May 19, 2012

Formal Grammar

Happy Home School Greetings,

As our year is coming to a close, I am wrapping up my planning for next fall.  How about you?  In the back of my mind I am thinking ahead to Brianna's high school graduation next spring.  Which has me reflecting back on eleven years of her schooling in the old Wachter Academy.  I am always evaluating and reflecting and fine tuning our school program.  This year we tried a few new things that we really took to.  I hope to share them in other posts shortly for those who are looking for some new ideas for next year.  This letter from a fellow home school blogger, Lisa, over at Homeschool Days was very timely with all our figuring and thinking and end of the year summing up this week.

I hope you don’t mind me asking you some questions.  I’m not asking to be nosy.  A friend and I were talking about these things and both of us, at times, revert back to the public school way of thinking.  So here goes… What does your homeschool look like?  Do you use a certain curriculum?  How do you feel about teaching former grammar and sentence diagramming, etc.?  And what about math?  How structured are your days?  In what month do you start & finish school, normally? Blessings,Lisa

Dear Lisa,

In no way do I mind your questions.  Asking questions and sharing ideas is one of the ways we make a successful home school.  I have answered many of these questions to some degree before here at Art's Chili Pepper.  If you check the Homeschool Label on the side bar you can check out some previous posts that may be of interest to you.  In the meantime, let me try to summarize some of your questions quickly.

Formal Grammar

Well, Lisa, as I've mentioned before, I use Easy Grammar which teaches sentence diagramming from the perspective of prepositions.  I am a word person and I always found formal grammar very interesting. However, I do not feel it is necessary to become a good writer or speaker and it can be very cumbersome and repetitive for someone who is not interested in it.  That will make school a drudgery for both student and teacher and hurt the learning process.  I do not believe it is essential for college entry, as it will be taught in English 101 if a child chooses the College Path.  I like the simplicity of Easy Grammar and I will say once again that my kids find it fun.  That is enough for me to make it an essential part of our curriculum.  If you are trying to decide what is right for you, ask yourself why are you teaching grammar and what kind of learning style does your child have.  Those answers will help you to find just the right fit.  For the record, if you are looking for a more traditional grammar program, Rod and Staff will be hard to beat.

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