Sunday, July 12, 2015

Great Grammar, NO worksheets!

    I've only skimmed grammar with my kids for fear of making them hate it like I did in school. So after coming across these two articles and others on the same theory, I am jumping in. So far it's going well and we have learned great things. Links below two articles I found that I felt inspired by, they feel right for us and so my plan is to teach how to use the grammar and literary devices by having the kids look for them in their writings and from reading good things like the founding father's quotes or children  literature  or history books.
   We are starting a notebook with grammar notes and  quotes the kids liked from their reading. They will use the grammar notes and mark the quotes they like. It will also include a copy of the English spelling rules (35)(and no I didn't always know there were English spelling rules), and literary devices. They will use this as their reference book as they create it. When they write we are going to look for literary devices in their writing and edit it by adding examples of ld's to their writing as they go. It will become a hard copy of what they have studied and their resource when editing their writing.
  Journals are great for free writing, nobody edits or reads them and the kids get to write freely and get their self going. They have written stories, reports, answers to a question of their choice, persuade, teach or argue a point in writing. Everyone should keep a reading journal too. (more about that another day)
   Mom should keep a notebook of everything she’s teaching and learning, I wrote and took notes as I taught the kids and they see me doing it so they know its important, also so I don't have to create lessons from scratch each time for each group of kids I teach. My 3 oldest go together and then 3 others and Henry will be last. The kids can also read, study, or copy my notes. And they do this on their own, they compare it to their notes and decide to add to theirs if needed. We all learn together, this shows them the process of accumulating knowledge from multiple sources and following a natural flow from one source to another. It’s quite amazing and I love it as much as the kids.
    My school education never felt liberating and exciting, but it was never me choosing what to learn, either. I and every other person on the planet in a public school were told what to learn and told we should like it and not question it either. My hubby says this sounds like the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany.
    I have found some great websites online, I'll include the links. I also have an English text book for highschool(used at a retired teacher sale) that I can refer to for grammar and sentence structure, but wont make the kids go through the boring exercises, the examples in the text are dead, there’s no feeling and no tie to their world (living knowledge through a real persons writing and reading).
   The lesson I did last week was fun and the kids loved it, it stuck with us all; it started with metaphors and we read some out of the bible then we discussed chiasmus and looked up passages in the bible and book of Mormon with this literary device, it’s ancient, the Hebrews used it and the whole chapter of Alma 36 is a very complex one. It was a great lesson, we discussed analogies and parables and metaphors/similies from Christ's teachings. The lesson definety struck a chord with us all. There are people who have studied all the literary techniques used in the bible and Book of Mormon and have them on the web. 
   Once we had this lesson we are seeing them in our scripture reading , “Ye are as the salt of the earth”  and when Christ said to the woman at the well, “I am the living water”. I can not think of a more important text to learn about literary devices and why they carry such a strong feel and meaning with them, than in scripture!
   I'm glad somebody was smart enough to warn against using worksheets and memorizing to learn about our language. Sometimes I wonder if these horrible methods were created on purpose to make us hate learning. Who comes up with such dead ways and then makes it mainstream? It feels like the school system is deliberately pitiful sometimes.

A fantastic way to teach writing and speaking and grammar skills is through Excellence In Writing by Andrew Pudewa. All of his programs are fun and very through. They are pricey, I've had friends teach classes that my kids attended and I watched all his videos for EIW and they teach very well. Due to prices I would skip paying for Levels A, B and just buy C or even D. They teach slowly and build and repeat in each level so definitely start at C for ages 11 and up.     this teaches what a chiasmus is and walks you through identifying it's corresponding parts using Alma Chapter 36

1 comment:

  1. Purchased and read the elementary school grammar lessons that Charlotte Mason wrote herself and they are simple and effective. The art works with each lesson are beautiful and assist the lesson. It's is "Simply Grammar" by Karen Andreola.