Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing and Literature Curriculum

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The SAT Essay: What You Need to Know About It


SHARON’S BLOG

SAT essayThe words “SAT essay” can strike fear in the hearts of moms and teens. It seems like a vast, blackened storm at sea, and students can feel a little seasick about taking the test.

Consider this a virtual dose of non-drowsy Dramamine ®.

You’ll want to know two things right away:

1. The January 2016 SAT essay was a persuasive essay, but it exists no more.
2. Beginning in March 2016, the SAT essay will be analytical, which I will also address below.

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How to Complain Constructively


SHARON’S BLOG

ComplainI was eating dinner in a restaurant recently when I heard a woman in the booth behind me state, “This is an abomination!”

My ears perked up. My curiosity was piqued. I rarely hear the word “abomination” any more and wondered what could be so horrific as to need that word. I imagined she and her dining partner were reading a magazine article on human trafficking or perhaps watching a YouTube video about persecution in Indonesia.

I strained my ears to learn what she was referring to.

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Writing in Summer?


SHARON’S BLOG

Writing in SummerIt’s summer. A sweet breeze of relief flows through the family tree and tickles the leaves. You hear a child giggle.

But you’ve worked hard on this year’s writing classes, and you want to make sure that your children’s writing skills don’t completely deteriorate during summer vacation. What can you do?

Summer is fun, and your children’s summertime writing activities can be fun for them and for you as well. Otherwise, it’s not really summer!

The most important feature of writing in summer is

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5 Powerful Persuasion Strategies for Your Writers


persuasion imageSHARON’S BLOG

I love to bring you examples of effective writing so you can use them with your students, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech to a joint meeting of the U. S. Congress is an excellent example of persuasive writing. He used many powerful strategies in his speech, five of which we’ll delve into today.

Your students will better understand the intricacies of writing when they have the chance to learn from professional examples of published authors and speechmakers, so, to that end, let’s explore the persuasion tactics Netanyahu used.

Below are five powerful persuasion techniques. After the list, you’ll find a family writing prompt that involves one of them.

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Shock Your Children with These Three Writing Tips

Shock Your Children with These Three Writing Tips

SHARON’S BLOG

Are your homeschool students completely and utterly bored with their writing lessons? Is it a struggle to get them to write again?
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When it comes to writing essays, it’s easy for students to stall out. They need motivation. They need a change. They need some fun—and so do we!

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Here are three shocking writing tips you can use in your homeschool—shocking because they are fun and because, to your children, they are totally unexpected.

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Use This Evaluation Form for Your Student’s How-to Essay

Use This Evaluation Form for Your Student’s How-to Essay

SHARON’S BLOG

Assigning a how-to essay this time of year probably is not high on your priority list, but I wanted to give you something as a gift for Christmas that is from The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, 2nd Edition.

In this week’s post, you’ll find a mini lesson explaining what goes into a how-to or process essay, and you can download a printable evaluation form you can use to grade your 7th-12th graders.

No, this isn’t a commercial thinly disguised as an informational blog. I’m not asking you to buy anything. Just wanted to say thanks for hanging in there with me this year.

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How to Convince an Audience: Opinion versus Persuasion

How to Convince an Audience: Opinion versus Persuasion

SHARON’S BLOG

Our students are very good at expressing their opinions, especially when they want to change our minds!

What they don’t understand is that if they truly want to change someone’s mind, they have to stop thinking about themselves and start thinking about their audience.

This tutorial, with a free infographic to download, will show your students very clearly the difference between writing an opinion and writing to persuade an audience.

Opinion versus Persuasion

Writing or expressing an opinion is all about what your student likes; convincing a parent or friend to do something is all about what the parent or friend needs to hear to be persuaded.

Here’s an infographic to teach your students the difference between writing an opinion and writing to persuade. After the infographic, I’ve included a short writing exercise your students can do quickly. My writing class just did it, and they had fun sharing their ideas about alligators, snow leopards, snakes, and so forth. I enjoyed watching those invisible lights turn on over their heads!

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Make Your Life Easier—Use This Writing Schedule for Students

Make Your Life Easier—Use This Writing Schedule for Students

SHARON’S BLOG

Is there copious weeping when you say, “Write an essay”?

Do your students get a pit in the bottom of their stomachs when faced with a writing assignment?

When I was a little girl (yes, this was a long, long time ago), I had the same reactions when I was told to clean my room. I shared a bedroom with my two sisters who were just as neat-challenged as I was, and blackness would always descend upon us as a truly physical weight when the edict came down to clean our room.

Why was it so gut-wrenching?

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