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Grammar curriculum without Latinate Terminology/diagramming?


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#1 Writerdaddy

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:26 AM

Hi there,

 

I'm wondering if there is such a beast for an early middle school child (she could safely use grade 6-8):

 

a grammar curriculum that can be done independently for the most part, but where the emphasis is not on learning all the terminology, nor on sentence diagramming.

 

I have a naturally grammar-challenged daughter taught mostly in public school who is a brilliant writer, but gets a ribbing from friends about her grammar.

 

I would like to help her now although I'm certain it will straighten itself out in time, but don't believe we have time now nor energy from her for the tedium of latinate terms (and although I'm a professional writer I don't know most of them and don't want to learn them either!).

 

Is there such a beast? I imagine it would mean cleverly designed worksheets if it's going to be largely independent.

 

I looked at sample pages of Growing with Grammar but saw a lot of emphasis on identifying the latinate terms.

 

thanks for your ideas I appreciate it so much!



#2 EKS

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:25 AM

Do you want her to learn about how sentences are structured, or are you mostly concerned about her usage (subject/verb agreement, for example)?

 

But I have to say that I don't understand how you would teach grammar (the sentence structure variety) without simultaneously teaching the vocabulary of grammar.  The vocabulary is important because it allows you to talk about the topic at hand.  It would be like trying to teach math without teaching math vocabulary.  Drilling the vocabulary is not necessary, but the student needs to have a working knowledge of, for example, the difference between phrases and clauses, nouns and verbs, and what a modifier is.

 

The best program I've come across that downplays diagramming and gets right to the heart of grammar without being overwhelming is by Michael Clay Thompson.  But it is best done as a conversation on the couch.  The good thing is that it only takes a few minutes a day.  But the MCT books focus almost exclusively on sentence structure and not so much on usage and mechanics, so I'm not sure if it is what you're looking for.  If you want materials that stress usage, you may want to see if something made for English language learners would be a good fit.

 

 


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#3 nansk

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:14 AM

If you care about correct usage but not about learning all the terminology, look at grammar workbooks published for Singapore 5th/6th grades. They are called assessment books, and your dc may be able to work through them with minimal supervision. 

 

One good teaching+practice book is Longman Mastering English Grammar & Vocabulary. It comes with a separate answer key.

 



#4 Writerdaddy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:55 PM

Thanks! I do realize certain basic grammar terms are necessary, but I'm certain you can get an Ivy League Ph.D. in a literary field without knowing hardly any of them.

 

The MCT looks great if you do want to go into the terms, while the Singapore books look so clever! The sample pages I saw were really ingenious.

 

If only I could find somewhere to easily order them!

 

I have used sgbox while living in southeast asia before, but never ordered singapore math in the US, and the math is way more readily available.

 

 



#5 nansk

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:47 PM

 

If only I could find somewhere to easily order them!

 

I have used sgbox while living in southeast asia before, but never ordered singapore math in the US, and the math is way more readily available.

I can post them to you if you want. PM me if you are interested.



#6 EKS

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:11 PM

The MCT looks great if you do want to go into the terms, while the Singapore books look so clever! The sample pages I saw were really ingenious.

 

MCT isn't about terms--it is fundamentally about sentence structure.  The terms are introduced as a means to discuss the topic at hand.  I've found that working through the MCT books with my kids has made me a better writer, and I was a professional writer well before my homeschooling gig.