Tag Archives: english

National Standards

Did you know that there are already some national education standards in the United States? They are those proposed, for the most part, by the subject area teachers’ organizations. As we consider the concept of national standards in the light of students with special needs, they are worth considering. We have referred to them extensively in our articles on Homeschool Subjects, but here is a linked list of the major players. Some standards are available for free viewing and/or download, while others are available for purchase (indicated by $)

Social Studies (summary free; $ for whole)


English/Language Arts (includes Reading)



Physical Education

Health and Nutrition (summary free; $ for whole)

The Arts—Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts

• Foreign Language (exec. summary free; $ for whole)

Other Subjects

Bad vs. Badly

We often hear people or read things that say “I feel badly” or sentences that are similar. Have you ever wondered when you use the word “bad” or when you use “badly”? Well, we have and we figured it was worth addressing. In this post we will discuss the difference in these words when used in a sentence.

“Bad” is a verb. “Badly” is an adverb. This makes all the difference in their meaning and their place in sentence structure.
If I say that “I feel badly”, it is not a very accurate statement. The verb “feel” means to touch or to “have a sensation of (something), other than by sight, hearing, smell or taste. An example of this is “feel a stabbing pain”. So basically, if I say that I “feel badly”, I am saying that I “touch badly”.
A person pointed out at one time that most people don’t say that they”feel badly” or “feel sadly”, so why would anyone “feel badly”? This makes perfect sense. “Feel” is a verb and “badly is an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs so it just doesn’t make sense to use it in this manner.
Here are a few sentences to show examples of correct and incorrect usage:
Incorrect: I feel badly.
Correct: I feel bad.
Incorrect: I smell badly.
Correct: I smell bad.
Times when the use of “badly” does not follow the rules above are:
“You behaved badly in the movie theatre.”
“The move went badly.”
The misconception with “bad” vs. “badly” is that in most cases you are just fine using an adverb after a verb but with this particular verb and adverb you need to watch it. We must point out that different people have different views on English grammar and usage rules.

Assure vs. Ensure vs. Insure

These words are frequently misused and confused in the English language. They seem at first glance that they would be interchangeable but we will take a closer look in this post as to the proper usage of each one. These words do basically have the same meaning but, again, usage is important.

If you assure something you say or write that you will do something specific.
“He assured me he would pick up the pasta.”
You ensure that something happens.
“I will ensure that the pasta is picked up.”
Insure guarantees something with insurance or other financial backing.
“He made sure the car was insured before driving it to the store for pasta.”
Here are a few sample sentences that you can try to see if you can get the right word. The answers are below. You can use any tense of these words, such as: ensure, ensured, insure, insurance, insured, assure, assurance, assured, etc.
1. I just spoke to my agent to make sure they got the boat _____________.
2. Rest ___________, I will be there.
3. I picked him up from school to _______________ that he was home on time.
4. I will ______________ that the mail goes out.
5. The dealership ____________ me that there would be no delivery fee for the car.
6. The school should have ___________ for the children involved in sports.
7. Can you ___________ that the yard work is done?
8. You can ___________ the babysitter that we will be on time.
9. Call the office to ___________ the motorcycle.
10. You must ____________ that this gets done.
1. insured 2. assured 3. ensure 4. ensure 5. assured 6. insurance 7. ensure 8. assure 9. insure 10. ensure

It can be hard to look back at our school classes and recall all the different uses for different words. It is good to brush up on our skills at times so that we do use our language correctly.

Illusion vs. Allusion

At educationbug.org we strive to continuously post articles that are of interest to our readers and that will help educate them along the way. We have already posted many English grammar lesson articles you could have fun with and learn interesting similarities and differences in words.

Have you ever considered the difference between illusion vs. allusion? Or were you even aware that there was a difference? Or that one or the other word even existed? To learn the definition of these words and tips and tricks on how to use them, click on allusion vs. illusion here toread our article.

Who’s vs. Whose

The rules of grammar can be challenging. One of the rules I often get confused is when to use who’s vs. whose in a sentence? Hopefully this post can help others who have the same problem.

Most people know that who’s is a contraction of “who is” and that whose is simply a pronoun. An example of how it is used we can use the sentence:
Who’s the man whose car is parked illegally?

Who’s is a contraction who and one of the verbs is or has. When who is combined with is, the apostrophe replaces the i, “who is” becomes who’s. In the same way when who is combined with has, the apostrophe replaces the h and the a, “who has” then becomes who’s. Some examples:
Who’s been sitting in my chair?
(Who has been. . . )
Who’s going to be able to attend the education seminar?
(Who is going to . . .)

Who’s is pronounced /HOOZ/.

Whose is the possessive form of who. Here are some examples:
Interrogative pronoun:
This is my blue shirt, whose is the green one?
Whose car is parked in my parking place?

Differentiating Who’s and Whose
I just recite the sentence back in my head and ask myself if it is more proper when I replace who’s with, who is?, who has?, or whose.
Because who’s and whose are both correct spellings, it’s a good idea to use the grammar check in your word processor and/or spell check.

Affect vs. Effect

I often get confused between when to use the word “affect” versus “effect”, so I did a little bit of research and found this grammar lesson to share with you:
Affect and Effect are both a transitive verb and a noun.

When affect is being used as a verb it means “to change or influence; to attack, cause damage to, infect; to act with intent to deceive or impress; or to act on the emotions, to create an emotional response,”. In all these definitions, affect means “to make some sort of difference.”
When affect is used as a noun it refers to “the state of emotions and is connected to the verb form”.

When effect is used as a verb it means “to cause or bring about”.
When effect is used as a noun it means “the result of something”.

Even in studying these differences I found I can get easily confused but came across this tip to help:
Remember the alphabetical order; first, something is affected and the result is an effect: A before E.

Grammar Lessons – It’s vs. Its

Recently, we have been updating our English Grammar Lessons on EducationBug.org.

Currently we have a good batch of lessons on our site and will continue to add more. Right now – our most popular is it’s vs. its . It features the usage of each and the definition. So if you’re wondering if you should use its or it’s – check out the page to find out! It’s is a contraction and its is a third person singular possessive adjective.

We also have many other lessons such as:
You’re vs. Your
Me vs. Myself – includes any uses of me, myself, and I.
as well as a few related to common misspellings and misuses like:
affect vs. effect
lose vs. loose

BLOG UPDATE: We just added a new article: A vs. An

We have about 50 more lessons to post and we’ll be adding them to our site as we have time and our article writers get them into us. They are very high quality resources – if you have a website or blog – we’d appreciate a link to the lessons landing page or anyone of the individual articles. This will help educate others on proper grammar.

At EducationBug.org we are also working on a math lesson series to help understand the various terms and concepts. This will be an excellent resource to those needing some brush up on simple math, geometry, algebra, and more!

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