Help your Child Write Their First Rough Draft

April 15, 2016

Hello from the homeschool convention trail! It has been a pleasure meeting HTHL families across the nation. I can safely say the homeschool movement is gaining in strength and sophistication!

Pictured: This was a fun moment! Read about it on my latest Home to Home post. Do you know the name of this type of bicycle? I didn’t until last Sunday.


Writing Contest1.002Don’t forget! Now taking April submissions! Click HERE for details! Can’t win if you don’t enter!

Weekly Writing Tips

Writing Tip

Writing Tip of the Week

Help your Child Write Their First Rough Draft

How can you support your child during the First Rough Draft step of the writing process? Here are three action steps you can do to help your child succeed:

1. Trust the work your child did in the pre-writing steps. 

Your child has spent a lot of time prepping and talking about their writing project. Each pre-writing step, Brainstorm, Make a List, and Webbing, are beautifully designed to help your child engage in connecting their thoughts and ideas with the written word. It’s time to trust that all their prewriting work will pay off.

2. Give ample time to complete this step.

The First Rough Draft step can’t be rushed. Don’t assign it on one of those crazy scheduled-down-to-the-minute-packed days. It also helps to arrange writing time after an outdoor or active playtime when blood has a chance to reach the brain and wiggles calmly subside a bit.

3. Avoid giving input, and don’t correct spelling and grammar during the First Rough Draft Step.

It’s easy to squelch your child’s journey through the writing process by correcting or giving input during this step. All authors agree, in the First Rough Draft step the goal is just to get your thoughts down on paper no matter how scrambled they might appear. As your child’s editor, wait for the First Input step to give input on content and the Second Input step to give grammar and spelling corrections. Also, by not correcting during this step, you open an opportunity for your child to discover their own organizational or grammar errors in the steps that follow. When a child discovers their own errors, real learning happens.

The final points: The First Rough Draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be written. We can support our young writers by trusting the writing process, creating a relaxed space for your child to write, and saving our content input and our grammar corrections for the First Input and Second Input steps of the writing process.

Home to Home

Convention Memes big things.001

Back to the midwest again! Follow us from Cincy, Ohio to Wichita, Kansas: Click to read all about it! : On the Road with HTHL: Big Things in Small Towns

Also, don’t miss an episode of On the Road with HTHL Video Vlog!


Blog in the Making: April 20, 2016  This week, we took a few side trips including one to Bassett, Nebraska (Home of Harley and Harley’s wife on the HTHL Literature series) and another to visit four famous homeschool boys!

This week, April 15-16 : We will be at the APACHE Homeschool Convention in Peoria, Illinois. Beth’s Workshops: April 15, 2016-Friday 2:30: Treating Writing Allergies  April 16, 2016-Saturday 1:00 Finding the Pieces to the Puzzle (Special Needs).

Next homeschool convention? MACHE Homeschool Convention, April 22-23. We’re looking forward to meeting new homeschool friends!

 Want to see how we’re weaving across the USA? Click on HTHL’s interactive map! Click: HERE

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Visit Here to Help Learning’s store! Check out our NEW product, Island of the Blue Dolphins Filmed Study Guide

Also, Don’t miss….HTHL’s great writing program!

“As a composition professor for the past 15 years, I love your program! The steps of the writing process, emphasis on strong words, and necessity of feedback are concepts I’ve been trying to help adults understand for years, but you have successfully made them accessible and FUN for kids. If more students learned these concepts at a younger age, college composition could go back to fine tuning rhetorical skills instead of introducing them”

-Konni J.

Blessings! We hope you have a wonderful week homeschooling!  If you need help with our writing program, send us a support ticket. If you just want to ask me a question, click ASK BETH.

 Beth Mora & The Here to Help Learning TeamBeth-Mora-Profile-Picture

Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter pages. We are always posting! We like you!

Life Application of the Writing Process: Webbing

January 22, 2016

If the woodpile is empty, does that mean winter is over?


Sun is shining, but it’s cold!

Well, maybe not. I’ll check in with Mr. Groundhog next month. Hope everyone is staying safe and warm by the fire. Looks like the Mora family will be swinging our wood chopping axe for a few more months.

A BIG Thank you!!!!

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Thank you! We want to thank all of you for praying for us! The Island of the Blue Dolphins Study Guide with filmed instruction is at the printer! <huge sigh> New product development and production takes an enormous amount of creativity (think-think-think!), resources ($$$$), and energy (late nights and I’m not gonna lie, a few tears!) Without your prayers, I’m sure our team would have not made it. Thank you for your faithful support and encouragement. It means a lot to us. Please keep praying! The journey has been amazing!


Coming March 2016!


 17 homeschool conventions! Check out HTHL’s 2016 Convention/Speaker Map and Schedule! We hope to see all of you!. Will we be driving by your neighborhood? Forrest and I would love to have coffee with you! Send us an email!

Weekly Writing Tips
Homeschool Writing

Did you know the parts of the Writing Process have real-life applications in many areas of life? Let’s explore how we can apply each step. 

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This week, let’s look at the third step, Webbing

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Life Application: No kidding, I was voted in college,“Most likely to reorganize the Nursing Unit”. Those who know me will say,“Beth, this is not shocking news!” So it is of no surprise that the Webbing step is one of my favorite steps. I love looking for relevant patterns and grouping things together. The task of sorting through information yields clarity in my life, and it helps me to see what is really important in life and what is not. Let me show you what I mean.

For example, take the infamous junk drawer, everyone has at least one. It usually contains an eclectic amount of “stuff”. “Stuff,” that at one point had some value. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have landed inside the drawer! When I finally decide to organize it, I make decisions about what is important and what is not. I gather and group like things together. I may even put other “stuff” in with other “stuff” in another drawer. I also get rid of other “stuff” that has lost its value. Finally, the junk drawer becomes a noble drawer of purpose. Okay, that was a bit melodramatic even for me. You get the point.

Organizing takes time, thought, and energy. I will admit, although I love this step, I often forget to apply it to my life. Sometimes, I crumble under my circumstances that have an overwhelming amount of facts, figures, feelings, emotions, and variables. I neglect to sit down and sort out the “junk drawer of my life”.

Every area of my life, my relationship with God, my marriage, my parenting, my homeschool, and my business can benefit from applying the Webbing step. It provides an opportunity to prioritize what is important and to gain clarity so I can move forward.  In your life, where can you apply the “Webbing” step?

Next week…we’ll look at the First Rough Draft step!

Home to Home Blog

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Yes, this pic is scary! I can’t imagine. Recently, an HTHL mom shared her son’s experience with me. Their family survived an EF5 tornado. Life’s tough trials affect children as well as adults. Writing can be an avenue to process difficult situations. Click over to Six Ways You Can Help Your Child Heal Through Writing to learn how she helped her son write about his experience.


Blog in the Making: January 29, 2016

In the next Home to Home blog.. Yup! It’s gonna be big! Children’s author, Brock Eastman and HTHL are teaming up to announce a writing contest for students. We’ll post the details on the 20th!

Blessings! We hope you have a wonderful week homeschooling and enjoying the Christmas Season! If you need help with our writing program, send us a support ticket. If you just want to ask me a question, click ASK BETH. You could win an HTHL tea/coffee mug!

 Beth Mora & The Here to Help Learning TeamBeth-Mora-Profile-Picture

Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter pages. We are always posting! We like you!