Ideas to Help Boys With Writing


I have found when I am talking to moms about writing that generally boys have more difficulty writing than girls, although I know there are young women who struggle as well. I had the problem of getting one of my sons to write and together we had to work through the writing process. I believe that partnering and modeling are the keys to successful authorship.

  • Write ideas and stories down for them as they are sharing. Writing is communicating ideas on paper and shows your son he has something to write about.
  • Read his stories back to him. This is empowering to a student because he can see that what he has to say matters.
  • Validate your student as a writer. “You were sharing a story with me that I wanted to write down.” means the world  to a new writer since many times they aren’t quite sure where to begin or what to say. (That’s like me and my blog at times.:) )
  • Write along with him. Have you ever been given a project that is daunting that you wanted to keep push it off until that last-minute? Did you wish you has someone to help or encourage you? That’s how many new writers feel. When you sit down and write alongside your budding author, he will see that you value writing and the importance of doing it.
  • Start slowly. At first you may just need to write for a few minutes. That’s okay because ideas build upon themselves. Your son may just have a list of things at the beginning.  Lists are a way of communicating and can be expanded upon in the future if need be. You also can just let that idea go since it may not yield anything further. I have quite a few blog posts that I have begun, but have not been finished. That may be the same way with your son’s writing, and that is okay!
  • Share your writing too. As you share and model the writing process your son will see that writing isn’t it a one and done process. Saying things like, “Oh, I don’t like that sentence.” or, “I was looking for a different word to describe that.” lets him see the process of writing.
  • Keep at it. Writing is like any other skill. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

Some ideas that I have written about have been from the book that I used with my sons called, The Writer’s Jungle, by Julie Bogart.

Safety and Manners Books

51TsXHfXeaL._AA160_I found these darling books for you to read to your early elementary students. The first one by author Margery Cuyler is called Please Play Safe! The book first gives a scenario of the wrong way to act and then takes the scenario and gives the right way to act. It not only includes safety, but also ways to treat others. This can lead to great discussions to have with your child about the playground and being a good neighbor while there.

51wH13KI7QL._UX160_Another book in the series is called Please say Please! Here Penguin has guests over for dinner  and his friends need some help in using etiquette. Just as the other book has a poor behavior scenario and a proper behavior scenario to follow, so does this book. This is a great book to use before going to Grandma’s for dinner!

10 Reasons to Homeschool During the Teen Years


Homeschooling through high school can be difficult at times, but I found that the benefits and rewards far outweighed the difficulties we encountered. Here are some things to consider:


1. You get to see the completion of your efforts. Something is lost when you turn over your home discipling to others.

2. You can customize your children’s education to provide motivation for their gifts and abilities. No one else will be able to provide the consistent and loving support that you can in weak areas.

3.You can direct them to early college entrance. Even public high schools realize many students are ready for college level courses and have cooperating programs with colleges.

4. You can continue the family building process. The teen years continue to be impressionable and formative. This is an invaluable time to cement family relationships.

5. You can be sure that your teens are learning, if they are at home. Studies have revealed that public high school students average 2 hours and 13 minutes of academic work a day.

6. If you send your teens to high school, there will be a diversion away from the academic focus, as well as spiritual priorities. Be aware of the many distractions that won’t parallel the home life you have maintained.Vast amounts of time separated from the family will affect their relationship with you. We have all put great amounts of our heart and time into our home-schooling years, and we want those efforts preserved.

7. Home school is the best preparation for college studies. The home education “style” is closer to college-type instruction.

8. There is greater flexibility for work/study opportunities.

9. Home educators have the best available curriculum and greater selection. Public schools offer revisionist history and science that promotes their humanist perspective. The godly commitment of many great Americans has been deleted from public text books.

10. Age/grade isolation or segregation inhibits socialization. Public school children are behind their home school counterparts in maturity, socialization, and vocabulary development, as demonstrated by available research.

(source: HSLDA)

My personal reason: I enjoyed having my sons around the house! We had a lot of interesting discussions and fun too.  :)

Portfolio Review Time!


You are almost finished with school! Yippee! Now what do you need to do to continue homeschooling next year? Here in Ohio you will need to have your child’s academic progress assessed. This can be done through a portfolio review (also known as a written narrative) or taking a standardized test. Since I have a portfolio review business, I am going to concentrate on this.

There are many advantages to portfolio reviews. I have listed what I think are the most common reasons.

  • If you have a child who is not yet reading or fluency and speed are being developed, a portfolio review is an excellent option to testing.
  • Perhaps you have a “Wiggly One” who has not been used to sitting for a long period of time, written narratives are perfect for them!
  • Many homeschool curricula doesn’t follow the typical public school academic courses and of study or Common Core so what your child has studied will not be tested that particular year.
  • The time is much shorter than testing. 30- 60 minutes is all the time we need, while testing is 6-9 hours.
  • You can use this form of assessment throughout all of your scholar’s academic career (senior high too).
  • It is affordable. My fees are $40.00 for one student and $35.00 for each additional student. I will give you the state required form needed to continue homeschooling.  I will also send you an electronic feedback form that is for your own personal reference.
  • It is perfect for students who have special needs. I tutor ASD students and I have also had several families come for reviews.
  • If you are an unschooler or don’t use textbooks, portfolio reviews (written narratives) allow you to showcase your academic year.
  • I only need to see and evaluate work samples, not your student, so there is no stress to your child being interviewed or quizzed.
  • I successfully homeschooled and graduated my own children. :)

If you are new to the portfolio review process and would like detailed information concerning this option please read the post, Understanding Portfolio Reviews under my Portfolio Review Tab that I believe will be especially helpful.

Please email me at to set up an appointment if you live in the Cincinnati area. I have some evening appointments if day appointments are not possible. I have a BRAND NEW Option for anyone who can’t come to my house or meet me at a nearby coffee shop because of distance or an extenuating circumstance. I am offering Skype appointments this year. If you are interested in this option please let me know when you email me.

I look forward to meeting with you,

~ Lisa

College Credit Plus


There has been quite a bit of talk about the new education program that is replacing the Post Secondary Education Option. If you are a resident of Ohio you have the opportunity to enroll your 7-12 grade student in public college classes free of charge. You may enroll them in a private college as well, but may need to pay a minimal amount. I wanted to make you aware that the deadline for enrollment in this program is April 1. If you scroll down past the information you will see the pdf enrollment form for homeschool students.  If you are interested Click Here