If you want your homeschool students to learn to write, give them the book they'll want to read.


  • Dr. John Lounsbury, founding dean of the Lounsbury College of Education (Georgia College and State U.), said:"I like the dream sequence where they are accused of plagiarism and have to stand before a judge. Also, these stories can be adapted to classroom skits or one-act plays. Students love to act." Dr. John H. Lounsbury is nationally recognized as one of a group of educators responsible for the worldwide educational movement within the middle grades
  • Dr. Jane Bluestein, consultant, seminar leader, author, The Win-Win Classroom, and Creating Emotionally Safe Schools. ”These are fabulous. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and think they will make a great collection for middle school kids.”
     Dr. Bluestein is an international consultant to schools, school districts, educational service centers and professional organizations, presenting in-service training, staff development and parent-education programs. Dr. Bluestein publishes with Corwin Press. http://www.janebluestein.com/jane/bio.html

           Here's what Beverley Munday, Lead Advisor, Clonlara School had to say:
            "I enjoyed reading your book with my daughter. The book gave us an opportunity to discuss the ideas that were being taught/introduced
            in each chapter. It was refreshing for me to see a book approach grammar in such a unique and interesting way. My daughter was
            engaged with the characters and the material. I think it is a book that lends itself to be read aloud and discussed and then when the 
            particular grammar point is taught the story is forefront in the student's mind. This book turns what can be a very dry subject into
            a dynamic one." 

            Click here and scroll down to see a review by a homeschool father. 

            Click here and scroll down for comments from a homeschool mom: "A refreshing way to  learn writing skills."  

            Click here for an extended review by another homeschool mom: "I don’t think I have ever in my life read a book about English
             grammar that I actually enjoyed! Until now."

            Click here for a complete review by Deb Spradlin, Everest Academy, AL. She begins with, "Finally! A book about writing that is actually
                                 fun and informative to read!"  

Jessica Parnell, Principal, Bridgeway Academy, PA:  “Lee Woods captures differentiation by presenting some of the most effective teaching approaches in his book, Finding King Onomatopoeia and Other Stories. His use of story helps students connect with what they are learning and his step by step approach makes writing less intimidating and fun.  Parents who struggle with the how to of writing or who are working with kids who “hate to write” need this book.  Once a child sees just how creative he or she can be through writing, there is no stopping the inspiration.” 

Dr. Linda Hoyt: “I read your pieces and found them delightful. Your humor will surely delight students and the language play is perfect for middle level kids.” Dr. Linda Hoyt has many years of experience teaching in elementary classrooms. She has worked as a reading specialist, a staff developer, a curriculum specialist, and a Title I coordinator. Her special love is creating environments where children engage as active participants in the learning process. Dr. Hoyt publishes with Scholastic Professional Books. www.lindahoyt.com http://www.lindahoyt.com/

Mary-Lane Kambert, Olathe, Kansas, speaker and author of the I Love To Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers, Crickhollow Press.  www.kansascitywriters.com/index. "I like it. Your target audience will like the humor. I think there is plenty of room for this book. There aren't many books out there for young writers to read themselves (tons of stuff for teachers to read)."  

Following is a recent email I received from a language arts educator at Smarthinking, Inc., a Florida online school, after she visited my website: “Thanks for sharing your blog with me; I bookmarked it so I can come back to it later and see more of your work.  I just had the opportunity to read the entries there, and I really enjoyed them; I think they can be very helpful to middle school students who are in writing courses…You have such terrific ideas...I used to teach in the middle school grades, and I love the creative journal ideas you write about—I did something similar with the kids in my classroom, and they really enjoyed it.”  

Nancy Akhavan, Fresno, CA  “An engaging idea for teaching grammar.” Mrs. Akhavan is presently Title 1 principal on special assignment for Fresno Unified School District, and has worked in elementary schools as a bilingual resource teacher. She has worked, for 19 years, as a professional curriculum developer. Mrs. Akhavan publishes with Scholastic Professional Books.  

Cynthia Mitchell, Writing Teacher, DeLaura Middle School, Satellite Beach, FL. “I think they are fun and funny. Exactly the kind of thing middle schoolers need!”  

Jessica Cargill, Writing Consultant, University of Central Florida, Cocoa, FL. “This is adorable. I love it!”  

Ms. Alicia Watson, 7th Grade Literacy Teacher, Literacy Department Chair, North Clayton (Georgia) Middle School-- Doctoral candidate.

“I think these activities are a great approach to language arts. It's always nice to sample new strategies and techniques in order to create differentiated instruction in the classroom while having fun. I think these samples are great.”


Steve Zemelman, co-founder, Illinois Writing Project (improving writing in the schools)

“The stories are certainly clever and fun to read…the stories certainly enliven the message.”


Jessica Levene, certified K12 language arts teacher, Daytona, FL

“These are great...I definitely like the integration of language arts concepts. As an education major, I can really appreciate what you are doing.”


Karen Cuda, English Teacher, Children’s Language Arts Program Brevard Community College, Cocoa, FL

“I really like the premise…and I really enjoyed the stories. I think it’s an excellent way to approach the concepts.”


Julio Torres, 8th-grade Language Arts Teacher, John F. Kennedy Middle School, Rockledge, FL

Lights! Camera! Oops! is a great way to introduce subject-verb agreement. Captivating story, quick, flows, will stay in the students’ minds.”       


Lisa Whitmire, 6th grade language arts teacher, Nelson Elementary School, Spanaway, WA

"I sincerely enjoyed reading your manuscript....It is engaging, it shows the importance of each writing concept, and is a great model of narrative writing."

Reactions to the book (Finding King Onomatopoeia, etc.) from two home school moms in the New York area:

"I think it is wonderful!  My son [5th grade] also liked what he saw…I am hopeful that other homeschooling families will enjoy it as I have…Thank you so much for this wonderful and useful book."

                                     Christine Scuotto, Liaison/Grants Coordinator

                                     Home School Association of New York City


Jennifer Weber, a home school mom in New York, recently ordered a copy for her 10-year-old daughter, Tula, 5th grade). Said she heard good things about it through her home school association and wanted to see a copy. I’m waiting to receive an email with her daughter’s comments.


Talal Basit, a 6th grade language arts student at a Brooklyn middle school, asked his teacher if he could buy the book for himself! Here's his review:

"OMG that book was awesome. The moment I started reading I was hooked. Instead of reading my other books I chose this one. So you should read this book."  His photo is featured on the home page.


"Cleverly written! The line between storytelling and lessons is blended well. Surprisingly helpful. Sort of the “Aesop Fables” of writing skills. The storytelling aspect was genuine. None of the characters seemed particularly stock or cliché. The concept of the book is original! I’d take this over textbooks any day. I don’t think I’ve ever particularly gotten so much data in a script written for young students to understand. A very comfortable read, with no need to keep a dictionary next to me to translate. The pacing in the script was very smooth. Transitioning from topics like plagiarism to the uses for writing in life was easy with the storyline aspect of it all. I was amazed at how much “fun-fact” data was in the book. Plagiarism apparently means “kidnapper” in Latin. This was an interesting feature of the script. Overall, the script was just charming. The characters in the book act and interact like real kids. The stories were quirky and even a little silly, but nothing so over-the-top that it felt like a soap-opera."

                                                                                                                                                                                    Theo Menswar, 8th grade student
                                                                                                                                                                            John F. Kennedy Middle School



Tammy Dolling, from the hardback newsletter, Education Otherwise
Autumn 2013, United Kingdom (www.educationotherwise.net):

My son is 12 and, like a lot of children, really does not enjoy creative writing or indeed any writing. Getting him to put his thoughts on paper can be harder than herding the chickens—that is why I was so excited to be sent Finding King Onomatopoeia to review. Written by Lee B. Woods, a seasoned journalist and writer, the book is designed to help children between the ages of about 8 and 12 to improve their writing skills. It centers on a brother and sister—James and Jessica Davis—who are themselves grappling with perfecting their writing skills.

Rather than dry and dull lessons, Woods uses storytelling to help children learn the essential skills of writing. James and Jessica embark on a series of adventures, each of which features some aspect of writing. At the end of each adventure there is either a short writing exercise or a series of thought-provoking questions for the reader to complete. These help to consolidate the learningin the chapter. The book concludes by giving a short recap of each
of the grammatical subjects covered, along with an exercise and recommendations for improving the exercise. Mr. Woods has put a lot of thought and effort into making the art of writing fun and accessible.

My son is really enjoying the book and is finding that it is helping him with his writing. Writing is still not his favorite part of our learning but at least now it doesn’t fill him with as much dread as it did before!

Sandra Murphy, Home Education Network, Otherways Magazine, Australia

Finding King Onomatopoeia and Other Stories is an engaging book with a fun emphasis on language, writing and grammar. Through the use of stories, the author entices students into an interest in writing and grammar. The short stories are entertaining and suit children aged between 12-14. The characters, adventurous siblings James and Jessica Davis, are easy to relate to, and the author’s passion and knowledge of writing is clearly evident. Grammar can be difficult to teach and this book explores it in a fun way with interesting narratives. It is likely to appeal to kids who resist textbooks. The questions at the end of each story provide great discussion points and reinforcement of core writing skills. Definitely a book I would recommend to engage writing, support reading and explain how grammar fits in. Available in eBook or paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the publisher, Booklocker.com


p.s. Don't overlook the good ideas at www.middlestudentsgetit.org 

Homeschool writing skills
1605 Cocoa Bay Blvd. Cocoa, FL 32926 US
Phone: 321-631-7823 Website: www.homeschoolwriter1.com
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