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
March 22, 2019

Why Should I Care about Writing Well?: Help for the Homeschool Parent and Student

Why Should I Care about Writing Well?: Help for the Homeschool Parent and Student

I have an acquaintance who will text me once in a while, and her texts always leave me in confusion. She writes like she is picking up in the middle of a conversation we never had. It’s lengthy; it references things that I don’t understand; and when I reach the end of the message, I’m not sure what she was contacting me about in the first place. It’s only a text message, but it’s written very poorly. Now, …

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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 …

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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
May 14, 2018

How Should a Homeschool Student Approach Academic Writing and Personal Topics?

How Should a Homeschool Student Approach Academic Writing and Personal Topics?

Isn’t it wonderful when you can write an essay focusing on something you actually care about? Let’s face it—not everyone is thoroughly invested in preparing a persuasive essay for living in the country or the city, or comparing and contrasting heat and cold. Sometimes, however, you are given the opportunity to write about something that personally applies to your life, and it’s thrilling! At the same time, this can be a tricky issue to handle in academic circles. …

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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
February 28, 2018

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

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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Athena Lester
By: Athena Lester
January 3, 2018

What’s the Right Answer? Homeschool Writing and Literature

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.