How-To's for Teaching: Academics

If you are searching for ways to make your teaching easier and faster, you'll find it here!

Maximize your children’s learning and minimize your sweat factor in the process. 
Whatever type of curriculum you use, and however you teach, these materials are a useful supplement.

The article, Just Starting to Homeschool, is available free to you for your personal reading, in PDF file format.

Teaching Techniques

So you are teaching your children at home.  Where do you start?  How can you do it better?  And how can you avoid getting burned out doing all this? 
The following
homeschool how-to's offer scores of solutions.


How to Make Optimal Homeschool To-Do Charts                  $3.50     Read the table of contents.

For parents AND for homeschooling children.  (15 pages; #105)   Also available as an E-Book.

A practical how-to description of a plan for academic and domestic success with your children. Developing the habit of daily checking off academics, chores, grooming, athletics and music on to-do charts will lead to “Whistling-Dixie” triumphant years for your children. First we examine why making to-do charts ensures homeschooling success for the entire family. Then we look at how to design charts using some winning strategies you may never have thought of. Knowing what to do and why to do it will make your charts work for you and your children in the most optimum way possible. Includes a sample chart.

Homeschool Advantages

  For moms and dads.  (16 pages; #60)  Read the table of contents.
Also available as an E-Book.

How to answer the outside (or inner) voices that ask you: What in the world are you doing?  Spiritual, social, academic, and personal advantages, all stacked up and listed together to buttress your resolve to home school and to stick with it.

12 Amazing Brain Triggers to Easily Master Any Subject

   For anyone who teaches.  (35 pages, illustrated; #7)     Click here to view the table of contents.
Also available as an E-Book.  Illustrated by Theanna Sparrow.   And, watch Renee present this workshop on a DVD. This is also covered by audio CD #3 in Renee's homeschool how-to CD's.

Consistently our most popular workshop!  Jaw-dropping techniques to hot-wire the brain with any subject matter.  The fastest route and shortest distance to mastery of new information.  We get reviews of “Wow!” and “Superb!” from seminar attendees on this one.  Teaching tools you’ll use every day from here on out.

A comment emailed to Renee from Mrs. Bossle in Florida:
Several of my friends and I traveled home together from the FPEA convention.  We purchased the CD's from your two presentations "How To Trigger The Brain" and "Help For The Resistant Child" and listened to them in the car on the way home.  I cannot tell you how much you made us all laugh.  You have the special gift of combining wisdom with humor.  It definitely was NOT "too much information" as your husband would say.  I particularly took hold of "The Taming of the Shrew" information and shared that with my husband.  Our children don't whine that often, but once is too much.  Now we know how to nip it in the bud.  Thank you for blessing us all.

The 2 Most Common Pitfalls in Home Schooling – and How to Avoid Them 

For moms and dads.  (32 pages; #67)                    Also available as an E-Book.
Click here to view the table of contents.

When does the pursuit of education get out of line with the Heavenly Father’s purposes for us?  Learn to recognize the tell-tale signs.  A growing number of homeschoolers are facing one extreme or the other.  Many are not schooling at all (un-schooling), while others are making academics their god (idolatry).  Find out what a perfect “Garden of Eden” education is supposed to look like, and how to get there.  Also describes the earmarks of a wholesome Biblically-based education.

Terrific Tots: 50 Things to Do with Your Preschooler                $5.50
   (40 pages; #80)        Includes #52 (Academic Checklist).                            
Also available as an E-Book. This is also covered by audio CD #s 6 and 7 in Renee's homeschool how-to CD's.

How to occupy and delight preschoolers for hours with things you already own!  You’ll grow their I.Q.s, too!

The Right Stuff                                   $4.50

For teachers of Kindergarten through 12th grade (but especially for elementary ages).  (36 pages; #81)
Also available as an E-Book.                Click here to view the table of contents.

Guaranteed to save you hassle!  Spare yourself the expense and academic waste of both time and energy by choosing just the right materials.  What to look for, and what NOT to buy.  (Includes homeschool how-to's #s 17 & 83 below, and #52.)

This is a companion to 12 Optimum Ways to Trigger the BrainThat one covers how to teach; The Right Stuff one gives you a plan for the optimal materials to use Mrs. L. of Colorado Springs wrote that "The Right Stuff is an understatement!  This is a gold mine, Renee.  Thank you, thank you!"  A mom emailed that she is "simply loving your "Right Stuff" info.  Poring through it and gleaning, gleaning, gleaning!  Soooo wonderful.  Thank you for your incredible time and effort on this. What a great encouragement!"


Sure-fire Penmanship            $1.00                                  

For elementary ages.   (3 pages; #17)         
Also available as an E-Book.

Proceed from chaos to a look of culture.  Ten little pointers developed for inner city kids whose writing was illegible.  In one lesson their writing went from night to day.  This isn’t calligraphy, and it's not re-teaching the old standardized method.  You'll love the results.     (Included in #81, above.)

How to Ignite
the LOVE of Writing     $2.00

For elementary ages.  (6 pages; #83)                          Also available as an E-Book.

Fire up an appetite for... and an attitude about...writing and the clearly laid out aptitude will be welcomed through the back door!  A winning strategy for a difficult area.  Read the table of contents.    (Note: this item is ncluded in #81, above.)

Spell-Along!                    $7.50     Your spelling-list-giver on demand!

For 3rd through 12th grades.      (audio CD and booklet of the words lists and spelling tips; #106)

Students: No more waiting for someone else to give you your spelling lists!     Teachers: No more tedious lists to dictate!!

Being a good speller is a sign of being a well educated person, whether in the educational setting or in the workplace. This 68-minute audio CD and CD answer booklet teaches 360 spelling words that come up in everyday situations. Less frequently used words are not as important to learn how to spell as common words that are challenging.

Here’s how it works: Listen to the word, then write it down in the time allotted for you to do so. Then, check your spellings against the list that is in the CD booklet. Each spelling list is on its own track on the audio CD, so when a student has conquered one list, he can go directly to the following list the next time, without having to listen through previous lists.

These 360 words can be mastered at each students’ individual pace - anywhere from a month to several years, depending on how fast they want to fly through the lists! Students anywhere from 3rd to 12th grade will find these important words to master. The words range from “busy” to “descendant” to “chivalrous” and “indispensable”.

Spell-Along also teaches the technique of using and creating memory hooks for better retention without only rote memorization.

Spell-Along is a great way to conquer spelling and not let it slip by day after day simply because the teacher doesn’t have time to administer word lists! Spelling can now be one less thing for teachers to have to think about!

Burnout!                    $3.00

                (25 pages; #61)                                    Also available as an E-Book.

Are you bogged down?  Does the daily grind now supersede your once high-held vision of educating your own children?  You're not alone.  We identify the warning signs, and then consider strategies for pulling you and your children out and up again.

This is also covered by audio CD #4 in Renee's homeschool how-to CD's.

Homeschooling a Resistant Child
        $3.50      Click here to view the table of contents.

 For moms and other teachers.  (16 pages; #69)                               Also available as an E-Book.  

Are you butting heads over and over?  Are daily battles with academic resistance wearing you out?  Find out what are the specific root causes of resistance (this booklet discusses eight).  Armed with new, well-focused, concrete strategies, you'll see progress again as early as tomorrow.                    And, watch Renee present this live workshop on a DVD.

Motivation: Academic Energizer       

For teachers of students of all ages. (5 pages; #9) Read the table of contents.
Also available as an E-Book.

Put the sparkle and joy back in your child's eyes.  Motivation is so important that without it, there is no education.  With it, students can begin to grasp what it means to be made in the limitless image of the Almighty Creator and become lifelong lovers of learning.  Get these simple principles under your belt and watch the hard part of the job disappear from your teaching.

No Cost Funny Little Rewards & Tricks

For elementary ages.  (9 pages; #25) Read the table of contents.

Also available as an E-Book.

Sometimes a little spur, a little motivation, will help a child over a rough patch of academics or an overwhelming chore.  Choose to give them these no cost rewards instead of another “thing”.  Detailed descriptions of clever, unusual rewards we think you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. 

A List (with comments) of Famous People
who were failures in the public school, and famous people who were successes from home schooling.  Includes some of the more contemporary homeschool heroes                 $1.50

 For 4th grade and up.  (11 pages; #14)    Inspiring!  Read the table of contents, including the lists of names.

Also available as an E-Book.

Academic Checklist

For teachers of grades K-12.   (1 page; #52)  

Also available as an E-Book.

Subjects and areas to study sometime, some way, somewhere. 
Helps you not to overlook learning an important life-time skill. 

You may make unlimited copies of this list.


Teach Math Faster

For 3rd-6th grades.  (20 pages; #18)                  $3.50
Also available as an E-Book.        Click here to view the table of contents.

A fabulously easy new way to learn to multiply at breakneck speed.  Also includes Action Academicsa foolproof way to conquer 13 stubborn academic problems -- errors made repeatedly by adults . . . little problems that make a big difference.

Want your child to spell to, too and two the right way every time from now on?  Your children can master them, and they'll stay mastered.  Give your child this lasting academic confidence.  This little compilation of 13 ditties does it!  Simple to memorize . . . tough to forget.  Compiled by an exasperated high school English teacher who wanted these problems conquered for life at the elementary level.

Homeschooling a Gifted Child

 For teachers of students of all ages.  (19 pages; #8)  Read the table of contents.
Also available as an E-Book.

How to handle a gifted child.  Unique problems, challenges and solutions! 

(Includes #53—Humpty Dumpty Intellectual Stretch.)


Think Like an Inventor--
Humpty Dumpty Intellectual Stretch

 For 4th-12th grades.  (3 pages; #53)
Also available as an E-Book.

Get your kids thinking like inventors with this pocketful of questions to ask anytime, anywhere.  Ask these simple stretching questions of any story or information to produce brand new thinking, then watch your young pupils become bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the minute you ask them.  They won't respond to what is--they'll generate what isn't!  Cultivate Edison-type thinkers in your home and you'll be the talk of the town.  (This is included in item #8, Teaching Gifted Children.)

Teach Grammar Faster               

 For 3rd-6th grades.  (20 pages; #79)                      Also available as an E-Book.

A method to teach grammar with shapes for easy right-brain recall.  Plus, tips on spelling. Read the table of contents.


Smart Study Skills

 For 4th-12th grades.  (4 pages; #15)                      Also available as an E-Book.

Every student needs to hear these study strategies at least once.  Grab this scholastic lifeline.  Cut the waste of time; package the content for strong recall.  Take 2 students spending equal time studying the same material -- one will emerge with it, the other won't.  The study skills make the difference.   A must for the college-bound, but start it with your 4th grader.

Critical Thinking Skills

For 4th-12th grades. (17 pages; #6)       Click here to view the table of contents.

Also available as an E-Book. 

What is the matter with this statement?  "Do you walk to work or take your lunch?"  It's a non sequitur.

Trade in naiveté for bedrock thinking.  Learn how to detect the logical errors in scores of statements manipulators (such as the media and cults) attempt to use on you.  Hilarious examples for developing serious mental survival skills.

Classics Study Questions

For junior high and high school students.  (46 pages; #10)  
Also available as an E-Book.    Click here to view the table of contents.

Double the great classics' contribution to your academics by the superb questions you ask: open-ended questions that direct your child to think about the great purposes of Christ.  Includes questions for sixteen novels by: C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, John Steinbeck, etc.

Wind in the Willows
study activities

For 4th-6th grades.  (25 pages; #11) 

Also available as an E-Book.

Wonderfully creative activities and questions. 
Many adults remember this as their favorite book!


Rindercella                                                            $1.50


 3rd grade and up.  (2 pages; #13)

Also available as an E-Book.

A great read-aloud of Cinderella, all mixed up.  Use as a short drama piece for children who want to entertain their friends.  They will say, "again, do it again!"  (This item is included in homeschool how-to's #s 51 and 31.)

 Learn to Speak with Ease                                                                                $5.50

 For 4th through 12th grades.  (32 pages; #51)                                   Also available as an E-Book.

Click here to view the table of contents.

Your children may be learning to write well these days, but are they learning to speak persuasively? Patrick Henry, who said “Give me liberty or give me death!”  Herein lies much of a child’s future power to influence others.  Learn how to prepare and deliver 20 different types of speeches (each, 3 minutes or less).  Directions for each speech are winsome and funny!  (This item includes several famous speeches, & homeschool how-to's #s 13 & 41, too.)


Creation vs. Evolution              $2.50

For elementary and junior high. (revised and expanded, 2010; 13 pages; #41)  

Also available as an E-Book. Read the table of contents and first page.

A short summary of the most powerful arguments against evolution.  Teach it in 15 minutes! 
(Included in #51, above.)


Audio book of Charles Dickens' A Child's History of England       $45.00


 (12 CDs; 13 hours of narration; #82)   For junior high through adult. Click here for more information.

Teach your children the entire history of England without even cracking a book.  Nobody could write it quite like Dickens….   A rare find.



Music and the Arts the glory of our Heavenly Father

How to Successfully Train Your Child to Master a Musical Instrument         $3.50
For parents of beginning music students. (16 pages; #107) Read the table of contents.
Also available as an E-Book.

For many homeschoolers (unless they come from a long line of accomplished musicians), giving musical training to their own children is much like mounting a royal steed and promptly riding off in all directions at once. There is a good way to embark upon musical instruction for your children, and there is a way that ends in disaster. Countless families now have children who hate lessons, won’t have a thing to do with classical music, and never have achieved any personal musical ability with any instrument. Not really knowing what to do, they have all run like sheep over the cliff, content with existing at the bottom of the canyon instead of up on the heights, when it comes to having any more serious musical aspirations. Now let’s reverse this trend and get this musical instruction down right from the start. How do we do this thing WELL? How do we BEST achieve the musical outcomes that many homeschooling families aspire to but never reach?

Rembrandt: Held by God                             $3.00

For 4th grade through adult. (24 pages, with 15 illustrations; #75) Read the table of contents.
Also available as an E-Book.

An illustrated story of the life of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) that shows God’s hand on the work of a genius.  Original ink drawings by Theanna Sparrow (one of the illustrators for the Christian Mother Goose book).


Teach Your Children to Draw                                                   $1.50

For teachers of preschoolers and up. (5 pages; #54)
Also available as an E-Book.

Trade refrigerator pictures for living room masterpieces with this simple five-step method.  Begin by getting your three-year-old tracing those coloring book pictures instead of coloring them, and then…

Hymns & Classics CD

(audio CD; approximately 40 minutes; #76)  
Click here to see the tracks description, on the back of the card in the jewel case.

Old hymn melodies stunningly blended with classical solo piano (and some cello).  These are musical arrangements you’ve never heard before, but now will want to hear over and over.  You will buy one, rush right out to give it to your best friend, and turn around to order ten more!  A must hear.  Ruth Knutson began playing in churches in sixth grade and has continued to bless congregations both nationally and internationally for over forty years.

 Also check out the beautiful new Be Still My Soul audio CD with cello and viola.

Bach’s Passion:
                      $16.95               (on sale for $15.00)
The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach

       (396 page softcover book; #65)             Click here for more information.

Historical fiction novel by Ruth Ann Ridley.  A gripping story for adults and young adults alike, this is a love story, a tragedy, a comedy, a pageant and, above all, a saga of the soul.  This is the untold story of the man whom many consider the greatest composer who ever lived, the story of Bach’s love for his family, his battles with fools and his passion for God.

Bach and Rembrandt biographies audio CD                       $5.99 
(audio CD; #89, 72 minutes; the story of J. S. Bach is 48 minutes, on tracks 1 through 9; Rembrandt's story is 24 minutes on tracks 10-12) (this is included as audio CD #26 in Renee's homeschool how-to CD's)

The inspiring true stories of two masters, as popularly old by Renée Ellison in schools. Includes musical excerpts. A Christian perspective on the great German composer and the Dutch painting genius. Riveting! Free if you order at least 5 of #50, below.

Bach: Man of God booklet     (a story of his life and work)                   $3.50
             (24 pages; #49)
Also available as an E-Book.  

Renee Ellison tells the story of the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, from a Christian point of view, as presented to school audiences. Many consider Bach the most godly composer of all time. This one is great for teaching inspiring character qualities, as they are pointed out in Bach's outstanding life through the telling of his fascinating true story. For all ages.

We will send this to you free with your order of at least 5 of the play scripts by the same title -- just as for it.

(If you order this, we highly recommend that you also order the Bach audio CD, our Item #89, above.)

Bach: Man of God play script                                                                           $5.00
             (56 pages; #50) 
Also available as an E-Book.  

Stage play script for family, homeschool group, church or school productions (or use it for reader’s theater, without all the sets and costumes).  History, comedy and drama are all packed into this heartwarming true story of the life of the famous composer and musician, Johann Sebastian Bach.  Includes little-known facts, presented from a Christian point of view.  Powdered wigs, fancy dresses and exquisite music all make for an unforgettable evening. Read the program notes, including a synopsis of the play, description of the scenes, list of the members of the cast and the number of lines for each person, and biographical information and famous quotes about J. S. Bach.

Order just one for a great read-aloud, or 11 for a full cast.  At last, a play both you and your audience can sink your teeth into and get spiritual meat.   If you order at least 5 of this script, you may request the audio CD of the story of his life (#89, above) for free!  

Get to the Point Tips on How to Write a Play with Power and Punch
                    (5 pages; #46)                           $2.00

Also available as an E-Book.       Click here to view the table of contents.

High-schoolers, break out of the mold!  Try your hand at writing a play.

Famous plays are written very differently from short stories…they have their own set of rules.  Write YOUR play with these simple rules and feel the dramatic difference.  Guaranteed to add immediate pizzazz to your writing and hold over your audience!

Why we like to read
(by Todd and Renée Ellison)

A book is a prolonged discussion with a person who is an articulate expert in a certain area, someone who has spent time researching, developing, and refining the thoughts on that area.

A book is valuable not only for its intrinsic worth but also for what it stimulates in the reader's thinking.  In that sense, it is catalytic.

So, we view buying a book as a wise choice to spend $7 to $20 on the privilege of conversing with an expert, as opposed to throwing that same amount of money at a fast food restaurant.

While reading, my mind is not limited by the scope of the relationships presently available to me.  With my head in a book, I am able to partake of a broad and deep discourse that spans place and time.  Feeding my mind in this way enriches me and also equips me for the art of elevating conversation in the ordinary stream of life with others.

I am what I read.  Each ongoing decision about the type of book to read (or not) and to be reading rather than doing something else determines how I am shaped as an individual and sets the course of my life.

Orders:  Click here for payment options.
Questions: Email us or call (970) 385-1809 (Monday-Friday) (we take phone orders, too)



Resume of the author, Renee Ellison

Educational workshops by Renee


Page last modified:  Oct..7, 2014