What can I do?”

Make sure you subscribe to the Literary Cafe Podcast by clicking on the Android or RSS feed buttons below the recording on this page!

Join Katie with the Literary Cafe Podcast for tips in How to study grammar in your homeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #grammar #language arts #english

Planning for High School Success

Planning for Homeschool High School Success with Homeschool High School There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, but planning is such an important part of setting yourself up for success! Let’s talk about how to choose courses that will help mold teens’ character while giving them excellent life preparation, then how to plan to implement them over the 4 years of high school.

Homeschool high schoolers must be ready to face adulthood: educationally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially. As a homeschool parent, YOU get to help them prepare for the independence of adulthood. Here are tips for planning for high school success!

1) Set Long-Term Goals

Prayerfully think about what kind of young adulthood God has called your homeschooler to. Can you write a “wish list” describing his/her educational preparation, spiritual maturity, health, and social/relational skills? Keep it in perspective, of course:  a homeschool mom may plan her kids’ path- but God will direct their steps. You don’t want to get in His way, but thinking about the long-term picture will empower you to pray and help you make wise decisions.

2) Create some Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are one-year-at-a-time goals for each year of high school. These will be the areas that you want to cover educationally each year with your homeschoolers. Here are some general thoughts about what to include:

Language Arts/Literature

Think about covering the common literature categories over the 4 years of high school. These common categories are typically recognized as British Literature, World Literature, and American Literature (in no particular order). Then add other categories that interest you and your teen, like Great Christian Writers, C.S. Lewis Studies, or why not blend topics for more general studies? Be sure to include vocabulary study, but incorporating that into your literature study is fine; using literature study guides is a great way to do that AND build a basic skill set for literary analysis.

Language Arts/Writing

Each year needs lots of writing of various types. Be sure to include a Research Paper, several Essays, and varied types of Creative Writing (poetry, short stories,journal entries, letters, song lyrics).

Grammar can either be learned using a stand-alone curriculum or (for students who have already mastered the basics) by editing their writing assignments and learning the nuances of good grammar as they correct their mistakes.

Maths

Include Algebra I, II, Geometry, and Financial Literacy (higher maths or business math may be a good choice according to your homeschool high schooler’s strengths and needs).

Social Studies

Most families study American History, World History (try integrating World History with Philosophy for a meaningful course!), Civics, Economics, Geography, Social Sciences (courses like Psychology or Sociology), and special topics of interest. These don’t need to be studied in any particular order, but make sure you spend time each year earning a credit of Social Studies.

Science

The commonly required sciences with lab experiments are Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science (or Physics). Additionally, consider studying Health (or Human Development), specialty Courses such as Advanced Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Astronomy, Environmental Science, or others that fit with your child’s plans for college or career after graduation.

World Languages

It doesn’t matter which language you pick, but your student needs 2 or 3 years of the same language for the high school transcript.

Fine Arts

Music, visual art, dance, drama, photography…so many options, and one credit  is the absolutely minimum.

Phys Ed

This can be earned in many ways, but your teen needs at least 2 years of credits.

Career Exploration

This is one of the most valuable AND most-often-overlooked courses in high school. Varied numbers of credits need to be earned according to student needs. Help your homeschooler recognize what God has already done in his/her life and where He might be leading.

Religion

This is material that can be studied in many ways; choose an approach that fits your family.

Drivers Ed

You don’t want to play chauffeur the rest of your life, do you? 🙂

Electives

Elective courses are the ones where you get to choose what will uniquely complement your teen’s personality, areas of interest or passion, calling from God for ministry, and more. Use these to develop skills/talents, explore new areas of development, or add power (SPARKLE) to the high school transcript making it extra-attractive to colleges.

Planning for high school success means considering the generally agreed-upon requirements for a high school education AND considering the unique needs of your teen and your homeschool family. By giving both considerations time and importance, you will find the plan coming beautifully together for homeschool high school!

 


If you enjoyed this blog, please check out The Homeschool High School podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!

Sabrina and Vicki are your Big Sisters as they share the experience they’ve gained in over 20 years of homeschooling. They are the talky-2 of the 6 Sisters at 7SistersHomeschool.com. They are often joined by their other sisters, Kym and Marilyn OR other 7th Sisters! When YOU join us at The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, YOU will be our 7th Sister, too! Hooray!!

Come be our 7th Sister each week for The Homeschool Highschool Podcast, Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am EST!