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Many of you pleaded with us to carry an alternative grammar curriculum, one that is complete but not arduous. I admit that because of my own antipathy towards this subject I am probably not the best qualified to evaluate the slew of grammar curricula available to home educators. However, I do know what I like, and I do like this book.
With concise and uncomplicated lessons, it is incredibly simple to implement. It lends itself well to oral or group participation, which is a blessing when you are trying to teach several grade levels at the same time. It does not require gobs of valuable time either to prepare or to implement. Plus it has 50 large antique illustrations that give it a sense of elegance.
For those of you who are impressed by name dropping, this is a revised and expanded edition of First Grammar Lessons by Charlotte Mason. Charlotte Mason is reputed to be a founder of the Home School Movement in the late 1890's. This is a superb program for any child lacking 4th through 8th grade grammar skills.
brings to bear more of the child's natural thinking ability than ordinary grammar lessons. For, the student is given the opportunity to create his own sentences, often to tell a story using the large nineteenth-century illustrations. By this method he uses his new understanding of the "sentence" to demonstrate a more thorough knowledge.
I was so happy to have found Charlotte Mason's tiny, pocket-size book First Grammar Lessons, years ago. It so simplified the subject of grammar for me that it gave me the confidence I needed to teach grammar to my children. Therefore when I set out to share these lessons with other homeschooling mothers, I retitled it Simply Grammar.
Even though I have revised and expanded the book, I kept to Charlotte's format of teaching one grammar rule per lesson. The lessons can easily be kept short when no more than 10 to 15 minutes is spent on the accompanying exercises. For the young student the exercises can be completed throughout the week. Charlotte advised that the abstract subject of grammar be introduced to children at approximately age 9. So I recommend Simply Grammar be used with grades 4th through 8th. Because my children and I like pictures, I added many large, beautiful, 19th century ones and made them part of the exercises. They give the student ideas with which to create his own sentences and tell stories that employ his new knowledge of each grammar rule. The book's large print size was chosen to make it easy for my students and myself to read along together. Most importantly, the students have plenty of opportunity to use Charlotte's method of narration. With the gentle, simple, and natural use of narration much of the work is done orally. Yet, any of the work can be written as desired. In our home we do both. Some subtle review is built into the text, but the teacher is free to decide when and how often review is necessary. In other words, with Simply Grammar you are at liberty to follow a pace that suits your circumstances and your child's ability. No diagramming is required.
"Professional grammar terminology-nominative case, intransitive verbs-are introduced as simply as possible by explaining the meaning of these words' Latin roots." --Mary Pride
Simply Grammar is a several year program and is non-consumable. That means it is designed to be used year by year, grade by grade, child by child.
is ideal for the homeschool because a broad range of grade levels can benefit from the clarity of this primer (fourth grade up to high school).
allows you to follow a pace that matches your child's ability. Keeping this in mind it is, in most cases, a several year program where the teacher is free to decide when and how often review is necessary.
can be used to enhance any other grammar program.
Karen Andreola (originally by Charlotte Mason as First Grammar)
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