• Build Your Homeschool Student's Strengths - 6 Simple Ways

    22 October 2014 / Challenges, Helping Each Other / 0 Comment

    Find ways to build your homeschool student's strengths while you also help with redeeming their weaknesses.

    1) Let your homeschooler see your delight in learning something new.

    Do you enjoy exploring new topics, reading new books, researching new ideas? Do they hear your excitement as you relate what you have learned?

    Build Your Homeschool Student's Strengths

    Build Homeschool Student's Strengths

    2) Enter into his or her areas of interest and encourage learning more.

    Show an interest in their passions and help them to explore them. We did unit studies on things of interest to various children when they were young - a pirate unit for the boys and a horse unit for my horse-crazy daughter.

    3) Keep your lesson times age-appropriate.

    A first grader can’t sit still very long, so keep instruction brief and interspersed with other activities.

    4) Take advantage of teachable moments.

    Yes, your children will roll their eyes and tease you about turning everything into a “lesson”, but they will remember these moments for years to come.  (Okay, don’t turn everything into a teaching lesson, but you get the idea).

    5) Find curriculum that balances your teaching style and your child’s learning style.

    What works well for one homeschooler doesn’t always work for the next one. It’s both frustrating and brings variety to life.

    6) Limit exposure to things that are not “true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise” while exposing your children to the finer things.

    Teach them about the wonders in nature. Read good books. Watch good movies. Explore museums and historical sites. Go to worthy plays, musicals, and concerts. Show them fine art. Read the Bible and memorize scripture. Fill their minds with things that are good.

    What are some ways you build your homeschooler's strengths?
    high school essay writing  curriculum
    Choosing curriculum with NO BUSYWORK leaves more time in your schedule to pursue things that are areas of strength for your child. Take a look at excerpts from our writing guides for Essays, Poetry, Research Papers, and Short Stories to see what we mean!


    Build Your Homeschool Student's Strengths

  • How to Learn from Failure with our Teens

    17 September 2014 / Challenges, Encouragement, Homeschool High School / 1 Comment

    Homeschool transcripts show high school years full of academics, electives, service, career exploration and more. Homeschool parents want a glittering record of awesome accomplishments in place by graduation.  But failure is bound to happen sometime...somewhere...with something.

    learn from failure with teens

    Learn from Failure with Teens

    A teen may experience academic failure, but it's just as likely to be failure to achieve a goal of some other sort. Being cut from a sports team says, "Failure!" to teens. Not getting hired for that first-choice part-time job speaks it, too. While no one will deny that these moments hurt, we can see something powerful and truly GOOD come about as we learn from failure with our teens.

    Trying things is an important part of high school, and trying new things almost guarantees some failures along the way.  New endeavors, or new levels of commitment to something only dabbled-in before help students determine their direction for after graduation, grow as individuals, and form relationships with like-minded people.  Truth is, no one is good at everything, and no one really loves everything he or she tries.

    While teaching commitment is a priority as we build character in our children, it also needs to be okay to try something and determine that it is not a great fit and not worth continuing.  We need to teach our kids the difference between quitting and deciding to end something.



    is what we do when we're tired of doing something that costs us. It is a reaction to something outside of us that makes us uncomfortable.

    Deciding to end something

    is the result of a careful, intentional evaluation of an endeavor. When we wisely determine that our time and energy would actually be better spent elsewhere, we may decide to end something because doing so is best.


    Learning to choose between good and better...

    between what is a good fit for someone else but feels way out of my area of strength and calling...

    between something that can be peripheral but not a core priority for this season...

    these are life-equipping skills that our kids need to make good choices in the decades to come as well as right now.

    Even academic "failure" can be a good thing.  Most students hit a subject in high school that is a real stretch.  Especially for kids who have always found academic success near at hand, facing that first "failure" (for some of these kids they think that getting anything less than 100% is failure!) is confidence-battering.  Allowing them to perform poorly while encouraging them to do what is possible for THEM equips them to understand that they are going to struggle and do things less-than-perfectly in life, and sometimes a job barely done is truly all that is possible.

    May I share a personal story?

    When I was a teen, I had a heart for people with suffering from mental illness. The vocal ensemble with which I sang in high school performed Christmas music at our state psych hospital, and I decided some time after that to volunteer twice a month on Saturdays with the occupational therapists, using the arts to help patients in their recovery. After about 6 visits, I decided to end my volunteer service there.


    I didn't quit; I decided to end my service.

    I carefully evaluated how things were working out and talked it over with my parents. I found that the level of personal boundaries necessary for successful work with psych inpatients was not something I possessed at just-turned-18. I felt like I was failing because I wanted to be a help to these folks, but all I knew was that conversations kept going scary places when I was with them, and I was fighting wicked stomach-aches before the end of the volunteer day because I was so nervous. My goal was to be a kind and positive influence in the lives of people battling for their mental health. I determined that I could not achieve that goal in the setting before me.


    I believe in hard work.  I believe in teaching our kids to stick to it when things get tough.  But I also know that any person's identity has to be tied to more than his ability to achieve whatever goal is before him.  We need to be able to fall short of a goal with peace and gratitude for the God who loves us all in our insufficiency.  We need to help our teens understand how to extend grace to themselves and to others when they don't hit the bullseye.


    Can we be brave enough to learn from failure with our teens?

    Can we have honest conversation with them as they look at something hard in their lives?

    Can we resist the urge to be snow-plow parents, moving all the obstacles out of their way so they won't struggle, protecting them from discomfort...because we know that would only lead to teaching them to be quitters?


    Can we also fight the fear of what others might think of us if we face the truth that a class, or a job, or a relationship, or a sport, or a service project is actually NOT yielding fruit that is worth the cost to our teen?


    I love seeing my teen succeed in high school.But I'm praying for the boldness to also love seeing him fail, failure with peace and with courage and with the ability to learn from it all.

    I want to learn from failure with my teen.

    learn from failure teens

    For a tremendous true story of failure and redemption, read Charles Colson's Born Again with your homeschool high school student! 7Sisters NO-busywork literature study guide helps you dig into this powerful account of what one man learned from failure.

  • Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk

    12 September 2014 / Challenges, Helping Each Other / 0 Comment

    There are 3 questions below that we've heard this week from some of our homeschool friends:

    (Some of you are shy and share with us but feel funny posting here...which is always fine! Feel free to email thoughts and concerns to sabrina@7sistershomeschool.com!)


    Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk

    Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk


    - How do I deal with stall tactics? My kid seems to have so many pressing needs when it's time to work on a school task. Tweens and teens come up with some REALLY creative stall tactics. How can I get 'em moving on the school work without turning every day into a battle?

    - Do you approach your homeschool high school day in terms of HOURS of schoolwork, or a specific list of tasks to accomplish, or some other way?

    - My teen is terrible at following directions. Driver's Ed is coming up soon and I worry that this is going to mess him up in trying to earn his driver's license. How can we improve direction following for a kid who is smart, just struggles in this area for some reason?

    Do you have help to offer? C'mon, don't keep all your great ideas to yourself!


    Offer ideas to help homeschoolers conquer the challenges above, or start another topic in your comment; it's up to you.


    If you need Homeschool Help: YOUR TURN to Talk!

    Tell us what's bugging you, frustrating you, confusing you, intimidating you. Let's all put our heads together and see if we can help each other.

    If you can offer someone else Homeschool Help: YOUR TURN to Talk!

    Tell us what's working great in your homeschool. Share success stories -- you are not bragging, because we ASKED you to tell us the good stuff to encourage us all.

    On Saturdays, we want you to comment here. There's no set theme. This is an "open thread" post.


    These simple rules will suffice:

    1. Start your comment with a topic word or phrase, like "Algebra I," or "editing writing," or "time management." That will make it easy for people to scroll through and read more on the topics that most interest them.

    2. If you are responding to someone who already commented, use the SAME topic they used.

    3. Keep it judgment-free! We need encouragement. We need ideas. We don't need to slam each other if we disagree. There are no cookie-cutters for creating homeschool success.

    4. If you share a link, make sure it's relevant. Spammy links will be deleted by admins.

    That's about it!


    What's going on in your homeschool this week?

    Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk

  • Battling Negative Homeschool Attitude With a Change in Perspective

    08 September 2014 / Challenges, Helping Each Other / 0 Comment

    A new academic year is under-way. Let's take a moment to look at our homeschools. How are things going?

    Do you feel like you're still in that warm, fluffy, sunshiny part of the year...or are you feeling frustrated? Difficulties can strike unexpectedly in our homeschools. Regardless of how you are feeling about things at any given moment, you're most likely doing better than you think!

    What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are. –C.S. Lewis in The Magician’s Nephew

    Although this is a quote from a children’s book series (The Chronicles of Narnia), it holds some wisdom for us grown-ups, too.

    homeschool attitude


    Homeschool Attitude

    Allow me to rephrase:

    What we see in other people and what we hear other people say, depends a great deal on how we see ourselves (and listen to ourselves). It also depends on what sort of personality we have.

    If we change perspective (the way we are seeing and listening to ourselves and the people around us) we can avoid unhelpful attitudes and behaviors. This can be a key that opens a door for healthy change. Take a look at this:

    Unhelpful look at self Unhelpful look at others Helpful look at self and others
    Self-critical Critical of others At peace with self and world, as much as circumstances allow
    Perfectionistic Avoidant Can take life as it comes, with mistakes and imperfections
    Finding things to worry about or denying there are problems Nagging or *sticking head in the sand* Change what can be changed (mostly *you*), accept the things that cannot be changed (*mostly others*)
    Living in the past or postponing life for the future Unforgiveness of others or brushing aside relationships while you strive for future goals Living in the present, being respectful of past and future


    Here’s an example:

    The cashier at the local grocery store snips at you and stands staring into space while you bag all your own groceries. If you take the perspective that she is trying to offend you or has a bad attitude you will feel angry. If you take the perspective that she thinks you look funny and have bad breath, you will feel embarrassed. You might have a panic attack if her behavior reminds me of your abusive first grade teacher.

    homeschool attitude

    Unhealthy perspectives can eventually change your personality (for the worse). You could allow yourself to become the kind of person who is rude to cashiers or makes other people do your shopping.

    On the other hand, changing your perspective might change your experience:

    What if you find out that the cashier’s husband just filed for divorce, her father is extremely ill, she lost her wallet with the cash from her paycheck, her first grade child is failing math and she couldn’t find her dog this morning?

    “Poor girl,” you might be thinking… and WILLINGLY bag your own groceries.

    A change in perspective can change your experience. A lifestyle of keeping healthy perspectives helps improve one’s personality.


    Try changing where you stand by changing your perspective, you’ll see more peace and strength in your life.


    homeschool attitude

    Help your homeschool high schooler learn about perspective through solid, but not stolid, curriculum (that looks GREAT on a transcript).


    Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective,

    Human Development from a Christian Worldview, and

    World History and Philosophy!

    These user-friendly, not fussy, e-texts help your homeschooler understand himself better and the world around him better- while building a powerful transcript!

    And for a video encouraging a new perspective, listen to Sabrina's reminder; we are ALL works in progress.

  • Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk

    29 August 2014 / Challenges, Encouragement, Helping Each Other / 0 Comment

    We want to try something new this school year here at 7Sisters.


    Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk

    Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk


    If you need Homeschool Help: YOUR TURN to Talk!

    Tell us what's bugging you, frustrating you, confusing you, intimidating you. Let's all put our heads together and see if we can help each other.

    If you can offer someone else Homeschool Help: YOUR TURN to Talk!

    Tell us what's working great in your homeschool. Share success stories -- you are not bragging, because we ASKED you to tell us the good stuff to encourage us all.

    On Saturdays, we need you to comment here. There's no set theme. This is an "open thread" post.


    These simple rules will suffice:

    1. Start your comment with a topic word or phrase, like "Algebra I," or "editing writing," or "time management." That will make it easy for people to scroll through and read more on the topics that most interest them.

    2. If you are responding to someone who already commented, use the SAME topic they used.

    3. Keep it judgment-free! We need encouragement. We need ideas. We don't need to slam each other if we disagree. There are no cookie-cutters for creating homeschool success.

    4. If you share a link, make sure it's relevant. Spammy links will be deleted by admins.

    That's about it!


    What's going on in your homeschool this week?

    Homeschool Help: Your Turn to Talk

  • Homeschool Transcript for a Special Needs High Schooler: 7 Areas to Capture

    19 August 2014 / By Age Group, Challenges, Helping Each Other, Homeschool High School, Homeschool Transcripts / 0 Comment

    How does a homeschool high schooler with special needs develop a good transcript?
    transcript for special needs high schooler

    Transcript for Special Needs High Schooler

    A homeschool high schooler with special needs should have a transcript that reflects a rich education full of experiences and gift-development. The transcript for special needs high schoolers should also be honest about academics- a child who is not capable of doing Algebra II, should not have some cheesy version of it appear on the transcript. (Simply note in the legend/key of the transcript that he was educated according to his abilities and suggestions given by his diagnostic testing. I recommend that testing be attached to the transcript at graduation, so that helping agencies, like community college or vocational rehabilitation are adequately informed.)

    Here are a few tips for developing a great transcript for a special needs high schooler:

    1. Concentrate on strengths- find an area or two and level up or show as specialty course.

    Lean into them for a leveling-up experience or a special course. Why not have a full credit in Civil War Studies or Auto Mechanics? Click here to find out how to level up or earn an alternate (specialty course) credit.

    transcript for special needs high schooler

    2. Compensate in weak areas

    Homeschool high school is the time for your special needs teen to remediate where there are academic Dedicate some time to:

    -Writing skills

    7 Sisters is can be helpful to some special needs homeschool high schoolers because there are daily, short lessons. Your teen may need supervision or may need to discuss and dictate, according to his/her abilitieis. Start with our FREE whitepaper on writing research with reluctant teens. Then follow up with story writing or essay writing.

    -Inferential reading skills

    Build inferential reading skills (Edcon’s Bring the Classics to Life are great at this. Btw-ignore the alleged grade levels).

    -Literature-reading skills

    7 Sisters Literature Study Guides are no-busywork and clearly understood by many high schoolers. You may work together in a discuss/dictate format. Try our FREE Anne of Green Gables Literature Study Guide for starters.

    -Math skills

    Try Pearson Education’s Pacemaker Math series

    -Science skills

    Try Westfield Studios. Their courses are delightful but be sure to follow the syllabus.

    transcript for special needs high schooler

    3. Have LOTS of sparkle on the transcript: community involvement, appropriate competitions, service opportunities

    This is where your special needs homeschool high schooler can shine. Plow into those talents and strengths. Volunteer at church- nursery, sound system, worship team/choir. Get involved in local homeschool organizations or in the case of spectrum teens- look into local autism/Aspergers support groups. Play a sport. Join a music group.

    Look into competitions. There are lots of online opportunities- looks at Scholastic, local college sometimes sponsor science fairs, Poetry Outloud, Lego Robotics Leagues, National History Day, etc. Your teen doesn't need to win- just have the experience for his transcript.

    Volunteer at local food banks, libraries, missions organizations.

    Show these appropriately on the transcript for a special needs high schooler, not as credits, but as extracurriculars.

    4. Try some apprenticeships

    Discuss with your special needs homeschool high schooler good work ethic skills: promptness, politeness, industriousness. Then let him/her try his skills with a time-limited apprenticeship. Look at local farms, florists shops, libraries, offices. Record these on the transcript under Career Exploration. Sherri Seligson has a great book on Interning

    5. Teach interviewing skills

    Practice with your high schooler some interview skills. Even if your homeschooler has special needs, he/she will need basic skills: dress business casual or business, sit straight, hands on knees, look toward/at interviewer, answer in complete sentences, have some questions to ask the interviewer. Record this as Career Exploration.

    Check my Homeschool Career Exploration Pinterest board for posts on interview skills:


    6. If needed, update diagnostic testing if he/she will need compensations at college level

    Not all teens need to go to college, but if your special needs homeschool high schooler feels led to go- it might be time to get some diagnostic testing. Look at a local educational psychologist or psychological testing service. The test results will include a list of needed compensations, if applicable.

    Include a summary in the transcript legend/key and attach the testing.

    7. Pray

    You know this, anyway. Does your teen know how to turn to God for help and guidance? Record Religion on the transcript.

    What are some suggestions you would make for homeschoolers with special needs?


    Transcript for Special Needs High Schooler

  • 7 Success Tips for a Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

    17 August 2014 / By Age Group, Challenges, Helping Each Other, Homeschool High School / 0 Comment

    In my years as a homeschool advisor and mental health counselor, I’ve worked with a number of homeschooling high schoolers who could be called ADHD. They are not alone, take a look at Parenting.com’s slideshow of famous people with ADHD.

    Sometimes homeschool high school students with ADHD feels badly about themselves and worry about their future. They may have difficulty focusing in their textbooks or notice that they are not favorites with peers. Teens NEED to know that they are NOT defective, NOT useless, NOT incapable. In fact, God has plans for them. They NEED to be empowered to find their gifts, experiment with learning styles, be active, and practice social skills.

    Homeschool High school student with ADHD

    Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

    Every ADHD high schooler is different. Here are 7 tips that have been helpful to the ADHD high schoolers I work with, and some may work for your homeschooler:

    1. If they seek God’s gifts and callings, they’ll feel more confidence, SO emphasize career exploration and self-knowledge.

    Work together (discussion format) through our FREE Career Exploration Questionnaire and our Career Exploration Workbook.

    Once a week or so, pick an activity off my Homeschool Career Exploration Pinterest board to work on together:

    2. If you use a textbook, pick one with short chapters.

    Not all high school textbook writers believe that each chapter must be 31 pages long. Look through possible text. Pick one that does the job in 5-10 page chapters. Pearson Education Pacemaker curriculum does this.

    Our 7 Sisters Psychology, Human Development, World History and Philosophy, and Early Childhood Education follow the short-chapter format.

    Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

    3. Try different formats literature and textbooks. Audiobooks are great for literature. Digital formats for textbooks include ebooks or read on computer or Kindle. The audio format or digital wavelengths help some teens.

    More textbook publishers are including an ebook format or Kindle format. You can see all of our curriculum on our Amazon Kindle page:

    4. Continue the great hands-on learning you’ve done for so long.

    Here is a post on creative credit earning.

    And here’s a link to our FREE whitepaper on Earning a Fun and Easy Fine Arts Credit.

    5. Break big projects into small projects.
    It may require guidance and prompting from you because even broken down into small projects, many high schooler with ADHD, even in a homeschool format, have trouble with big projects like research papers. Help your teen break up projects into small, clearly defined (type it up) goals.
    An example of this strategy is used in our FREE whitepaper on Research Papers for Reluctant Writers.

    6. Concentrate on daily self-care.

    Sometimes homeschool high school students with ADHD are not very body-aware. They need to learn the DEADLY SINS of self-care: NO ONE likes to be around someone who has body odor, bad breath, unwashed face, or greasy hair.

    7. Practice social skills.
    ADHD high schoolers sometimes need to go back and retrain on some things that they learned in elementary homeschool but they have forgotten.

    Skills like holding conversations, appropriate social distance, and reading nonverbals build a teen’s confidence and ability to make and keep friends.

    What are some ways you help your homeschool high school student with ADHD?


    Here’s a rather clinical but helpful video by one of my favorite experts on ADHD.

    Here’s a precious talk from Sabrina about “average” homeschool high schoolers:


    Homeschool High School Student with ADHD

  • Help! My Homeschooler Hates Writing!

    11 July 2014 / Challenges, Helping Each Other, High School Language Arts / 0 Comment

    Writing in your homeschool high school is not automatically an easy subject. Having an honest conversation with your students about what's working, what isn't, what changes YOU as the teacher can make, and what changes THEY as the student can own will make a world of difference. Equipping strong writers is a goal you can reach; you just might need to adjust the way you're attempting it.

    homeschooler hates writing

    Homeschooler Hates Writing

    "Every time I ask my child to write, she says she doesn't know what to say. Getting started is so hard!"

    "My daughter melts down when I correct her writing assignments. How can I help her become a better writer without her taking it so personally?"

    "When I give my son a writing task, he starts off fine, but he ends up rambling and can't stick to the assignment."

    "My child's writing is lifeless. How can I help him without imposing my personal style on his writing?"

    Writing is not a mystical, intuitive process for most people. Just as Math makes sense conceptually to some people but most of us need to have it broken down into steps for us to follow, writing can be broken down in a variety of ways to become more accessible to a variety of writers. Talk to your student to find out WHICH PIECES of the process are most intimidating.

    Is getting started hard? Find help with the videos on the 7 Sisters Homeschool YouTube channel. There's a 5-part series in this playlist that breaks the writing process down into manageable steps:  7 Sisters Homeschool YouTube Channel.

    Is editing a writing assignment wrecking your relationship with your teen? Change your approach to correcting writing assignments.

    If your homeschooler hates writing, try this: lose the red pen and instead try talking about the positives in the piece first. Then address simple spelling and grammatical errors; those are not subjective. After your child has corrected misspellings and grammatical errors, read the piece aloud and see if an awkward sentence might leap out to your child without you even making an issue of it. Stop to ask questions for clarification. Suggest that your child make notes on the paper in the margins regarding places to consider changes in wording.

    You have to edit assignments or their writing will never improve, but some forms of correction feel less threatening than others. If you have a student who is in tears every time you hand back a writing assignment for further edits, a new approach may help.

    What to do with a "ramblin' rose"? Many writers hate to start with an outline (I am one of them, actually). But writing a rambling first draft can be effectively followed by outlining! If you encourage your rambler to write from the heart first, then have him or her go back to outline the way the paragraphs support the thesis  (or not!), you may find greater success.

    If you have a lifeless writer, it is a very delicate thing to coax forth a writing voice from your child without imposing your own style on the piece. Talking about your student's goals for the piece with the paper out of sight entirely can be a key to success. Ask questions like these:

    homeschooler hates writing

    Guides to High School Writing at Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels - $24.99 each - from 7Sisters EBookstore can help your child become a successful writer!

    * Do you want to convince someone to agree with you?

    * Do you hope your reader will feel an emotion? If so, what emotion?

    * Do you want to encourage the reader to take a specific action when he is finished reading? What action?

    * Do you want the reader to picture something in his mind? Hear a sound in his imagination? Remember a smell or a taste or a touch?

    Once your student has decided on a goal for the piece, it becomes much less threatening for you to say, "You said you wanted me to remember the taste of strawberry ice cream on the boardwalk at the beach. What can you add to your paragraph to help me do that?"

    Even if your homeschooler hates writing, these subtle changes in the approach you take to correcting him or her just may make a world of difference in the writing that is produced...and the level of tension in your homeschool!

     Homeschooler Hates Writing

  • Homeschool Essay Curriculum for ANY Kind of Writer

    10 July 2014 / By Subject, Challenges, High School Language Arts / 0 Comment

    Essay writing is an essential skill for homeschoolers these days- for high school students and even for those in middle school.

    Homeschool Essay Curriculum


    Homeschool Essay Curriculum

    Too many students are either bored or intimidated by the challenge of writing essays.

    Those who are intimidated need a homeschool essay curriculum that will explain the process clearly and in a friendly way. They need assignments broken down into manageable pieces so they don't feel overwhelmed. They need to understand the thinking process that is required for developing good support for an essay thesis.

    Those who are bored need topics that are meaningful to them personally. They need the freedom (even the encouragement!) to write with passion, to write with humor, to write with examples that are out of the ordinary.

    Homeschool essay curriculum from 7sistershomeschool.com is designed to meet the needs of the intimidated as well as the bored student...and students who acutally don't MIND essay writing enjoy it, too!

    Geared to give your student a successful experience, our Guides to Essay Writing, by Marilyn Groop, will introduce essays to your homeschool in this user-friendly, no-busywork format.

    Homeschool Essay Curriculum

    Click the image to view excerpts from all 4 levels of Essay Writing Guides.

    Presented in a 10-week, 4 days per week, format these downloadable pdf  guides will teach your homeschooler the steps to writing a coherent essay including:

    -Basic essay format

    -Persuasive essays

    -Literary analysis

    -Compare/contrast essays

    -Editorials/letters to the editor

    -Tips for taking a short-answer essay test)

    The Guides include 3 essay rubrics that you can use to grade the essays, as well as an answer key to the short-answer essay test.

    For more posts about essay writing, check these out:

    Start Strong With Middle School Essays

    3 Helps for Essays for Teens Who Don't Love Them

    How To Strengthen Your Essay Writing Skills


    Take advantage of the great writing resources Vicki Tillman has pinned to her High School Writing Pinterest Board, too!

    Homeschool Essay Curriculum


  • When Your Homeschool Student Needs Writing Help

    09 July 2014 / By Subject, Challenges, Helping Each Other, High School Language Arts / 0 Comment

    It's no secret that developing good writing skills is important. Many students struggle with writing because they start the process with pencil and paper.

    Homeschool Writing Help

    Homeschool Writing Help

    Wait a minute! Isn't that where writing HAS to start?

    Writing only starts with the blank page for people who are natural writers...you know, the ones who just love words, made up stories as little children, and thrive on discussing ideas. For many very "literal thinkers," learning to write needs to start in a very different place.

    Perhaps you have a student who hates to write, or who finds it terribly annoying, or whose final drafts end up dry, vague, or lifeless. If so, taking a new look at the writing process can give you (and your child) a perspective that's empowering instead of frustrating.

    Writing is communication.

    Some people find communication easy. Some find it invigorating. But some find it to be difficult. They are often misunderstood when they speak. They have trouble articulating things more than one way. They deal well with facts, but ideas are vague and slippery. These kids need homeschool writing help, and it needs to start before the blank piece of paper is in front of them.

    Writing is expression.

    More than the simple conveyance of fact, good writing also gives the reader a sense of WHY the author bothered to set these words on paper. There is purpose. There is often opinion, emotion, or evaluation involved. For very literal thinkers, it feels vulnerable and dangerous to allow feelings or preferences or passion to appear in their writing. If they do not understand the importance of this element, they may be truly unable to incorporate anything more than a basic listing of facts when they write.

    Writing is individual.

    The rules of grammar and spelling do not change, and a well-structured sentence is a well-structured sentence. But every piece of effective writing includes the writer's own unique voice. A student who struggles to write descriptively may find strength in writing a persuasive piece. A people-pleaser who hates to take one position to the exclusion of another may be almost unable to write persuasively, but give him or her the chance to write an expository (how-to) piece and the homeschool world becomes a happier place.

    Do you and your student need homeschool writing help?

    Some time back I created a 5-part series of videos to get you started from a different perspective. The first video in the series is here:

    Vicki made available a great way to get started with Research Writing in this post - Help! My Reluctant Writer Can't Do a Homeschool Research Paper!

    Vicki has lots of resources on Pinterest, too. Here's a link to one of her boards with lots of great homeschool writing help: Homeschool Writing Ideas.

    The writing guides in the ebookstore offer homeschool writing help that is easily adaptable to different learning styles. Click the images below and view excerpts from guides for Essay Writing, Research Writing, Poetry Writing and Short Story Writing at a variety of levels from Introductory to Advanced. Written in a friendly style, designed to help students understand WHY different pieces of the writing process are important, they work well with even reluctant writers.

    Homeschool Writing Help

    Essay writing helps teens learn to articulate ideas clearly and effectively. Each ebook Guide is just $3.99.

    Homeschool Writing Help

    Both MLA and APA Research Paper Guides are available.

    Homeschool Writing Help

    Lots of homeschoolers forget to try writing poetry...and lots of kids end up LOVING it!

    Homeschool Writing Help

    So many kinds of short stories...even some that don't require a vivid imagination!

    Homeschool Writing Help

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