• Curriculum,  English,  Uncategorized

    8 Parts of Speech: Interjections

    Wow! We are on the last part of the 8 parts of speech series. The final one? Interjections, of course! What is an interjection? It’s a word that interjects strong emotion. These aren’t used in formal writing often, but we use these in conversations and conversational writing daily. They also show up in our favorite novels, so if your child likes to do creative writing, knowing how to punctuate these correctly proves important as well.  Incorrect: Oh I need to buy school supplies. Correct: Oh, I need to buy school supplies. Incorrect: Yikes school supplies are expensive! Correct: Yikes! School supplies are expensive! Any questions? Post in the comments below.…

  • Books,  Curriculum,  History

    Studying History

    History is one subject we have chosen not to cover during our cottage school day. We realize that some subjects work well at cottage school, but others don’t. We all decided to do what we want for history: Annie uses Memoria Press (classical) for history lessons; Amelia uses Sonlight (literature based); and Jenny and I use Susan Wise Bauer’s “The Story of the World.” All of us supplement our history textbooks with various books focused on what time period we are studying. The benefits of a good history curriculum are priceless though. What should you look for in one?  First, make sure it’s covering world history and not just American…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  Fathers

    What Do Homeschool Dads do?

    The dads of Cottage School Life play a significant part in homeschooling. A lot of attention is put on what we–the homeschooling spouses–do, but we cannot forget the role of the spouses who spend most of their time working hard in their careers. In our four families, the dads do most of the work outside our homes. We recognize not every homeschool family looks the same (some dads do most of the homeschooling), so this post is to highlight some differences since all of the dads play roles in our homeschools in various ways. We want to share those with you:  Annie’s husband John tutors their children in Latin and…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Eight Parts of Speech

    After learning about nouns and verbs, the next part of speech you can teach is pronouns. Pronouns take the place of nouns so that we don’t sound ridiculous when we speak. If we didn’t have pronouns, we would speak in third person! (Christie thinks that Christie has to go to Target to buy what Christie wants.) Thankfully, we have pronouns so that we don’t repeat ourselves over and over again or sound insane. Even though pronouns seem to be an easy part of our language, some problems in usage still arise. It’s best to teach your children 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person (pronoun case) to the point they understand that…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum

    Choosing Classes and Curriculum

    A few years ago Annie, Jenny, and I (Amelia) were discussing changes we planned to make in our individual homeschools. We each had decided to no longer participate in one of the local large homeschool co-ops but were lamenting a few of the aspects we would miss–namely art and science. So we started thinking about the possibility of meeting once a week to do an art and science class with each other. The support of doing it together made it seem like less work for each of us individually and that appealed to us. The question then became: What would we use for curriculum?   Choosing a curriculum can be challenging.…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  Science

    Teaching Science – Sea Creatures

    This spring semester for science, we studied sea creatures using Apologia’s Exploring Creation series. This is the 3rd book in this series we have used at cottage school, and it has been a helpful curriculum to use as we learn more about God’s creation! The Exploring Creation series has colorful pictures on each page related to what’s being taught.  It also has several hands on activities in each chapter meant to highlight and reinforce what was learned. Another plus is that the experiments use items that mostly can be found in your home. The lessons about sea creatures have been quite informative. (We moms have learned many things we didn’t…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Nouns and Verbs

    One of the best ways to teach your child about complete sentences is to help them understand the basic parts of a complete sentence, a subject noun and a verb: S V Jesus | wept  “Jesus wept” is a complete sentence on its own because it has those two parts.  Nouns name. This is one of the easiest concepts to teach in English because you simply can look around the room and name people, places, and things around you and your child. Next, name activities and ideas. These aren’t as easy, but you must teach these harder-to-name nouns to your child as well. Swimming (activity) and love (idea) are both…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Why We Use IEW

    Encouraging young writers to be creative all the while. This program takes a student from writing a paragraph at the beginning of the year all the way to a five-paragraph research paper by the end of the year. It’s simply amazing! As a homeschool mom by day and a college writing instructor by night, I appreciate this curriculum immensely because students can acquire the tools they need to be ready for college writing, yes, I said college writing. If you have zero experience with teaching kids how to write, you can learn yourself with the enormous amount of materials IEW provides for homeschool moms. There are weekly podcasts, teaching seminars…

  • Books,  Cottage School,  Curriculum

    Teaching “A Tree In The Trail”

    One of the great joys of teaching is freshly discovering the subject with the students. Even if you know the material, watching new faces learn new material is thrilling. Our geography class also edifies me since it is mixed with familiar and new content, while we have explored the American landscape and the stories of Holling C. Holling. This spring semester, we studied the landscape and the history of the Southwest as we read, mapped, and explored our way through “Tree in the Trail.” Who doesn’t want to talk about Cowboys and Indians? Their life and times are richly fascinating and full of adventure! We followed a similar pattern to…

  • Cottage School,  Curriculum,  English

    Eight Parts of Speech

    The basic building blocks of any subject is its grammar. We often think of English as the only subject having grammar we must learn, but even riding a bicycle has grammar. We must know the parts of the bicycle like the handlebars, pedals, and brakes before we can even try to ride it. When I hear countless people tell me how much they hate English (because many people love to tell English teachers that for some strange reason–haha), I often wonder how many of them truly tried to memorize the foundation of our language. Before you can identify a run-on or misplaced modifier in your own writing, you have to…