Teaching Grammar

Over the years many people have asked me what curriculum or program I use for teaching grammar. Most are shocked when I say, “none”. To be honest I don’t believe in teaching grammar as a separate subject. For me, grammar, spelling, reading and writing are all part of one aspect of learning. I call it Language Arts. And no, I don’t have a curriculum or program for teaching this either! I believe that reading and learning from good books will teach a child all the spelling and grammar rules they need to know. You have to understand that these statements come from someone who loved grammar and spelling in school and was ecstatic the first time I opened an Abeka grammar book and saw that they taught diagramming sentences! Unfortunately my children were not as ecstatic. It was at this time that I began to question why we teach grammar. Over the years as I worked in private schools and taught high school English classes I began to see that we have taken a simple language and complicated it to the point where we have to teach what should be natural.

Recently a very cool grammar book landed in my inbox. This book, written in 1878, is the epitome of what a grammar program should be all about. We have strayed so far from this simple topic and made grammar into one of those dreaded subjects that all school children hate. How did this happen?

Let me step back a bit and tell you about the book. It is called Grammar Land by M.L. Nesbitt. It is the story of a land ruled by Judge Grammar who has to keep his subjects in order. Mr. Noun is stealing all the words and is very wealthy as a result. Yet he couldn’t exist without the help of Little Article, whose words include ‘a’ and ‘the’. All in all, nine subjects are interrogated in Judge Grammar’s courtroom, and in the process readers will learn what a noun, article, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection is and does. Simple lessons are given by the judge for the children of Schoolroom-shire to do. You can view a copy of this book courtesy of homeschoolfreebies.com http://www.homewaypress.com/freebies/GrammarLand.pdf