Alexander Nevsky (Russian: About this sound Алекса́ндр Яросла́вич Не́вский (help·info), Aleksandr Yaroslavich Nevskij; pronounced [ɐlʲɪˈksandr jɪrɐˈslavʲɪtɕ ˈnʲefskʲɪj]; 30 May 1220 – 14 November 1263, proclaimed Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church by Metropolite Macariy in 1547[1]) was the Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city's history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Rus, Alexander was the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest and rose to legendary status on account of his military victories over the German and Swedish invaders while employing collaborationist policies towards the powerful Golden Horde.

The above is taken from Wikipedia.  We were looking up several sources today on Saint Alexander.  It is my youngest son's  patron saint.  My oldest son is using it as the topic of his next essay.

Essay writing is not his favorite thing.  He likes writing in his journal.  He does not like writing for an assignment, especially if Mom is actually checking it for grammar and punctuation! 

We are trying a new approach to the whole capitalization and punctuation issue.  We are only working on 6 rules.  I got this idea from one of my homeschooling sources.  It was an article written by the seller of Analytical Grammar- my favorite grammar program thus far!  I chose three rules that my son must ALWAYS follow.  He chose the other three.  Of course, he chose ones he knew he wouldn't use very often.  I knew that would happen (even without the same acknowledgement form the author of the article!).  I chose the two that drive me the craziest that he just must be responsible for and through in one more obvious rule for good measure.  Her is what we came up with:

1.  All sentences must begin with a capital letter and end with correct ending punctuation.

2.  Capitalize all proper nouns(names of specific people, places, events, dates, titles and documents, organizations, trade names, and titles of respect)

3.  Capitalize the pronoun I.  (That's the obvious one....but this eliminates laziness)

4.  Use a two-letter state abbreviateion in uppercase letters and without periods in an address.

5.  To form the possessive case of a plural noun ending in s, add only the apostrophe.

6.  Use a colon before a list of items.

He must be responsible to follow the above 6 rules at ALL times.  Any time he is caught (and here's the catch he doesn't like) he has to rewrite the ENTIRE sentence over....not just correct the mistake.  What 13 year old wants to rewrite sentences? 

I realize the list is short for a 7th grader. But these are NO exception rules.  And, of course, we will add to them in time.  Maybe only one more by the end of this school year...not sure. We'll see how it goes.  It's not that he doesn't know most of these rules.  It's just keeping him accountable to follow them all the time and not be quite so lazy with checking his work.  I think it's doable for both of us.

Now that he has begun his work on writing today, and I have already prepared the rice and the veggies for our veggie sushi tonight (carrots, cucumbers, steamed sweet potatoe and asparagus --- I'll slice the avocado just before serving!), It's time to find a recipe for Japanese Cucumber salad...I've made it before, but I can't seem to recall the amounts of rice vinegar and sugar.  And it's almost time for lunch!  That's just leftover stewed tomatoes with macaroni today.  We have music lessons this afternoon.  Hopefully between all that and working on spelling with my daughter, I'll get some of my psalm reading done.

4

Well, I am very new here and have no idea where to begin. But I thought I'd start with two very important things to me.  My faith, Orthodox Christianity, and homeschooling.

I converted to Orthodoxy approximately 7 years ago. It is by far the most important decision I have ever made in my life.  Orthodoxy has changed my life.....all for the better.  I have always been christian, but I was born into a Roman Catholic family and followed that faith from a young age to just a year or so before converting to Orthodoxy.  The story of how I got there is a long one....a good post that I'll save for another day.

The second important thing is my children and how I homeschool them.  I have homeschooled my children for the past 5 and a half years.  Homeschooling has also changed my life.  My family has become so much closer in the years since beginning this adventure.  Once started, I was sorry I hadn't homeschooled from the beginning!  But now God has provided us with a third child to do just that!

Well- it's brief....but it's a beginning....and I guess that's why I started this!