{CLOSED} Sweet Critique: Reader’s Digest Grammar Books

I love grammar.  Babydoll does not.

That’s a lie.  I think.

We just haven’t found the right “method” yet.  What I do know is that sitting there listening to me go on and on about grammar rules does not work.

Little did I know that giving her materials on her own and just letting her go to town reading would.

When we were given the opportunity to review the Reader’s Digest Ebooks Write (Or Is That “Right”?) Every Time: Cool Ways to Improve Your English and My Grammar and I…Or Should That Be Me?: How to Speak and Write It Right, I was excited.  I figured if nothing else I would enjoy the books.

Lo and behold, I found Babydoll sitting there one day reading them herself.

Reader's Digest EbooksWrite Every Time is more appropriate for older elementary and up, and can easily be read by the child.  Babydoll sat and read this one on her own.  She even found the answer to a question she had recently:  why is a sandwich called a sandwich?  The book is full of little tidbits of information, and it’s written in a fun and engaging manner.  I don’t think Babydoll really realized she was reading a book full of grammar rules, so it’s a win in my book.

Reader's Digest EbooksI liked My Grammar and I.  It would be more appropriate for high school aged kids and older.  It is absolutely a great reference; I enjoyed thumbing through it and learned so much.  There are so many rules that I have never heard of before.  Despite the fact that there is extensive grammar education going on in this book, the delivery is still entertaining and easy to read.  It will definitely be a great component to any reference library.

I would highly recommend both books; they are high quality and made to last.  They have perhaps the most extensive coverage of grammar information I’ve seen and will grow with your children.

Reader’s Digest is giving away a hardcover copy of each book to two US winners!!!  Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win!

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9 Oldies but Goodies

Here’s a quick listing of some of your favorite posts on Sweet Phenomena:

‘Twas the Night Before School Starts

No, no I’m not going to do a poem.  Poetry is probably one of my least favorite things.  Right up there with carrots and broccoli.

I will, however, document exactly what I’m feeling right now…

I’m excited.  There’s always this feeling of excitement at the start of a new homeschool year.  There are new materials.  New ideas.  New field trips.  New plans.  Old traditions.  It’s like you’ve learned from the year before and have a renewed motivation entering the year.

I’m nervous.  I don’t know that I’ll ever feel completely comfortable homeschooling Babydoll.  There’s always going to be that nagging doubt in the back of my mind, causing me to wonder if what I’m doing is right and enough.  I know there will be roadblocks along the way.  I wonder how I”ll handle them…

I’m a little sad.  I love “doing school” with Babydoll and I love that she loves school.  But, I also love “lazy” summers, and fun time, and relaxing time, and do what we want time.  The start of the school year means soccer practice and games, meetings, strict schedules.  It’s fun, but it’s a different kind of fun…

I’m hoping Babydoll isn’t getting sick.  She went to bed with a sore throat…

I’m thinking I should go to sleep.  Tomorrow means school, taking the dog to the groomer, going to the library, getting light bulbs, getting Babydoll’s new mattress settled in her room, soccer practice, and all the other fun stuff we’ve got coming!

I feel different going into this year.  I feel more “prepared.”  I feel more confident about using what I think will work for us and substituting what and when I want.

I’m a little sad.  Again.  My Babydoll’s growing up.  She’s in fourth grade this year and about to be nine…

Alright guys, raise your glass to another year; I hope it’s full of all sorts of awesomesauce.

Sweet Sharer: Madison Hewerdine

Tips for the Big Homeschooling Challenges

Being homeschooled from kindergarten to freshman year of high school I was able to see the things that worked and the things that didn’t work for both home and public school.  There were things I liked and disliked about both types of schooling as a kid. Now it is easier to see what the major challenges were for homeschooling and some tips that could help others with those challenges.

There are many different challenges that come with homeschooling, but the big ones focused on below are, curriculum, time management, and staying motivated. Each challenge is described then tips are given to try and help overcome those challenges.

Curriculum: Choosing a curriculum for the school year is probably one of the hardest things for homeschooling parents. Some would like to get their children to be ahead, others want to move right along with the public schools and others just want to know what the requirements are. Social studies lesson plans alone can be frustrating to plan because there are so many different ways to approach that subject. Some tips that will help in choosing a curriculum are: determine time goals, determine learning goals, consider learning styles, organize priorities, and do some research.

Time goals will help you figure out if you want to have lessons for each day, week, or month and how to figure those out. Learning goals, if your child is struggling in some areas maybe you need to focus on those areas first or spend more time on them. Children all learn differently, consider the learning styles of your children while choosing a curriculum. What are your family’s priorities? Do some curriculums meet them better than others? Answer those questions by doing a lot of research and you should be able to find a curriculum that fits your needs and your children’s needs.

Time management: Managing time can be very difficult as a homeschooler. There are no bells that regulate the time spent on each subject and sometimes it is easy to get off track. Here are some time management tips that can help: slow down, create a list, Prioritize, and divide and conquer.

Slowing down and getting rid of distractions will help you and your children to focus which will save time. Creating a list of things to do for you and for your kids will give them something they can control because they know exactly what is expected of them. It will also help you to be able to check things off as you go. Prioritize the things you have to do so that you do not spend absurd amounts of time doing things that just aren’t that important. Divide the goals and things that need to get done amongst you and the kids, the more the merrier and the faster things get accomplished.

Stay motivated: Many of the tips that were listed under time management will also help you in your goal to stay motivated. One other thing that will help is to keep the end goal in sight. When nothing is working out the way you planned and it’s all going wrong try to think of the end goal, it will help you stay focused and stay motivated.


Madison Hewerdine is an author who writes about social studies lesson plans and loves being in the sun.

{CLOSED} Labor of Love Flash Giveaway

The Labor of Love Flash giveaway will be going on today from 9 am to 10 pm {Eastern}.  Be sure to stop by Formula Mom or Tales From the Nursery to enter!!

Time (EST) Enter the Giveaway!
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