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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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
September 23, 2019

5 Homeschool Tips for Writing When You Have Nothing to Say

5 Homeschool Tips for Writing When You Have Nothing to Say

I can’t be the only one who has approached a writing assignment and felt like I had absolutely nothing to say about the topic, right? One time, for a college course, the final exam was an in-class essay answering the simple prompt, What did you learn in this course? My answer? “Nothing.” The course had truly been a bad experience with sub-par instruction from the teacher, and I had been able to skate through all the assignments without …

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Danielle Nettleton
By: Danielle Nettleton
July 18, 2019

Homeschooling Tips: The Joys of Writing in a Journal

Homeschooling Tips: The Joys of Writing in a Journal

In my June blog post about the summer scaries, I talked briefly about different types of writing “assignments” that you could give your homeschool student over the summer. In this post, I want to focus on one type of summer (or year-round) writing for your student: journaling. Journals—the hip, gender-neutral cousin of the diary—have risen in popularity over the past few years for several reasons. They’re a private place for self-expression. They serve as a catchall for anything …

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Danielle Nettleton
By: Danielle Nettleton
April 18, 2019

Writing Well: Why Homeschool Students Have an Edge

Writing Well: Why Homeschool Students Have an Edge

In his groundbreaking book Amusing Ourselves to Death, critic and educator Neil Postman discusses society’s shift from what he deems the Age of Typography to the Age of Show Business—that is, a change from the importance of words to the importance of television and other visual media.   According to Postman, the decline of writing began as early as the nineteenth century with Samuel Morse’s invention of the telegraph and continued on with radio, movies, and television. This …

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Danielle Nettleton
By: Danielle Nettleton
March 28, 2019

What’s the Main Idea Here? Homeschool Students & the Importance of Theme in Narratives

What’s the Main Idea Here? Homeschool Students & the Importance of Theme in Narratives

Narratives, as Mr. Stephens often points out in his videos and curriculum, are fun to write and fun to read. Whether personal or imaginative, they tend to allow for more expression and creativity than compositions such as essays or research papers.   Writing the narrative can be easier as well, for the homeschool student is usually describing a series of events (hopefully not unfortunate) in the order that they occurred. The writing is fun; the construction is simple. …

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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
March 1, 2019

Writing Well, the Reading Way: Help for Homeschool Moms About Why Reading Affects Writing

Writing Well, the Reading Way: Help for Homeschool Moms About Why Reading Affects Writing

Want to know one of the secrets of writing well? Read. This may seem strange and even counterintuitive. If you want to be a better writer, then you should read more? If you want to be an artist, should you frequent museums? If you want to be a professional sports player, do you watch as many games as you can? As a matter of fact, yes! You do! Exposure to an ideal is instructive. If you want to …