Category Archives: Writing

Types of Tawheed: Essay Guide

Here’s a simple essay guide I made up to guide my elementary kids in writing an essay on the three types of tawheed, which we have recently studied. (I have some resources for the three types of tawheed from our latest study that I hope to post soon, insha Allah).

Topic: The Three Types of Tawheed

Introduction – introduce the names of the three types of Tawheed in one sentence.

Type 1

  1. introduce it with a transition word (one sentence)
  2. explain this Tawheed (one sentence)
  3. give one or more examples of this Tawheed (one sentence)


Type 2

  1. introduce it with a transition word (one sentence)
  2. explain this Tawheed (one sentence)
  3. give one or more examples of this Tawheed (one sentence)

Type 3

  1. introduce it with a transition word (one sentence)
  2. explain this Tawheed (one sentence)
  3. give one or more examples of this Tawheed (one sentence)


Conclusion: Explain to your reader why it is important to know about these types of tawheed. (one – three sentences)

  • Double space your first draft.
  • Go back and proofread your work, making sure that your sentences make sense. Make sure you do not have run on sentences (use only one idea or thought per sentence).
  • Give your essay a title when you are finished (main words and first word should be capitalized. Try to come up with a catchy or interesting title.
Comments Off on Types of Tawheed: Essay Guide

Posted by on May 14, 2011 in Islamic Studies: Tawheed, Writing


Writing Companion/Guide for Timed Essay Writing Practice


I refined my GED/timed writing essay practice book into a small guide/checklist to use during timed essay writing practice.  The kids are required to follow it and turn it in with their essay.


On a related note, I came across this site with GED style instructions for writing, a writing plan (which I used in the companion above) as well as 5 sample writing prompts.

Comments Off on Writing Companion/Guide for Timed Essay Writing Practice

Posted by on June 21, 2010 in Tests: GED, Writing


Tags: ,

Transitions Master List

I compiled a list of transitions, arranged by type of transition (i.e. compare/contrast, sequence, examples, etc)


I made this for my older kids and then for the younger ones, I will pull off words to make simpler lists, in sha Allah.

1 Comment

Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Writing


Tags: , , ,

Sample Writing Schedule


I’m reworking our writing schedule to provide regular review in the different modes.

Here’s our latest:

Sunday (our first day of the week): Narrative/Personal Narrative

Monday: How to’s or writing directions to a place; OR Persuasive (reviews: games, movies, books, audios, stories)

Tuesday: Compare/contrast OR Descriptive writing (animals, seasons, foods, sports, places, religions etc)

Wednesday: Informational/expository (paragraphs about animals, science concepts, places, foods, toys games, people (biography/autobiography), religious concepts

Thursday: friendly letters, business letters (e.g. write a letter to dad or diary explaining what was learned this week; write a regular friendly letter to a relative; request information in a business letter/email; write a letter of complaint. OR write a letter summarizing what was learned this week.

Since we’ve dropped off in writing, I needed a schedule to make planning the assignments easier, in sha Allah. 

If I am behind and haven’t come up with a specific writing assignment, the kids can use this as a guide for what to write that day, in sha Allah.

Comments Off on Sample Writing Schedule

Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Writing


Writing Sentences for Spelling

Sentence Strip Magnets

Writing sentences with spelling words is one of our regular, old school activities. I have them write each word (whether it is misspelled or not) from the week’s list in a sentence.

Having them write sentences is immensely useful in developing writing and grammar skills (not really sure if it helps spelling as much, lol). Writing sentences also draws out other spelling words that they have problems with. In that case, I record non-spelling word words in a misspelled words list for review.

Now, sometimes we get some really whacky sentences. I know it can be tough sometimes to come up with meaningful sentences, so I sometimes have them apply certain requirements for their sentences.

Some examples:

1. Sometimes they must vary the sentence types because typically we will just get statements.  So I have them write commands, exclamations, or questions.

2.  Have them apply the grammar rule that they are currently working on (say, use adjectives if they are studying adjectives).

3. For misspelled words, I may try to have them write repetitive sentences that those words are repeated in, such as

misspelled: sour

So they may have to come up with 5 things that are sour and write simple sentences.

Lemons are sour.

Limes are sour.

Sour cream is sour.


or once we did this for “annoy:”


Write five things that annoy you and use them in  sentences.

Loud noise annoys me.

My brother annoys me.

Losing my toy annoys me.



4. Sometimes I require them to vary their sentence beginnings, otherwise all the sentences they write tend to start with nouns.

Start two sentences with a who/what (noun)

Start one sentence with a where (In the field, …….)

Start one sentence with a when (This morning, …….)


5. Sometimes I ask them to write sentences for nouns that define the word or tell what it is used for…..

A  desk is a piece of furniture


A drill is used for……………….


6. Combine as many words as you can in one sentence.

This is a fun one where they get whacky sentences on purpose, but the sentences are grammatically correct.  We don’t do this as often, but it is a winner.  This one is really great because while fun, it really makes them have to stretch their imagination to make a sentence that flows well with so many words.

7. Sometimes I make a requirement that nouns must be exact; Instead of “boy,” they have to name him, say, Fred. Or  “the man” must transform into something like, Mr. Jacobs. And then even add a descriptor like…Mr. Jacobs, the man across the street, …….etc.


These are just a few ideas that we have used to improve writing, grammar, and hopefully somewhere in there, lol, spelling skills.


Do you have any other variations that would be useful in this activity? If so, I am always looking for new ways to make sentence writing even more meaningful. Would love to hear your ideas……..


Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Spelling, Writing


Tags: , , , ,

Writing Guides

I’m trying to get back to more consistent writing in our homeschool.  Sometimes I have it as a separate period and sometimes I try to make it correlate with what we are studying in other areas (eg. science). 

Most of the kids are pretty good self starters, alhamdulillah and I wanted them to have something they could just pick up and use to appropriate guide them through the writing process if I am unavailable. So I came up with the idea of some writing guides. 

So that I don’t have to keep recreating the wheel,  I am assembling writing guides for many different types of writing:

Mode (Type)

If you want to:

Use this guide:


tell about/explain; inform about something; an object



tell about; inform about an animal



tell about; inform about a food



compare two things



tell/explain how to do something; how to make something; explain a process



tell about yourself (autobiography)



tell about someone else



tell about a place



write a friendly letter



write a thank you letter



write an invitation



tell about an event, trip, something you did



write a story



tell about a story/book you read or write a book report



persuade/get some one to do or not to do something or to change their way of thinking



get someone to buy something (advertisement, classified ad)



express/say your opinion (tell what you think); write a letter to the editor



tell about a movie you saw or review it



tell about a game you played or review it



tell about a product you used or review it



write a business letter to request information?



Write a business letter to complain/resolve an issue


My plan is to compile them into a packet and my kids can use them to look up the type of writing that has been assigned and go to the guide above to help them. The first time through, I go through the guide/steps and then after that, they can work on their own, but every so often a review or mini lesson can be done.

My first guide, “Writing about an event,” is complete.  Included on a separate piece of paper is a list of possible writing topics.

I am interested in knowing if people would be interested in purchasing something like this. If you would, please leave a comment.  Also, I welcome any suggestions as to how I can edit it to fit a particular issue/need not covered. So please hit me up with some comments!  


Posted by on May 16, 2010 in Writing


Timed Essay Writing Prompts

If your kids will be taking the SAT or GED or any tests that  require a timed writing essay, I’ve come across some great resources for timed essay writing practice.

Even if you don’t anticipate taking these tests, you still may want to do timed essay writing practice in your homeschool.  I used to give all week to turn in a writing assignment and until I realized that my daughter usually finished the same day (of course not the case with all kids), but I was trying to follow a traditional school schedule and in doing so, dragged things out too much.

Another benefit of doing timed essays  is to acquire the skill of being able to gather thoughts and express them in a short amount of time; this really is a really beneficial skill for life, in general.

So here are some awesome resources I have found for timed essay writing prompts.


This one is nice in that it arranges the prompts by type (description, persuasive, etc). There are about 23 prompts  here.

2. Georgia Regents

This is a list of topics approved for the Georgia Regents test:

It has about 634 prompts and they are ones that I think high schoolers would find interesting or relevant to their lives.

3. 501 Writing Prompts

The types of prompts you’d see on a timed essay test such as the GED or SAT…

4. Across the Curriculum Connections

Also, be sure to draw prompts out of things that your high schooler is studying to kill two birds with one stone (also, I’ve read that writing in content areas helps students to learn better in those subjects as well–even use writing in math)…………………….

Timed Essay Writing Guide

After reviewing one of the books we have on hand for writing a time essay for the GED (and drawing upon my homeschool experience, I came up with a little booklet for my kids to use while they are writing. I “crafted” it for my 17 year old who is studying for the GED, but I am having my 9th grader use it as well, insha Allah, for general essay writing practice. It’s a step by step book to use DURING the writing process/practice, until they feel super confident to go it alone. (So the book is really teaching, not me…a super timesaver).  Afterward, the essays are to be reviewed with mom or dad.

TJ (Timed) Essay Writing Companion (PDF)

Lastly, over at one of my now favorite resources for homeschooling high school, the HomeScholar, there’s a nice little article on providing regular practice in the homeschool for timed essay tests……Quick Essay Skills Earn Thanks

By the way, if you’d like a copy of items 1 and 2, the prompts, in PDF form, just let me know. I’ve got both of them in one document (ok, you could do that yourself, but hey, just offering)……

Comments Off on Timed Essay Writing Prompts

Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Writing


Tags: , , , ,