Grammar Curriucla

Dear Reader,

Grammar seems to have come up  a lot lately in my discussions with other homeschool moms. So I thought I would share what my thoughts are on it and how we are doing grammar these days.

We began with Rod and Staff’s grammar curriculum and used it for three years with my two oldest children. There was a lot about it I liked. I liked that it had one diagram sentences. It seemed very thorough. The exercises were too much for us. My son in particular can only handle writing so much a day so if I wanted him to be able to write answers to his math, I couldn’t have him do all the grammar exercises. So for the first two years we did almost all of it orally ans skipped a lot. I thought there was too much busy work anyway. After my kids already got a concept, I saw no reason to drive it home. And there were some things like phone etiquette and not saying “ain’t” that didn’t seem applicable. The last year with R+S, we used the supplemental workbook pages as our main workbook and skipped most of the exercises in the student book.

I briefly considered (and bought and never used) Growing with Grammar. It is a lot like Rod and Staff but felt more streamlined and the workbook is all there for one to use without having to copy  a lot of sentences.

But after I had bought Growing with Grammar, my son asked me, “Why do we have to do all this anyway?” And I began to think about it. And the truth is, for a lot of it I didn’t know. What I concluded was that I want them to know grammar in order to be able to understand more complex writing and to be able to communicate effectively themselves. That is, our grammar should be in service to our ability to communicate. I don’t feel at this point that my kids need to know what an adverb is or how to diagram sentences for their own sake. But i want them to understand and to be understood.

And then I stumbled across KISS Grammar. This is a free online curriculum put out by a university professor. And, if I understand it right, it aims to do what we want–to improve communication. KISS is about understanding how words are used in a sentence, what role they are playing.

This is how we are using KISS grammar this year: We go over the new concept. We do through a few sentences together from the sample exercises. KISS walks one through analyzing a sentence with a series of questions. So we ask what is the sentence about? What is the subject doing? What is the complement? and so on. Then I write out sentences from the exercises on dry erase boards and they get to try one each on their own. When they are done, we go over them together. If we haven’t mastered the idea, we will keep doing sentences from that section again the next time (we usually do grammar twice a week) until I feel we are ready to move on.

Grammar this way does not feel overwhelming. It takes up very little of our time and yet I see progress being made. And it involves no busywork. And though I aim the level at my older two kids, even my 7 and 6 year olds have learned to identify subjects, verbs and complements. Plus we do it all together which I like.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Sabbath Mood Homeschool

Desiring That a Sabbath Mood Rest on Your Homeschool


my musings, wise or otherwise

Festival Fete

locally grown art, food, and merriment


A Literary Homestead


Blogging about education, theology, and more

Harmony Fine Arts

Blogging about education, theology, and more

The Common Room

....Blogging about cabbages and kings since 2005.

Sage Parnassus

Blogging about education, theology, and more

A peaceful day

Blogging about education, theology, and more

Living Charlotte Mason in California

Blogging about education, theology, and more


Weekly Walrus Whatevers

Creations by Maris

Handwoven Textiles

Fisher Academy International ~ Teaching Home

Blogging about education, theology, and more


Blogging about education, theology, and more

Leah's Bookshelf

Book Reviews You Can Trust

Duxbury Art Boosters

Supporting the visual arts in Duxbury Public Schools

Just Right Porridge

... you'll lick your bowl clean...