Students' writing - samples and testimonials
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(Write with the Best Vol. 1 & 2, Roots and Fruits) Awarded by bloggers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew
Write with the Best - Vol. 1
(From Unit 4)
"A Day with My Dog"
by Rory W.
I woke one Saturday with a beam of sunshine on my face. I stayed in bed for ten minutes or so with my eyes shut enjoying the warmth of the blanket, then got up and dressed. It was 7:05, which meant I was the first one up and had to let our dog, Sierra, out of her crate for the day. I also was the first one to take her on one of her boisterous walks around our two acres of wooded hill.
I opened the door to her crate, and she greeted me with her usual tail wag, yawn, and lengthy stretch. “Good morning!” Sierra said, cheerfully.
I stood there, dumbfounded.
“Well, isn’t it?” she exclaimed, staring at me. “Anyway, I need to go potty!”
“Okay,” I answered, slowly, still shocked, and went with her to put her on her leash.
“Hurry up, Rory!” she exclaimed as I tried to clip on the leash.
As soon as I opened the door, she dashed out with a loud, joyous, “Yippee!”
On our walk, she told me about everything she smelled. This was about all I could discern: “Rabbit last night…I see a beetle…about four and a half hours ago…squirrel! No, false alarm…let’s go this way…no, wrong way!”
It went on about like this till we really saw a squirrel, high up in a tree.
Sierra exclaimed indignantly, ”A squirrel, and on my property, too! The nerve! We must go get it. No, wait, I can’t climb trees. I know! I’ll stay here and guard the tree while you go get a ladder!”
“No way!” I responded sharply, dragging her away.
“Awe, come on,” she demanded, “Please? It will only take a minute.”
“No, and that’s final. Now come on.”
Later on, during breakfast, even though Sierra hadn’t been fed yet, she was good, with only an occasional, “Save some for me!” or “May I have some?” or “When’s my turn?” in a whiny voice.
As we finished breakfast and sat there talking, Sierra started pestering us more to feed her. “Come on, it’s my turn now, isn’t it?”
“Be patient!” Mom said.
Sierra kept this up until the moment I poured her food into her bowl.
Next, we all went to do some gardening work. Sierra was overjoyed, because she would be able to go wherever she wanted to without a leash in our large fenced-in garden. “Hey, I found a mouse hole!”
“Whatever!” I responded.
“Oh! A squirrel was here ten minutes ago!” she yelped, “No, wait. Ten hours ago.”
“So what!” Mom answered, bored.
“Wow! Look at this cute little earwig!” she exclaimed, then yelped as it pinched her tender nose. “Hey, here’s a bee!” she said excitedly, snapping at it. “Mm! It was a yummy yellow jacket!”
We all groaned at this. She kept this up pretty much the whole hour or so that we worked in the garden.
Afterwards, we went inside and worked on our various activities. I curled up and read a book, and as I sat there, Sierra came along. “May I get on your lap?” Sierra asked, cheerfully.
“Okay.” I reluctantly gave in, shifting position.
“Thank you,” she said yawning, “I’m so tired!”
Later, at lunch, she behaved much worse than at breakfast, weaving in and out between our legs, all the while begging for tidbits. Finally, we sent her to her pillow, but she still begged from there till we demanded that she be quiet.
She didn’t say a word after that, and after lunch, we played with her in our large field for a while. Most of the time, we just ran around, but we also played fetch with a squeaky toy she loves. We were very relieved that she still wasn’t talking, so later on in the afternoon, we decided that it was safe to take Sierra somewhere. So we got into our car and drove to our local dog park.
Because it was a Saturday, the dog park was crowded. As soon as I opened the car door, Sierra dashed out, shouting, ”Yippee!” and dragged me out of the car. I pulled her back in and slammed the door. Luckily, no one had noticed.
“Shush!” Mom demanded, “You aren’t supposed to be talking. Everyone will freak out and you will get in trouble.”
“I don’t care!” she interrupted.
“Be quiet!” my dad ordered.
“Ok,” she answered, meekly, ears drooping.
“Now, let’s go,” he said.
She was quiet enough until after about five minutes, she saw a dog she knew. ”Hey, old friend! Haven’t seen you in a while!”
Everyone gasped. Someone immediately walked up and introduced himself. “Templeton Peabody, director of a traveling circus. Is that your dog?”
“Yes, why?” my dad asked.
“I would like to buy her. How does one thousand dollars sound?”
“No.” my dad replied.
“We aren’t going to sell her!” we replied, pushing away toward the fence.
“You’re making a mistake!” he shouted harshly after us.
By now, quite a crowd had gathered, and before we could get to the fence, we heard Sierra screaming, “Help! Help! Dad! Mom! Rory! Help! No! I don’t want to come with you! Help!”
Then we heard a car door slam and tires squeal as a car roared off. Someone called the police for us as the crowd dispersed, but when they got there, they didn’t believe us or anybody else still there.
“I’ll bet it was just a stunt!” one policeman exclaimed.
“Yeah. They probably used a ventriloquist,” another added.
“We’re bringing you in on charges of disturbing the peace!” the first officer declared.
As they were escorting us to the police station, I heard a loud, shrill, “Beep, Beep, Beep.” With a start, I opened my eyes and realized I was in bed. I turned off my alarm with a flood of relief. I heard someone opening the door to Sierra’s crate.
"Good morning, Sierra!"
"Woof! Good morning!"
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by Gloria B.
As I stood in front of the window, I inhaled a smell that I loved; the smell of fresh, newly laid snow. The snow seemed perfectly still, just like the slightly gray sky. Then I heard the hard, thudding hooves of horses. Excitedly, I ran out of my room, down the stairs and out of the house, only to dive backwards into three feet of soft, pillow-like snow to avoid a stunning palomino stallion that was rushing to the front of the herd. The horses plunged into hock-high snow and left me standing motionless as they galloped past, kicking splats of snow onto my face. I remained frozen, looking at the mess of hoof prints and belly marks where, in the galloping dash for the meadows, a few horses had slipped. I was not able to sleep that night with restless thoughts of the herd finally returning for the spring thaw. I was very impatient for these thoughts to go away and the morning to come, but I knew it would be a sleepless night, for I could not stop thinking that soon I would be able to watch the foals frolicking in the long, wavy grass beside their mothers.
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Nylah R. -
I am fourteen years old, and I have been home schooled for five years. During the first four years of home schooling, I struggled with learning how to write. I couldn't get the creative juices to flow, and I would get stuck on the mechanics of writing. My mom tried doing different things with me, but none of them really worked. I would always get upset and frustrated. Then, she found the writing curriculum Write With The Best. It worked! I am now able to write my assignments comfortably and efficiently. Also, I am able to spot grammar mistakes and errors more easily than before. Using the works of great writers to learn basic writing skills has helped me to boost my self-confidence. Write With The Best has helped me develop the writing skills that I never knew I had.