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Why do I have to learn grammar?
It all started because I was googling Mary Daly's The First Whole Book of Diagrams that I saw for sale. I love her timeline so I wanted to see it. One thing led to another (you know how it is with googling!) and I found this wonderful site. Here is an excerpt that beautifully answers the age-old question put forth by youth to their elders. Funny thing: I was just asked that exact question the week I found this. My answer was nothing like her rationale and we'll just leave it at that :). I printed copies for each child to glue in their Writer's Notebooks. We don't do grammar in those but that way they'll see it occasionally and I'll remember where to find it. Here is the link. I'm posting the excerpt but go check out all of the other goodies there using the top tool bar. There are wonderful lists of books for history and science.
"Why do I have to learn grammar?"
Core knowledge. If you're educated, you know grammar. It's like learning state capitols. No one yet has asked me the capitol of North Dakota (it's Bismarck). But it's one of those things educated people learn.
Jargon. Grammar provides a vocabulary to communicate about writing. When your teacher says, "Great vivid adjectives," it helps to know what adjective means.
Be able to apply rules. One rule says, "Avoid passive voice; it makes dull writing." You can't avoid passive voice until you know what it is.
Understand writing better. Can you compose music without knowledge of music theory, major/minor chords, and dominant sevenths? Well, yes. But you'll write music better if you know music theory.
Analyze others' writing. A knowledge of grammar lets you analyze, describe, and eventually imitate the style of good writing.
Foreign Languages. Knowledge of grammar helps you learn foreign languages, especially inflected ones (all the European languages).
It's a mental discipline. The Army makes recruits do pushups. Now I've never yet seen a soldier do pushups when he's fighting the enemy. But building up those muscles equips him to perform his other tasks. So also, learning grammar strengthens logic skills, and you use logic elsewhere.
Equipping. I want to equip my child for whatever God calls him to. Even if today he wants to be a fireman, one day God might call him into a vocation that requires strong writing skills.
Our Grammar Curricula:
We used Montessori R & D Language Arts 1 (Elem). Then we moved to Winston Grammar Basic. We are almost finished with that and will go back to R&D, Language Arts 2 (Elem). This sequence has worked out beautifully for us. The hardest part for me is to decide whether a prepositional phrase is an adverb or adjective and what it modifies. Seriously. They get that part right more often than I do! Youngest dd is ready to start R&D Language Arts 1 (Elem). I've been procrastinating because I need to reorganize the labels first. It's the latent perfectionist in me (sigh). Would it just be easier to make now labels? Nah!
Here is my brag on Montessori R and D: When I was pulling from the different free resources for Montessori presentations I felt pulled in different directions, disorganized, and overwhelmed. Once I just started using their albums for my spine and main resource, and using moteaco and such as supplements, things went smoother for me and I was actually doing presentations. They don't have the colored illustrations and such like some of the others but that's actually what I like and that helps them be affordable. The diagrams and lists are very helpful in making materials and/or using bought materials. I was able to make all of the necessary labels for Vol 1 using their lists.
A must-see video from CBS. I can't believe it's in mainstream media! Spend 4 short minutes for your family's health. If you want to find local food try localharvest.org. I cannot insert the video but here is the youtube link:
This wonderful video came from Kelly's blog here: