Saturday, August 10, 2013

Homeschool Review: Grammar

o da awfoolniss dat do be grammer

Who likes grammar? I'll tell you who, nerdy folks like my husband do. We couldn't be more different in this area. He is incredibly bright and speaks several languages; not only does he speak them, but he learns all their grammar rules and all other types of nerdy things.

I barely speak English. It's sad really.

When I started homeschooling grammar was kind of fun. The lessons were quick and easy and I could keep up. We learned the basics of nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. Last year things started to change because it got hard! Seriously, who cares what the predicate nominative of a sentence is and who even knows what that is?? You know who nerdy husband AKA Captain Grammerica. 

When we got to those lessons last year I asked him if he thought it was ok for me to kind of just skip that stuff. You would've thought I asked him if it was ok to give up one of the kids. He was appalled and told me I couldn't skip over any of it. Blah!! It was soooo boring!

I had to find my happy place and mix the fun with the boring (which my husband translates as, the "necessary parts of grammar").

So, here is what we do. At least twice a week we do the good meaty parts of grammar, and the other days of the week we play games to reinforce what we learned. The kids aren't thrilled about the meaty/boring lessons, but they're not too long and they know we only have to do it twice a week.

My favorite program for learning grammar is First Language Lessons

They are the "boring" grammar lessons I was talking about, but they're so good. You don't have to plan anything ahead and you really learn about grammar. They only have four levels; I had my kids go through level 1 with 1st grade and level 2 with 2nd grade; when we got to level 3 is when I started breaking it up to only doing it twice a week. 

Some of my favorite grammar games are from here. We have some of the games where you have to read a sentence and one of the words will be underlined and you have to decide if it's an article, noun, verb, adverb or adjective. My younger kids now can recognize the basic parts of speech just from playing the game. 

One of my kids' favorite grammar games is MadLibs. Do you remember these funny things? I loved them and I still do. My kids also get a big kick out of them, even though they think it's hilarious to use potty humor. Did you know you can use "fart" as a noun and a verb? You're welcome, because now you do.

Another thing that is fun are grammar books. OK as soon as I wrote that out it sounded boring, but trust me they are fun. We read Grammarland last year and now we are reading Woe is I, Jr.. You can read the first couple of pages on Amazon.

And finally, the last thing we use is Vocabulary Cartoons. It gives you a new vocabulary word, its definition, a word it sounds like, a sentence using both of those words and a funny drawing about the sentence. It also will include three different sentences of the vocabulary word. We do a new word everyday.

now u can bee edumacated two


  1. Ha! Great post, Meg. You are inspiring me to start grammar with my kids!

    This is a fun book with so many puns on the English language: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. We have it if you want to borrow it!

    1. Thanks Abby, I would like to borrow it when I finish Woe Is I. If you want to borrow that one when we're done you're welcome to it.

  2. Great resource list! We loved First Language Lessons when my sweetie was younger. And, they all still love Mad Libs.