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#1 texasmom33

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:18 PM

If you started grammar specific instruction early in elementary for your kids, and now have high school age or older children, are you glad you started grammar at that point or do you feel it could've waited? 



#2 JudoMom

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:19 PM

I didn't feel it was worth it. I think starting around 3rd or 4th is good.

ETA: I started in 3rd with my younger two. No regrets. There was no benefit in starting my older boys in 1st. They all ended up in about the same position by middle school.

Edited by JudoMom, 07 February 2018 - 08:53 PM.

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#3 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:31 PM

I dabbled in grammar school n earlier years but we didn’t get serious until middle school. I wish that we had just waited until middle school.


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#4 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:41 PM

Both my high school aged boys started FLL in first grade.  No regrets.  Both did something grammar-ish (A Beka, R&S, or vintage books mash up) through 6th grade, less grammar in 7th & 8th.  Both needed a break in 9th.  I plan on grammar as part of their English credit at some point before graduation, just to remind them of what  they do already know before college writing.

 

I'm all for early as they can hack it grammar, so that in the upper years you can think about something else.  Like how to write well without worrying about subject verb agreement, or being able to learn a foreign language better because you already know the difference between nominative and objective cases or what a direct object is.

 

I do recognize that one child's early grammar may be first grade, while another child's early is third grade.  Both are fine. 

 

AND...

 

I don't mean second graders *have* to have all their helping verbs memorized cold and do piles of worksheets.  Most early grammar instruction should be oral and low key.  It's about exposure that builds, not mindless drill and kill. 


Edited by Zoo Keeper, 07 February 2018 - 08:59 PM.

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#5 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:51 PM

I am glad we did FLL then. It is so much easier to memorize the prepositions song and all of the definitions with the brain of a young kid. My 10th grader totally rocked the grammar portion of the PSAT because of systematic sequential instruction.
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#6 EKS

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:00 PM

I am glad we did FLL then. It is so much easier to memorize the prepositions song and all of the definitions with the brain of a young kid. My 10th grader totally rocked the grammar portion of the PSAT because of systematic sequential instruction.

 

I have never understood why people think they need to memorize the prepositions.  I mean, isn't it totally obvious what is functioning as a preposition in a sentence?


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#7 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:09 PM

Perhaps my kids are unusual. Despite a lack of constant drill they both write very well with no grammatical mistakes. Including the one diagnosed with dyslexia. And they have tested well in high school and college level English tests. I don’t care what others do but I don’t think that they were harmed by waiting. When I started out with the more intensive grammar study in younger grades they started to hate the English language. Backing off and shelving it was the best thing I ever did for my particular kids.

But take my experience with a grain of salt. We also never specifically “learned to write”. They just wrote. Ds all along and Dd (due to special circumstances) only really starting this year in 10th grade. And yet they both do fine with essay and research formats.


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#8 regentrude

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:19 PM

I never did any grammar instruction in English and never missed it.

Both my kids are excellent writers who have complete command of the English grammar.

They just read a lot of well written books  and were surrounded by people who used grammar correctly in their speech. 


Edited by regentrude, 07 February 2018 - 09:23 PM.

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#9 regentrude

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:21 PM

I am glad we did FLL then. It is so much easier to memorize the prepositions song and all of the definitions with the brain of a young kid.

 

Why on earth would one need to memorize the prepositions? It is more important to know how a preposition functions in a sentence.

And why would one need to memorize "all the definitions"?  Memorizing grammatical terminology does not create grammar mastery or make a student a strong writer.


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#10 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:58 PM

Maybe my kids are just weird?

We spent an afternoon acting out the prepositions with lego figurines. It made sense to each of my 2nd graders--much more than memorizing the definitions then.

Now, however, when my kids' brains freeze in analyzing a sentence, they still search for the verbs first, then the nouns, and finally go through all of the clauses. If they don't know how a word should be illustrated in relationship to other words they still go through the definitions in their heads.

Now I am curious--how do you teach grammar? My oldest instinctively writes well, but grammar as a formal study was still a lot of work. My next son in line likewise has a good ear but has needed more explicit instruction in writing complex sentences and in analyzing sentences.
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#11 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:08 PM

I used Analytical Grammar with no problem.


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#12 Sandwalker

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:25 PM

I never did any grammar instruction in English and never missed it.
Both my kids are excellent writers who have complete command of the English grammar.
They just read a lot of well written books and were surrounded by people who used grammar correctly in their speech.

This for us, too. My two are in their 20s, and my dd blogs for a living.
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#13 marbel

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:33 AM

We did some in the early years, maybe 3rd or 4th, and then when I saw that the next year's book had all the same stuff and we'd just be repeating, I stopped till early high school and what we did then was mostly test prep stuff.

 

Both kids are in college doing fine now.  


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#14 HomeAgain

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:44 AM

My oldest struggled with grammar in elementary but found his groove much later with Harvey's.  He couldn't understand why it was necessary to study formally.  He's never going to be an English major or multilingual, but Harvey's was a nice resource for him to fall back on.  He definitely could have waited past elementary and gotten the same results.

 

My youngest...he enjoys everything about grammar.  He's my 'rules' kid.  Loves rules, adores them.  He will happily diagram sentences all day and easily applies the ideas to Latin and French, discovering the nuances and differences but working within them.  By starting grammar with him in 1st (Grammarland with character cut outs, nothing inappropriate), he was ready for more formal language studies in 2nd.  Once he understood that each language had its own rules he took off.  Waiting with him would probably not put him where he wants to be as he grows up.

 

 


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#15 SusanC

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:40 AM

We have followed the FLL track. The clearest benefit that I have seen is in studying foreign languages. The fact that my third grader already has an understanding of all the different kinds of objects that are easy to gloss over in English has made studying German easier. It will also assist when we start talking about the object pronouns in Spanish.

We memorized the prepositions, and although my family could probably figure them out from context, we could also probably over think it and screw some of them up. It is kind of like memorizing the times tables so that the "interesting math" doesn't get bogged down trying to derive 7x8 it 4x9. Sadly we are quicker with prepositions than some of those multiplication facts...
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#16 skimomma

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:52 AM

We did FLL starting in 2nd grade and I am happy we did.  Dd is a strong writer but I don't think early grammar was a big factor there.  However, it has been very valuable in her Latin classes.  Having that strong grammar background allowed her to start Latin earlier which has opened space for a modern language in high school without having to double up.


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#17 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

I am glad we did it. We did R&S grammar starting in 2nd. It is nice and gentle, then we kept it up and Prima Latina in 3rd grade which is basically learning the parts of speech (in latin, but apply to English as well, with a bit of vocabulary and beginning latin grammar like declension memorization.) My kids could not have done as well in Latin if they hadn't had such a grammar heavy curriculum I believe. Plus, even with all of it- latin, english, and whatnot, I have one that just requires a lot of drill and repetition with everything. Instead of saying she can't do stuff because it is dificult for her, I believe all of the exposure and constant going over has helped her very much. We do things diffferently than just the textbooks as well. I remember acting out 
"things a squirrel can do to a tree" with a stuffed animal and chairs as our tree and squirrel many many times to act out prepositional phrases. It was the way my middle school teacher taught us grammar, lol, and it always stuck with me. We also chanted and sang songs to conjugate english verbs, to learn the helping verbs and linking verbs, the forms of be, and all kinds of other grammar topics. Anyone from my high school can still chant and sing those tunes. They always come to mind when I am searching my mind for something. I have taught my own kids w/R&S english which promotes a lot of the memory work in its daily oral drill using my own experiences from my wonderful teacher, and then carried that model forward in teaching latin in co-op classses to many tunes and chants for my students. When taking a National Latin Exam, they can't go in with any charts in front of them. But they can create their own on their scrap paper next to them from memory. Having those declensions memorized to tunes and the lists of prepositions memorized to other tunes (which is important in latin because one list gives the object of the prep the accusative case and one the ablative case,) means they can jot that down from memory then glance at it if needed while translating portions. Learning English the same way just works for us. 


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#18 Cnew02

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 01:29 PM

When we started Latin in 9th grade I quickly regretted not hitting grammar harder. We did analytical grammar in middle school and I just found that for my kid it wasn't enough. We have to pause Latin occasionally to learn more grammar. It's not been fatal, but it makes me feel like I did bad job in elementary. My poor first born test case. My next child has started with CLE 3, one year behind so I can feel secure in hitting all the grammar we need.
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#19 tess in the burbs

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 01:38 PM

I'm torn about this.  I have a humanities kid and an engineering kid.  Same amount of grammar instruction.  One knows it well, the other does not.

 

I don't think hardcore grammar is needed until late elementary/middle school.  My kids did do FLL in 1st/2nd when it was just the original book done orally and less than 5 min a day.  No workbooks.  

I also think learning style matters.  But ultimately if they don't think about words and love words they aren't going to grasp grammar as well as someone who loves words and can use them well.  You either get it or you don't.  Doing more grammar for my engineering mind kid hasn't helped, just frustrate.  But I don't know at the younger ages you would really be able to recognize this difference.  It's too early.  

 

So if I had to do it over again I'd maybe do gentle grammar rules through 6th grade.  the original FLL done orally.  Writing Tales had gentle grammar and fun grammar games.  (3-5th grade range)  Maybe just repeat until middle school and then push it in a full program.  Then you can figure out if they gravitate toward engineering(less word output) or humanities(more word output) and go from there for high school.   I didn't use but Analytical Grammar teaches on this idea...wait until older.  

I do feel like it frustrated one kid early on but you have this fear that if you skip something so basic as grammar you are screwing them up.  So even if we all said wait until 7th grade...would you?


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#20 ailysh

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 02:02 PM

I'm not a veteran, but I will say that I have been doing FLL2 with my oldest this year and I am seeing a benefit when it comes to studying Spanish. I didn't think it was necessary to start with FLL 1 in first but now I'm rethinking that with my youngest. I think I will start her with FLL 1 in first. It's such a quick and easy program to implement with a lot of payout. Very high bang for your buck in terms of time commitment.

 

But foreign language (and language in general) is an intentional focus of our home school, and I know it isn't for everybody. I think of our home school as having a skills focus in the early years, those skills being the three "languages" (math, music, and reading/writing). I'm not sure why I think of it that way. Maybe because, as a musician, I've heard music referred to as the universal language. And my brother-in-law is a math professor and he would call math the universal language. Then of course there is actual language. At any rate, for 5 minutes three times a week, grammar study is definitely worth it for me.


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#21 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 02:06 PM

I’m really not trying to convince anyone to wait but Ds took Latin from 3rd grade through a high school Latin III and was fine waiting on grammar. Dd is fine with her foreign language too but it’s Japanese so doesn’t correspond to the grammar of Romance languages.


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#22 rozes

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:33 PM

nm


Edited by rozes, 14 February 2018 - 06:36 PM.

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#23 blondeviolin

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 09:38 PM

My oldest is only 11, but I absolutely dinner regret teaching her grammar when she was younger. She is doing quite well with Latin and we don't have to wrap our minds around the grammar when trying to figure out everything else out. It's also allowing her to vary her writing.
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#24 Lori D.

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:18 PM

I think it depends on your view of Grammar, and your goal for Grammar.

 

I've always viewed grammar as a tool (not an end in itself) in support of:

- proper writing

- proper speaking

- foreign language acquisition

 

As a result, I tended to teach Grammar in conjunction with, or at least no more than a half step away from, Writing. (We never managed Latin studies at all and only squeezed in foreign language at the very end of high school, but if we had, we would have connected/learned the Grammar in conjunction with the foreign language as well.)

 

Our Grammar "back story" (lol):

We always spoke in grammatically correct sentences to DSs, and we read aloud a TON to DSs starting as toddlers, from a wide variety of well-written books. So I think they just absorbed proper Grammar for speaking and writing from that. ;)

 

Also, I think I was just lucky with Grammar, as neither DS seemed to ever struggle with it -- which is miraculous when I think back on how much DS#2 struggled with reading (stealth dyslexia), writing, spelling, and math. Why Grammar was not an issue for him, when those other LA areas were a HUGE struggle, I'll never know...

 

Anyways, we did some fun, light exposure in the early elementary grades with Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock, Mad Libs, and Grammar Ad Libs. And some very basic Grammar ideas connected to Writing, such as starting with a capital letter and ending with punctuation, and some very very simple Sonlight-type of dictations that I would make, of working with a few sentences out of the reading that week -- making it more game-like. (Although, we didn't actually dictate/write, we just did the working with the words / sentences, punctuation, homophones, etc.)

 

That allowed me to keep formal Grammar studies contained to about 4 years in upper elementary/middle school grades. We didn't really start grammar formally until about 4th grade, and kept it at a pretty light amount of work (about 15-20 min/day, 3x/week) up through grade 8.

 

Early on, I stumbled across a super Joyce Herzog homeschool session on how to teach grammar, and started with this little pamphlet she had on Grammar (I believe that eventually got turned in to her slightly longer 6 Weeks to Understanding Grammar.). That pretty much covers the basics of a full year of grammar instruction in a super short, gentle fashion.

 

After that, we ran through Winston Basic (gr. 4-5), Wordworks (gr. 6-7), and Advanced (gr. 8). We never did formal diagramming, but we did do a sort of "parsing" of sentences -- we marked sentences with underlines, circles, arrows etc. to show relationships of how words and phrases were working in a written sentence.

 

We would do Winston 1-2x/week, and then the other 1-2x/week, we would do a SL-style dictation, or a fun supplement like Comicstrip Grammar, or we would connect with Writing by doing GUM (Grammar Usage Mechanics) practice through proof-editing a few sentences or a paragraph. The Take 5 Minutes: A History Fact a Day for Editing went over very well with DSs. Super short (shorter than the Editor in Chief selections), and they also liked the History fact.

 

No formal Grammar instruction in high school; about 2x/week though, we would do a paragraph from The Chortling Bard as a quick Grammar usage review and proof-editing practice (tie-in with Writing), vocabulary word exposure, and as a sort of fun "brain warm-up" puzzle. Each paragraph adds to a silly version of a Shakespeare play.

 

To sum up: my goal was Grammar as a tool to help with Writing esp., so that's where I focused, and tried to make connections. Seems to have worked pretty well by keeping it short, as DSs seemed to think of the "formal Grammar program" work as more of a "critical thinking puzzle" to solve, and both DSs did fine on college papers. ;)


Edited by Lori D., 08 February 2018 - 10:35 PM.

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#25 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:35 PM

Lori’s post helped remind me that we play (and always have played) with language. And we have always had good models of spoken and written English. I also prefer parsing to diagramming in English, Greek or Latin.

Really, putting labels to the words and functions we use all the time isn’t that hard. Complex sentences are hard but we never felt the need to diagram to that level. My kids can write complex sentences when needed.

Like Lori, I see grammar as a tool. I don’t see it so much as an end in and if itself. I know the arguments for lots of grammar instruction. I don’t normally express our more relaxed approach but the OP asked. ;)

Edited by Jean in Newcastle, 08 February 2018 - 10:42 PM.

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#26 texasmom33

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:53 PM

I'm torn about this.  I have a humanities kid and an engineering kid.  Same amount of grammar instruction.  One knows it well, the other does not.

 

I don't think hardcore grammar is needed until late elementary/middle school.  My kids did do FLL in 1st/2nd when it was just the original book done orally and less than 5 min a day.  No workbooks.  

I also think learning style matters.  But ultimately if they don't think about words and love words they aren't going to grasp grammar as well as someone who loves words and can use them well.  You either get it or you don't.  Doing more grammar for my engineering mind kid hasn't helped, just frustrate.  But I don't know at the younger ages you would really be able to recognize this difference.  It's too early.  

 

So if I had to do it over again I'd maybe do gentle grammar rules through 6th grade.  the original FLL done orally.  Writing Tales had gentle grammar and fun grammar games.  (3-5th grade range)  Maybe just repeat until middle school and then push it in a full program.  Then you can figure out if they gravitate toward engineering(less word output) or humanities(more word output) and go from there for high school.   I didn't use but Analytical Grammar teaches on this idea...wait until older.  

I do feel like it frustrated one kid early on but you have this fear that if you skip something so basic as grammar you are screwing them up.  So even if we all said wait until 7th grade...would you?

 

Well, that's why I'm asking. I don't really have an opinion, so I'm open to the wisdom of others. I tend to lean with most things towards the better late than early department, but I have one child in particular that hasn't cooperated with that plan. He's the one that has me rethinking things. Also, I've noticed multiple posters who seemed to follow the WTM progression of things have come back later and said they wished that had taken a less academic approach when the kids were little, so I'm trying to sort through people's experiences and my thoughts. 

 

My oldest lived through a pilot program at her school where they did not teach grammar or spelling in elementary. Yet, once we started homeschooling she picked up grammar study very easily and actually enjoys it. But my son loves all things language and is already attempting to learn Spanish, so I think it could benefit him........I don't think it's cut and dry. I like hearing what other's think on the back end of the experience so I can try and make an educated decision. :) 



#27 Targhee

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:00 PM

I have never understood why people think they need to memorize the prepositions. I mean, isn't it totally obvious what is functioning as a preposition in a sentence?

Memorizing prepositions was the bane of my 7th grade English 🙄

I think the question of memorizing these things and the question of early grammar comes down to learning style. My kids memorize things AFTER the fully understand them and use them (same with math facts, geography, and other things). They learn/internalize/store-for-quick-retrieval by experiencing things in context. Straight memorization is not helpful for them. Neither were attempts at early grammar. We waited until they were past decoding, spelling, handwriting, etc We exposed them to correct language, and then at around 9 or so they were each ready to tackle grammar. And they did so easily and quickly, and now the oldest at 13 and 15 apply correct grammar easily in their writing. I know not everyone learns this same way though. So a better question to think about, OP, is how your children learn.
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#28 scholastica

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:19 PM

I have never understood why people think they need to memorize the prepositions. I mean, isn't it totally obvious what is functioning as a preposition in a sentence?


Not to everybody. I’m teaching Grammar to middle school
kids right now. Those who have memorized the prepositions can find them in the sentences much more easily. Same thing with identifying parts of speech and the function of a word in a sentence. If you don’t know what an adjective or an adverb is, then you don’t know what questions to ask to figure out if the word or phrase at which you are staring blankly is acting as one or the other. The memorization in the younger years undergirds everything that comes later. It makes it so much easier.
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#29 regentrude

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:08 PM

Not to everybody. I’m teaching Grammar to middle school
kids right now. Those who have memorized the prepositions can find them in the sentences much more easily. Same thing with identifying parts of speech and the function of a word in a sentence. If you don’t know what an adjective or an adverb is, then you don’t know what questions to ask to figure out if the word or phrase at which you are staring blankly is acting as one or the other. The memorization in the younger years undergirds everything that comes later. It makes it so much easier.

 

And why would one need to pick out the prepositions in a sentence? What purpose does that serve?

 

And why do I need to figure out whether a word acts as an adverb or an adjective? What does that matter if the sentence is well written and correct?


Edited by regentrude, 09 February 2018 - 05:09 PM.

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#30 EKS

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:12 PM

Not to everybody. I’m teaching Grammar to middle school
kids right now. Those who have memorized the prepositions can find them in the sentences much more easily. Same thing with identifying parts of speech and the function of a word in a sentence. If you don’t know what an adjective or an adverb is, then you don’t know what questions to ask to figure out if the word or phrase at which you are staring blankly is acting as one or the other. The memorization in the younger years undergirds everything that comes later. It makes it so much easier.

 

But you don't need to *memorize* a definition.  You can understand how the various parts of speech are functioning in the sentence without memorizing anything.

 

I found that when it came to learning grammar, *not* relying on memorization or other brute force techniques (such as excessive review) served both of my children better than attempting to do so.  For example, MCT, with its big picture approach, was what undergirded my younger son's understanding later on, and it also was the only thing that got through to the older one, who has dyslexia, when the brute force methods failed.


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#31 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:56 PM

My kids (and me) are all big picture thinkers.  We do understand the details but they are obvious to us when we understand the big picture.  I do think that the person who said that understanding your kid's learning styles is important when it comes to this sort of thing. 

 

I do think that having some technical language to discuss the nuts and bolts of language (which is really what grammatical terms are) can be helpful.  But I don't think that it is necessary to spend years and years on.  But see above on what kind of learners we are. 


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#32 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:59 AM

Not to everybody. I’m teaching Grammar to middle school
kids right now. Those who have memorized the prepositions can find them in the sentences much more easily. Same thing with identifying parts of speech and the function of a word in a sentence. If you don’t know what an adjective or an adverb is, then you don’t know what questions to ask to figure out if the word or phrase at which you are staring blankly is acting as one or the other. The memorization in the younger years undergirds everything that comes later. It makes it so much easier.

 I agree. I have a class of middle schoolers for latin. They cannot always automatically see the prep phrase for what it is either. 


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#33 RootAnn

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:09 PM

Well, we do later grammar because my kids are later readers. So, 3rd-5th grade as a start and finish around 7th or 8th except for test prep or fixing usage mistakes that are still haunting them.

Dd#3 grinned in my direction and sang a bit of the "linking verbs" (off-shoot of helping verbs) song when her online Latin teacher was trying to explain predicate nominative vs predicate adjectives to the class the other day.

No regrets waiting or not continuing into high school with formal grammar lessons. But, mine are still young (oldest is a high school junior, youngest is secondish grade).

I understood English so much better after learning a foreign language. Eldest occasionally finds her Latin grammar background helpful in her German class.

My kids don't just naturally pick up things by hearing or reading them. We have to drill spelling over and over. We find learning to read arduous and time-consuming. But, we don't spend a decade on grammar instruction. There just aren't enough hours in a day.
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#34 Paradox5

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 12:50 AM

Lori’s post helped remind me that we play (and always have played) with language. And we have always had good models of spoken and written English. I also prefer parsing to diagramming in English, Greek or Latin.

Really, putting labels to the words and functions we use all the time isn’t that hard. Complex sentences are hard but we never felt the need to diagram to that level. My kids can write complex sentences when needed.

Like Lori, I see grammar as a tool. I don’t see it so much as an end in and if itself. I know the arguments for lots of grammar instruction. I don’t normally express our more relaxed approach but the OP asked. ;)

What is the difference between parsing and diagramming? {Forgive my ignorance, please.}



#35 Frances

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:32 AM

I despised doing grammar every year in my own schooling, so never ever considered that as an option for homeschooling. We did Analytical Grammar in middle school. My son aced the verbal portions of the PSAT and SAT, always received As on his college papers, reads grammar guides for fun, and loves to teach me about German grammar.

#36 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:01 AM

What is the difference between parsing and diagramming? {Forgive my ignorance, please.}

Have you ever looked at Analytical Grammar? The part where you write each part of speech over the words in the sentence, is parsing. Where you put the different words in the diagram to show it visually is diagramming.

Edited by Jean in Newcastle, 12 February 2018 - 02:23 AM.


#37 Paradox5

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:20 AM

Have you ever looked at Analytical Grammar? The part where you write each part of speech over the words in the sentence, is parsing. Where you out the different words in the diagram to show it visually is diagramming.

Nope- never have. Thank you for explaining. I thought it was like the MCT thing. My kids hated that one. (course they thought the books were dumb, too. I thought they were great! The little bubbles were like molecules.)



#38 lmrich

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:42 AM

We did FLL as well. I loved it, and it was so quick and easy.  It can really take 10 - 15 minutes a day. You can keep it gentle and fun- no tests and stress.


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#39 KrissiK

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:58 AM

I am glad we did FLL then. It is so much easier to memorize the prepositions song and all of the definitions with the brain of a young kid. My 10th grader totally rocked the grammar portion of the PSAT because of systematic sequential instruction.

The chants and things (to-be verbs, and helping verbs especially, but also the definitions of the parts of speech, because every time my kid asks “what is a noun?” I say, “ what is a noun?” And they reply, “a noun is a word that names a person, place, thing or idea.” And then they figure it out) in FLL are great and much more easily memorized as a younger child, so I am glad I started that early with my kids. The other stuff.... meh. I don’t regret starting early. We use Rod & Staff, but I wouldn’t say it’s totally necessary.

ETA: I didn’t make them memorize the prepositions. I teach them to just spot the phrases, since they are just self-contained little nuggets that don’t have a lot to do with the framework of the sentence.

Edited by KrissiK, 12 February 2018 - 11:03 AM.

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#40 YaelAldrich

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 12:02 PM

I don't do formal English grammar until 4th grade.  We do Latin starting in 3rd grade and also learn Hebrew, so they get some grammar that way.  My youngest just learned about conjugation of nouns and verbs from Latin and Hebrew.  I use Hake (Saxon) grammar. The older kids have a very good grasp of grammar from their formal work in addition to reading quality literature and having good role models.


Edited by YaelAldrich, 12 February 2018 - 12:03 PM.

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#41 Lori D.

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:01 PM

What is the difference between parsing and diagramming? {Forgive my ignorance, please.}

 

Jean explained the difference very nicely. I'll just add that we did our own variation of parsing, just using it as a tool for understanding the different parts of speech, and then how they were working. I attached an example of our variation on parsing below, which we did in steps:

 

- first find the verb and nouns/pronouns, and sort out the nouns and pronouns to figure out what was the "simple sentence" -- the subject and the "simple predicate" -- the 2 words that it was all about, as everything else just adds on detail

 

- second we would look for adjectives and articles (a special type of adjective) and use arrows to show what they were adding on to (modifying)

 

- then in the last steps, we would start tackling the harder words to figure out what they were "adding on to"; once you learn prepositions, it makes it much easier to recognize them and realize they are working as your "green light" (start of the prepositional phrase) and the phrase runs forward until you find the "red light" of the noun (or pronoun) that is the end of the prepositional phrase; and prepositional phrases are just longer chunks that are modifiers (add on to or add detail to something else)

Attached Files


Edited by Lori D., 12 February 2018 - 02:14 PM.

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#42 Tsuga

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:50 AM

And why would one need to pick out the prepositions in a sentence? What purpose does that serve?

And why do I need to figure out whether a word acts as an adverb or an adjective? What does that matter if the sentence is well written and correct?


My kids never needed manipulatives to add or subtract or even really multiply or divide. Like... They just get it. Likewise, commas and prepositions don't need explanations. They can rattle off synonyms for "through" like their lives depend on it.

I think this is not common. Some people need it all spelled out analytically, painstakingly, over years of instruction. They won't just "pick it up". They may leave out whole prepositions because they are lazy or simply don't see why "to" is necessary in "we went to the store".

They won't be able to naturally classify "from" in a different bucket from "frog" or "not" and therefore when you explain who and whom, or he and him, or a run on sentence, you have to start from scratch.
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#43 okbud

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:41 AM

My kids never needed manipulatives to add or subtract or even really multiply or divide. Like... They just get it. Likewise, commas and prepositions don't need explanations. They can rattle off synonyms for "through" like their lives depend on it.

I think this is not common. Some people need it all spelled out analytically, painstakingly, over years of instruction. They won't just "pick it up". They may leave out whole prepositions because they are lazy or simply don't see why "to" is necessary in "we went to the store".

They won't be able to naturally classify "from" in a different bucket from "frog" or "not" and therefore when you explain who and whom, or he and him, or a run on sentence, you have to start from scratch.

 

 

Yes! 

 

Great comparison.

 

I said this once irl, that one of my kids* needed to memorize at least a short list of examples for each of the parts of speech and someone told me if I'd spend that time reading to him each day instead of doing grammar work, he'd learn himself. Gee whiz! I mean I already read aloud for multiple hours per day, he reads for an hour himself, and he listens to an auidiobook for about forty-five minutes a day--six days a week.... but if you say the ten minutes per day, thrice a week that we now spend on grammar will put him over the edge, who am I to question it?

 

 

*for another one of my kids, memorizing things like this gets in the way... the memorized things seem to jumble up in his mind. But even for that child, he didn't feel comfortable writing creatively on his own until he'd had a year of pretty rigorous grammar in third grade. 


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#44 RootAnn

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:30 AM

Yes! Kids are different! Some people don't have to use a spelling program and tell you that all you have to do is have them read (some add, "high quality literature") a lot and they will pick up correct spelling.

Not all will, especially those who are not visual learners. I have kids who can see a word over and over and over again thousands of times and still have no idea how to spell it correctly. (They take after me. I can't passively learn things. I have to actively try to learn them or they won't stick.)

Not everyone learns effortlessly. Those with gifted kids, especially verbally (or the written equivalent) inclined ones sometimes don't understand the learning experience is much different for others.
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#45 rozes

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:05 AM

nm 

 


Edited by rozes, 14 February 2018 - 06:36 PM.

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#46 SilverMoon

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:39 AM

If you started grammar specific instruction early in elementary for your kids, and now have high school age or older children, are you glad you started grammar at that point or do you feel it could've waited? 

 

All six of mine started with the original combined levels 1/2 First Language Lessons, most of them in 1st grade, the oldest in 2nd grade because that's when I found it (only level 1/2 then), and one in 3rd (late bloomer). I don't regret a moment of it. It's a fabulous, gentle introduction and covers much more than just nouns and verbs. Memorizing preposition chants is not necessary, but it is beneficial. Having those definitions memorized and the proper terminology learned made discussions down the road so. much. easier. I could point to a middle school writing paper and ask what the antecedent to that pronoun was, and they would *facepalm* because they knew what that meant (and that they'd left it out).

 

It could have waited until 3rd-4th, but it wasn't harmed by starting earlier. (My college girl informed me last week that I was most certainly not allowed to get rid of that battered FLL 1/2 her baby brother is currently using. The very same copy will be used by her future children. Thankyouverymuch.)


After reflecting on lessons learned with my oldest two after they graduated, who were close in age and even closer in academic level, I took away two main objectives to implement with the younger four. The first one was NEVER IGNORE SPECIAL NEEDS. I listened to the older, wiser moms tell me my oldest was "just a boy," "he's energetic!" "He'll grow out of it when he needs to." and on and on and on, for far too long. :sad: It wasn't normal and we all would have been helped so much more by acknowledging that and getting help early on. The second one was I wished I'd pushed harder on some things so they'd be finished before they were "outgrown". Grammar was definitely one of those.

My oldest two did FLL and R&S for years. By 7th-8th we dropped it. It just felt so repetitive and they'd outgrown it. It felt too elementary to keep pushing it at teens/tweens. I tried keeping up review in high school and gave up before we finished half of those books.

 

The next pair groaned more at their grammar, and I let it be lighter than R&S all those years. They even used Daily Language Review occasionally. I kept feeling "Why push it; they can do it deeper when they're older." When they were older and I felt it was the time we should dig deep and nail it before high school, they were hormonal tweens/teens and felt it was too elementary. The lighter path getting there made no difference. LOL

Kid #5 is a 4th grader. She did FLL 1/2, some Daily Language Review, some JAG, some Khan. Nothing terribly deep. Mostly she has a solid familiarity with the parts of speech and how to build good sentences. I plan to make grammar as meaty as math for 5th and 6th so it can wrap up by junior high. Like spelling.

My sixth and last chance to make this up as I go along (still flying by the seat of my pants here) is a first grader this year. At this point I plan to follow #5's trajectory. Light but efficient for lower elementary, hard and heavy for upper elementary, wrap it up by (or maybe just review) for middle school, completely done by high school.


This is just to share our experience since that's what you asked. It could be completely wrong for your family and the little people in front of you. :001_smile:


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#47 texasmom33

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:56 PM

Yes!

Great comparison.

I said this once irl, that one of my kids* needed to memorize at least a short list of examples for each of the parts of speech and someone told me if I'd spend that time reading to him each day instead of doing grammar work, he'd learn himself. Gee whiz! I mean I already read aloud for multiple hours per day, he reads for an hour himself, and he listens to an auidiobook for about forty-five minutes a day--six days a week.... but if you say the ten minutes per day, thrice a week that we now spend on grammar will put him over the edge, who am I to question it?


*for another one of my kids, memorizing things like this gets in the way... the memorized things seem to jumble up in his mind. But even for that child, he didn't feel comfortable writing creatively on his own until he'd had a year of pretty rigorous grammar in third grade.


My youngest is like that I think with the memorizing. I made the mistake of teaching her the CC skip counting songs out of context and I really really wish now I hadn’t. It just jumbled the numbers and deprived things of order. I hadn’t thought of that happening in another subject but I’m glad you brought it up- if I do decide to do grammar with her on the younger side as something to be aware of in case it’s not just math.
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