Simple Spelling Lessons that Work

Simple Spelling Lessons

Before we can teach spelling in ways that work, we have to figure out what ways don’t work. Statistics tell us that traditional ways of teaching spelling are effective for about 25% of students – the same percentage of kids who ‘get’ spelling no matter how you teach it. But there are ways we can […]

How to Be Your Child’s Education Superhero


There’s an old pop song that says, “we don’t need another hero,” but that just doesn’t apply to your kids’ education. Your kids do need a superhero, and guess what: it’s you.  We all know that for better or worse, kids copy our behaviors. They mirror back to us the things we say, the way we act […]

Writing to Learn


There are four reasons for writing:to learn how to writeto demonstrate knowledge, such as in essays and reportsto learn to write better, as in studying compositionto write to learn#4 is my favorite. Writing as a learning tools is a fantastic way to organize information, to synthesize information, and to create in kids a sense of […]

Summer Reading List for 4th-6th Graders

Summer Reading List blue

Summer Reading Lists for 4th-6th GradersBooks help kids become who they’re going to be. But when we’re competing with the digital world for a child’s attention, we’re going to need some good titles to pique their interest. Here is a list of classics that have been raising smart kids for decades.Entering 4th & 5th GradeSounder […]

Writing: She Won’t or She Can’t?

by Cathy Canen-2

Home school teachers are uniquely qualified to teach their kids because they know their kids so well, but sometimes we miss the obvious. Sometimes we think our kids won’t do something, like writing, when actually they just can’t. I did that. What Happened at Our HouseAnna, my little curly blond first-born, was all eagerness with her schoolwork […]

Simplicity: The Smartest Language Skill of All

Image_ Simplicity_ The Smartest Language Skill of All-5

Simplicity and language skills? Can they go together?They must.Since of 75% of kids going to college can’t write a paper, we have to get busy right now and change the way we approach teaching writing. But that’s easier said than done. How do we scale things down? By addressing the basic writing skills one at […]

True Criteria for Critical Thinking

True Criteria Critical Thinking

Most parents want their children to learn to think critically. Our kids are barraged with information every day, and they need tools to discern between the good and the bad when there’s so much relative, fuzzy information out there. To equip them to think clearly through all the options, parents often buy literature programs that […]