Essential Conversations

This blog is devoted to all aspects of writing, literature, and teaching. We are excited to partner with you on your homeschool journey and provide you with helpful and quality content in our blog posts.

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Danielle Nettleton
By: Danielle Nettleton
March 2, 2018

For the Homeschooling Student Who “Just Doesn’t Get” Literature

What can I do for my homeschool student who struggles with understanding literature and who “just doesn’t get it”?   Somewhat recently, a friend and I were discussing some short stories assigned in her Introduction to Literature class. “I’ve read some of them before in seventh grade,” she told me, “but it doesn’t really matter. I didn’t understand them then, and I don’t understand them now.”   She was partially joking, but that conversation stuck with me. The …

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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
February 28, 2018

Homeschool, Literature, and Writing: What to Do with Poor Responses

“My homeschool student’s literature response is poorly written! How do I grade the response and help my student write better?” This is an issue that every educator deals with. Some people might be tempted to slap a D or an F on the assignment and move forward, but that won’t help the student in future compositions, so what can we do? Even though the concept of a “wrong answer” should not really apply to literature, written responses can …

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Hope Tolbert
By: Hope Tolbert
February 23, 2018

The Importance of Personal Writing

For some of us, writing is something to check off the to-do list.  Writing may simply seem like a necessary evil. However, I think every homeschool student has the potential to love writing.  How? By writing even more. Let me explain. My mom was determined that all eight of her kids would be creative. When I was a baby, she would give me a pile of crayons and tape paper to my highchair. As a result, I learned …

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Danielle Nettleton
By: Danielle Nettleton
January 26, 2018

Transforming Better into Best: Homeschool Writing and Proofreading

Why is proofreading an important part of the homeschool writing process?   Proofreading, to many students, is a dirty word. Visions of poring over endless lines of text dance in their heads, trapping them until the composition is “good enough”—and even then, mistakes may have slipped through, causing them to wonder in frustration why they even bother proofreading if mistakes persist anyway. Proofreading, however, is a vital tool for the writer regardless of experience or age. A fact …

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Jeremiah Barker
By: Jeremiah Barker
January 17, 2018

Good Writing Takes Time

When I write, most of the time I’m staring down the blank page, which is what I did before writing this blog post. But before getting frustrated, I remembered this is what writers spend most of their time doing: waiting. This isn’t always the case, but it is often the case for many writers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed when writing, this doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Good writing takes time. When I’m scoring submissions for Essentials in …

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Matthew Stephens
By: Matthew Stephens
January 9, 2018

Improving the Homeschool Writing Experience

Teaching homeschool writing can be frustrating especially for those of us who write well and do not have to be bothered by checking for such things as capitalization and punctuation errors. Those writing rules come naturally for us. But, it doesn’t always come easy for our students. What seems to be such an “easy to remember” task isn’t always the same for our students. Maybe you can relate to this conversation I had with a homeschool mom. Parent:  …

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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
January 3, 2018

What’s the Right Answer? Homeschool Writing and Literature

2 + 2 = 4. Always. The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Correct. The scientific binomial name for a llama is Lama glama. Amusing, but also factual. Subjects like math, history, and science have right and wrong answers. 2 + 2 never equals 7, and the Declaration of Independence was not signed in 1864. These answers are easily checked and marked as right or wrong on activities and tests.

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Essential in Writing
By: Essential in Writing
January 2, 2018

Welcome to Our New Blog

Welcome to our new blog! We are very excited to launch a new addition to our website that we believe will be beneficial for students, teachers, and home school parents. This blog will be devoted to all aspects of writing, literature, and teaching. We are excited to partner with you on your homeschool journey and provide you with helpful and quality content in our blog posts.