Composition

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Teaching at the Co-op

I will be teaching biology, beginning composition, and marketing at Cornerstone Tutorial Center this school year, so I thought it would be fun to blog about my adventures.

For biology, I am using Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, by Wile and Durnell. As we only teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, this will be perfect for you who follow a similar schedule. (Remember, I said it was more fun to teach history two days and science two days!). My plan is to cover one module every two weeks, beginning September 4th.

For beginning composition, I am pulling together a variety of resources to cover word choice, paragraph writing, essay writing, poetry, and creative writing. We will also do some vocabulary and grammar drills throughout the year.

I also created my marketing class

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Teaching Composition Can be FUN!

Most language arts curriculum teach grammar and mechanics, but spend very little time teaching actual composition skills. Here’s a resource that will make teaching composition fun for the kids.

Don’t Forget to Write for the Elementary Grades includes 50 lessons for ages 5 to 12, as well as a self-assessment checklist, evaluation rubrics, and common core curriculum standards.

Here’s what makes this book effective:

  • Each lesson includes activities to get the kids interested in writing such as a watching a video, building something, brainstorming, or role-playing. This sets the stage for the writing assignment.
  • Next, students are invited to discuss the prewriting activity. This prepares them for the actual assignment.
  • Finally, the students are given the assignment along
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Modern Pioneers in Classical Education: Susan Wise Bauer

One of the first Classical Pioneers of the 21st Century is an English Professor from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Susan Wise Bauer first entered the homeschooling community as a student. Though homeschooling was mostly unheard-of at that time, her parents not only created a solid educational environment, they followed a neo-classical style of their own design (including teaching Susan Latin at the age of 10). She was a good student, devouring everything that they offered her. Books were the central feature of her education and weekly trips to the library were a special treat. By the time Susan was 17, she had completed her studies at home and was accepted into college as a Presidential Scholar and National Merit Finalist. While in College, Susan earned a B.S. in

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Using a Camera in Your Homeschool

Today, just about everyone has a digital camera or a mobile phone that takes pictures. Why not use this handy tool in your homeschool? Here are some ideas:

Field trips:

Take photos of animals at the zoo, aquarium, or natural history museum. Create a notebook with one photo per page. Have your students label the photo with the name of the animal, as well as write a short report that includes the animal’s classification, natural habitat, diet, and other facts of interest.

Take photos of historical sites. Have your students write a short report about the historical significance of the site or a biography of a famous person connected to the site. Include photos in the report. For younger children, create a matching game. Using a large poster board, paste photos on the board along

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Any Child Can Write

One of the hardest things to teach, and the most neglected according to college admission officers, is composition. Most students enter college with inadequate writing skills. But there is a solution!

Any Child Can Write by Harvey S. Wiener is an older book that has been recently republished because it works! Using this instruction guide, you can teach your students the basics of good writing, giving them a solid foundation to build on in later years.

In this book, Weiner shows parents how to encourage their children in creative expression. He also provides guidelines to parents on how to evaluate their children's writing skills. Very important! 

There is a lot of "meat" in this book and it needs to be read cover to cover to get the most from it. Then, using the exercises

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Free Reading Curriculum from Dept. of Education

The Department of Education offers these free resources to help parents reinforce the reading and language arts skills that their children are learning at school. This is a great resource for homeschoolers, as well!

More than 100 activities are provided for each grade level (Kindergarten, first, second and third grade) in PDF format (download and print on your own printer). The activities cover same/different, rhymes, color words, reading and writing the letters of alphabet, beginning and ending sounds, vowels, upper and lower case letters, sight words, syllables, compound words, following directions, predicting, capitalization, writing sentences, reading comprehension, prefix, suffix, blends, writing paragraphs, using reference books such as the dictionary and atlas, parts of speech,

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The Teacher’s Book of Graphic Organizers

As a visual learner, I depend on strong visual pictures to help me process information. Consequently, I have learned the value of graphic organizers. A graphic organizer is a visual learner's best friend in that it helps us organize data, remember facts, and explain concepts. 

If you have a student who learns best from reading charts and graphs, I highly recommend The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers published by Jossey-Bass. Included are 100 reproducible organizers for all subject areas.

For instance, the Carousel Brainstorm organizer helps students create a book report by filling in boxes of information. After the boxes are complete, they can take this information and easily write their final report. The report can be on the book itself or the topic discussed in the

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