Homeschool Reading Specialist

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

Today At The Office….

on May 28, 2014

       Select language arts skills to teach your child from his own writing ~ individualized instruction at it’s finest!

WOW 05282014 ansaar field day

Mr. A, a second grader, walked in for tutoring today and was so excited about yesterday’s field day at his school. I saw it as an excellent writing opportunity, and indeed, it was! We worked on handwriting, grammar, spelling, and “writing craft”. Here’s how the lesson unfolded….

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First, I asked Mr. A to write something about his field day. I gave him a sentence to help him begin to formulate his thoughts: “Yesterday was field day at my school.” Then I suggested things for him to write about ~ the games he played, what happened, what was the funniest thing he remembered.  Then he began to write.


 At this point he began to tire of writing his story, but he was talking to me a mile a minute about what happened with this “parushoot” game. Because I think it is vitally important to take cues from a student when they are too tired to write anymore, I took the pencil and as he talked, I helped him form his thoughts into sentences and I wrote them down for him. This allowed him to get the entire story on paper without getting frustrated and cutting his story short because he didn’t want to write any more. You can tell from this picture where I took over the writing.


Next, I selected the skills we were going to work on from his writing. From his writing, I can see the writing and language arts skills Mr. A needs to practice. This is such an effective teaching technique because it teaches the child from the exact skills that he needs to learn. Individualized instruction at it’s finest!

First, we worked on a few spelling words….



I pointed out a couple of words and had him highlight the words to change with do-a-dot markers. No red pens or bleeding papers, please. Your child’s writing is an expressing of who they are. They courage to write it down, even when they know they can’t write it all correctly.  Reward those efforts with praise. It will encourage your child to write and it will give you language arts material galore!

Next, we talked about the “change the y to i and add es, er, or est” rule.


I taught him that we use “an” instead of “a” before a word that begins with a vowel.



We talked about “craft” and using similes in writing. I said something like this…

“Mr. A, here [pointing to the simile he used] you wrote a simile.

photo 3

Similes are used in writing to paint pictures in the mind of the reader. To use a simile you simply use the words ‘as ____ as’ in your sentence.

For example: you are as sweet as a chocolate bar. Listen to these two sentences:  ‘Her eyes are blue. Her eyes are as blue as the sky.’

Which sentence paints a picture in your mind of the color blue in her eyes?  [He chose the second sentence.]

The whole time you have been telling me about the parachute game and the eyeball that was used for the game, I have been picturing a small ball the size of an actual eyeball, but when you said ‘almost as big as a computer,’ it instantly changed the picture in my mind to a large beach ball that looks like an eye.”

Finally, it was time to work on handwriting. I gave him handwriting paper and talked about forming letters using the top, dotted, and base lines as guide for forming his letters. Mr. A has a hard time putting space between words, as many young children do. I told him to put his pinky finger down before writing the next word to help him with spacing.


At the word “parachute” in the picture above, he was struggling to focus and stick with it. I took the cue and modified to a less taxing, but still effective task. I wrote the words lightly and then had him trace my writing one sentence at a time. We were still working on handwriting, but now he saw the task as doable and he sailed through it.

Mission accomplished.


Mr. A went from this:


to this…


We will finish his story next week, mount it on a large piece of paper with pictures all around it.

What a fun way to teach language arts and writing!

I’d love to hear how you encourage your children to write.

Happy Day!



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This is a Writing On Wednesday post from

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Homeschool Reading Specialist

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

The Measured Mom

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

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