Darlene Foster's Blog

Homeschooling With Amanda Travels

Posted on: May 7, 2020

One of my goals, when I started writing the Amanda Travels series, was to educate as well as entertain readers. So I am always delighted when I learn that parents are using my books for homeschooling. One parent even sent me her child’s work and reports. I was impressed with the lesson plans and projects, as well as the student’s answers.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Kegan, an eleven-year-old young man, admits he is not a keen reader but enjoys Amanda and her adventures. His mom told me she loved seeing his interest and attention to almost every detail which she hadn’t seen with any other books he’d read. Looking at his reports, I can see that he understood the idea of the story. I love it when kids get it!

Here are some of the worksheets and projects from his Language Arts class

For his first report he chose to read Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone because he is from Alberta and familiar with some of the sights in the story. He also plans to visit some of the other places mentioned.

He got 81% for his final mark. Which is excellent.

One of the projects was to write a letter to the author. This is what he wrote to me:

Dear Darlene,

I am doing a book report on your book, titled “Amanda in Alberta.” I liked it! My favourite part is the horse ride. I have been to many of these places, mostly with my dad in the semi-truck. Did you visit all of the places in your books? Can you make a book of ” Amanda in Iceland”? I think that would be awesome!

Thank you for writing these amazing books!

Sincerely,

Kegan

I loved the story map he created summarizing the story via seven events
Ten out of ten for his depiction of the cover and short summary

For his next book, he chose Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting and got 83% as his final mark!

I always include a few more challenging words in the story to help increase the reader’s vocabulary. The words Kegan added to his vocabulary from this book were – monastery, boleros, distressed, dubious, spittoon, trance, alcove, apprehended. The teacher wrote, “It looks like this story was at the right reading level for you.”

I like how he described the characters.

Amanda – happy, determined, she does not listen to Leah, kind-hearted. An explorer.

Leah – helpful, loud scream, acting, kind-hearted. The tall one.

Dona – determined, kind, helpful, big heart. Loves her horse, Pedro.

He was required to summarize each chapter, which he did quite well, as well as predict what might happen at the end of each chapter. His predictions were 50% correct and 50% incorrect. The teacher wrote, “If your predictions were wrong, that means the writer was successful in her writing in order to keep you interested and surprised.”

I just heard from his mom that during lockdown, he has been reading Amanda in Holland for his current Language Arts class.

It makes me very happy to know that my books are being used in classrooms and for homeschooling. My goal has been accomplished.

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61 Responses to "Homeschooling With Amanda Travels"

This is really lovely, Darlene. How rewarding to have children not only reading your books but engaging with them at this level. Great stuff 🙂

It certainly makes the hard work of writing and publishing a series of books worthwhile. Thanks, Anne.

How wonderful, and wel done to both of you: Keagan on his reading progress and good marks, and you on writing books so well received and useful for homeschooling. Now I’m even more excited to read the books soon.

Thanks so much, Tori. Finding the right books for kids to read can certainly help improve the marks they get. It’s good that the system lets them pick their own books to read.

This just warms my heart, Darlene. How gratifying it must be to know you’re not only educating kids at home, but also entertaining them and encouraging them to read.

Thanks, Teri. It certainly made my day!

I’m not an author, but I imagine it must be great to get such recognition for your work. Congratulations!

Thanks, Clive. It does feel great! I believe you are an author, as you write a pretty good blog.

Good to hear! Thanks for the kind words, but I don’t think I’m in your league!

I love it when kids get it AND when authors benefit too. Wonderful!

You prove that there’s much more to book publishing than selling books and making money. My goal on my blog and with my book is to entertain as well as to educate.

Brava for doing both, Darlene!

Thanks, Marian. Your book does both, as well as inspires.

Wow, Darlene. This is the ultimate of ultimates in writing and publishing. Not only is a reader enjoying your books about Amanda for pleasure, but he is learning and getting credit for it! I love his project and how he proves how much he understands Amanda‘s adventures. I gave him – and you – A+.

Thanks so much. The fact that although he is a reluctant reader, he still enjoyed the stories and did well on his assignments.

That is wonderful. What a fresh approach to these skills for him.

I often wonder how effective homeschooling is. So it was good to see how it works. I am impressed. Of course, all kids are being homeschooled now. It can’t be easy for the parents.

How great is this, Darlene! One further thought I have often had about your books is being part of a children’s book club, where kids could discuss different aspects of the story.

Thanks, Irene. I wonder if anyone has used them for a children’s book club. Unless a teacher, librarian or a parent tells me, I would never know. They could discuss the story as well as the place. I do provide discussion questions at the end.

Wow, Darlene, that must be so inspiring to see how your books encourage, educate, and entertain young people, above all during this difficult time!

It really is encouraging and good to know my books, in some small way, are helping. Take care my friend.

This is so satisfying, Darlene. So happy for you. The Amanda series is very entertaining.

Thanks, Robbie. It certainly made me happy to look through the material and see how he used my books for his learning.

It’s marvelous that your books are being read for school work. Kudos to Kegan, too!

Thanks, Anne. He did a great job!

Yes, he did a great job, and you highlighted his achievement. Great going!

I hope he will enjoy your writing about him. A couple of years ago, a blogging friend wrote a poem about neighbor Logan. When we showed it to him, he said with wonder in his voice, “I’m famous!!!!”

I hope he likes it. I got permission from his mother to include him in the post and have sent her the link.

How wonderful and it must feel so rewarding.

Very rewarding. Thanks!!

Sooo cool! It is wonderful seeing individual examples of how your work is connecting to children, inspiring them and making a difference. Well done!

Thank you so much!

You must be so proud to know your books are read for homeschooling. What a great feeling Darlene 🙂

It is indeed a great feeling. Thanks.

I thoroughly enjoyed this post! How exciting for you!! You must have been thrilled to receive Kegan’s letter.

I was thrilled to get the letter and then to get the package of his classwork! Glad you enjoyed the post.

What a great compliment! It’s nice to get some reinforcement from kids.

Thanks, Pete. Always great to hear from the kids.

Seriously cool. Take a gold star! You may press the button!

Aw! Thanks so much. xo

What great news! Congratulations Darlene.

Darlene I think this is fantastic! Especially when you inspire children who don’t necessarily like to read. Bravo to you for making reading exciting for youngsters around the world.

This is wonderful, Darlene! It’s so great having people read our books, but when they’re used as a learning tool, that’s super special. I know Miss Charlotte loves your series. She let out a little gasp this Christmas when she saw your lasted book!

She´s grown up with my books, hasn´t she? So pleased she still enjoys getting them as gifts. She should send me an email. I answer all my fan mail. (all 6 of them!)

That’s wonderful, Darlene. You’re provided a wonderful service in inspiring children to learn through your books.

Thanks, Debra! I hope I have inspired some of them to want to see the world and if not to travel then to learn about it.

[…] This is lovely and must be so heartwarming for an author to see via Homeschooling With Amanda Travels […]

Aw, that’s so lovely! Kuddos and I know you’ve inspired many more kids around the world ❤

Thank you so much!!

This is a really interesting post, Darlene. I love how you included examples of the work he did reading your books that show his understanding of the material. I can see why you were so pleased since your books have clearly inspired him!

Thanks, Nancy. It was so nice of his mom to send me the material. I have seen what teachers in schools have done with the books but never how it has been used in homeschooling. xo

Isn’t that the best feedback, Darlene? From your intended reader. Such special feedback to treasure. Congratulations. I’m sure you have made a difference to many other lives as well.

Thank you so much, Nora. It is indeed the best feedback ever.

This is just wonderful! I love reading what children have to say. Thank you, Darlene.

I thought you would like this. xo

Oh, I definitely did. You know me well. 🙂

How rewarding to get letters from young readers hooked on your series! Congratulations!

Very rewarding, indeed. Thanks!

Well done, and congratulations, Darlene! It’s terrific to see how your books engaged the young (at first reluctant) reader and he earned very good marks for his efforts which no doubt will encourage him to continue to do well in his course. #senisal

Thanks, Natalie. His mother mentioned he is doing very well.

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