I write for a living. I homeschool my kids. I love and appreciate correct grammar usage and fantastically written sentences. (The frequent misuse of the words bring and take drives me batty. Take it there. Bring it here. This is not difficult.)
But for all my love of a good sentence, I cannot stand most typical Grammar Lessons (or sentences that begin with but).
I get a headache when reading information like this:
A Complex Sentence has one or more Dependent clauses (also called Subordinate clauses).
Does it? Does it really? How nice that I have not one, but two options for which to label the clauses that make up my (what was it again?)…my Complex Sentence. Now let’s talk about what modifies what, identify all the gerunds, and take the time to break it down into a diagram.
Woe is me. I just want to write sentences. Please do not make me pinpoint the predicate nominatives. I am 42. I have learned the definition of predicate nominative at least 24 times, and I still have to look it up every single time one of my kids asks me a question about it when he comes across it in his grammar lesson. This is because I DO NOT CARE. Oh, but a predicate nominative is a word that renames the subject of a sentence. Great. I just learned it for a 25th time. I will forget that information once again in five, four, three…
Well, now you know the truth.
I’m glad some people love all of the specifics of grammar because someone has to write the grammar lesson books and teach it in our schools. Some of you think grammar is fun and I still like you alot (<— even if I did just write that non-word on purpose out of spite).
While those are my feelings – I still teach my kids grammar because I have to. (This book series is the one I dislike the least and currently use with my older kids.) I don’t, however, make them re-write all 17 sentences if they have mastered the concept after 3 sentences; I don’t insist that they take time to memorize all the correct terminology (see predicate nominative predicament above); and if the lesson in their book is truly not relevant, I modify it to make it meaningful.
However, my kids are all still learning and able to write nice sentences. I know this doesn’t make sense without their mother’s solid knowledge of participles, but our oldest really has been getting A’s in his college English courses and has been successfully cranking out countless essays and term papers for professors.
Maybe it goes without saying that our family values creativity and practicality over fact-spitting. We try to keep education relevant if at all possible. Some parts of school a kid just has to get through because it’s required (so do not ask our current sophomore how he feels about Geometry theorems). But when it can be fun – for the love of the accurate use of then and than – let’s make it fun.
Fun with Grammar
Now that you’ve read my feelings on grammar you will know that when I labeled my newest creation Fun with Grammar, this means something. Our 5th grade son recently completed one of his (boring) Grammar textbooks for the year. (He’s still working through Wordly Wise 5.) As a way to fill in some gaps, I began creating some Valentine related grammar activities for him. One page turned into another, and before I knew it I had 12 pages prepared.
Nice kid though he is, Malachi was not excited or supportive of my new project. “You’re making me grammar pages? Why???” However, as soon as I printed them out and handed them over, he worked his way through the first four pages without a complaint. He might have even looked like he was enjoying himself. I believe his exact words tonight were, “Actually, that grammar thing is pretty fun.” Boom. Mission accomplished.
Bonus: I made said 5th grader proof-read this packet for me before I shared it with you. I’m a sly one.
None of these activities are tedious. They simply ask your child to be creative and have fun with some basic English and Grammar skills.
Does it get any better than this? I typed out a Brownie Recipe, purposely made some mistakes, and asked your child to find the errors and misspelled words. It’ll take your child just a few fun minutes, then he/she can go bake brownies. Friends, there are no predicate nominatives in a pan of brownies!! (At least I don’t think there are. I obviously already forgot the definition.)
Even more fun is that this packet is free for everyone. Use it in your home. Use it in your school. Enjoy the activities. Be creative. Actually have fun with grammar. And if your kid still hates it, well at least it was free and you got some brownies out of the deal.
Enter your email address below to download your free Fun With Grammar ~ Valentine’s Day Edition Printable Packet.
I’m super excited to share that signing up for this freebie will connect you to our new Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone. It’s free, of course. You can unsubscribe at any time, your info will never be shared or sold, and being on this list means that you’ll be the first to know of the other fun (yes, FUN!) educational tools we’re putting together! Emails will not be frequent. I’m too busy trying to relearn what a subordinating conjunction is.
This grammar packet does sound like fun! Can’t wait to do it with my girls!
Nathana Clay says
I can relate to your sentiment about grammar! I am always looking for great resources like this to use with Rebekah when she is older. And if I am being honest, I could probably use the practice too! ;)
I would enjoy this!
This is great. I found only 6 errors in the recipe my first time through. I had to go back and look closer.
If I could provide constructive feedback – the font for the title is super cute – but having upper letters in the middle of a word & lower case letters that are as tall as the the upper letters is a bit confusing for younger kids (my daughter gets marked off on her spelling tests for lower case letters that go above where dashed line would be or for having upper case letters in middle of words. So maybe I am just super sensitive to this – but if I give this to my daughter – I would want her to find more than 7 errors – since I would hope she would notice the issues in the recipe title).
I really don’t mean to be negative – this looks super fun.
Such a great point! It’s cute, but confusing! :)
This is great! perfect for my son. Thank you!
Theresa L says
Thank you! We’re doing a day of Valentine’s fun next Friday and this will fit right in! Can’t wait to share it with my son. :)