Homeschool Life

Student Flash Contest Winners!

Judging is a buffet where I love every dish. How do I pick just one? As I read through the entries, I jot notes down and assign a number to rank them. I re-read the top-ranked stories and even some lower ranked ones that are still on my mind. Then I wring my hands and… Continue reading Student Flash Contest 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

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

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!

Personal Journey

H is for Homeschooling

H has to stand for homeschooling because we've been doing this gig for seventeen years. When we got on the homeschool road it was legal, but it was something only weirdos did. For us it was a grand experiment and had all the attendant insecurity of such. Now homeschooling is like breathing. The year we… Continue reading H is for Homeschooling

Homeschool Life, Personal Journey

G is for Gabe

Gabe. At 11 he's already a gentleman. I've lost him behind a held-open door thinking he's coming. A Wendy's double burger with cheese, mustard, pickles, and lettuce will make his day. He could easily stuff down a Wendy's triple, if he could just dislocate his jaw like a python. Gabe will share his last Swedish… Continue reading G is for Gabe

Homeschool Life

The Raw Homeschool Mom, My eBook

One of my goals last summer was to publish an eBook. I did it this summer-- better late than never. Were I not the perfectionist I am, it wouldn't have been all that monumental a task, but I am the queen of revisions. I read and re-read, suddenly hating this or that, spending hours and hours… Continue reading The Raw Homeschool Mom, My eBook