Homeschool Life, on writing

5000 Words Fall 2018 Short Fiction Winners!

The 5000 Words Fiction Contest is the culmination of our fall class. Students write stories of at least 1000 words, workshop, edit, and post the final drafts to their WordPress sites. Then the students anonymously judge the stories. All I do is tally them! ūüôā As part of our in-class time, students journey through a… Continue reading 5000 Words Fall 2018 Short Fiction Winners!

Homeschool Life, on writing, Personal Journey

It Ain’t Easy Being Real

I'm a laissez-faire teacher, which is something out-of-control teachers say to make themselves feel better. The truth is, I'm more comfortable allowing my students to talk, so long as I can get them to say, with some degree of accuracy, what I was going to say anyway. Today we did a little self discovery. I… Continue reading It Ain’t Easy Being Real

Homeschool Life, Personal Journey

Fearful, Tearful, Weirdful, and Rise

Fear. I wish I could cut it from my soul with a scissors. I wish I could lay on a comfy couch, talk its existence into oblivion, then charge myself $100/hour. I'd collect my fees and go on a vacation to the beach. I have an active imagination, so I fear things most people haven't… Continue reading Fearful, Tearful, Weirdful, and Rise

Homeschool Life, Personal Journey

Getting to the Whole Story: An Example from my Son

School started today, to my son's horror. We're finishing our history curriculum from last year because I went through K-12 never learning anything after WWII because we always ran out of school year before we ran out of boring textbook. A¬†History of US is one of my favorites because it's a comprehensive, source-driven look at… Continue reading Getting to the Whole Story: An Example from my Son

Homeschool Life, Personal Journey

I Wish I Could Be…

Imagine this. My six-year-old wearing his fuzzy pj's makes this imperious proclamation: "I wish I could be public schooled so I wouldn't have to walk all the way to the kitchen to get my rods." Those rods, to which he referred, were little color-coded blocks that enabled him to learn his fractions and multiplication tables… Continue reading I Wish I Could Be…

fiction, Homeschool Life, on writing

Congratulations Writing Contest Winners, Winter 2017!

One of the highlights of the year for me is the 5000 Words Writing Contest. Homeschooled students ages 13 & up participate in a creative writing workshop and post their revised drafts as contest entries. Entirely peer-judged, the contest prompts some of the most tectonic revisions and highly polished writing these students are capable of… Continue reading Congratulations Writing Contest Winners, Winter 2017!

fiction, Homeschool Life

A Christmas Story by Gabe, 11

Gabe wrote this story in lieu of doing grammar pages. I cut and pasted it exactly as he sent it to me. Years ago, Katae also wrote a Christmas story. It's fun to think my oldest and my youngest got their fiction on in time for the holidays. ¬†In the story you'll note Gabe used… Continue reading A Christmas Story by Gabe, 11

fiction, Homeschool Life, on writing, Personal Journey

5000 Words Writing Competition: Everyone Wins.

  And not just in the sense of participation trophies. Everyone wins because they become confident and robust writers who don't shrink at the idea of putting their minds on the page. 5000 Words develops excellence in writing by combining the following elements: Read quality literature and analyze its structure, themes, and content. (Most recently¬†The… Continue reading 5000 Words Writing Competition: Everyone Wins.

Homeschool Life, Poetry

5000 Words Poetry Lesson, 10-13 Year-Olds

I nearly jump out of my seat when students come up with bold, fresh images that sound like something out of open mic night. A year ago I decided to teach them simile. "A cat is like a kitten," someone offered. Now I have them churning out similes like: disappointment tastes like rocks.¬†Fourteen tweens gather… Continue reading 5000 Words Poetry Lesson, 10-13 Year-Olds

fiction, Homeschool Life, on writing

5000 Words Creative Writing Contest Winners!

Please, Mrs. Griffiths, may we write more than 4000 words?¬†In light of that question, can anyone doubt my status as literary miracle worker? It's true I fielded that question just a few weeks ago, as I gave the final instructions to my 13 & up students on how to complete their entries for the first-ever… Continue reading 5000 Words Creative Writing Contest Winners!