Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Kitchen

Our kitchen is truly the heart of our home. We do so MANY different things in this area of our house. Of course, we cook, serve meals, and eat meals in this area. We preserve food and make wonderful creations in here too. However, I spend many hours of each day doing school in our kitchen. Each and every one of our children have learned to read at our dining room table. I mentioned something about one day getting a new table. My older boys were appalled with such a thought. They like the friendship that they have developed with the old table. They have memories that were made at that table, and they weren't exactly excited about replacing the table of their childhood.

Today I spent the last several hours teaching my 12 and 10 year old children how to write. We spent time creating topic sentences and making diagrams to help us brainstorm our essay. I always write with my kids. It helps them to see me work on a paragraph. We try to critique my writing so they can see strong sentences as well as weak sentences. Writing is one of those things that I find is easier to do than to teach. Which is a funny thing because I am an English teacher by trade! Some people are easier than others to teach to write. My oldest son has done very well in college because of his ability to write good essays. I spent his entire 7th grade year with him teaching him writing. We wrote a lot that year together, and it has paid off in the long run. Do any of y'all have any good suggestions for a writing curriculum that you like to use? I am also spending some time doing research on the Internet. I have found some great sources to help me. If you know of any good writing sites, please leave a link in the comments. I need help!!!!

I believe the true key to writing is doing it often. That has been a mistake that I have made with Jacob and Hope. I haven't spent time each and every day writing with them. Tomorrow we are going to hit it again, and I am planning to have them write something every day. I find it much easier to teach older kids to write...you know...high school age kids. Younger kids are a bit more of a challenge for me, but I know with some hard work on all of our parts, we will be able to master this!

grace and peace,
julie

5 comments:

LizBeth said...

Julie, one of my favorites books about writing is The Christian Short Story, by Ruth Kurtz Hobbs. Published by Rod and Staff Publishers. Many examples. One of the things I appreciate about Mennonite story writing is the effort put into telling the story rather than glorifying the writer.

Andrea Cherie said...

My sister and I have the same "relationship" with our mom's mixing bowl! One day my sister just announced out of the blue the mixing bowl will be hers when mom passes on...to which my mom responded, I'm not THAT old! Each family is different in their attachments!

Boysaplenty!! said...

I have been using Institute for Excellence in Writing and we love it! Have you heard of it? It teaches writing from a completely different approach-the outline. It was designed for home schoolers by a home schooling dad. Go to excellenceinwriting.com for more info. It made such a difference in my highschooler's writing almost immediately. It is kind of expensive but it is non-consumable so you can reuse it with your younger ones or sell it. Also, it is for all age levels not just highschoolers. Hope this helps!

TnFullQuiver said...

Lizbeth,
Thanks for the recommendation. I have ordered from Rod and Staff before so I will give it a look.

Andrea Cheri,
Yes, we all have things that mean a lot to us from our childhood. After my dad died, I was more interested in my dad's photography items because that is what I did with him. My brother however asked for my dad's smith and wesson gun that he taught us all to shoot with when we were kids. That would have never crossed my mind, but I am happy to know that my brother has it if I ever want to shoot a few rounds again!

Pam,
Thanks for the help. I am looking forward to getting a chance to look at it.

grace and peace,
julie

Dreamer said...

I love writing. One of my favorite ways to practice writing is keeping a journal. I read the blog one home school father that has his kids write a journal entry every day. It can take the form of a poem, or a book report or simply a diary entry. Whatever they write, they are learning how to put their thoughts down on paper and that requires mulling over sentence structure and the sequence of events. This same father has his kids copy a Bible verse or passage of verses everyday to practice their penmanship. They write carefully and use their very best handwriting each morning to copy whatever verse he has selected into their journals.

Just some of the ideas I liked.