Teaching grammar is a very important part of language arts instruction, but it is often dreaded by homeschool moms. Usually, it is the endless amounts of diagramming that discourages us … though, I loved diagramming in school myself (but, I never claimed to be normal).
I have discovered a wonderful way to teach grammar that takes just 15-minutes of formal lessons per day. It works well with my preference of making academics an extension of everyday life!
This article is part of a series meant to encourage and prepare moms to teach language arts at home to their children using almost any program.
- My approach to teaching language arts is very loosely based on the Spalding method which I have adapted to meet our needs as a large homeschooling family who embraces a lifestyle of learning.
- My goal is to show you how to teach yourself language arts so that you can teach your children language arts – while instilling a love of learning in your children.
- You will learn how to be intentional in language arts instruction so that you are prepared and able to utilize almost any language arts curriculum to your benefit.
- You may even realize you can create your own curriculum using the simplest and cheapest materials like notebooks and pencils!
- I recommend that you teach language arts to your children by example as soon as possible as an extension of parenting.
All About Teaching Grammar For Homeschool Moms
What exactly is grammar? Let’s find out!
Definition of grammar:
- the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; morphology and syntax.
- these features or constructions themselves: English grammar.
- an account of these features; a set of rules accounting for these constructions: a grammar of English.
Teaching Grammar In Real Life
I think grammar is one of the most complex parts of English language arts – there is a lot to it! While some of the more basic components can be taught starting around age six during the early levels of language arts and over the course of the elementary years, the more advanced study of grammar is best suited for middle and high school ages.
Formal grammar lessons start around age 11 or 5th grade in our house — and I am still learning grammar right now alongside my oldest! We use a textbook and I know I could not teach it effectively without one.
Around 5th grade, we start with Easy Grammar Plus (Teacher Edition) and just do one page per day. It takes two years to work through the huge book and is a gentle introduction that I appreciate. From that, we move to IEW’s Fix-It Grammar starting in 6/7th grade with the plan to do one book per year through high school.
While I am learning grammar with my oldest, I am gently introducing concepts to my younger children through a lifestyle of learning. This is not something I am thoroughly covering with them, but I teach what I know when opportunities come up through our other lessons and in life.
We are on book 3 of IEW’s Fix-it! Grammar and really love it. It teaches grammar through editing – no diagramming at all! It also reinforces previous language arts skills (phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and handwriting) and is a gentle introduction to writing (as an art).
We have also learned that English grammar is learned through the study of Latin. We casually use Visual Latin for Latin lessons right now.
Best Grammar Resources For Homeschool Moms
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Teacher’s Manual Book 1]Top 30 Grammar Mistakes: A Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling Handbook The Blue Book of Grammar and PunctuationBasic English Grammar For Dummiesthe Latin road to English grammar vol 1Visual Latin – Latin 1
Here are my tips & thoughts about learning & teaching grammar as a homeschool mom:
- Teach grammar by example.
- Mom needs to demonstrate a lifestyle of learning and that includes learning about grammar.
- Your child(ren) will pick up grammar skills (or the lack thereof) through your speech and writing.
- Practice makes better.
- Teach yourself grammar using the Top 30 Grammar Mistakes: A Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling Handbook — I am!
- I do suggest reading teacher’s manuals and/or books on grammar, but I know that is not exactly fun reading. 😉 I shared above a couple of the books that I recommend you have on hand for reference.
- Reading and writing daily helps improve grammar skills.
- Observing and thinking about how things are written and spoken takes some extra brain power but can become a habit.
- Communicating well is important and worth the effort.
- Pay attention to the usage of words and punctuation in what you read.
- Choose to learn and apply proper grammar to your speech and writing.
- Study for yourself, ask others, and/or Google how to write something correctly.
- Learn to correct grammar errors in your own speech/writing.
- Correct your child’s grammar errors gently without belittling them.
- I express caution and restraint in correcting others’ grammar because I know how aggressive I can be over grammar errors and I know I shouldn’t be — just ask my husband, ahem.
- Add Latin study into your life.
This is in general, but, I can not stress enough how important it is for our children to see us learning (anything), applying (everything), desiring (improvement), embracing (opportunities), accepting (correction), AND enjoying the process!
It is not about somehow being inferior to others with more knowledge or needing to impress others with our intelligence, it is about loving to learn and always striving to excel in life.
It is about understanding why grammar is important in order to communicate well and wanting to learn/teach it for that purpose. I hope that you have been inspired to learn and teach grammar!
Feel free to leave a comment or question and I will do my best to address them.