Episode 53: Homeschool High School Writing: Mom’s Involvement

Overview: Mom’s involvement in her teen’s homeschool high school writing does not have to be scary. Misti Lacy of WriteShop has tips and ideas to help!

During the high school years, our teens are getting more independent. How does that work for writing? How involved does Mom need to be? What about planning, editing, grading, oh my?

Misti Lacy, the Curriculum Consultant for WriteShop, is a veteran homeschool mom with oodles of years teaching writing both at home and in a co-op setting. She offers much insight into how we can help our teens through the writing process without being too helicopter-y.

We start off with a discussion about MLA format which we had forgotten to address in the last episode. Don’t make the same mistake I did, LOL!

Plus, Misti and I just had fun conversing with one another, which I think you can hear on this episode. Two veteran homeschool moms sharing from our years of experience. Join us for our chat!

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Mom's involvement in her teen's homeschool high school writing does not have to be scary. Misti Lacy of WriteShop has tips and ideas to help!

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Episode 53: Homeschool High School Writing: Mom’s Involvement

Related Resources (may contain referral links):

WriteShop Website

My review of WriteShop I & II for high school

Episode 51: How to Make Writing Interesting for Homeschooled Teens

Episode 52: How to Prepare Your Teen for College Writing

Homeschool High School Writing — Tips and Curriculum Reviews

Episodes 31-33: Teaching Writing in High School with Kay Chance

Episodes 34-35: Tips for Teaching and Grading Writing in High School

TRANSCRIPT:

0 (0s):
You’re listening to episode 53 of the, It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School podcast. Moms and dads who are out there in the trenches with their homeschoolers are just like, I’m the only one dealing with this. I’m the only one. I don’t know a thing about what I’m doing, you know? And we’re there, we’ve been there. I’m not there now. My kids are older, but, but I’ve been there and we just live in the real world. We have kind of, I call it pie on the floor kind of days.

0 (48s):
Welcome to another episode of, It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School, the podcast for real people. So you can confidently competently and even contentedly provide the high school education that best fits your teen and your family and live to tell about it. I’m your host Ann Karako from annieandeverything.com. Yes, everybody, welcome back. Misti was just saying we’re on a roll and we are, this is Misti Lacy from Write Shop. She’s the curriculum consultant over there, has been for I think about three years. She used Write Shop for tons of years, years before

2 (1m 28s):
that in a co-op setting and with her own kids and we’re very thankful to have her here. We’ve been talking about such interesting things about teaching writing to your kids. In the first episode, we talked about making it interesting for your teen. The last episode, we talked about getting them ready for college writing. We discovered that we forgot to bring up a couple of topics. So we’re going to touch on them really quick, but first Misti, welcome back.

1 (1m 51s):
Thank you. Thank you for having me today.

2 (1m 53s):
You betcha, it’s been so much fun talking. We were just both saying about how scared we can sometimes get about these interviews. And then they always turn out to be a lot more fun than we think they’re going to be. She and I have been having a blast. So if you haven’t heard those other two episodes go back and listen to them. You can do it before you listen to this one or pause on this one and go back or you can just listen to this one first. We don’t care but do take advantage of that. So Misti, we forgot to bring up the whole topic of formats, like MLA format. And there’s another big one. I forget what it is. APA. Yes. And so I have a personal story.

2 (2m 33s):
I did not with my older kids. We never went over those. I didn’t even to be honest with you, I didn’t know they were a thing. They weren’t a thing when we went through college. I had no idea they were even a thing. My second daughter goes off to college and literally gets an F on one of her first papers because it was supposed to be an MLA format. She had no clue what that even meant. She didn’t, I don’t think she even bothered to try to look it up, it was just something that really went over her head. And then who cares whether the paper was written well right, itself. If it wasn’t in MLA format, she did not follow the instructions. And that was a learning lesson for both of us. So what do you have to say about that whole thing?

1 (3m 8s):
Well, the first thing I have to say is for everybody listening, we’re just normal people. Like you just admitted that you didn’t teach your kids, MLA formatting. I mean, I have a story of, I was trying to critique my daughter’s writing one time, even though people were paying me to teach their kids writing. And she’s like, you’re picking on me, running upstairs, slamming the doors. I mean, we live in the real world, we’re not perfect. And I think a lot of times, moms and dads who are out there in the trenches with their homeschoolers are just like, I’m the only one dealing with this. I’m the only one.

1 (3m 48s):
I don’t know a thing about what I’m doing, you know? And, we’re there, we’ve been there. I’m not there now, my kids are older. But I’ve been there and we just live in the real world. We have kind of, I call it pie on the floor, kind of days. After I’d moved in with my grandma, I didn’t realize that her oven shelves don’t hook when you pull them out. And I was making a pie for this auction, I’d pulled the shelf out and the whole thing just went on the floor. It was a big mess. And I was like, ugh, and that’s a pie on the floor kind of day. And we all have them.

1 (4m 29s):
That’s the world we live in. We’re real people behind this microphone and just doing what we’ve been called to do in the best way that we know-how. So if you’re in the trenches, we’re here for you. We’ve been there. We understand. And we all have pie on the floor

2 (4m 47s):
kind of days. So I love it. That’s one thing. Now, back

1 (4m 50s):
to the MLA, APA formatting. The devil is in the details when you talk about those kinds of formatting and if the kids will learn that. So if you’ve got a junior or a senior or a sophomore that likes a challenge or has had a number of writing classes or is good at that, and they have that structure down, like we talked about the last time in our last podcast. If they have the structure down, then go ahead and move them to the five-paragraph essays and then add-in. After they get the five-paragraph graph essay structure down, then add in the formatting of the MLA or APA, baby steps.

1 (5m 30s):
Don’t try to throw them five-paragraph essays. They have to have an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. And they have to have times new Roman, 12 font, double spaced, one-inch margins, page numbers over here, or work cited page, their in-text citations. I mean, just listening to it all can be overwhelming. Yeah. So do it one thing at a time. It’s okay. You have time to do one thing at a time. Once the kids learn how to do format. And I would say stick with one. MLA is the one that most community colleges use, not all of them, but a lot of the liberal arts colleges generally use MLA, but it depends on where you live and what college your kids are going to.

1 (6m 14s):
But once they learn how to follow the format for one type of writing, then they can change that over to anything because they will learn to look at the details. Where do the periods go? Do I have page numbers? Do I have comments? How do I center my titles? Do I have a cover page? Once they learn that, then they can change that over to whatever the professor’s asking them in college. Cause even I tutor kids through college writing class and the college had their own formatting. They decided they didn’t want to be normal like everybody else in the country.

1 (6m 57s):
And they had this formatting that they had to use. So once the kids get the idea behind that formatting, they can change that to anything the professor’s asking, but they have to be able to see the details. And that’s important. And I think that as homeschooling parents, we should have our juniors and seniors getting used to some kind of formatting before they walk out the door.

2 (7m 24s):
Yeah. I definitely learned that one the hard way. So yeah, my youngest has used MLA. I think I might need to touch base with her on that one. I think my fourth child, I was just like, Hey dude, this is a thing. Be aware that when you get there, this will be a thing. Even if we didn’t walk through it specifically, he at least now was like, okay, I will keep an eye out for that and I’ll know what to do when I get there. So part of that kind of segues into my first question for today. What is your opinion about independent learning for our high schoolers? As in having them learn things on their own, and then maybe mom’s just there to answer questions or to grade the final result.

2 (8m 15s):
What’s your thoughts on that?

1 (8m 17s):
Like I said, in our last podcast, I took my kids, we did a lot of literature-based learning as the kids were growing up. But once they got into high school, I wanted them to be accountable and to have assignments and be able to turn those in. So some kids can do independent learning and some kids love that; they really don’t need a lot of direction. I hesitate to tell parents to put their kids in dual enrollment classes because that is college credit. And if the kid isn’t ready, that’s a permanent record for their child. So be sure, sure, sure. Once the kid enrolls in a college class, then the parent has no recourse. They can drop it or the kids can not do well.

1 (9m 7s):
There’s just a lot to consider in that arena. But some kids do really well with independent learning. They’ll open a book, they’ll watch videos, they’ll do their online schooling and they’ll do it well. Other kids just don’t get don’t do it; they need to be teacher-led, they need to have somebody sit down and, and say, this is what we’re doing today. Here’s a little activity, let’s do an activity. My son is a super bright kid. I think it’s important to know what kind of learner your kids are. My daughter is super visual. She liked to dance, and she liked to move and dance.

1 (9m 49s):
She did gymnastics for years, so anything I could do to have her moving around was great. My son is an audio type of learner. He likes to hear things. If he can hear it, he remembers it. And so he, I read to him, his history and literature. That’s been till he was about a junior in high school. I finally decided the stuff he was reading and doing was getting a little complicated and I’m like, you’re on your own. And then he turned to audiobooks. He listened to audiobooks while he’s driving. He listens to audiobooks all the time. So I think it’s important to know what kind of learner your kid is before you jump into the, my kid can be totally independent and do all of this on his or her own.

1 (10m 33s):
It’s really important to know your child because we don’t want to just say, well, you’re 15 or you’re 16, so you should be able to do all this on your own. They may not be able to, if they have learning challenges or just some kind of peculiarities, they may need that direction. And that’s okay. I always think about it like this. Why not take the time to be involved in your kids’ education while you have a chance? They are going to be gone someday and you don’t want to regret it. So why not be involved If you have the chance. Maybe not helicopter them, maybe not be super involved. Surely don’t do the work for them, but definitely, be involved.

2 (11m 17s):
Those are wise words. And when you talk about peculiarities, I was laughing because I think we all have them, right? So I had given my daughter, basically the books for a couple of different courses. And I was like, here you go, have at it. And she procrastinated and procrastinated and procrastinated, and I’m like, what’s going on? And lo and behold, what she needed was for me to just make the schedule for her. And then once I made the schedule, she was able to move on from there. But the task of actually making a schedule or plan, she needed more from me than for her to do the entire thing.

2 (11m 56s):
And that’s even as a senior and now she’s chugging along fine, as long as she had the schedule made for her. So yeah, every kid is going to be different as far as that’s concerned. When it comes to writing, though, it does seem like how can we get away from being hands-on there. They’re going to need some serious feedback. And I feel like, so that’s a subject that we would be more hands on than others. Right? How involved should mom be with writing?

1 (12m 28s):
If your kids haven’t had a lot of writing experience and they’re teenagers, it’s okay to let them dictate to you. It’s a lot of processes to think, and to put into place. If they’re critically thinking about something, trying to pick the right word, doing sentence structure, the process of handwriting or typing. If they’re not comfortable with typing, it’s a lot. So let them dictate. You write it up on a whiteboard and they can type it out later after they get their thoughts out. It’s just like us, sometimes we just need to brain dump. We need to talk to somebody about that. And I think that having a sounding board is a good thing, it is a good thing.

1 (13m 10s):
It’s not necessarily holding them back or not making them independent. That’s a good thing to be that sounding board. So definitely talking to them about brainstorming about the organization of their paper, I think is good. And depending on the level of your kid, how much you want to be involved with the writing, definitely don’t write the paper for them or do the assignment for them, that defeats the purpose. But just watching over that process is a good idea. Scheduling is also a good idea. I used to have, um I love throwing things on the floor to be honest. It’s my thing. When I get groceries, I throw the bags on the floor.

1 (13m 51s):
When I get [unaudible] I crumple it up and throw it on the floor. I love lists and I love crossing things off of a list and throwing it on the floor. So I used to use scratch paper and markers and write a schedule for my kids, or this is what you need to get done as far as schooling. Those, we weren’t super organized as far as I didn’t have a spreadsheet or calendar days. I would just say today, these are the things you need to get done. And if they didn’t get them done, but they put a good effort in we’d move it to the next day. If they didn’t get it done and they messed around then they were stuck. Like they may be up until one, two o’clock in the morning getting their stuff done. Cause they chose to mess around during the day they could cross it off with a marker and throw it away and throw it on the floor.

1 (14m 37s):
And if it was on the floor, I knew it was done. And that was a good thing for us. Just little insights into my homeschool. I think it’s good for parents to be involved, not to procrastinate and not to think that it’s something to be avoided. But to edit their rough drafts, definitely watch over their outlines to see that it kind of makes sense. Help them with research if they’re doing research projects, it’s hard. It’s hard to know where to find academic sources and not just Google something and go to Wikipedia or whatever.

1 (15m 17s):
But Google scholar is a good little tip. Start there for academic research. It used to be to go to the library and pull out the old card catalog and look through things, that doesn’t happen anymore. But you can certainly go to Google scholar and they’ll give you better articles that are more academic to help your kids find the sources that they need. And don’t be afraid to jump in and be that partner. That sounding board for them. I think those are all good, good points for a parent.

2 (15m 52s):
Love it. So then they’ve labored over this piece, whether it’s a sentence or a paragraph or an essay or a research paper or a narrative, whatever it is, they’re not going to grade it themselves. We have to read this thing and somehow come up with a grade. And we’ve mentioned this a couple of different, just in passing at, in the previous episodes, but it’s a, it’s a scary task. Especially because this is your kid’s writing and you love your kid and you might love what they’re writing about. Maybe they’re sharing a specific story about their lives or something that they think.

2 (16m 36s):
And you’re like, wow, this is an insight into my kid I’ve never had before. How can I take a red pen to this piece of paper? How do we grade our kids, our teens writing, how do we do that?

1 (16m 50s):
It is a creative piece. So I think you have to think of it like a work of art. And even, depending on how much they’ve worked at it, but you know, the effort they’ve put in, but think of it like a work of art. So a gentle touch is always the best thought. Go with a gentle touch and err on the side of grace rather than on the side of perfectionism. So I think that’s one thing to keep in mind as a homeschooling parent who’s trying to grade their teens’ writing. Also always using rubrics or checklists keeps you away from being the bad guy. And it puts the bad guy as that paper, it’s that checklist, that rubric.

1 (17m 32s):
My mom has a little thing that she gives out at baby showers. And that’s a poem about Mr. Timer and how Mr. Timer is set. This is how long you have to take a bath. This is how long you have to play outside. All of a sudden the mom’s not nagging the kid because it’s the timer’s fault. Oh, the timer rang. That’s it you’re up. And so even for homework for little kids, set the timer. You have 20 minutes to work on this, that’s it. The kid knows they have 20 minutes, when the timer rings, they get to be done. So Mr. Timer was the bad one, it was Mr. Timer’s fault that they couldn’t keep playing or that they had to sit and do the math for that amount of time or whatever.

1 (18m 17s):
In this case, it’s the rubric’s fault. It’s the checklist fault. And that keeps these students, your kid from being mad at you for attacking their paper. It’s the rubric’s fault. And I think that’s important. So if it’s a problem and you’re really finding resistance, it may be time to hire a tutor or go to some kind of a hybrid school or co-op where your kids can be accountable to somebody else. I can’t remember, or even know how many parents have said to me; my kid does not listen to me when it comes to writing, and I have no idea. So here you go. The kid was fine for me. I could edit sentences, change things around, talk to them, laugh about it.

1 (18m 59s):
And I always said to the kids, look, we’re all in the same boat. I’m here to help you. I’m not perfect. I don’t like math. Don’t ask me math questions. I’m an English girl. So, and don’t ask me how to spell anything. And I’ll probably misspell words. That’s just the way it is. Thank goodness that we have technology that tells me it’s wrong. And so I think once they know that you’re not lording it over them, that we all have areas of weakness and things that we need help with, that they will take the criticism a little better. So even if you’re doing it at home, don’t use a red pen, use a pencil. Why not?

1 (19m 39s):
Why not just use a pencil? Right. Here’s a tip though, in the writing process; so I’ll just run through the writing process very quickly. Oh yeah, do that. There should be a prompt. So the prompt can be whatever, describe something or write a persuasive paper about this, there’s a prompt. Or analyze a work of literature. And then there should be a little bit of thought and then brainstorming. And the kid may need to talk to you about that brainstorming. Write their ideas up on a whiteboard, turn some Christmas wrapping paper around, tape it to the back of a door and, and write it on Christmas wrapping paper.

1 (20m 20s):
It doesn’t have to be like, oh, we have to sit at the computer and type an outline. Just brainstorm some ideas, use graphic organizers. If you’re using Write Shop, the brainstorming sheets are there so you don’t have to worry about that. But if you’re using another curriculum or doing it on your own, just be creative in how you’re brainstorming, then the kids should do a brain dump. A sloppy copy is what Write Shop calls it. And the reason Write Shop calls it a sloppy copy is because we want the kids to have permission to mess it up. It’s sloppy. It’s meant to just get something out on a piece of paper and think through, do it as best you can, but don’t worry about don’t be stuck by perfectionism.

1 (21m 7s):
Just get it on paper. I highly recommend typing at high school. So that way they don’t have to labor with the rewriting and rewriting, especially as their assignments get longer. Just let them type using Google docs or word or pages or whatever. And then when they’re done with their sloppy copy, they need to print it. This is a very important step that I think a lot of parents skip because we live in a technology age and they want to save paper or ink. But this is important. It’s hard to see mistakes through a computer screen, but once they have it in black and white, then let them walk around the house, turn circles in the middle of the living room, walk out on the basketball court, and read through what they wrote.

1 (21m 56s):
And they can see their mistakes. They can see things that don’t make sense where it’s not a complete sentence or it’s a run-on or maybe they start every sentence with this is, this is, this is so they need to see that in black and white, and then they can edit it. If they’re using Write Shop they use the student writing skills checklist. If you’re using a rubric, then go use that rubric and say, does the student have this? Do you have this? And let them see what mistakes they can catch or how they can make their paper better. Even if there aren’t mistakes in it, after they do the editing of their sloppy copy, they should go back to the computer and fix it up;

1 (22m 38s):
and make it the, this is as best as it can be mom copy. That’s what Write Shop calls the first revision. But even if they’re turning it in to a teacher, it’s the this is as good as it gets. I’ve tried and this isn’t my best effort right here. People come along and help me again. They should print it out. Sometimes teachers want it electronically and that’s okay in that situation. But if you’re a mom at home or a dad at home, and I would suggest again that you print it out and you edit it with a pencil or a blue pen or a green pen, something that’s not red.

1 (23m 19s):
It’s just because red is so brazen, it shows up so much and they can see it. They know if it’s a pencil mark, or if it’s a blue pen, you don’t have to be that brazen about it. And if you’re using a rubric or a checklist, stick to that, don’t criticize something that’s not on the rubric or the checklist. Don’t try to rewrite the whole thing. It’s not going to be perfect. That’s okay. They have time to just stick to the checklist, edit those things that are on that checklist or on that rubric, and then give it back to them and let them finish it.

1 (24m 4s):
So then you give it back to them and then they write their final. And then you can grade it according to the rubric or the checklist. And that’s it. That’s the writing process. And that’s what should happen. Whether the writing assignment is five sentences or whether the writing assignment is a 10 page research paper, kind of the same process. And that’s what the parents should be involved in. It’s that editing proofreading, handing it back gently critiquing. And might I add, as you’re gently critiquing always say what they’ve done well, right, right. I love your title. I mean, sometimes it’s hard to know what to say, but I love the subject.

1 (24m 48s):
I’m so glad you’re passionate about this. I love this description. Find things, find anything to say that is positive about that paper.

2 (25m 2s):
I love that the whole writing process is really kind of an example of baby steps. So we’re not looking at this whole paper and saying, okay, here’s your prompt now sit down and write the best thing. No, there are baby steps. First, we’re going to brainstorm. Then we’re going to do the sloppy copy; and just true confessions, I suppose although I have trouble thinking of myself this way, I suppose I could be considered a writer by trade. I’ve written a couple of books. I’ve written 300 something blog posts, and I still have to do the sloppy copy. I still have the blank page there, a blank computer screen is there. I have to give myself permission to write a bunch of yuckiness.

2 (25m 46s):
It’s just, I was going to use that word, but we won’t use that word here. Just it’s going to be awful. It’s going to be awful. And I know it’s going to be awful. And as I’m typing the sentences out, I’m like, this is so bad, but I have to give myself permission for that first draft to just be bad. Yep. Because then there’s something to work with. And now we can go back and edit. And every time I go back, I’m like, oh, this is going to turn out not so bad after all. But you just have to get it out onto the paper and so professionals, quote, unquote, use that same type of process.

2 (26m 27s):
And so that doesn’t mean that your teen is doing anything less. So love that, love that. So quick question here, can’t really go into this at length, but what sorts of things are going to be on a rubric or a checklist?

1 (26m 39s):
There are things like, is there a name on the paper? Is there a title? How many B verbs do your students use? Because we want to teach the kids to write active voice. Sentence variations, just to keep the writing interesting. And then it depends upon the lesson because they are specific to each lesson. So it might be topic sentences and closing sentences. It might be do you have dialogue? It might be, do you have certain concrete, adjectives or good adjectives, or do you describe this or that, or in the later Write Shop II where the kids are doing five-paragraph essays. It will be, do you have an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs and a conclusion?

1 (27m 26s):
By the way, for those of you who are familiar perhaps with the fourth edition, the older edition of Write Shop, this is one of the main changes that we have made in the fifth edition. And that is that we do, go into proper five-paragraph essays with thesis statements, which are important for teenagers to get ready to go to college, and know how to write a thesis statement. So we do go into that in the fifth edition, and that’s one of the main changes between the fourth and the fifth additions is that they do go into a proper five-paragraph essay, so that might be asked on a checklist. There may be things about, do you support if it’s an opinion essay or how do you state this or how do you state that?

1 (28m 16s):
So it really depends upon the type of essay or the type of assignment and how many sentences. Maybe there’s a cap on sentences, and do you have five to seven sentences, or do you have more than that? And so then you know that you need to cut it down or whatever the case is. So yeah, it just depends upon the lesson and that’s, what’s on the the Write Shop checklist. But again, there are rubrics, a ton of them online. Sometimes rubrics are hard to understand. I’ll be the first one to admit that because they use big words for something that’s pretty simple. But they want to make it seem hard, I think sometimes. So rubrics sometimes are hard, but you can find good ones that explain, do you have a work cited page or do you have three academic sources or whatever the case is and Write Shop by the way does not go into;

1 (29m 10s):
we were talking about MLA or APA formatting, right? Write Shop doesn’t go into that formatting because Write Shop wanted to keep the lessons general enough for anybody to use. And depending upon the age of the students, I don’t think it’s appropriate to labor a 13-year-old with all of these formatting things when we’re just trying to get them to brain dump and get things on a screen if you will. So it does not go into that APA MLA, but it’s certainly easy to add in, especially in Write Shop II. I highly highly recommend adding the formatting into your junior and seniors’ writing, even your sophomores. If they’ve gone through Write Shop I and have a good solid foundation, it’s okay to have that, that formatting in, but Write Shop doesn’t have a checklist like, do you have a work cited page?

1 (30m 2s):
Do you have the author’s name and, and the page number or the website title? It doesn’t go into that much detail. It’s certainly easy like I said to add-in. You can get MLA books that show that. Purdue Owl is a good website that you can just download and print off PDFs about samples for things like that. And there are a few other books online that you can get that are really good formatting books.

2 (30m 29s):
Got you. Got you. Good stuff. Good to know. So what about the mom who feels like she’s failed teaching writing to her teen? Maybe she’s got a junior or senior right now and she’s like, we never hit MLA. I don’t even know if they can write a decent paragraph. We didn’t really do the writing, maybe like we should have. What would you say to her?

1 (30m 49s):
I would say call.

2 (30m 51s):
There you go.

1 (30m 53s):
You’re good. It’s fine. You have time to call, I’ll help you. No, I would say just jump in. It doesn’t work to just procrastinate. It’s like when we’re all trying to watch our weight and I ate chocolate chip cookies. And so, because I ate chocolate chip cookies yesterday, today, I’m just going to eat the cake. That’s a good analogy. That’s really not a good idea. And that’s kind of the way because I didn’t teach writing yesterday, then I’m just not going to teach it today either. And I’m going to put my head in the sand and ignore that. Even if your kids aren’t going to college and like we’ve said before, we need to prepare them just in case, you never know what’s going to come out in their brains. And they may wake up one day and say, I want to go be an accountant.

1 (31m 36s):
And they need to learn how to write regardless. And even if they’re an entrepreneur, they need to learn how to write no matter what they do, they’re going to need to learn, know how to write. And so I’d say, just jump in the longer you procrastinate, the more your kids will think writing something to be avoided. And you’re going to pass that hate onto them. I have a terrible fear of snakes. I have a phobia. I grew up on a ranch. We had snakes everywhere. I can tell you every place on the ranch that I ever saw a snake. It’s still burned in my brain. And when I’m around my parents’ ranch, I still think of that when I’m walking around. So, I think I need some deliverance from that.

2 (32m 18s):
Let’s not let our kids grow up with that fear of writing like you have your fear of snakes.

1 (32m 22s):
Yeah. That is exactly it. I did not want to pass the fear of snakes onto my kids. But when they were on the ranch, they explored, they went into the tall weeds, they went into the barn, they climbed up on machinery. And in the back of my head, I’m like, oh dear Lord Jesus, please don’t let there be a snake in there. I am so afraid, but I did not want to pass my phobia and my fear onto the kids because they didn’t know. They knew to be cautious. That’s different, but they weren’t afraid of every place that I had ever seen a snake when I was growing up. And I think that we don’t want to do that with our kids when we’re homeschooling them, regardless of the subject, be careful to not pass the phobia.

1 (33m 9s):
If you hate math, the kids may love it. Just jump in, do it, hold your breath, pray, whatever you need to do. Hire, help, get a tutor, whatever you need to do. Trade. Hey, if you can’t afford a tutor, just trade. When I first started homeschooling; I know some amazing people that are to this day, my best friends. One gal is great at science, one gal is great at foreign language. I was doing English, so we just traded and she taught science. She taught Spanish. I taught English. We didn’t get paid. We just traded. Our kids got to get together and one day we do that over there at their house.

1 (33m 51s):
And one day we do that over there at their house. It didn’t take any money. So if you can’t hire a tutor, just trade with somebody that does something better than you. But I think if we procrastinate on the writing, we’ll just pass that phobia on. And it’s okay, you get checklists, be prepared. I can’t stress enough really to use a curriculum, whether you use Write Shop or whatever, curriculum suits your fancy. I think having a set curriculum that gives you a schedule that has everything prepared for you so that you’re not floundering. And there is a lot of stuff on the internet, but sometimes it’s overwhelming because there’s so much stuff.

1 (34m 34s):
How do you know what to pick out of everything you can see online? So having a curriculum is worth the investment, in my opinion, because it gives you a place to go. Yeah.

2 (34m 45s):
Yeah, no, I agree. It gives you a plan because trying to come up with one for yourself might just be too much of a task. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, this has been wonderful. Is there anything else you just want to say that you haven’t had a chance to say yet in our sessions?

1 (35m 1s):
Oh, I think I’ll say what I said at the very beginning in our first podcast. And that is, if God has called you to homeschool or if you’re homeschooling for whatever reason, and it’s where life has landed you, that you can do it. You don’t have to be a teacher to homeschool. You don’t have to have a college education to homeschool. If you have a college education, it’s not necessarily going to help you be a better homeschooler. When I first pulled my daughter out in fourth grade, I told that story in the first podcast. I thought I had to have everything set up like a classroom. So I had a schoolroom and I had a bulletin board and we were going to start our day at nine o’clock and we were going to do circle time and we were going to do this and that and the other thing.

1 (35m 53s):
And my daughter looked at me and said if this is school, why don’t I just stay in school?

2 (35m 57s):
Oh, right. Yeah.

1 (35m 60s):
And I’m like, Hmm. Hmm. Hate to take advice from a nine-year-old.

2 (36m 8s):
But she might have a point. Nailed it. Yes.

1 (36m 12s):
You know, it’s not school. You don’t have to make it look like school. And then I mean, I probably went maybe to the extreme again, I don’t regret it. But my kids woke up when they woke up, I read to them while they were eating breakfast. We had devotions, my son tagged along with my daughter for many, many subjects for many, many years. And, he learned things while he was twirling his head on this, on the carpet, in my living room with his feet in the air and my daughter is doing somersaults and cartwheels. And we were drawing math problems out on the basketball court with sidewalk chalk.

1 (36m 53s):
It’s okay, it doesn’t have to look like school. This is a true story and I’ll end with this. And then I know it’s time to go. So my son recently graduated from NAU. So and yes, it is possible to homeschool your kids through high school. I know hundreds, if not thousands of students who have done it. I know kids who have gotten full-ride scholarships, almost all the homeschoolers from my organization got full-ride scholarships. My kids were no exception and to multiple schools wherever they applied because they know how to learn. But here’s the thing, my son graduated.

1 (37m 32s):
God bless him it took him a while, I’ll be honest. But he graduated with two degrees from Northern Arizona University. He’s here now, he’s moving back to Western Nebraska to live around us. I sat him down and I showed him his school scrapbook if you will. Not a yearbook, but like just here are all the things we did when you were little. Oh my gosh, I forgot some of the stuff that we did. And it was so endearing to see the experiential education that homeschooling allowed me to give to my kids, my own personal kids.

1 (38m 14s):
It’s a wonderful experience. The kids that my son met, the friends that he made, he still talks to you almost on a daily basis through the glories of technology. They are good, good kids. And the things that he learned and the experiences that my daughter had got to have, and the traveling that we did, you can’t do that when you’re tied to a public school or even a private school. And so I just want to be of encouragement that there’s help out there. You can do it and keep going and focus on the relationships.

2 (38m 59s):
Love it. Love it. Good words. Thank you, Misti. This has been a wonderful time. We did go longer than I wanted to keep you, but it’s all been such great stuff. So I really appreciate it. Thanks for being with us for all three of these episodes. And I’m sure that listeners have pulled a lot of good stuff out of this. Thanks so much.

1 (39m 18s):
It’s my heart’s desire to help people really. That’s just it. And that’s why I like answering the phone for Write Shop. So if you give me a call, I’m here really

2 (39m 26s):
Love it. Love it, love it. And I do just want to put that plugin. If you haven’t checked out, Write Shop, go check it out because I think you’ll find that it is doable and not as intimidating as some of the other things out there. And it does handle all of these things that Misti was talking about. So, anyway, thanks again Misti. Have a great rest of your day and everybody else thanks for coming today. Oh, just a little bit of housekeeping. I’m not doing podcast episodes every week of the month anymore. So some months there’s going to be two, some months, there’ll be three. If there is a month that has four i,t’s going to be rare. Just want to let you know that. So if you’re seeing a week that doesn’t have an episode, never fear I’ll be back.

2 (40m 7s):
I just wanted to let you all know that. All right, this has been great. Thanks, everybody.

0 (40m 12s):
So this did go a bit long. I’ll try not to keep you much longer at all. You can understand why it did, it was such a wonderful conversation. I learned so much, I hope you did too. But anyway, you know the drill. Number one, subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you’re listening on. Number two, leave a review. Number three, head to the website to get the show notes, that’s annieandeverything.com. Click on podcasts in the top menu. Then click on episode 53 and you see all the relevant links, including everything that Misti has talked about today. Number four, while you’re there, sign up for my newsletter so you can get emails in your inbox almost every week.

0 (40m 52s):
And number five, remember homeschooling high school may not always be easy, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. See you next time.

2 thoughts on “Episode 53: Homeschool High School Writing: Mom’s Involvement”

  1. Chelsea Raine

    Love this. As a professional writer and yet a mother of a child with Dysgraphia who has writing fears this one really resonated. And FYI I AM stealing that pie on the floor analogy, love it!! 🥧

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