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As my kids are getting older I am trying to accomodate their unique abilities.

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To that end I am mulling over a few things.


Two of my children have natural writing abilities. And believe you me I am thankful every day for this gift because one of children equates writing with a method of torture. So, while I believe every child has to have some writing skills I also know this child is unlikely to enter a profession that requires creative writing, etc. So my question is how much time should I spend on teaching this boy diagramming. Let me begin by saying that he knows basic diagramming having spent some time doing R & S English and one unit of Analytical Grammar. Do you think it's necessary for him to do more diagramming (like finish AG)? I do want my two natural writers to do more diagramming but I just don't want to torture this child unnecessarily (however, I do have a soft spot for my non-writer so I might not be viewing this objectively).


Enough rambling. Looking forward to some advice.

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Well, my opinion is, as long as he has a basic grounding in diagramming, it is unnecessary to pursue it, unless:


He is learning another language (understanding english grammar is vital to understanding the grammar of any other language, IMO)


He plans to pursue a career in English/Literature or writing (which

sounds unlikely;)) or public speaking/communications or

even law. Creative writing is not the only professional

area that benefits from an understanding of grammar.


He demonstrates an inability to correctly use grammar in his

everyday speech and writing.


I am one of those strange freaks who LOVED diagramming sentences, and would have taken English grammar even were it not required for my major (English lit.). That being said, I have heard that most people do not enjoy it, and even fewer have a daily need for it. :D If he has enough to function I'd drop it and pursue critical thinking skills another way.

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I listed creative writing because I am confident this isn't his strong suit. I also know that although writing isn't the easiest subject for him he will have to suck it up and learn some writing skills even though it is unlikely he will be a lawyer or public speaker.


Thanks for your perspective. BTW I too love diagramming. :) I was not taught it growing up so I am learning as I teach my children.

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Having a son , who also feels writing is torture, I say , Yes, torture your child. Have him finish AG. I had my son finish and don't regret it.


1) Writing will be used no matter what they do in life. Being able to communicate is essential.


2) Diagramming isn't just about grammar. Being able to focus on word parts and discern them is great logic training. They will use these skills learned in amth and science.


3) AG is perfect , because it is only a little torture. My son could see the end. I promised once we were through with it, he could be done with grammar.


4) My son had to take A compass test to get into his community college. He aced the grammar portion. Some of his friends didn't, and they will be required to take a basic english. Because he knew his grammar, he does not need to take the basic english . Now even my son is happy he finished AG.

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And now I'm thinking through your response, especially since you've experienced the same kind of child, and am thinking you're probably right.


We're just finishing up Grade 7 so I guess I can tell him the same thing . . . when AG is done we'll be done.

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I dug out my son's AG book to see exactly what we had done. I did make a compromise with him. He only had to do days one and three, letting him skip day two. As long as he got a good score on his test, he could continue this way. If he did poorly on the test, he had to go back and redo day two. For my son, this worked. It gave him enough practice, but he only had to do grammar three days a week.

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It's not my nature to take the easy path but I think for a moment today that's what I wanted to do. He is fully capable so I shouldn't short change him. I do recognize that my other children, who will more likely enter professions that will require heavy usage of language arts, will spend more time on some of these subjects but I want him to have a solid foundation.


Thanks for these suggestions.

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