10 tips for teaching a reluctant high school writer part 2

10 Tips for Teaching a Reluctant High School Writer – part 2

  |   Teaching High School, Teaching Writing   |   No comment

This is 10 Tips for Teaching a Reluctant High School Writer part 2. If you missed the first post with tips 1-5, read it here -No matter how old your reluctant writer is, several of tips 1-5 apply!

Continuing now with tips 6-10 in teaching a reluctant high school writer.


6. Ask for your high school writer’s help.

I know this sounds odd, particularly for a reluctant writer. However, when a student perceives himself as needed, it builds confidence.  Try asking student to help out by reading a short assignment from a younger sibling, or even something you’ve written.  Obviously, you don’t want to ask him to do something that is beyond his ability. So be sure to work through basic self-editing skills first.

Why all of this focus on editing?  Students who can edit their own work tend to feel more confident about writing.  Although editing is a different skill than writing,  it’s not uncommon for a reluctant writer to understand how writing should look. (Even if he’s not so excited about writing.)  As well, the more editing practice that occurs, the better the writing skills later.


7. Be novel – try “paired writing” with your high school writer

Consider writing projects or paired writing. Often high school students will contribute more and gain more confidence if they are not writing alone.  Discuss this with your student prior to making any decisions.  If your student is adamant about not wanting to write with another student or sibling, don’t push it.  In our experience, however, most students feel less pressure when more than one person is involved, especially if he’s writing with another student.


8. After reviewing the basics, teach your high school writer the 5 basic essay types.

The basic high school essay styles (expository, narrative, persuasive, comparison/contrast and descriptive) are vital for high school students to master. Take your time and work on them over the period of a year. Preferably, your student’s ninth grade year.

  • Work on the styles one by one moving from simplest in form (expository, narrative and descriptive) to more difficult (persuasive and comparison/contrast).  Most students like certain styles over others, which is natural.  Be as encouraging as possible when your student finds a style that fits his personality. In fact, consider adding an additional assignment to fit that style.  It will build confidence.  Allow more time for the styles that do not appeal to your student.
  • Before beginning any essay writing, read through examples of essays in that style to help your student have a very clear understanding of the format.  Reassure your student that there will be multiple draft opportunities to get it right.
  • Outlining is essential for every student (different outline types are discussed in our Teacher’s Manual for 6th-12th grades). Mastering this skill will provide structure and again, build confidence in a reluctant writer’s ability to get the assignment completed.
  • Consider writing an essay together.  While this may feel like pulling teeth, it is well worth the effort.  It will also remind you of how challenging it can be to complete such an assignment, insuring future compassion from you!  🙂
  • Vary essay lengths. Many schools push the 5 paragraph essay and yet, most colleges prefer a student with a more varied writing style.  Encourage your student to write shorter and longer essays.  You may even want to start with a mini-essay of only three paragraphs.  Descriptive essays are good candidates for this writing assignment. No matter what writing curriculum you use, feel free to modify as needed for your student.
  • Be patient.  Yes, the clock is ticking, but in four years of high school there’s plenty of time to include a wide variety of writing experiences into your student’s curriculum.  Also remember that your student will grow and mature more in those four years.  So you need not tackle every problem in the freshman year.  My reluctant writer grew exponentially in his writing ability over those four years!

In fact, he derived great pleasure in college by passing along a comment from an English teacher who had commended him for writing on the same level as a graduate student!)  Who would have thought?!


9. If possible, work in two research papers during high school.

Research papers are a fact of high school life.  The great thing about a research paper is that you break it down into smaller components and work on a little at a time.  Most students take a semester to write a paper,  but for a reluctant writer, it could take a little longer.  There are no rules about how long it should take, but ideally, a college bound high school student should have two research papers under his belt by graduation.

For reluctant writers, the topic will make all of the difference.  (See tip #2!)  With the first experience, most definitely allow the student to select the topic.  You may want him to give you a list of possibilities and you help narrow it down, but it should be topic of interest.  Keep the first research paper shorter (6-10 pages) for a reluctant writer.

Reassure your student that she’ll have PLENTY of time to get the paper finished and you’ll break it up into small pieces with deadlines throughout the year. Then stick with those deadlines as much as possible.  If there is an issue keeping the deadline, don’t let it be because you didn’t have something graded on time, didn’t get your student to the library, etc.).Additionally, nothing is more discouraging to a student than telling him his commitment to his work and your deadline  is critical, but then making him wait forever to view and evaluate his work.  Consider grading each segment of the process, because there is less pressure with multiple grades than one major grade.

Once your student is familiar with the research paper format, try to fit in a second paper. Tackling an academic topic at this point would be fine. If you could use some help teaching the research paper format, we have a course for that.


10. Look into writing courses.

Sending a reluctant writer to a writing class may seem odd for a student who is already insecure about his abilities. Actually, though, we’ve found that sometimes male students, in particular, respond better in a structured, class setting.  They often work harder because they do not want to appear incapable in front of their peers.

Whether you teach your student yourself or find another instructor, know that reluctant writers tend to achieve more with teachers who have a sense of humor and are encouraging, without allowing the student to deviate from the course.  Grace and understanding when a student is struggling, balanced with accountability, is not always an easy combination of traits to master, but definitely worth the effort.  If your relationship with your reluctant writer is strained over this subject, consider finding another writing teacher for a season, at least. Make sure to discuss the issues with the instructor ahead of time.

If you decide on outside classes, one option to consider is Classes by Beth Plus.  Beth Hempton is one of our authors and is a gifted and experienced teacher.

Teaching a high school student is truly a sacrificial act for many parents.  When that student is a reluctant writer, the jewels on the crown increase exponentially!  Just remember that this is only one aspect of your student and that you both will make it through with prayer, patience and time. God bless and know that the fruit of your labor will not go unnoticed!

Don’t forget to go back to read the first five tips here.

Are you struggling this year with a reluctant high school writer? Which of these tips might help?


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Paper Crafts for Thanksgiving!

  |   American History, Books!, Hands on Activities, Holidays, Teaching Elementary School   |   2 Comments

crafts for Thanksgiving

I LOVED making holiday crafts for Thanksgiving and other holidays with our kids. So much so that I still collect different colored paper, ribbon, stamps, and other craft supplies throughout the year. We’ve often checked out craft books from the library and have found some great ones there.  But I’ve purchased my favorites from Amazon and used book stores to make sure I have access to them when I want them. 🙂

No matter how old your children are, making crafts for Thanksgiving is a good time to:

  • talk about the holiday’s origin and why it’s important. You can even consider this time as school (history and social studies).
  • count down the days until Thanksgiving as we prepare various projects (calendar review and math).
  • fulfill those “hands on” needs elementary children (and older children!) have
  • provide a happy break from some of the more academic things we do. And if you have a child that’s more artistically inclined, even better!

The presence of extended family and friends and the chance to make and eat our special Thanksgiving recipes (like our family’s huge pumpkin gingerbread cookies) all make Thanksgiving special.  But the chance to consider what we are grateful for leading up to Thanksgiving is a not-to-be-missed opportunity (character training).

As far as Thanksgiving crafts go I especially LOVE paper crafts – they are fun for multi-age siblings (and mom!) , inexpensive, and not terribly time-consuming.

Paper Crafts for Thanksgiving

If you love them, too, here is a must-have book that has simple, inexpensive Thanksgiving crafts that kids (and moms) love to make.

crafts for thanksgiving
This useful Thanksgiving craft book has plenty of patterns and clear, simple, illustrated instructions for making turkey pop-up cards, a “Happy Thanksgiving” table greeting, a 3D “I am Thankful for my Family” sculpture, a cute reusable turkey stencil, and much more.

The book begins with a easy-to-understand history of the Thanksgiving holiday and suggestions for using recycled paper to complete the projects.

In the “Read About” section at the back there are further book suggestions and website links to places where you can read more about Thanksgiving and see additional Thanksgiving crafts.

Our hands down favorite project is the pop-up turkey card!  You can see how simple the directions are in the image below.

crafts for thanksgiving

In addition the clear instructions, this is my favorite craft book for Thanksgiving crafts because of the really cute projects!

Does your family have specific crafts you love to make for Thanksgiving? If you haven’t started that family tradition yet, it’s never too late. 🙂

I’d love to hear what you do with your kids to prepare for Thanksgiving!



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teaching a reluctant high school writer

10 Tips for Teaching a Reluctant High School Writer

  |   Teaching High School, Teaching Writing   |   No comment

Don’t Panic!

Are you teaching a reluctant high school writer this year?   Battling over writing launches a whole new type of anxiety into the mix, especially if you’re teaching high school writing for the first time.  The clock seems to tick faster faster and faster,  and so often your student just wants high school to be over with, while all you can think about it is getting that kid prepared for and into college.  Teaching reluctant high school writers to write can be difficult, to say the least!  Let me reiterate…don’t panic!

Our oldest was not a reluctant writer in high school.  Often it was a matter of helping this student focus or narrow the writing that was the issue instead of needing to motivate this student to write.

Little did we know that the next child to come along would be the opposite!

In fact, it was so difficult  to motivate this one to write before high school that I traded  with another mom: I taught one of hers and she taught this one of mine writing during middle school, and that worked wonders to give all concerned a break, lower the level of tension in our homeschooling and made school easier for all involved.  So that may be another option for you to consider.   🙂

If you are teaching a reluctant high school writer, try these 10 tips:


1. Review the basics

I don’t know of  too many moms who feel that their high school students’ writing couldn’t use improvement. If your highschooler is heading to college, there are going to be college entrance essays to write.  And scholarship application essays to write…and that is just to get into college – let alone the writing your student will be expected to do in college.   Feel the pressure yet?  :-O

If you aren’t sure your student is well-versed in the basics of writing, such as paragraph development, using correct grammar and punctuation, writing clearly and succinctly, creating a solid outline, using transitions, and editing his own work, then that is where you want to start.  It’s never too late to learn and practice the basics.

And the basics need to be mastered prior to heading into the more advanced topics, such as writing introductions and conclusions, crafting powerful thesis statements, and supporting those statements with solid points.

This may sound intimidating if you are not a natural writer — but you can do this.

There are tools available to help, such as several writing resources I recommend, as well as Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.  Even if writing seems scary, this is not rocket science. Writing is a just a skill, like many others you have learned and taught over the years. And how do you learn any skill?  By step-by-step instruction and practice.  (This website has some practice exercises that can help.)

When you’re ready to teach your student how to write the five basic high school essay styles, you can pick up our high school course written to your student, Essay Styles for High School. It has clear, simple instructions written directly to your student, with LOTS of detailed grading tips to make YOUR job easier.


2. Use high interest topics wherever you can.

This is a life saver!  If your student is already curious about and fascinated by a subject, why not make your job easier by letting your reluctant writer research and write about it?

My reluctant writer is a music lover, and was enthralled by guitar,  especially electric,  in high school.  So, in order to teach research paper writing, I suggested he use the history of  electric guitar as a topic,  making the idea of a eight page paper much less daunting.   He loved the research.  Additionally, he loved talking about what he was learning, so we got some extra narration in.  He learned about research, documenting sources, taking notes, organizing his information, creating a detailed outline to write from, and more — all while learning more about what he was already interested in!  This whole process became painless because he was already fascinated by his topic.

With a little creativity, you can even legitimately incorporate your highschooler’s interest into your normal studies, while getting in extra writing practice:

  • Is your baseball lover studying American History this year? How about writing a short report on the history of baseball?
  • Does your student love art? Suggest your student write about impressionism, cubism, a favorite artist, or the history and creation of oil paint.
  • Have an avid animal lover?  Encourage writing about conservation efforts of endangered species or wildlife crime.

Sometimes removing the focus from the writing itself and putting it on the highly interesting subject can be all it takes for a student to get the job done!


3. Model Writing Yourself

Whether you realize it or not, your high school student is watching you closely.

Make sure that your homeschooled students see you writing, even if it’s just email.  Let him or her “catch” you reading your email aloud back to yourself so that you can edit it.

For boys, it is even more important for them to see Dad or male siblings doing this.  Even in this day and age, boys sometimes develop an attitude that academics, and especially writing, are “girl” things.  You probably self-edit without even thinking about it.  We even edit our emails and rarely send them without reading them aloud.


4. Encourage and incorporate plenty of practical writing.

Practical writing skills allow a high school student to practice writing without the pressure of a graded assignment.  Thank you notes, emailing correspondence (yes, you can say that no emails will be sent to relatives without being edited first), writing a resume, even writing a description for selling an item on Ebay or in the newspaper can be valuable experience.  Again, help your students see that writing is nothing to be afraid of, but is just a part of normal life


5. Teach high school writers to edit their work.

This skill is vital for high school students to acquire, even reluctant writers.  As with all difficult areas, begin small, especially if self-editing is a new concept to your highschooler.  Have your student only edit for one thing at a time to begin.  I usually suggest reading for content first.  Have your student ask herself: does what you write make sense?  Do you need to add or clarify anything to get your point across?

Reading aloud also helps one catch those duplicate words and those words you thought you wrote that aren’t actually on the page.

On subsequent assignments, add checking for correct punctuation, varied sentence structure, punctuation, etc.  If you’re using our Unit Programs, there is a self-editing tool that you can adapt and use.  It is on the Tools CD or in our Teacher’s Manual – Tools section. Begin with self-editing smaller assignments and move on to longer ones as your student begins to build confidence.


So if writing has been a struggle this year, don’t panic.  If you take writing instruction step-by-step and get the help you need, you’ll be fine and your student will get the writing foundation he needs in preparation for high school writing and beyond.

Teaching a high school student is truly a sacrificial act for many parents.  When that student is a reluctant writer, the jewels on the crown increase exponentially!  Just remember that this is only one aspect of your student and that you both will make it through with prayer, patience and time. God bless and know that the fruit of your labor will not go unnoticed!

Are you struggling this year with a reluctant high school writer? Pick one of these tips that encourages you and start implementing it today. (Tell me in the comments for some accountability!)

Be on the lookout for part II of this post with the last five tips!



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Young mother and daughter laying on the grass

6 Ways to Protect Your Health While Homeschooling

  |   Encouragement, Parenting/Homeschooling in General, Personal Growth   |   9 Comments


I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

Homeschooling can wreak havoc on your health if you aren’t careful. You know it and I know it. Keep reading for 6 simple ways to protect your health while homeschooling.

You’re tired most of the time. Your kids and your husband ALWAYS come first.

You look around and see all the things that need to be done, if you just had a little more time. A little more energy.

You’d like to be spending more quality time with your husband, if you weren’t ready to drop once the kids were in bed.

You feel stretched like a rubber band nearing its breaking point.



Homeschool Moms don’t Take Care of Themselves

Anybody who knows me well knows I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. In fact, once I sucked down an entire cup of coffee made with SALT WATER and didn’t even notice until I got to the second cup.

I used to stay up late getting school lessons ready and then get up early, hours before my kids, just to be awake and coherent enough to be the parent.

Now most moms with babies are in not-enough-sleep mode for perhaps months at a time, but moms of homeschoolers may live in this state for decades! There is ALWAYS more to do than is humanly possible. And we have pretty high standards when it comes to our kids’ education, don’t we?  Standards that we generally feel we aren’t meeting, which adds even more stress.


Stop taking care of everyone without taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself you are not going to be as effective taking care of everyone else!

And if you are still resisting, let me re-frame this for you: shouldn’t you be a good role model for your kids of a balanced, healthy lifestyle? Of course!


6 Ways to Protect Your Health while Homeschooling


  1. Get some sleep.

When you can get that 7-8 hours, do so – even if you don’t have all your lessons together. Instead of waiting until the night before, plan at least a week of school at a time, on the weekend when your husband (or a sister homeschooler) can take your kids for a few hours.  If you can’t get enough sleep at night, work on taking a nap when the kids are taking theirs or when an older child can supervise.  It’s tempting when the kids are sleeping to do something productive or  fun instead. But first get enough sleep.

  1. Get moving.

Sitting is the new smoking. If your kids are past the infant/toddler stage, you may need to work at getting up and moving more. Ideally, hit the gym, jog, or go for a long walk. If you need to supervise the kiddoes, put on some dance music (maybe a little heavy on the base notes) and DANCE with your kids or clean the house as fast as you can, with a few extra trips up and down the stairs if you have them. If you make a point of moving almost daily to the point of sweating, even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing, I promise you will be happily surprised at the new spring in your step.

  1. Get outside.

If you can, get outside for a walk by yourself – God’s creation is unbelievably relaxing, even healing. If you need to bring the kids, take a nature walk. Stop and sketch what you see around your yard or a local park. Just eating your peanut butter-and-jelly on a blanket in the backyard is a pleasant break from being inside all day.  In fact, you can discuss the Civil War, listen to narrations, or do a lot of other schoolish things outside instead of inside! Varying your routine to add more time outdoors is refreshing and healthy for everyone.

  1. Get smart about your eating and drinking.

You look for sugar and carbs for quick energy when you’re run-down, but they are just good for a rush and then it’s back to as-exhausted-as-usual.  If you drink more water and eat more fresh vegetables, less refined sugar and carbs, less processed red meat and more chicken and fish, you will FEEL BETTER. I know veggies are a pain to cut up, so do it in batches. Cook a big pot of veggie soup or chili a couple times a week so you have some left-overs. Make meals and snacks healthy and trade regular AND diet soda for water.  You’ll be doing yourself and your kids a favor, you’ll think with more clarity and be lighter to boot!

  1. Get consistent about your quiet times.

How does Bible time help your physical health, you ask? Not only does regular Bible and prayer time help guide you as you guide your kids, it also helps give you a healthy perspective on life. It eases your stress. It helps you get a glimpse of the big picture, rather than worrying about the less-important details homeschool moms tend to focus on. What’s the opposite of worry? Worship.  It works every time.

  1. Get time by yourself.

This is the hardest one of all to achieve, but mom you are so worth it. Pay a babysitter, enlist your husband’s help or trade child-watching time with another homeschool mom and get some time away. A biweekly mom’s night out with friends or even drinking coffee and reading at a Barnes and Noble by yourself is invigorating and restorative. If you have the means for an occasional pedicure, massage or even a weekend with girlfriends, DO IT.

None of this is rocket science. You’ve read and heard it all before. But it takes determination to actually do it. Put these six simple steps into practice regularly.  You’ll be amazed at the difference they make!

Tell me which one you would like to do first and what change you are hoping for in the comments!



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5 Simple Steps to Your Big Picture Plan for Homeschooling High School

  |   American History, Curriculum, Geography study, Language Arts, Teaching High School, Teaching History, Teaching Writing   |   No comment

Do you have a middle schooler or 9th grader? If you are planning on homeschooling through high school, there are some things I know about you:


  • You know how important these high school years are.
  • You wish you were more confident about your student’s academic foundation for high school.
  • You’re anxious about how this beloved child going to get into college.
  • You pray that there will be scholarship money available from somewhere.
  • You’re stressed that you don’t have any big picture plan for homeschooling high school and you have no idea where to start.


If you don’t have one, you need a big picture plan for homeschooling high school. And I’ll show you how to make one in 5 simple steps.

How do I know these things? Because I’ve been right where you are now.  We homeschooled our two through high school. By God’s grace, one has a doctoral degree, graduating with honors, and the other is now in his last year of graduate school, also working on a doctoral degree. I’ve successfully been through this homeschool-to-college thing and have helped many others do the same. And I can help you.

But you only have two kids – it was easy for you, you declare. What if I told you I was diagnosed with breast cancer halfway through my oldest’s high school years,  when we were supposed to be visiting colleges, have all the record-keeping done for merit-based scholarships, be taking the SAT and ACT, and preparing to fill the gaps in courses and credits to get everything we needed by the end of senior year?

Yup, that’s what happened, but it worked out, because God was merciful.  Did I wish I had been a little more organized prior to that?  Yes.  Did we get to do everything we planned on the schedule we’d thought? No. But that’s okay, life seldom works out just like we plan it, but having a plan made ahead of time will help when life’s interruptions and the unexpected occurs. Because it will.


Step 1:  Set up a spreadsheet or make a form you can use to create your big picture plan for homeschooling high school.

Or you can use a few from our upper grades Teacher’s Manual by clicking here.


Step 2: Especially if your student is planning on college, take an online survey of colleges’ undergraduate requirements.

Choose a couple of public and private colleges in your state or places you’ve considered/are considering. Search under one of these:

  • undergraduate admissions
  • undergraduate requirements
  • recommended high school courses

And don’t forget to check with your homeschooling accountability group for their requirements!


Step 3:  Based on your research, fill in the courses you know your student will need.

Something along the lines of:

  • four English/Language arts courses – usually a General Literature, American Literature, British Literature, World Literature.  The titles don’t have to be exactly the same. Though colleges do want to see courses that look familiar to them, not something real unique. 😀
  • 3-4 math courses, with Alg. I, II and Geometry.  If your student might consider a science or math major, try to squeeze in 4 and take Pre-calculus next.
  • 2-3 sciences that have labs with them — usually, biology, chemistry and physics. Note that physical science is not a lab science.
  • 3 1 credit courses of the same foreign language. This could be a modern language, such as Spanish, French, or Mandarin, or it could be an ancient language, like Latin,  Greek or Hebrew
  • 3 credits in “social sciences” (I never have liked that vague term, btw.)  This usually needs to include 1 credit (year) of American History, 1/2 credit in American government and 1/2 credit in economics. You might also include World History for one of the social science credits.
  • 1 year of fine arts –this could be anything from singing in the choir or piano lessons to music appreciation
  • 1 year of physical education — this could be a matter of recording playing hoops in the driveway or taking tae kwon do classes, or a combination of running, exercise DVDs, etc.  You just have to track the time here and equal about 145-150 hours.
  • academic electives — colleges like to see some academic electives such as a high school composition coursePublic Speaking, Research Paper, world geography, extra math or science, etc.

Make sure to get the three main math courses in as early as you can, because your student will do better on college readiness exams with them under his belt.  You may need your student to take the SAT/ACT for the first time without the third math course, but make sure by the second time he or she has had them all.

Scholarship hint:   it’s usually grade point average  as of the end of the junior year that determine merit-based scholarship eligibility.


Step 4:  Consider your child’s gifts and abilities with the fine arts and physical education credit and to round out the elective credits.

  • Does your son play on a city soccer team? By all means, count that for physical education.  Does your daughter take piano or guitar lessons?  Count that for your fine arts credit.  And you can count music lessons, recitals, and performances for that credit; both when your student is the performer or when she attends a performance related to her ‘course.’
  • If your student likes to cook, how about a Nutrition course? You can simply find a few books to read about nutrition, have her write a few papers about the latest research, do a month or two of meal-planning, and cook a number of nutritious meals… it’s not too hard to put together. If you need additional help, consider our e-book: Designing a High School Course using Real Books.
  • If your student loves art, there are a number of directions you could go in putting together an elective: art history, survey of a certain genre of art, watercolor or oil painting lessons, study of impressionism, cubism or other art movement.


Step 5 : Start early preparing for college readiness exams like the S.A.T. and A.C.T.

  • It’s a good idea in late middle school to begin working on vocabulary.  I know I’m not totally unbiased, but research shows reading a variety of books helps build vocabulary — so please consider using literature-based homeschool curriculum for the bulk of your high school courses.  Have your students get in the habit of jotting down unfamiliar words and trying to figure out by the book context what the word might mean before looking it up.
  • When your student hits 9th grade, purchase an up to date study guide for the SAT and for the ACT, if you are planning on having your student take both tests.  (Find out which test is preferred in the colleges you might consider.) Make sure to get the study guide that’s put out by the people who make the tests, as they are the only ones who can legally use real questions/problems that have been used on previous tests. The most valuable part of these guides are the practice tests.  Have your student work through the book, cover to cover, and take the first practice test straight through, under simulated test conditions.  Then grade it and look back over the sections where review is necessary. Then take the next practice test… etc.
  • Plan on taking the college readiness test(s) of your choice at least twice.  Both of mine did this and made a lot of improvement the second time.
  • If your student has a rough time on part or all of the test, consider getting a college student, a parent you know who’s a wiz at math, grammar etc., or a college prep test tutor to work with your student.  It is worth the time/money if your student gets scholarship money, correct?


So, do you have a middle school or new high school student? Have you made a high school plan yet?   Tell me in the comments!

Would it help to have a little e-book with a four and five year planning forms, examples and planning tips?  Click here.


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On Sale Saturday 7/23/16 only – Our High School Literature Courses at 20% Off!

  |   Curriculum, Language Arts, Teaching High School   |   No comment

BritishLitCoverAmericanLitCover  WorldLitCover


High School Literature Courses 20% off on Saturday only

Colleges will love to see these three essential English courses on your student’s high school transcript! We recommend high schoolers take them in this order: American Literature, British Literature then World Literature.  (World Literature is best for 11th/12th graders).

We consider our Essay Styles course a prerequisite to all of our history and literature courses, or it can be taken along with your first high school literature or history course.

Normally $43.97, at 20% off you’ll be saving $8.79 per course if you pick these up before midnight on Saturday (7/22/16).  



Read more and see samples:

American Literature

British Literature

World Literature


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On Sale 7/22/16 at 40% off – Our Teacher’s Manuals!

  |   Curriculum, Specials!, Teaching - all grades, Teaching Elementary School, Teaching High School, Teaching Middle School   |   No comment

Teacher's manual for K-5th gradeTeacher's Manual for 6-12th grades










Our Teacher’s Manuals are on Sale at 40% off the regular price

Our Teacher’s Manuals cover how to teach literature-based history, geography,  language arts, science and fine arts, all from a biblical worldview, from Kindergarten through High School.  One comes with each of our Unit Programs (the Complete Programs), but you may also get them separately.

On 7/22/16 until midnight our Teacher’s Manuals are going to be 40% off.  Normally $50, for 7/22/16 they will be $30, saving you $20 per manual. 

Our Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Manual covers:

  • what supplies you’ll need and how to organize and store them
  • dealing with your toddler when you’re trying to school and how to handle poor attitudes with your kids when they occur (and they will)
  • making school more fun and engaging by learning to recognize your children’s learning styles and teaching accordingly
  • how to teach phonics, reading, grammar, punctuation, literature, poetry and more, using whole, living books, the Charlotte Mason way
  • choosing the right copywork to teach the skills your students needs to learn
  • integrating science, art, music and more into your history studies
  • teaching you multi-age children together

Read more about our Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Teacher’s Manual here and see the Table of Contents.


Our Sixth through Twelfth Grade Manual

Like our K-5th Grade manual, our 6th-12th grade manual teaches YOU to teach history, language arts, science (through 8th grade) and fine arts.  Even more importantly, it helps you do the big picture thinking and planning to get your middle school students ready for high school!

Starting to think about this early makes it a lot less scary!

  • You’ll unlock  informative lists of the essential English skills your student needs to learn in middle and high school.
  • Special sections will show you how you can evaluate your student’s learning using narration, describe different learning styles and how to teach to them, and help you (and your student) prepare for standardized testing.
  • Guide your student to efficiently self-edit his writing, using our self-editing forms
  • Discover how to plan and teach units and courses and what type of high school electives your student must have.
  • Learn the five types of high school essays your student needs to know and how to teach them.
  • Find out how to award high school credits, keep a high school course record book and portfolio of your student’s work.


Read more about our 6th-12th Grade Teacher’s Manual here and see the Table of Contents.


If you’d like to learn how to teach using whole books rather than dry, dusty textbooks, you need our Teacher’s Manuals!





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Our History Courses on Sale 7/21/16

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Day 4 of our Big Summer Back-to-School Sale Features our High School History Courses at 15% off!

Until midnight on Thursday, American History I and World History I are each $37.37, saving you $6.60 per course!

You’ll also be able to pick up the companion to World History I — the WHI Teacher’s Guide is normally $39.97 for a printed copy (today $33.97).  We also offer an immediate digital download, normally $9.97 but today only $8.47.


To pick up all the high school history courses your highschooler needs, check out the links below:

American History I

World History I

World History I Teacher’s Guide




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On Sale 7/21/16 — High School History Courses!

  |   American History, Teaching High School, Teaching History   |   No comment

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Pick up one of our High School History Courses, written from a biblical worldview,  at 15% off!

Your high school students needs a course in American History and one in World History during their high school years. This is a great chance to have them both, with the extra plus of having them written from your family’s worldview!

American History I and World History I are normally $43.97, but from 8:00 am on 7/21/16 to midnight that night they will each be $37.37, saving you $8.47 on each course, or $16.94 on both.

Also on sale is the World History I Teacher’s Guide (with all of the  answers and evaluation tips, of course)!  This is normally $39.97 (printed copy) or $9.97 (digital download).  Today they are only $33.97 (saving you $6.00) and $8.47 (saving you $1.50).



Get your High School History Courses and Teacher’s Guide at these prices TODAY only  by clicking on the links below:

American History I* 

World History I

World History I Teacher’s Guide

(Don’t forget to select the hard copy or digital version of the World History I Teacher’s Guide from the drop down menu!)

*In case you were wondering, the American History I Teacher’s Guide is in the back of the American History I course.  Because our World History I course is almost 200 pages, we had to split it and the Teacher’s Guide into two books!  You wouldn’t have wanted to carry them around in one book, trust me.  


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On Sale 7/20/16 — Unit Programs and Daily Lesson Plans!

  |   Curriculum, Teaching - all grades, Teaching Elementary School, Teaching High School, Teaching Middle School   |   No comment

unit programswhat comes with daily lesson plans


Day 3 of our Big Summer Back-to-School Sale features our Unit Programs and our Daily Lesson Plans at 15% off!

We’re changing the time a little on this and starting the sale at 8:00 am instead of at midnight. So beginning at 8:00 am on 7/20/16 until midnight that night  you will save $14.25 off any Unit Program and a whopping $37.50 off the printed copy of our Daily Lesson Plans or $30 off the CD version of our Daily Lesson Plans! WOOHOO!


Unit Programs –  normally $95 are $80.75:

Primary Unit Program (Kindergarten through 2nd grade)

Intermediate Unit Program (3rd through 5th grades)

Preparatory Unit Program (6th through 8th grades)

Secondary Unit Program (9th through 12th grades)


Daily Lesson Plans (Printed copies) – normally $250 are $212.50:

First Grade Daily Lesson Plans

Second Grade Daily Lesson Plans

Third Grade Daily Lesson Plans

Fourth Grade Daily Lesson Plans

Middle School-1 Daily Lesson Plans (best for 7th or 8th grade student)


Daily Lesson Plans (on CD) — normally $200 are $170

Use the links above, then using the drop-down menu, select the CD option!




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Why do “public school at home” using textbook curricula, when you can use innovative programs that are based on the way children actually learn?

Learn more about our curricula’s subject integration and our unique history cycle and see our curriculum options.  Explore our blog and receive two free gifts for subscribing to our free homeschool helps.

Train up a Child Publishing offers literature-based homeschool curriculum from Kindergarten through High School, all written from a Christian worldview. From our unstructured, Charlotte Mason-style Unit Programs, to our structured Daily Lesson Plans and our popular High School Courses, we have you covered.

Uniquely engaging with assignments appealing to different learning styles, Train up a Child Publishing curriculum makes homeschooling fun and effective.