Writing Tips on The AP English Language and Comp Exam

This post about Tips on the AP English Language and Comp Exam website has been moved to my writing website.



I am completely overwhelmed to the point of being frozen at my desk.
I am teaching at a co-op which I absolutely adore. I am teaching my 4 children, 2 are sick at the moment. I am trying to write for my self. I have books that need to be read and books that I want to read. I told a friend that I would modify a Medieval History book in a cursive font for her daughter to use, but I haven’t done it yet. By the time I complete it, she’ll be finished with the school year. I am writing a grammar book for my 5th/6th grader to use. I have it 75 % done, but incomplete. I need to do the laundry, and I am just tired.

I know these aren’t big things but I could use a little help.

If anyone wants a free WRITE FROM MEDIEVAL HISTORY level 2 book in exchange for a quick edit, send me an email. (The level 2 book is about 400 pages and is really good, according to my eyes.)

My email is Kimberly @ writefromhistorydotcom

Remove the spaces and use a real period for the dot.

And how did I begin writing a grammar text, seeing as how grammar isn’t exactly my specialty? Honestly, I have an engineering degree not an English degree.

Well, since I assume someone is asking telepathically, I did it because I was searching and searching for grammar materials for my kids. And to be honest, I didn’t like what was out there for 5th and 6th grade.

My daughter is successfully using Analytical Grammar, with very little effort, but my son isn’t ready for it. He’s a young 5th grader and just thinks differently.

I didn’t like the Language Lessons books I found available for that age but I did come across two message boards discussing old grammar books from the public domain. Well I did a search of language lessons prior to 1923 and found Sheldon’s Primary Language Lessons and fell in love with it, but not for my older son, my middle son. So I spent a few months and modified it. I changed very little of the material, keeping most of it the same. Now that I’ve gone through it, I think there are a few things I would change, but overall I love the program.

After that, I continued looking for something for my 5th grader. In doing so, I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I started compiling books, cutting, splicing, and writing. It’s coming together, but I’ve hit the wall. So I’m working on that now.

Anyway, now that I’m completely off topic, in the process of studying grammar texts, I’ve learned a ton of grammar–more than I ever wanted to know. I dream about participles.

And what I’ve learned is this:
When you study a subject, it’s surprising how many errors you find in other material and suddenly how opinionated I’ve become about grammar.

Now this isn’t to say that I’m an expert. I’m not and I’ll be the first to admit it. I haven’t covered it all, and I am still learning tons. And it’s okay to make mistakes, even answer keys are occassionally wront. 🙂 I figure it’s good for students when they can spot them and it helps to build self-esteem.

Anyway, grammar’s my new hobby, but I’m aching to start writing–which is why I’m so stressed!   I need to be writing a story that no one will probably ever read. The writing isn’t for other people; it’s for me. But I have to find the time to do it. And with 4 kids and husband and co-op, I don’t see any time other than between 4 am and 7 am in the morning. That’s it and that’s kinda sorta depressing to me.  I’m all ready tired.

I think I’m gonna have to start drinking more than 1/2 cup of coffee per day.


I know it’s not really hot outside, but inside my kitchen it has been 84-86 degrees for the past week or two.  Our a/c has been broken for about a month.  I can’t believe how good I feel right now, sitting in bed with my laptop.

I am blessed.

Now I’m off to the grocery store for a few items for the week.  And when I blog again, I think I’ll be writing a blog about each of my kids.  I have never been much of a journaler and I’ve started to forget which kid did what.  If I’m going to remember, I’ll have to write it down.

Have a great Memorials Day!  Say a prayer for a vet!

My uncle was shot during vietnam; he’s been in a wheelchair my whole life.  Now that I’m older I realize the sacrifice he’s made for our country and I think I respect him more than any other man I know.  We don’t appreciate our soldiers enough.


I was freaking out because my babies are growing up. In our family of 6, we have 4 birthdays within 4 weeks. Talk about making you feel old fast.

I’ve recovered and we’re back on target, except that we’re cleaning because more family is coming. It’s nice to have them visiting, but it requires some intense organizing because we haven’t truly moved in.

It’s not that we’re that dirty, it’s just that when they’re coming, we hide the boxes that we couldn’t get to. Then when they leave the boxes all come out because they haven’t been unpacked.

We wait until the last moment to hide the boxes because we really want to unpack them first, but somehow it just doesn’t all get done.

This month it’s because our A/C is broken, in addition to some electrical problems and the microwave that went out 3 months ago.

Anyway, I’d take these problems over the backed up sewer we had three months ago.

So, I’m feeling good, I’m back on target and I’m ready to attack those books–picture books.

I’m schooling my way. Not anyone else’s way, just my way. And I’m having a ball again. I just have to make sure to not over-schedule my self or my kids.


I love the Charlotte Mason method. I adore what Dr. Bauer has done with The Well Trained Mind. I am thrilled with classical education and the trivium. But I am tired of the guilt from not doing everything.

I have been blessed by the freedom I have found in Christ, so why am I shackling myself with the burden of trying to follow other’s educational advice for my children.

I know, and just a few posts previous have admitted so, how blessed I have been by the writings and the teachings of so many people in the home school community.

It is so easy to try to do everything perfectly (a word that I, as a perfectionists, hate). Nothing on this earth is perfect–not Charlotte Mason’s methods even in their purest form, not TWTM, and not even my own plans for my kids. It’s not going to be perfect no matter how much I try.

With my oldest child, before I found the homeschooling movement and classical literature, I read for hours to my daughter. But what did we read? Picture Books galore, Go Dog Go, pop up books, and bible stories, followed by counting books, and more fun age appropriate children’s books with beautiful illustrations and poetic writing. With my boys, I have tried to be more disciplined with books they should be exposed for their education.

Who loves reading more? The child immersed in fun rhyming modern picture books with a twist. The one that got to read for fun, not work. I’m going back to being me with my choices for my boys, and following my God given mommy instincts.

Yesterday, I brought home 8 or so picture books for my 2 younger boys from the library. The 7 year old sat, voluntarily, and read all of them to his 5 year old, and willing, brother. The wanted to do it. They weren’t chapter books, and they weren’t classics.

This same 7 year old is reading the Percy Jackson series by choice; it’s a stretch for him, but he wants to.

I am enjoying the freedom that Christ has given me to be imperfect, because only he is perfect. He will prepare my children for the futures they will face, and he will give them what they need. I have more faith in God’s leading me than in the methods I have encountered or even my own plans.

Thank God for his provisions.

I will continue to do my best, but more than anything, I will laugh with my children and have fun with them.


It feels great, but sad at the same time. I miss when they were little and we had time to go to the park more and cuddle more.

When my middle son used to hate his brother and talk to him in a Darth Vader voice, it scared me. But now that they play together I kind of miss it.

When my baby boy used to say doog instead of good, I loved it, now it’s gone and he’ll be 5 next month. And he’s correcting my speech.

I miss my babies.

As a friend from church told me, the days seem so long, but the years go by so fast.


Just like that. I have been off my feet, other than absolutely necessary walking for 2 years because of my neuroma. After finding the metatarsal pads, I started walking again. After about 3 months of that, I began doing step aerobics and light weights. That went okay, but I still had some nerve pain from stepping back off the bench with a bent foot. Basically, the neuroma dictates that I don’t bend my right foot–an effort on my part to avoid the electrical shock that makes me screech in pain.

Well around Feb 6 of this year, I started the 30 Day Shred. It went great, but it was hard and it took a while to figure out how to modify the exercises (lunges and jump training moves) so as not to hurt my foot.

I did the program one time all the way through once and started again. The second through I became bored and decided to try and run again.

Well, yesterday, I tried to run two miles. I didn’t make it. The skin on my legs felt like I was on fire. I walked home after that.

But today, after church and a nap, I tried again and I did it. I ran really slowly and stretched my legs when they felt tight. I stopped about 4 times to stretch my calves, but other than that…

I did the entire 2 miles without having to walk. It took about 30 minutes, not bad.

And I attribute my ability to run 2 miles straight, and really slowly, to the 30 Day Shred.

In fact, the run was way easier than the level 3 work out. I could have kept going, but I had to come in and fix dinner.