Dear Ms. B. Begins


I have homeschooled my kids since birth. When I became pregnant with my first child in 1992, I was teaching at an inner city middle school in San Diego. My husband and I were part of a small Vineyard church at the time, and three of the families homeschooled. We were so impressed with their family lifestyles and the behavior of their kids that we both agreed we wanted to homeschool our own children.

Even through a horrible divorce eight years later, the Lord granted my heart’s desire and made it possible for me to continue homeschooling by developing the Writing Foundations program. I have been able to schedule Writing Foundations classes in a way that gave me time to work one-on-one with my own kids. While I taught other kids to write, my kids enjoyed dates with friends at the elementary level and took co-op classes at the high school level. Now, I have only one tenth grader who is still homeschooling. My oldest is a senior at a local music college finishing his degree in Production and Engineering. My middle child has graduated from high school and has come to work with me full time at Writing Foundations.

The years have passed so quickly! It astounds me to look back and think, “WOW! I did it! We’re making it!” The journey has been difficult at times and wonderful overall, and I could not have done it without the Lord every step of the way. Like every homeschooling veteran, and like some dedicated, life-long teachers out there, I have learned more than I ever imagined in twenty-four years.

Within the last few months it seems, I’ve been receiving email inquiries from parents with questions about how to help their students through different writing challenges. While I certainly don’t know it all, I have gained a bit of wisdom and knowledge about how children learn and think, especially when it comes to writing. It dawned on me the other day that these responses would make great blog posts.

Therefore, let this be an introduction to what lies ahead. Gradually, I will be posting my responses to questions that parents have sent me about how to best help their child with writing. I hope any readers out there will find them helpful.

The WORLD is Our Classroom

Howdy, folks!

It’s Day 4 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, and today’s topic is Homeschool Classrooms. In case you are just tuning in, hop on over and enjoy Day 3 Planning (free Bible Reading Plan download!) and Day 2 Curriculum too!


I couldn’t resist the title for this post – it’s classic homeschool cheese because, DUH, that’s just Basic Homeschooling Philosophy Number 1 – meet the educational needs of your child in whatever way you best can. You have the whole world to work with, not just a desk and textbook, so go for it. After 12 years and counting, we have homeschooled in the car, in the yard, the library, at the dentist, the grocery store, under the covers, and in the bathroom! The list of locations could go on forever. The whole key to homeschooling is thinking outside of the 8AM-3PM-Classroom-At-Home box. A classroom is really just a place to keep your school supplies. ;-)

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Curriculum Gone By

In case you missed it, the Schoolhouse Review Crew is doing a back-to-school blog hop this week. Each day highlights a special topic pertaining to homeschooling.


Monday’s topic was homeschooling methods. I clicked through 60+ blogs to check the whole hopping thing out, and I came away with one impression: IMPRESSIVE! If you are new to homeschooling or just thinking about it, you will definitely want to bookmark this resource. It is a gold mine of information for newbies and skeptics alike – all in one place!

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Never Stop Learning Giveaway!


Welcome to the Never Stop Learning Blog Hop hosted by Some Call It Natural and Mama Chocolate!

There are over 30 blogs in this hop and they all have at least $25 worth of educational materials up for grabs!  After you enter the giveaway here, go to the bottom of the post, and go to all the blogs to enter their giveaways too!

 Win a Writing Basics Email Course for your student!

Learning to write well can be one of the most unpleasant and difficult subjects for some students. Contrary to popular opinion, good writing skills don’t always just come through reading and writing a lot. The truth is reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all located in different parts of the brain. It’s not always easy to get all those neurons to work together!

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3 Essentials for Family Fun on the Road

We took our first ever and probably only ever family vacation this summer. The 4 of us squeezed into my delightfully fuel-efficient Honda Fit and road tripped it from Minnesota to Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, San Diego, Utah, and Colorado, and back home again. Road tripping can be grueling, but it can also be a whole lot of fun if you include three essential ingredients.

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Chemical Lobotomy Redux

I used to keep a blog from 2004-2008 called Darjeelingirl. It is archived now but still accessible, and I enjoy clicking through it every now and then. I’ve come a long way in my Christian walk and no longer agree with some of the things I wrote back then, but as a family we’ve had some great times. One of these days, I have to get the posts bound in paper form for my kids to enjoy as they grow older.

One minute you’re defending the whole galaxy; the next thing you know, you’re sucking down darjeeling with Marie Antionette and her little sister.
~Buzz Lightyear

One of the posts from January 2005, especially, I never want to lose, so I am going to repost it here. It tells the story of how I discovered just how poisonous artificial sweeteners are. Sometimes I wonder if these chemicals are causing half the anxiety and mental illnesses that people seek medications for. If only they knew that relief could be found by simply avoiding diet pop! The links will be disconnected, but a quick Google search these days will bring up a hundred times what was available on the topic back then.

Chemical Lobotomy

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Blog Review Planning Page

Here’s a little worksheet I created to brainstorm and organize my blog review information. If you are a blogger and could use such a thing, download at will and share liberally with others!

All Purpose Blog Review Planning Page (pdf)

(You know the drill: please share this post link, not the pdf link. Thanks! ;-) )