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SAT Grammar Secret

grammar

Here's a posted conversation that may help:

Great question about the SAT.

The SAT is timed, so no one is going to operate effectively by recalling and applying a matrix of rules. The SAT prep  courses pretty much tell you to go with what sounds better anyway.

Here are some thoughts I'll share (especially from working with my own kids on the SAT)...

*  The SAT grammar questions are about a couple of primary things---

  • Directness
  • Clarity

If one choice is more direct...that is likely the best version.  If one choice can be taken a couple of different ways...or...it isn't clear who is doing what in the sentence--it is likely wrong.

Try a practice section and see if the most direct and the most clear aren't basically the two things they are  after in the test.

Finally, in most of the 'grammar choice' questions you will be wise to cover up the answers and make a 'guess' before you look at choices A-E.  If you will go ahead and have a guess of what it 'should be' the way it sounds to you...then you will be able to quickly see what answer matches closest (and that's the one that will usually be right).

Bless you,

Fred

P.S.  I'm often blunt because I am direct and clear 😉

www.advancedwitingresources.com -  sheri hollinger wrote

Fred, Your blunt-ness cracks me up. =)

I completely agree that grammar diffuses the ability to write, and to comprehend reading at times too.  Try to dissect scripture; many times this just baffles me, lol.

My question is....How can we get our kids to score well in state testing if we don't plug away at grammar?

Blessings ~Sheri

http://thesimplelifeof8.blogspot.com/

From: Fred fredlybrand@... January 14, 2011 12:43:06 PM > Subject: [LybrandWriting] Re: A New Question (Grammar - Jacee) Jacee,

I'm a rebel on this one!  We have NEVER taught our kids much formal grammar at  all...mostly because it is a stupid and foolish waste of time that takes kids away from learning how to write well (and creatively).

Now...let me reverse course...I've studied English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish. Here's is where grammar is useful...in the ANALYSIS of WRITTEN words. If you are analyzing a Bible verse it comes in handy (maybe).  In writing, on the SAT, and in college...using good grammar is important, but knowing grammar rules and principles is not. Mostly grammar slows the brain down.

Good use of grammar comes from good reading and good feedback (on papers and while talking).  Mostly the SAT is just concerned about clarity and directness.

Unfortunately, since we are all scared to death, we supplement our kids with grammar 'just in case'  All I can say is, "Go for it.  More power to you!"I'm cheering for everyone and each of us must find our way.

For me and my house...we write and get feedback...and learn to make what we write sound even better.

God bless,

Fred

www.advancedwritingresources.com -  Bibliomomiac bibliomomiac@ wrote:

Topic of Grammar - I was intending on waiting til high school to begin a serious study of grammar. My thought is that lots of grammar will be learnt from the writing programs and read great literature. But I do catch myself wondering if I should do more. It seems most my homeschool friends have a yearly grammar curriculum.  Right? Wrong? Oh, we will be covering grammar with Latin First Form, although not english grammar, it should be a good if not better base then english grammar.

- Jacee

How to Help a Child Think Up What to Write

what to write

The following was my response to an enquiry about a child who doesn’t know what to write during the writing part of the homeschool day.

Even though we don’t yet know the exact details (always best to find them out because each situation is different), I will throw out some additional thoughts to the excellent stuff several of you have posted.

In The Writing Course we explain how we can always write because everything reminds us of something. When kids don’t write it is almost always an issue of fear or control…not an issue of writing. If a child knows that he is just trying to write OK, and he knows that he can’t really think up what he is going to write before he writes it (this is in the course too), then all that is left is to learn how to make use of his own mind’s ability to associate. I show them how to use their own name.

I’ll use my middle name RAY (yes, I am Fred Ray…hey…born in Alabama) and come up with three words:

R – rollercoaster

A – airplane

Y – yarn

So, all I’ll do is start writing something OK involving those things.

Petula was always scared of rollercoasters. Even when she flew over the County Fair in her uncle Ceadric’s airplane and the rollercoaster looked very small and safe, she just couldn’t remember that feeling when she got near the ticket booth. Today was different. She was going to conquer the rollercoaster! Maybe it was the way the kitten played with the yarn, she couldn’t really say. But, she did notice that the kitten fell off the counter three times. After each fall it just climbed up again to win the prize. “If Tinker can keep trying for a ball of yarn,” Petula said in a squinted whisper, “Then I can ride a silly rollercoaster.” With that she grabbed her uncle’s hand and walked toward the booth holding a paper dollar she had gotten from her Hannah Montana wallet.

Well, you get the point. At the very least (if a child doesn’t know what to write) have him:

1. Do copy work (that will eventually motivate him to make up something more fun)

2. Write a description of something outside the window or of a couple of items in the refrigerator.

3. Use some of the other ideas mentioned in this group

God bless,

Fred Lybrand

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYX6245bVY0

The Danger and Goodness of the Internet for Your Children

Well, what do you think?  Is Rosemond overstating it?

“To me letting a child use the Internet unsupervised is akin to letting a child walk thru the red light district in Amsterdam without a guardian,” explained Rosemond.  “It’s a very, very dangerous thing.” -John Rosemond http://www.live5news.com/story/14685559/parenting-expert-talks-about-facebook

Well yes, it is dangerous.  There are lurking charlatans and obsessive addictions just waiting to happen.  And yet, a wealth of knowledge is also at our fingertips.  We can connect with old friends…or wind up rekindling an old romance into a destructive affair.  We can save money or lose a fortune.

In my years of pastoral counseling, I have seen it all (I really think so…from the psychotic to the sublime); consistently, there are people who have not found the simple fact that if you make no provision for the “flesh.”  They don’t know the power of avoiding a situation…the power of admitting you are not strong enough to resist.  For example, I’m not strong enough to resist chips in the home.  Yes, we have them, but Jody does not keep a constant supply on hand.  If they were here all the time, I’d eat them all the time.  Sorry, it’s just a fact (you know…the salt, the crunch, the dipping!!!).

Well, join the reality of the dangers of the internet.  The fact is that you just need to stay away from the stuff that isn’t good for you.  Get over the silliness of thinking you should be stronger.  You are not.

Now, doesn’t that turn out to be twice as true for the kids?  Yes, they need discernment and wisdom, but that will grow over time.  Our simple solution was to trust the least-tempted-by-the-internet soul in our home; Jody!  In researching it though, we concluded that an internet filter was the way to go.  We decided on SafeEyes and have found nothing but good things (speed is unaffected and the customer support has been exceptional).  Frankly, I don’t care which you use…but I do say, “Use something.”  Basically, with 5 men in the household, our answer became easy.  Jody is the only one who knows the “password.”  Yes, if I get a site blocked that I need, then I ask her to log me in to use it.  What an easy way for me to show some humility (and honesty) about the dangers.  What an easy way for me to not have to think about looking at something tantalizing.  Life is too short and the consequences are too lasting.

If you have gotten into trouble or need help, please check out my friend Jonathan Daugherty’s website @ www.bebroken.com

In the meantime, don’t run; use the internet for good.  Redeem it, but respect it.

 

Peace,

Fred Lybrand

Get Safe Eyes Parental Control Software – One price for three computers!

The God of Genetics: Can You Teach Right vs. Wrong?

So, the logic goes like this—

You can’t really influence your kids, it’s all genetics…so have more and enjoy them!

A new book by Bryan Caplan is well-intentioned; he wants parents to lighten up, have more kids and enjoy the ride (because you aren’t in control).

Here are a few excerpts from Caplan’s book:

All of those “life lessons” we teach our kids? Don’t really matter, says Bryan Caplan.

All those talks about morality, and right versus wrong? Again, Caplan says, doesn’t really swing the pendulum either way.

“The idea that it’s the way that we are raising our kids that causes them to resemble their parents is mostly an illusion. Again, if no child was adopted, it would be hard to tell this.”

Caplan believes we as parents spend too much time worrying, fretting, and picking apart our parenting styles. He advises us to relax, be selfish, have more kids, enjoy them, and enjoy the ride.

“I cannot responsibly offer any guarantees, but still, the odds are good that your child is going to turn out to be just like you when he grows up.”

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/parenting&id=8146447

Of course, it is a silly proposition that is simply fatalistic.  Genetics is an influence, but it isn’t a god.  Environment is an influence, but it isn’t a god either.  Caplan say that no one challenges him with data (he has flawed twin studies in his back pocket as proof.

I’ll say I’m proof.  I come from generations of alcoholics on both sides of my family…but I am not an alcoholic.  Oh…it could be a recessive non-alcoholic gene!  We had 5 children who slept through the night from 6 weeks old and onward…5 in a row (what are the genetic odds?).  You see, this is called unfalsifiable position, which means there is no way to prove it wrong.  Of course, if you can’t prove it wrong, you can’t prove it right.  It is easy to find credible sources challenging the validity in the twin studies: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=A0BDE8276F7814C3B660A475D5CACCCA.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=31667 .

In a way it is like Skinnerism– You have no control, no real will, no influence, and no learning.  The Scriptures wouldn’t support it, nor does philosophy, or common sense.  It seems the nature of humankind is to seek out and find excuses.  If you are a victim then you must be a victim….but before you laugh at Caplan, how about what we do say about IQ and alcoholism, and ADHD.  Are we really without choice?

Caplan wants to let parents “off the hook” by realizing they have far less influence than they think (and can take less credit).  Of course, he is stripping credit from the individual for life choices.  Moreover, following his premise…not much you can do about people at work either (or your cell-mate in prison).  You get the point.

What a destructive idea in parenting…in one moment of deifying the human gene, we disempower both parents and children.  Not me.

The Bible puts it this way:
…a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.  (Proverbs 29:15b)

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. (Proverbs 29:17)

 

I’d love to here your thoughts…and share this…let’s have a conversation,

Dr. Fred Lybrand

 

Do You Have the Right Goal in Mind for Your Children?

What is your goal for schooling? For parenting? For your children?

Whether public, private, or home— everyone has some goal or goals in mind. Maybe you call them ‘hopes’, but it’s still the same idea. Frankly, getting clarity on your goal helps dramatically in your decision-making. Here are the options:

1. You want to help your child (children) be competitive and prepared for the world he/she/they will enter.

2. You want to help your child excel in the world he/she/they will enter.

Frankly, I think both of these are noble. The reason you might pick #1 over #2 is that you are on the cutting edge of generations of folks who were not ‘academic’. In my own family, my Dad and his brother were the first college graduates ever (I think…at least in the America part of the story). They were cutting a path for us in a new territory. Another reason you might choose #1 is that your child may have special challenges that simply make being at the ‘top of the class / business / organization’ very unlikely, so you are realistic.

And yet, we need a new generation of morally straight leaders who are in pursuit of excellence. The solution comes with one’s talents. No matter who or what…almost no one doesn’t do at least one thing better than 10,000 others. Find that thing as you watch and love your children. Their talent is their ticket (and it is, in part, the reason God put them on the planet).

So, academically, at least become sufficiently educated in Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic (yes, that is what it takes)so they will know how to learn. But, personally, aspire to stretch them toward their strengths.

My friend Bob Tebow has a son (Timmy…Denver Broncos), who has embodied this in his pursuit of excellence. He is at practice earlier and stays later than anyone else. He isn’t trying to prove something, he is trying to accomplish something.

Get after it with your own children! Stretch and challenge those guys and girls…they will love you for it (maybe a long time from now). Here’s the easiest goal of all to have:

“I want my children to out-do me in every way”

Now, that is a goal of vision and humility! Of course, there is a final word of caution— it is their life to live, not your’s to be lived through them!

So…what are your thoughts about goals for your children?

God bless,

 

Fred Lybrand

www.advanced-writing-resources.com

P.S.  Nice video explaining what I mean about Tim Tebow: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/index.html?test=faces#/v/969875443001/tim-tebow-on-hannity/?playlist_id=86924

How Could Going to College Ruin Your Writing?

I have a terrible habit of not agreeing with folks very often.  It isn’t that I disagree, but it is that I don’t agree completely.  On the other hand, I occasionally find someone who says something I want to give everyone I see a hug about!

Michael Ellsberg wrote an article recently that clearly explains the problem with college writing (and frankly, the high schools can’t be left out because the teachers learned to write in college 🙂  Here are a couple of his points:

Knowing how to write compelling and persuasive emails, letters, memos, pitches and proposals sets you apart from the masses, who are mediocre communicators. It is one of the most effective skills you could develop for expanding your leadership and impact on the world—and for fattening your wallet.

Anyone hoping to learn writing should stay a thousand miles away from people who write in such a manner. That is, they should stay a thousand miles away from most university professors.  Click Here for the Article

It doesn’t get much more exact and on target.  His point is that the bureaucratic nature of education gives itself to a conformity in writing so that voice (my way of saying it) is lost.  Whenever you are busy copying you are never original.

That really is all there is to it.  Some silly notions about the ‘correctness’ of grammar and punctuation and style simply destroy both confidence and uniqueness in writing. Honestly, this is exactly why The Writing Course is so effective for those who dare to follow our wild ideas.

But do you need a writing course at all?  Heavens no…you actually just need to write, especially if you are reading some well-written literature!  Of course, if good minds give you helpful feedback, then you can learn at the speed of light.

Don’t avoid college, but do recognize it is a GAME that your child (or you) will just have to play.  It is best to write like they want (the game) and secretly despise the lessons (despise in a proper and friendly way 🙂 they try to teach you.

Impactful writers are simply going to be rebels of a sort…but Oh how we will need you!

Cheers,

Fred Lybrand

P.S.  For a free video on how to give feedback to writers, click here: How to Give Feedback to Writers.

Want to be Smarter? Quit Trying to Come Up with the Right Answer

There is almost nothing more insidious and decaying to a good mind than to replace saying what you believe with what you think you should say.

The first joke is the point here (watch):

The trick to learning is to say what you think…and then, decide if you’d rather let that thought go and pick up another one.  Studying the Bible works this way…people decide what it should say, say that, and then spend their time looking up verses to support it.  It is the same with many historians and reporters… all busy proving a point rather than learning one.

The better system is to stay a humble learner…keep giving up on your own faulty ideas!  Eventually, you’ll get smart (maybe even wise!).

Blessings,

Fred Lybrand

The Absolute Easiest Way to Clean Your Home

Seriously, you won’t believe me at first. There is a simple way to up the over-all cleanliness of your home…at least in the living areas. If you are an already neat person (like my Mother), you have an advanced version of the same point. Honestly, this is about parenting as much as having a clean home.

Here’s the secret: Have guests in your home on a regular (I’d say weekly) basis.

Now, you should actually have them in your home for fellowship, fun, bible studies, book clubs, friendships, training for your kids to know how to be hospitable…and a million more. You don’t want to use people just to keep your house clean (but it is a good benefit). Really, this is good for parenting and good for friendships.

I am an expert in systems and structural dynamics…and…I want you to become and expert too. Learning how systems work, and how to use them (and build them) creates a fresh world loaded with more time and confidence.

From a systems viewpoint, there is a reinforcing tendency (loop) when you don’t have people into your home. Your standards drop a little…messes and ill-repair tend to grow…which makes it harder to invite people over. When people quit coming to visit, the messes grow. Seriously, just think of the hoarders you know (or watch on the plug-in-drug, TV). Aren’t they all pretty anti-social? Is it cart or the horse first? Who cares, it still smells like a stable! Now, this really IS about parenting!

Oddly enough, the Internet and Starbucks are adding to the problem; both allow us to meet away from home! If you will commit to start having people over, you will start seeing your house get straightened up…in fact, you won’t listen to the complaints of the kids as they help…”we just HAVE TO get the place ready for company!” That is a real urgent kind of parenting as a team.

Here’s how to get started:

    1. Start by inviting someone who is a more relaxed friend over for coffee or dessert…not a big deal. You are just wanting to hang out and catch up…not a big deal. The invitation and the acceptance MUST happen before you do anything in the house.
    2. Straighten up a specific area to sit in…and the path to it. You don’t have to straighten up the whole house because you aren’t about to let them look at it.
    3. Light a Froo-Froo (aromatic) candle for about an hour before your visitor arrives. Even if you house smells fine, it still smells ‘weird’ to other people. Plus, the nice smell will make everything look 3x better than it really does.
    4. Next, invite someone else. Let your children start having a group of friends over to hang out (or start with one or two if this is new to you). Mark a regular moment to get with others AT YOUR house.
    5. Finally, consider teaming up with a friend…your house one week…your friend’s house the next week! Honestly, you’ll be amazed that one little step can lead to so much. Even if you hardly straighten at all, it will be much better than if no one ever visits.

If this is too much…how about just one person this month? Remember, parenting means the kids are watching…even when it comes to having a clearn house and a few friends.

Finally, if you are on steroids for cleanliness (like my Mom), it’s just because you think company could drop by any moment…or…you are trying to sell your house! Am I right?

Blessings,

Dr. Fred Lybrand

P.S. If you want to learn more about systems for a successful home, drop by  at http://www.homeandschoolsuccess.com

Dr. Lybrand is an author and educator who is responsible for changing the  lives of students all over the world through his innovative approach to applying  systems thinking to practical learning. Go to the upper right corner of this page and subscribe for a free learning  gift and future updates

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Absolute-Easiest-Way-to-Clean-Your-Home&id=6515014

Homeschool Goal Setting


The gist of the article is that, while the blogger doesn’t really like to set goals, it is accepted as important. So, do you set goals? Do you do it like this person…laying out objectives for each academic area (reading , writing, math, etc.). Even to not have a goal is to have one, so really, kudos to anyone admitting it and thinking about it.

If your child is in school, it is much the same in that there are goals and objectives for each class, each semester, each year. Sometimes, though, we don’t think about the goal behind the goal.

So, what is your goal with homeschooling? Is it to get your child ready for high school? Is it to get your child ready for college? Is it to get your child to know enough to get a job?

Each of these goals (you might call them purposes) will dictate certain things to you as to standards and curricula. So, how about something more strategic? Our goal is to prepare our child (children) for life.

The Lybrands answered this goal by having a single focus: We want to teach our children to learn how to learn. Praise the Lord…it is starting to pay off. It is fascinating to watch our kid interact with peers in college and work. They are actually now commenting how neat it is to just know how to dig in and teach themselves something new. Do you look up words for your kids when they ask? We didn’t.

Do you show them how to do math? We didn’t. Do you help them figure out what to write? We didn’t. I don’t think we were cruel…we just asked them to explain math, or look up their own words, or play around in their mind until they found something they wanted to write about. Honestly, you have your own right to your own goals…all I am saying is to choose it carefully.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Blessings,

Fred Lybrand

P.S. If you liked this, won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you! 

THE EASIEST WAY TO DAMAGE YOUR CHILD FOR LIFE (WEBINAR)

Telling a child, "You are stupid," is truly horrible.

But, telling a child, "You are smart," can be really (really) bad as well.

I'll explain why Wednesday at 4:00PM (Central Standard Time)

http://bit.ly/1Ud0P5z

Sign Up---


Tips for People Who Hate to Write

So, writing is one of my joys…but I can’t say I always loved to write.  As I was roaming the web I found an article that gives a number of tips on overcoming one’s hatred of writing.  Frankly, I didn’t find all the ideas that helpful (or recommendable…is that a good work?…sounds fun to me!).  Here’s the article:

Tips for People Who Hate to Write

Tips for People Who Hate to Write. by –Deb on June 15, 2011. Last time we talked about the reasons people don’t like to write. Today, we’re going to talk about ways to help them. Dictate into a recorder rather than typing. Maybe it’s the

The best words of the author are right here–

There’s no denying that proof-reading and basic grammar skills are helpful to a writer, BUT they should never, ever stop you from writing in the first place. Getting words–no matter how badly spelled or how imperfectly punctuated–is the hardest part.

You see there’s the rub!  People get so busy and obsessed about writing correctly and properly that they never get about the one task that is necessary to learn to write!

Allow me to give you a powerful phrase for yourself and for your children as they learn to write:

THAT’S WHAT EDITORS ARE FOR!

Honestly, that’s all you need.  I remember writing one time and luckily trying this phrase when I was being critiqued by someone.  It was amazing, but as soon as I said “That’s what the editor is for…,” they magically changed to pay attention to what I was trying TO SAY rather than the exact perfection of how I said it.

There’s my advice…listen to your child’s communication as to his point.  Is it a big deal HOW he says it?  Isn’t that where the learning is…learning HOW to say it better?  Of course, if the IT isn’t worth saying, who cares if it is said well!

Now, you are not free from this point.  Honestly, it isn’t about your child…it’s about you too!  If you have longed to write, get after it.  Just keep saying, “That’s what the editor is for!”  And then, pour all the words you can on the page.  Some thing good is bound to happen in the midst of the drivil…look to the gold, not the dirt that brings it to you!

Blessings,

Fred Lybrand