Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grammar's End

  Isn't it funny how we're experts on something before we ever get there? When Justice was little we thought we were perfect parents, and if everyone parented *our* way their kids wouldn't misbehave. Then our son grew. We added a daughter.  It seemed like we were starting this parenting gig from scratch. Barely anything the oldest taught us was applicable for this one. I'm getting sidetracked. How on earth does this apply to grammar?

   When we first started homeschooling I knew my kids would seriously study grammar. Period. As we went along I saw how little solid grammar "kids these days" were learning. My kids weren't going to end up like that. Around Justice's fifth grade we started using Rod and Staff's English. It's a strong, solid course, and I was adamantly determined we would finish the whole series.

    Then we came close to the threshold of being ready for those books that would take grammar into high school. I had to pause. This year Justice's grammar lessons practically feel like busywork. We had started skipping the grammar book when time was tight, in spite of both of us truly enjoying the subject. He knows that stuff. He uses it. He can spot mistakes easily.  When I looked farward to his ninth grade workload I couldn't bare the thought of carving out more time for grammar. Forget busywork, this feels like we're beating a dead horse.

    "So, Justice, what do you think about finishing grammar this summer so we can just use it in writing next year?"

    "We can do that? Sounds okay."


    I nearly happy-danced at the thought of not beating the dead horse, and the teen agreeing was icing on the cake.

   Thus we changed gears for summer grammar. I hunted down some books that would wrap up grammar by applying it directly to writing. Justice is currently working through Killgallon's Story Grammar for Middle School, and that will be followed by Stewart English 2. Both books put the grammar concepts directly into composition, and use sentences from really good authors. When those are done we'll replace them with a composition course.

    There won't be a grammar entry on his planner for the first time in years. *grin* (And as much as both of us really liked Rod and Staff English, his exercises coming from high quality literature is a breath of fresh air.)

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