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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No-Nonsense Algebra Review

There’s a reason that I became a writing teacher and not a math teacher: algebra.

If I could think about math in small, systematic bites like I can with the writing process, I’d be the perfect homeschooling mother. Thankfully, Richard Fisher’s No-Nonsense Algebra will bring any math-challenged mother of 8th graders and older into the realm of near perfection.

No-Nonsense Algebra is part of the award winning Math Essentials program designed by Richard Fisher. The algebra program includes a 300 page soft cover text/workbook and a personal code for accessing online videos for each lesson.

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A Series of Unbeaten Paths

We have reached a milestone in the Ms. B. household. The first of my three homeschooled kids has graduated from high school!

Is it a huge relief? My son is ecstatic to have fully completed the high school chapter of his life. He is itching to move on. I am a bit surprised, however, that I am not feeling such a sense of relief. For me graduation is marking the beginning of something new, not really the end of something done. Curiously, it’s not just a new chapter; it’s more like a whole new volume in the series of life.

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The Inner Spellist

When I work with high school students in my writing classes, I see tangible improvements in grammar and punctuation usage. I see the ability to compose a paragraph come to life. I also see timed essays worth scores of 5 and 6 but for one thing: spelling errors galore.

Is it common for students to make great strides in grammar, punctuation, and other writing skills but still not be able to spell their way out of a wet paper bag? It certainly is. Spelling occurs in a specific part of the brain. Handwriting has its part, and composing (getting thoughts on paper) has its part. Structuring sentences, choosing words, using punctuation, typing, and so on, each use a different part of the brain. Insisting that the act of writing — complete with proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation — is one big skill that a kid can master simply by writing more is one of the worst forms of educational malpractice out there.

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