Country Living Series

Friday, February 4, 2011

Trouble in the trenches

So today I was talking with another homeschooling mom and we started discussing grammar.  I mentioned that, despite my writing, I've never understood grammar because I've never been taught it (remember, I'm a publik skool gradjiate).

This mother dropped a book in my lap called Our Mother Tongue: A Guide to English Grammar.  In looking through it, I was impressed by the clarity of how this complex subject was explained.  "I'm going to have to get a copy of this!" I commented.

At once both my girls sent out groans of protest.

"I hate it when homeschooling moms get together!" groused Older Daughter.

Too bad.

17 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Love it!! I may have to look for that book too. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

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  3. Along that line, I'd also recommend "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation."

    My government school provided a half semester of grammar in 7th grade. I strongly suspect that my teacher had no clue what she was doing. I was always amazed by the Little House on the Prairie books sections that discussed grammar. It truly seemed like a foreign language.

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  4. I'm not ashamed to admit that I frequently learn grammar while teaching my children. We use the First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease curriculums and my 2nd grader is learning sentence diagramming. I am astonished at what I didn't learn in my public school education.

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  5. I went to public school too and grammar was a large part of our curriculum all through elementary in addition to reading. In Jr. High literature took over half of the curriculum but writing and grammar was still about half. Goes to show you the differences to be found from state to state and even district to district. My daughters went to the same schools that I went to and they had about the same amount of grammar education.

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  6. I am homeschooling my children using Christian Light Education. We do grammar in our schooling. I just said to my husband the other night, I can't believe how well I now know grammar!! I actually understand it rather well and that has been one of my biggest weaknesses! It builds upon it little by little so it is not overwhelming!

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  7. I found Eats, Shoots & Leaves at Goodwill and my sixteen-year-old daughter has thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Birdy

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  8. I always liked grammar in school because I had a teacher who taught it well. She went against the normal public school curriculum, and she taught us how to diagram sentences. Boy did that make grammar better!

    I agree with an earlier post that you should also get Eats, Shoots and Leaves. You'll enjoy it.

    Additionally, I don't know what you use to teach your children, but when I was homeschooling my daughter I used Winston Grammar. I liked using Winston because it taught my daughter how to break apart a sentence and know whether or not she is using correct grammar.

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  9. Thank you for the recommendation. Even though my daughter is only 2, I've been dreading the eventual grammar section of our homeschooling program. I'm another public school graduate :(

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  10. We discovered "Growing With Grammar" this year for school and we all love it!

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  11. I went to public school nearly my whole life. It was in 5th grade that some amazing mom (not mine) convinced the teacher to let her come in a couple of times a week to teach us how to diagram sentences. I always wondered why the teacher never taught us that...maybe it was because she didn't know how to herself?!?!

    Andrea S

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  12. I will have to look for that book. I confess I have always struggled with it.

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  13. We used Abeka for Grammar in the lower grades and the kids loved diagramming sentences. We also used an older version of the Harbrace College Handbook in HS Grammar and it was wonderful. I'm a "retired" Home School mom now and I miss those days for sure!!

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  14. Although I attended public schools, I feel they were still good institutions in my day. Unfortunately, I've forgotten most of the rules of grammar, punctuation, split infinitives, and all that other stuff. Plus, the rules have changed since I was in school.

    When I was in school in the 1950's and 1960's, we used the word "Moslem" rather than "Muslim." We also used the single verb conjunction with "family" and "tribe," etc. rather than the plural verb, which has been used more recently. (I think that is due to the country's current and inexplicable love affair with all things British these days.)

    Language and grammar evolves, but I don't. :)

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  15. Your grammer seems just lovely to me! :)

    Have you seen the picture books by Ruth Heller that introduce they parts of speech? The are absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous art, and Ms. Heller is so incredibly clever with words. If you can find them at your library, your whole family would love them. Check them out here:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_36?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ruth+heller+world+of+language+series&sprefix=ruth+heller+world+of+language+series

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  16. ...laughing at myself that I misspelled "grammar".

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  17. I stopped worrying about grammar so much when I started reading Thomas Jefferson's letters and then began studying the evolution of the English language. In this information age (Twitter, text messaging, instant messaging, etc.) all bets are off.

    I have a friend who is a college professor. He regularly refuses communication from his students when they use "inappropriate grammar". I applaud his dedication, but I fear he is fighting an uphill battle.

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