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Anyone using MCT language program?


Ummsamiyah
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This is my second year using it. Last year we did Island and Voyage levels and we just started Town and Magic Lens 1.

 

I love MCT as the program is joyful yet requires my kids to think.

 

There are zillions of threads about MCT. Just do a search and you'll discover a wealth of information.

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I love what reviewers have said about MCT and like the sample pages I have viewed.

 

I would like to use MCT with my dd13. I am figuring starting with Magic Lens 1. We have not hit grammar or vocab too hard prior to this. Also, I think her essay writing could use brushing up, so I am thinking Essay Voyage.

 

Problem is, it is a bit pricey to buy all I need new from the publisher. But I am having trouble finding used copies for sale. Some of the lower level books have shown up on the for sale forum here, but not Level 4. Tried www.homeschoolclassifieds.com with no luck. Any better ideas?

 

Lakota

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I am using MCT's Voyage level for my 6th grader. It has parts that I think are excellent (Essay and Caesar's English 2), a part that is OK (Poetry), and a part I think is way below grade level (grammar). I think the examples in Essay are fantastic. I even pulled out the one on apples being ridiculous to show my high school students. my 6th grader is enjoying the vocabulary from CE2 and I like the root approach.

 

However, I think the grammar is pitiful. My dd will not be introduced to any new concepts in it b/c it is way below her grammar level. However, I teach writing through grammar starting in 2nd grade. Conversely, I think that if you are a momma that isn't strong in grammar yourself, you are not going to be able to do this program very easily b/c it doesn't have a lot of reinforcement. I would not recommend the grammar portion to anyone.

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We used Island level last year and are just starting Town with my oldest. His sister tags along and enjoys the stories. I'll come back to it for her when her writing is more solid. My 9 yo is well above grade level and I love using the materials with him where he's at. We do considerably more writing than the standard exercises in these books. We *LOVE* it. It looks deceptively simple. I find us having discussions about the material we cover all the time. We were quoting the books constantly last year.

 

Enjoy! I don't think this curriculum is for everyone, but it's certainly been a great fit for my oldest. I'm looking forward to diving in w/my youngest. We've been doing FLL 1/2 with her as prep and that has not been a great fit. I'm modifying and compacting that on the fly constantly.

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I am using MCT's Voyage level for my 6th grader. It has parts that I think are excellent (Essay and Caesar's English 2), a part that is OK (Poetry), and a part I think is way below grade level (grammar).

 

What have you used in the past that makes you think this?

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What have you used in the past that makes you think this?

 

In the past, I have taught grammar via a lot of different sources. Off the top of my head, I can remember Voyages in English, Winston Grammar, and Analytical Grammar. Now I simply pull sentences out of their reading and work with them on identifying all the parts of speech.

 

I haven't used any textbooks in a while. We did use AG a couple of yrs ago. I would recommend AG over MCT b/c the explanations are clearer, it provides better practice, and it goes into more depth. An advanced 4th, 5th, or 6th grader could easily use AG (my 6th grader did use parts of AG in 4th grade).

 

All I can share is that Grammar Voyage and Practice Voyage sentences are easier than AG's. I don't know what grade level Voyage is directed toward. If it is typical of advanced 6th graders, then I think that most of them are capable of more difficult concepts including diagramming which really helps develop the understanding of sentence construction and relationship.

 

I also find it bizarre that the book has several pages dedicated to extremely simple concepts like conjunctions, adjs, advs, and even a couple of pages just for articles while all the phrases are lumped together on just four pages. While someone that is solid in teaching grammar might be able to easily utilize such brevity for teaching gerunds, participles, etc, I would suspect that those moms that are learning grammar along with their children would find the last couple of sections lacking in equipping them for teaching.

 

Just my thoughts. I'm sure that GV and PV work find for some families. I am just not impressed with them. I do not put them in the same "fantastic" category that I do with Essay Voyage.....that book is great.

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I'm curious too. I had a jr. high english teacher review MCT island and said the content was on par with what she would teach jr. high students.

 

I love MCT materials, but I also find the Grammar to be out of sync with the rest of the program. My hypothesis is that this was written for schooled kids, who get lots of writing and just about no grammar, so they're behind in that. I'm guessing MCT grammar is advanced for what kids get in public school (as the jr. high teacher attested). OTOH, Homeschoolers tend to get lots of grammar and less writing, so to us the grammar seems simple and the writing challenging (how many threads about people who had to back the writing books up a level or two).

 

We did Town last year and my kids really like the Practice books, but we have found the sentences simple (the second 50 sentences are a bit better), and we glanced at Voyage Grammar and didn't see much new - my kids are getting bored - so we have decided to skip up to Magic Lens. I like the Punctuation as a Function of Grammar parts - I'm hoping this will be more like it. We'll be doing Essay Voyage, Voyage poetry and WWW (because it's so tightly tied with ML). The current plan is to do ML/WWW over two years (I hear WWW can get overwhelming at its intended pace). We're doing CEII now but should be done soon.

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My hypothesis is that this was written for schooled kids, who get lots of writing and just about no grammar, so they're behind in that. I'm guessing MCT grammar is advanced for what kids get in public school (as the jr. high teacher attested). OTOH, Homeschoolers tend to get lots of grammar and less writing, so to us the grammar seems simple and the writing challenging (how many threads about people who had to back the writing books up a level or two).

 

 

 

I think this might be what's going on too.

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@Lakota, I got my books new but didn't get any of the teaching resources. I wish I had because there is no straightforward start and finish to the lessons and I like this spelled out for me. Thanks for the link though.

 

I have the Island series so far and am sure that my advanced 4th grader will have any trouble with it. I got it because last year both kids wanted to try "real" school and had a disastrous experience. I want to make sure she returns to where she was before. For DS I am honestly not sure where he will measure. I know I did FLL with them both and believe he too will fly through the Island series definitely through the Grammar Island. I am getting ready to get the Town series though because one day after buying the complete set minus the teacher books DD finished the Grammar book:tongue_smilie: but we will see.

 

Thank you all for the input.:bigear:

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Use it, love it, are on our 3rd year. Plan on using it until we complete all the levels.

 

You know, you could always pull out sentences from classic literature and try to do the 4 level analysis on them, if your kids find the sentences too easy. You won't have an answer key, though. I have found the practice sentences to seem easy, but are deceptively hard. At least for my kids.

 

You need to get the TMs, it is the student books that you don't really need in the elementary level, unless you want them... that is why the "Basic" package is TMs only (with the SB for practice book as well). You should also join the yahoo group, some people have posted schedules on there. Not many people sell their MCT. It is hard to find used.

Edited by radiobrain
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You know, you could always pull out sentences from classic literature and try to do the 4 level analysis on them, if your kids find the sentences too easy. You won't have an answer key, though. I have found the practice sentences to seem easy, but are deceptively hard. At least for my kids.

 

.

 

 

I'll let you compare for yourself and form your own opinions. I honestly don't know how grammar can be deceptively hard, though. It is what it is (as in you either know what the function of the word is or you don't) ;)

 

Here are a few sentences from AG selected completely at random from the "phrases" section.

 

Before he describes saving a child's life, he mentions the other heroic things that he has done in his life.

 

Here is a picture of the man for whom the police are searching.

 

Flowers picked especially for the occasion were used for decorating the ballroom.

 

My personal experience with my kids is that labeling is a much easier skill than actually diagramming and having to demonstrate the relationships.

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Well, I meant that sometimes they look easy, then when you start to analyze them they are more complicated than they seemed. And, sorry, but there are some types of phrases, and certain ways that words are used that makes them not as easy to pick out, right away. They require thought and consideration. Not a matter of "knowing the function of a word" or not, as I don't think that they are always absolute. I have watched plenty of discussions on the MCTLA yahoo group about how and why certain words are what they are, in a particular sentence, and there is not always a unanimous decision.

 

I find the grammar books to be fine, but agree with the point that they are the "lowest level" of the books. If these are written to be done at the beginning of the school year, and reinforced, of course they will be more basic. I also suspect that they are written that way so that a child who has never used MCT can do well, no matter what level they are starting at. Saying that you wouldn't recommend any of the grammar books is sort of odd though. To each his/her/their own.

 

My kids benefit from the "refresher" and the ease with which we go through the grammar texts. Can't you think of it as the foundation of a house, pretty basic but completely necessary to structure, something you don't want to revisit often... but needs to be tended to occasionally or else the whole thing is unsound?

 

OK.... I am going to get off this computer and not take things so personally.

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Well, I meant that sometimes they look easy, then when you start to analyze them they are more complicated than they seemed. And, sorry, but there are some types of phrases, and certain ways that words are used that makes them not as easy to pick out, right away. They require thought and consideration. Not a matter of "knowing the function of a word" or not, as I don't think that they are always absolute. I have watched plenty of discussions on the MCTLA yahoo group about how and why certain words are what they are, in a particular sentence, and there is not always a unanimous decision.

 

I find the grammar books to be fine, but agree with the point that they are the "lowest level" of the books. If these are written to be done at the beginning of the school year, and reinforced, of course they will be more basic. I also suspect that they are written that way so that a child who has never used MCT can do well, no matter what level they are starting at. Saying that you wouldn't recommend any of the grammar books is sort of odd though. To each his/her/their own.

 

My kids benefit from the "refresher" and the ease with which we go through the grammar texts. Can't you think of it as the foundation of a house, pretty basic but completely necessary to structure, something you don't want to revisit often... but needs to be tended to occasionally or else the whole thing is unsound?

 

OK.... I am going to get off this computer and not take things so personally.

 

I'm sorry if you took my response personally, b/c it certainly was not intended that way.

 

I'm not sure why the fact that I wouldn't recommend the grammar books is odd. It is as simple as believing that other grammar programs are superior in instruction, give tougher sentences to analyze, etc.

 

I also think the way the sentences are labeled is strange and does not help draw direct connections.......whether or not prep phrases are acting as adjs or advs, what is modifying what.......I find the labeling under the sentences an ineffective way of demonstrating relations. Diagramming does a much better job of illustrating sentence construction.

 

That is just my opinion. Nothing personal one way or the other.

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I also think the way the sentences are labeled is strange and does not help draw direct connections.......whether or not prep phrases are acting as adjs or advs, what is modifying what.......I find the labeling under the sentences an ineffective way of demonstrating relations. Diagramming does a much better job of illustrating sentence construction.

 

 

This is interesting. I find that the labeling under the sentences to be helpful. It forces my kids to think about the sentence in a structured way that doesn't overwhelm them all at once. Once the sentence is understood using the four level analysis, it is almost trivial to diagram it. The only thing missing is to determine what is modifying what, but I find that I naturally add that in when we discuss the sentences in the practice books.

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I'm sorry if you took my response personally, b/c it certainly was not intended that way.

 

I'm not sure why the fact that I wouldn't recommend the grammar books is odd. It is as simple as believing that other grammar programs are superior in instruction, give tougher sentences to analyze, etc.

 

I also think the way the sentences are labeled is strange and does not help draw direct connections.......whether or not prep phrases are acting as adjs or advs, what is modifying what.......I find the labeling under the sentences an ineffective way of demonstrating relations. Diagramming does a much better job of illustrating sentence construction.

 

That is just my opinion. Nothing personal one way or the other.

 

I have been in a weird state of mind lately... so, don't worry about it, and I will :chillpill:. ;)

 

See, maybe the difference is that I had never even heard of sentence diagramming until I joined this board. I went to a 14 year private school in "downtown" Chicago that produces students that Ivy League colleges and universities covet, usually despite their grades (I'm serious, it's bizarre). I would think that if it were such an integral part of a well rounded, rigorous education.. they might have at least mentioned it. maybe I was sick that day. ;) I also didn't encounter it in college, but I didn't take any classes that it would be required in. So I have always been a bit flummoxed by the gushing (or lamenting) over diagramming, here. it just seems like an extra apparatus that is not particularly important to me in the grand scheme of things. So, I suppose my opinion on this matter is a bit pointless... :D

 

I have done MCT since the beginning with my kids, and 4 level analysis makes completely logical sense to me. I know that MCTLA does some diagramming in the secondary level books, so I will see how I feel about it then.

 

Korin

 

Honorary member of the MCT fan club, gets the Hummer every other weekend and looks great in white go-go boots.:D

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This is interesting. I find that the labeling under the sentences to be helpful. It forces my kids to think about the sentence in a structured way that doesn't overwhelm them all at once. Once the sentence is understood using the four level analysis, it is almost trivial to diagram it. The only thing missing is to determine what is modifying what, but I find that I naturally add that in when we discuss the sentences in the practice books.

 

:iagree: I find we always end up discsussing what modifies what as we go through the 4-level analysis. Also, while the I do find the Practice books to have sentences that are simpler than I would have anticipated, the Writing books have much more complex sentences. I actually find the Writing books to have the most in-depth Grammar instruction of the series.

 

And I agree with Radiobrain on the diagramming. I am very strong in Grammar, and have no desire to ever learn diagramming. I am very happy to have found such a great LA program that doesn't use it as a centerpiece of analysis.

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I also think the way the sentences are labeled is strange and does not help draw direct connections.......whether or not prep phrases are acting as adjs or advs, what is modifying what.......I find the labeling under the sentences an ineffective way of demonstrating relations. Diagramming does a much better job of illustrating sentence construction.

 

I agree that diagramming illustrates some grammar concepts far better than MCT style labeling. I keep flirting with the idea of diagramming but ultimately I don't think I'll ever do diagramming with my kids.

 

Diagramming has two main drawbacks for me compared to MCT. (1) Diagramming requires rewriting every word in the sentence. MCT analysis only requires writing a few abreviations under the sentence. DD doesn't like writing. (2) When drawing a diagram, it is very difficult to start with anything but the subject and the predicate. With MCT analysis, you can start with any part of the sentence, and can easily make corrections. My daughter also does *not* think visually and I think that she would have a melt-down trying to draw all the lines in the right places and sizes for a diagram.

 

I am currently doing Practice Island with my DD. We do the four level analysis. Then we add arrows to indicate what all the modifiers modify and what all the conjunctions join (inspired by traditional diagramming). Then we write an original sentence based on the same pattern (inspired by Killgallon books).

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However, I think the grammar is pitiful. My dd will not be introduced to any new concepts in it b/c it is way below her grammar level. However, I teach writing through grammar starting in 2nd grade. Conversely, I think that if you are a momma that isn't strong in grammar yourself, you are not going to be able to do this program very easily b/c it doesn't have a lot of reinforcement. I would not recommend the grammar portion to anyone.

 

An advanced 4th, 5th, or 6th grader could easily use AG (my 6th grader did use parts of AG in 4th grade).

 

The great background you give your kids in grammar probably explains why your DD isn't getting any new grammar in MCT. Aren't MCT Voyage level and AG both 6th grade programs? If your child did AG two years ago in 4th grade, it's not suprising that the grammar in Voyage wouldn't have anything new now.

 

I really like how you teach grammar through writing starting in 2nd grade. I wish that I could teach grammar the way you do, but I can't. My DD is in 2nd grade. AG would be way over her head at this age. However, MCT island level grammar is well within her reach.

Edited by Kuovonne
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I find the grammar books to be fine, but agree with the point that they are the "lowest level" of the books. If these are written to be done at the beginning of the school year, and reinforced, of course they will be more basic. I also suspect that they are written that way so that a child who has never used MCT can do well, no matter what level they are starting at. Saying that you wouldn't recommend any of the grammar books is sort of odd though. To each his/her/their own.

 

My kids benefit from the "refresher" and the ease with which we go through the grammar texts. Can't you think of it as the foundation of a house, pretty basic but completely necessary to structure, something you don't want to revisit often... but needs to be tended to occasionally or else the whole thing is unsound?

 

OK.... I am going to get off this computer and not take things so personally.

 

This was always my impression. It took us 3 weeks to do Grammar Voyage. It sort of acted as summary of last year's grammar. After we finished it, then we got down to business. My thoughts on after finishing Town and reading through Essay Voyage was that while it may be called a complete language arts program, it was really just a fabulous writing program. He wants to teach kids to write and so he added in these other books in such a clever way and it's more complete than most of us ever had. That's why when people want to do just the grammar, it's hard to give solid advice for that. I think if people looked at it as a writing program, like CW, then it would make more sense, but then, from what I hear WWW is top notch and could be used on its own. So, maybe if the first three levels could be seen as a more of a complete writing program, with grammar, vocab, and poetics added, then it would make more sense. But, the upper levels are seen as more discrete. I don't know. I just know that with my own experience, it comes down to the writing for me and we love the writing.

 

And BTW, I see the practice book as completely unnecessary unless you need/want them and I believe that's why they were written. I think the reinforcement came within the writing books and those are good. I know people love them and I'm glad that they are serving their purpose. Surprisingly my dd loves them, so we do them.

 

:iagree: I find we always end up discsussing what modifies what as we go through the 4-level analysis. Also, while the I do find the Practice books to have sentences that are simpler than I would have anticipated, the Writing books have much more complex sentences. I actually find the Writing books to have the most in-depth Grammar instruction of the series.

 

And I agree with Radiobrain on the diagramming. I am very strong in Grammar, and have no desire to ever learn diagramming. I am very happy to have found such a great LA program that doesn't use it as a centerpiece of analysis.

 

We did diagramming with Homer. DD liked it fine. She just liked 4 level analysis better. I learned it school, but honestly I've learned more on the Town level than I did in school. 4 level analysis seems more logical to me. they both serve the same purpose.

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Guess I'll just have to accept that I am a grammar geek. ;) I teach writing through grammar because I can't figure out how to teach writing any other way than to start with what makes a sentence a sentence anyway. Since I actually have learned grammar myself (I actually learned along side my oldest), my kids learn to identify sub, v, adj, adv, conj, and do in 2nd grade. Not for everyone, I know. But it works here.

 

FWIW......my older kids have had to endure learning why "The bell signaled us" does not have a direct object but only an indirect object.

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Do tell! Why isn't "us" the direct object?

 

We are also MCT groupies over here. My white boots just came in the mail!

 

Dang.....you guys are more like a MCT gang. This board should have MCT graffiti so that everyone who dares to enter knows to whom the territory belongs! :lol:

 

If you really want to know why us is an IO, then you have to accept that literally almost every grammar program in country is dumbed down and not teaching true grammar. The entire "sentences do not have IO w/o a DO" is false as is "ask what/who after the verb to find the DO." MCT is no different.

 

To me this is as egregious to the study of English as I am sure most of you find knowing math only via memorization of facts vs. being able to apply mathematical concepts. I was honestly mortified when I realized how little I knew about grammar when this one little sentence crossed my path a few yrs ago.

 

Let me give you an easier example for illustration. For example, say you had the sentence Mom fed the children. Using what most people know about grammar (which I do not believe is very much!!), the analysis would probably lead to

 

Mom (subj), fed (transitive verb),(the adj) children (DO)

 

But, if that is the case, how do you reconcile that with

 

"Mom fed the children spaghetti" ?

Mom (subj) fed (trans verb) (the adj) children (IO) spaghetti (DO)

 

Obviously just adding the word "spaghetti" to the sentence does not really move the action from the children to the spaghetti and the children now only indirectly receive the action of the feeding.

 

In the original sentence, the children only indirectly receive the action of the "feeding." There is no answer to what is being fed only TO WHOM (the function of the IO) the feeding is being done. The only way the original sentence may have children as a DO is if they truly receive the action of the transitive verb fed. Since I can't bring myself to type that example out, let me change the words.

 

Mom fed the mouse. (same basic sentence)

 

To make the mouse literally receive the action of the feeding, it would have to be more along the lines of Mom fed the mouse to the snake. or Mom fed the snake the mouse. In that case, the action of the feeding really does belong to the mouse.

 

Do you see how through the sentence with the mouse and the snake that b/c the verb fed is transitive, it requires movement from the feeding to an object. Otherwise, the recipient is only indirectly receiving the action. Back to the "Mom fed the children" sentence...... that sentence has no direct recipient of the action fed. Mom fed the kids something. Mom fed the children spaghetti. Therefore, the simple logic of just asking who/what after the verb is flawed and yes, IOs do exist w/o DOs. ETA: I was thinking about this and how to create a better visual image. Picture the mother carrying a serving tray as a visual for the transitive nature a verb. The children are not on the tray being served as the food......they are the recipients of the tray and therefore indirectly receive the action of the serving of the food. Just wanted to help create a better visual.

 

 

In the example The bell signaled us, we don't literally receive the action of the bell but are to whom the bell signals. The bell signals a warning to us or The bell signals us a warning.

 

You have to understand transitive and intransitive verbs. You have to analyze the movement of the action. This is the lowest level of basic grammar.

 

I see MCT grammar as pretty much the equivalent of non-mental math. His level of "analysis" is not as comprehensive as diagramming whether the "MCT gang" agrees or not. :D I don't think everyone needs diagramming and I **really** don't care what other people do with their own kids. :lol: BUT, when people start having math wars and you want to tell them that TT 3 is not equal to SM 3A&B, let this grammar lesson haunt you. :D All grammar is not equal. ;)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Dang.....you guys are more like a MCT gang. This board should have MCT graffiti so that everyone who dares to enter knows to whom the territory belongs! :lol:

 

I see MCT grammar as pretty much the equivalent of non-mental math. His level of "analysis" is not as comprehensive as diagramming whether the "MCT gang" agrees or not. :D I don't think everyone needs diagramming and I **really** don't care what other people do with their own kids. :lol: BUT, when people start having math wars and you want to tell them that TT 3 is not equal to SM 3A&B, let this grammar lesson haunt you. :D All grammar is not equal. ;)

 

:lol:

 

I think the reason I get so defensive, and this might be true for other MCTers, is that I feel his program is easy to misunderstand. I have found myself, and others, answering the same questions over and over. It also looks and feels very different from most curriculum out there.

 

When I found MCTLA, I was so happy as it was as if it were written specifically for me... my teaching style, in a way my kids would enjoy and understand. I knew I would not need to tweak, revise, omit, add or modify. That was refreshing. I am in my 7th year HSing and had not found this with any other curric. I will admit that once I found this, I didn't bother to look at any other LA program. I am sure that there are some excellent, possibly superior programs... but if I can't teach it, if my kids don't care to learn it, and it would be drudgery for all of us, what is the point? I also know that MCTLA gets very intense and rigorous the higher the levels get, and I am sure that all these things you point out will be addressed in higher levels. MCT wants to create a love and joy about LA. He wants to show it's simplicity first, and once you fully understand it...move on to the complexity. At least that is my impression.

 

Blah blah.....

 

 

I know that MCT does diagramming in the upper levels, it is not as if he dismisses it completely. I also know plenty of MCTers who do diagramming as well... I have no idea how to do it, so... I will not worry about it! :D

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If you really want to know why us is an IO, then you have to accept that literally almost every grammar program in country is dumbed down and not teaching true grammar. The entire "sentences do not have IO w/o a DO" is false as is "ask what/who after the verb to find the DO." MCT is no different.

 

To me this is as egregious to the study of English as I am sure most of you find knowing math only via memorization of facts vs. being able to apply mathematical concepts. I was honestly mortified when I realized how little I knew about grammar when this one little sentence crossed my path a few yrs ago.

 

I have to admit that most of my formal study of grammar has been done in foreign languages, so I know quite well that structurally it's not just possible but common to have an IO without a DO. But I've seen it adamantly denied in every English grammar source I've seen, and I've been wondering if English grammarians just have a different opinion on that, and they just consider the IO to be a DO when the real DO is implied.

 

Example:

 

I paid him the money. Him - IO / Bill - DO

I paid the money- Bill is still DO

I paid him - Obviously I paid something (real DO) to him (IO), but I've seen "him" labeled as a DO in English grammar books.

 

In Spanish, this is clear as they have separate direct and indirect object pronouns, wheras in English we have these mushy all-purpose "object-of-any-kind" pronouns.

It would be:

 

Pagué el dinero. (I paid the money), or Lo pagué. (I paid it)

Le pagué. (I paid him - "le" is the indirect object pronoun, no DO needed).

 

This is further muddled in English through the use of prepositions to show indirect relationships, as they are then not considered indirect objects but only objects of the preposition.

 

"I spoke with him" in Spanish would be "Le hablé" - "him" is an indirect object in the Spanish sentence, but in English it's considered a prepositional object only. In German, "Ich sprach mit ihm." - even with the use of the preposition, the pronoun is in the Dative (indirect object) case.

 

I'm actually feeling relieved that I'm not alone in my thoughts on this. What English grammar program did you have that addressed this? Was it AG? I do talk about these things with my kids all the time, but I'm a grammar nut and have no problem teaching above, around, or beside any program. I find English grammar simplistic in general compared to other langauges I've studied - I keep thinking, if my kids are learning these concepts in other languages, why haven't the grammar books in their native language even begun to cover them yet??!

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I see MCT grammar as pretty much the equivalent of non-mental math. His level of "analysis" is not as comprehensive as diagramming whether the "MCT gang" agrees or not. :D I don't think everyone needs diagramming and I **really** don't care what other people do with their own kids. :lol: BUT, when people start having math wars and you want to tell them that TT 3 is not equal to SM 3A&B, let this grammar lesson haunt you. :D All grammar is not equal. ;)

 

I *love* your comparison with the math wars. I know exactly where I stand in the battles over math and phonics. I guess I need to find my place in the grammar wars.

 

You mentioned that you recommend Analytical Grammar ove MCT for 4th-6th grades. What about younger grades? What would you say is the grammar equivalent of SM2A&B?

 

Although I currently use MCT and it works for us, I am not a groupie.

 

Could you pretty please develop that writing program of yours?

Edited by Kuovonne
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I have to admit that most of my formal study of grammar has been done in foreign languages, so I know quite well that structurally it's not just possible but common to have an IO without a DO. But I've seen it adamantly denied in every English grammar source I've seen, and I've been wondering if English grammarians just have a different opinion on that, and they just consider the IO to be a DO when the real DO is implied.

 

Example:

 

I paid him the money. Him - IO / Bill - DO

I paid the money- Bill is still DO

I paid him - Obviously I paid something (real DO) to him (IO), but I've seen "him" labeled as a DO in English grammar books.

.

 

This is further muddled in English through the use of prepositions to show indirect relationships, as they are then not considered indirect objects but only objects of the preposition.

 

"I spoke with him" in Spanish would be "Le hablé" - "him" is an indirect object in the Spanish sentence, but in English it's considered a prepositional object only. In German, "Ich sprach mit ihm." - even with the use of the preposition, the pronoun is in the Dative (indirect object) case.

 

I'm actually feeling relieved that I'm not alone in my thoughts on this. What English grammar program did you have that addressed this? Was it AG? I do talk about these things with my kids all the time, but I'm a grammar nut and have no problem teaching above, around, or beside any program. I find English grammar simplistic in general compared to other langauges I've studied - I keep thinking, if my kids are learning these concepts in other languages, why haven't the grammar books in their native language even begun to cover them yet??!

 

Well, there are some grammarians who agree with you. I ran into the "The bell signals us" in either CW's Homer or Aesop book. I was completely befuddled by that simple little sentence b/c "us" was labeled as an IO. I had always been taught no IO w/o a DO, etc. I didn't believe the book's answer. But, after countless hrs of discussion with people with graduate degrees in English, the consensus was that though they are few in number, yes, there are several verbs in English where there are IOs w/o DOs.

 

It may seem incredibly silly, but that small revelation completely made me angry. Why the heck do we not teach it correctly? Why simply create the entire "no IO w/o DO" scenario? Why not simply teach what it means for a verb to be transitive? I guess the answer is b/c they think we are too stupid to learn otherwise!

 

The examples you posted with the verb "pay" are among the examples that came up as I learned this whole IOs do exist w/o DOs.

 

I have never come across an elementary or even a high school level textbook that teaches it correctly (other than CW which I didn't even use for more than a few weeks!) It is in several college level texts. But ,don't get me started as to why grammar is reduced to the level of pablum b/c I'll just end up ranting!

 

FWIW, prep phrases act as modifiers, either as adjs or advs. Though after reading what you wrote, I can understand your confusion!!

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Well, there are some grammarians who agree with you.

 

And here I've been specifically not having them do it that way, because although I think it's a valid way to see the sentence, I thought my thinking was considered "wrong" in English grammarians. I've just been telling them that in many other languages, it would be seen differently.

 

FWIW, prep phrases act as modifiers, either as adjs or advs. Though after reading what you wrote, I can understand your confusion!!

 

Well, yes, but that's apart from whether something's an indirect object or not.

 

From your own example:

Mom fed the mouse to the snake or Mom fed the snake the mouse.

 

In the first sentence, the snake is the object of the preposition, and in the second it's an indirect object. But what is happening, the cause/effect, relationship between the words, is identical. The mouse is now being digested by the snake.

 

I do point out that the relationship of the prepositional object with other words in the sentence is relevant, because in German, which my kids are also learning, it is very important. Some prepositions take accusative case, some dative, some genitive. Some change which case they take based on the meaning of the sentence. Not entirely relevant to English, and I'd never have them label or diagram it that way in English, but I like to point it out, as it's something they're going to have to think about, even if not in English. I love comparing grammatical structures and conventions among languages! :)

 

I also think that our own langauge shapes our thinking. Since we only have one object case in English, we are not troubled by what a word is doing other than just being an object of some kind. It becomes irrelevant. Similarly, I know there's one more case in Latin than German - it describes a relationship between words in the sentence that I'd never considered - it makes one think differently.

 

I also have no idea why English grammar is reduced to pablum. It's exceedingly simple compared to most other langauges, and we simplify it even further? :confused:

Edited by matroyshka
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Well, there are some grammarians who agree with you. I ran into the "The bell signals us" in either CW's Homer or Aesop book. I was completely befuddled by that simple little sentence b/c "us" was labeled as an IO. I had always been taught no IO w/o a DO, etc. I didn't believe the book's answer. But, after countless hrs of discussion with people with graduate degrees in English, the consensus was that though they are few in number, yes, there are several verbs in English where there are IOs w/o DOs.

 

It may seem incredibly silly, but that small revelation completely made me angry. Why the heck do we not teach it correctly? Why simply create the entire "no IO w/o DO" scenario? Why not simply teach what it means for a verb to be transitive? I guess the answer is b/c they think we are too stupid to learn otherwise!

 

The examples you posted with the verb "pay" are among the examples that came up as I learned this whole IOs do exist w/o DOs.

 

I have never come across an elementary or even a high school level textbook that teaches it correctly (other than CW which I didn't even use for more than a few weeks!) It is in several college level texts. But ,don't get me started as to why grammar is reduced to the level of pablum b/c I'll just end up ranting!

 

FWIW, prep phrases act as modifiers, either as adjs or advs. Though after reading what you wrote, I can understand your confusion!!

 

This is so cool! Implied direct objects. I can't wait to tell my children about this. (I'm serious.:001_smile:)

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I *love* your comparison with the math wars. I know exactly where I stand in the battles over math and phonics. I guess I need to find my place in the grammar wars.

 

You mentioned that you recommend Analytical Grammar ove MCT for 4th-6th grades. What about younger grades? What would you say is the grammar equivalent of SM2A&B?

 

Although I currently use MCT and it works for us, I am not a groupie.

 

Could you pretty please develop that writing program of yours?

 

I wish I could just give you one source, but I can't.

 

Ironically, there are several things I really dislike about AG (her definition of a prep phrase for one and her non-traditional approach to appositives and complements is another), but as far as straightforward teaching of complicated material, it is excellent. I guess at this point, if I have to recommend just one grammar source, this would be it (though I am very uncomfortable making such a blanket judgment b/c I do think it is missing some things that are important that you find in traditional textbooks.:tongue_smilie:)

 

For my younger kids, I pull sentences out of their reading and we analyze them together. I don't even bother with a grammar book. Their copywork is written all over with the labels of different parts of speech. I just keep adding new ones as they are able to handle more. (and I have had 3rd graders evaluating sentences beyond s,v,adj,adv,do, io, prep phrases.)

 

ETA: I just thought of another resource for diagramming (not really grammar instruction per se) I can't believe I didn't think of this one earlier!!......The Complete Book of Diagrams (which is the secular version. http://www.riggsinst.org/PDF/spellriggs.pdf ......the Foreward to the text), available from the Riggs Institute. There is a Catholic version as well http://www.grovepublishing.com/grammar-composition/first-whole-book-diagrams.htm) If you need something with simpler content, I think she has an elementary level book as well.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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And here I've been specifically not having them do it that way, because although I think it's a valid way to see the sentence, I thought my thinking was considered "wrong" in English grammarians. I've just been telling them that in many other languages, it would be seen differently.

 

 

 

Well, yes, but that's apart from whether something's an indirect object or not.

 

From your own example:

Mom fed the mouse to the snake or Mom fed the snake the mouse.

 

In the first sentence, the snake is the object of the preposition, and in the second it's an indirect object. But what is happening, the cause/effect, relationship between the words, is identical. The mouse is now being digested by the snake.

 

I do point out that the relationship of the prepositional object with other words in the sentence is relevant, because in German, which my kids are also learning, it is very important. Some prepositions take accusative case, some dative, some genitive. Some change which case they take based on the meaning of the sentence. Not entirely relevant to English, and I'd never have them label or diagram it that way in English, but I like to point it out, as it's something they're going to have to think about, even if not in English. I love comparing grammatical structures and conventions among languages! :)

 

I also think that our own langauge shapes our thinking. Since we only have one object case in English, we are not troubled by what a word is doing other than just being an object of some kind. It becomes irrelevant. Similarly, I know there's one more case in Latin than German - it describes a relationship between words in the sentence that I'd never considered - it makes one think differently.

 

I also have no idea why English grammar is reduced to pablum. It's exceedingly simple compared to most other langauges, and we simplify it even further? :confused:

 

I know. I reflected on your post quite a while before I responded b/c it has me thinking about prep phrases the same way as the entire IO/DO scenario. I don't have an answer b/c your logic is far more logical.

 

I spent a while googling to see if I could find an answer and came away empty-handed. See......now I am going to drive some grammarians crazy b/c this is going to really bug me!!

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Well, there are some grammarians who agree with you. I ran into the "The bell signals us" in either CW's Homer or Aesop book. I was completely befuddled by that simple little sentence b/c "us" was labeled as an IO. I had always been taught no IO w/o a DO, etc. I didn't believe the book's answer. But, after countless hrs of discussion with people with graduate degrees in English, the consensus was that though they are few in number, yes, there are several verbs in English where there are IOs w/o DOs.

 

It may seem incredibly silly, but that small revelation completely made me angry. Why the heck do we not teach it correctly? Why simply create the entire "no IO w/o DO" scenario? Why not simply teach what it means for a verb to be transitive? I guess the answer is b/c they think we are too stupid to learn otherwise!

 

The examples you posted with the verb "pay" are among the examples that came up as I learned this whole IOs do exist w/o DOs.

 

I have never come across an elementary or even a high school level textbook that teaches it correctly (other than CW which I didn't even use for more than a few weeks!) It is in several college level texts. But ,don't get me started as to why grammar is reduced to the level of pablum b/c I'll just end up ranting!

 

FWIW, prep phrases act as modifiers, either as adjs or advs. Though after reading what you wrote, I can understand your confusion!!

 

I dabbled with linguistics in college and took some interesting classes. In one I learned about surface syntax and deep syntax. In the example "the bell signals us" we're really saying "the bell signals to us" and therefore us is an indirect object, right? If I remember this correctly... it was like a million years ago...

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I dabbled with linguistics in college and took some interesting classes. In one I learned about surface syntax and deep syntax. In the example "the bell signals us" we're really saying "the bell signals to us" and therefore us is an indirect object, right? If I remember this correctly... it was like a million years ago...

 

Yes... and in that one can see that in some ways indirect objects have an implied preposition, so why aren't they indirect objects anymore once the preposition is explicit?

 

Prepositions are relation-words. They show relationships between words in the sentence. Yes, the entire phrase can be seen as a modifier. However, on a word-by-word basis, they are showing relationships - it's just that in English we don't think about what kind or a relationship they are showing, where in other langauges this is important and the relationships are made explicit through case. One of the relationships prepositions can show is indirect action.

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I guess I would say that in the sentence "The bell signaled us" their is an omitted implied DO. We have sentences in which the subject of the sentence is implied and omitted, but we still teach our children the rule that "every sentence has a subject." If the direct object is omitted, as in "Mom fed the children," it still has a function in the sentence.

 

I don't know--I'll take your word that all the grammar in the country is crap, but I don't see the particular pedagogical issue that you have.

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  • 1 month later...
And here I've been specifically not having them do it that way, because although I think it's a valid way to see the sentence, I thought my thinking was considered "wrong" in English grammarians. I've just been telling them that in many other languages, it would be seen differently.

 

 

 

Well, yes, but that's apart from whether something's an indirect object or not.

 

From your own example:

Mom fed the mouse to the snake or Mom fed the snake the mouse.

 

In the first sentence, the snake is the object of the preposition, and in the second it's an indirect object. But what is happening, the cause/effect, relationship between the words, is identical. The mouse is now being digested by the snake.

 

I do point out that the relationship of the prepositional object with other words in the sentence is relevant, because in German, which my kids are also learning, it is very important. Some prepositions take accusative case, some dative, some genitive. Some change which case they take based on the meaning of the sentence. Not entirely relevant to English, and I'd never have them label or diagram it that way in English, but I like to point it out, as it's something they're going to have to think about, even if not in English. I love comparing grammatical structures and conventions among languages! :)

 

I also think that our own langauge shapes our thinking. Since we only have one object case in English, we are not troubled by what a word is doing other than just being an object of some kind. It becomes irrelevant. Similarly, I know there's one more case in Latin than German - it describes a relationship between words in the sentence that I'd never considered - it makes one think differently.

 

I also have no idea why English grammar is reduced to pablum. It's exceedingly simple compared to most other langauges, and we simplify it even further? :confused:

I agree with this.

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Hello all,

I am using MCT and FLL for both kiddoes this year. Has anyone used MCT in the past? What do you think of it?

 

We used Island level last year, and are using Town this year with my oldest. We love it! It fits us to a T. My son is eating up Caesar's English this year. It's so fun.

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