Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Teaching Grammar And Writing

There are two subjects I never had in my academic years, formal grammar and world history. At least one of them is making a comeback in the schools. The Washington Post reports that educators are teaching grammar once again. That's a good thing. My own foray into blogging has exposed how little grammar I actually know. It's been on the blog training for me. I still struggle with the difference between a comma and a semi-colon and more than a few commenters have corrected my apostrophe errors. I'm not embarrassed, I'm grateful for each and every correction. (Thank you!) And in response to the hostile grammar teachers...Yes! I can still homeschool my children!

Teaching grammar to my children has been a wonderful experience. Most of my children have gone through the Winston Grammar series. It's a method of diagramming sentences using cards to prompt the child and aid in mastering the principles of grammar. This method seemed to be especially useful with my boys. Daily Grams has served as a good review of grammar as well.

We also do dictation. Each week, I'll select a passage from their reading assignments and dictate each sentence. As I read the passage, they write it out. When I am finish reading, they will correct their own work using the passage. The Harp and the Laurel Wreath is also an excellent resource for dictation lessons.

Of course, the goal of any grammar is to produce well written work. I recently received The Gift of Family Writing by Jill Novak. Her inspiring book led me to think about writing in a whole new way. This blog is as close as I have come to keeping an actual journal. Her thoughts on family writing have made me realize just how important writing is in preserving our memories. I hope to employ some of her ideas in our family.

My son, Josh (14) said to me recently, "Mom, writing is actually easy when you know what you're talking about." That was just after finishing a small research paper on the Rosetta Stone. I thought it was sort of exciting and ironic, (in a weird mom sort of way) that he discovered the joy of writing while studying about ancient writing and hieroglyphics. Proof to me, how important good writing really is - not just for my children but for future generations.

Why Homeschooling shares a nifty little poem to remember the grammar rules.

Lori gives us the low down on semi colons and commas.

For more homeschooling information and tips, make sure you check out this week's Carnival of Homeschooling hosted by About Homeschooling.

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