Part 2 of “Our Third Grade Curriculum”: Grammar

Although neglected for five years of pharmacy school, four years of medical school, three years of residency, and six years of my medical career, grammar was a favorite subject of mine in high school.  I loved punctuation and how moving a comma or adding a colon or pushing in a hyphen changed the feeling of a sentence.  So sad to say my grammar wasted away with disuse.  Oh, well.  I’ll live vicariously through my children’s education!  Ha!

Our choice for grammar has been Easy Grammar:  Grade 3 with accompanying Daily Grams Student Workbook-Grade 3 (with the answer key) to complement it by Wanda C. Phillips .  What do I love about this program?  Two things:
1.  It’s concise.  Short.  Brief.  And doesn’t take M1, my daughter, forever to complete!  Like maybe 10-15 minutes tops!
2.  The worksheets are cumulative, reminding me of Saxon math.

Let me break it down just a bit:

Easy Grammar:  Grade 3 textbook:   Presents the grammar lesson and gives practice problems focused on that particular lesson.  It also has teaching tips and the answers.

Daily Grams Student Workbook-Grade 3:  Compiled only of 180 brief (about 5 questions per page) cumulative worksheets reviewing the material of The Easy Grammar:  Grade 3 text.  The worksheets cumulatively review the material from the Easy Grammar textbook.  Conveniently, the Daily Grams also provide brief grammatical rule summaries in case she has happened to forget the particular grammar lesson from the textbook.  Sometimes we’ll do a couple worksheets in a day, skipping the questions she absolutely knows.

How does M1 like it?  Her words:  “Grammar is easy!”  Yippee!!

The program focuses mostly on “the rules” of grammar summarized in a very brief fashion.  There is little to no creative writing, although in the Daily Grams there are daily exercises where the student combines two sentences of varying lengths and types.  I don’t mind the lack of creative writing because we supplement Easy Grammar with our own writing exercises.  Oh, boy that sounds great!  “Writing exercises”.  Ha!  What I mean is we write either a letter or a short story once a week.  And since my daughter dislikes the physical act of handwriting, these are typically 3-4 sentences long.  But it’s enough to reinforce her grammar textbook’s information.

I feel teaching grammar an integral part of my curriculum at this age and have not considered leaving it out.  However, I have one homeschooling friend who is an editor.  She still has not started formal grammar for her 4th grade son.  She feels it can wait until he actively pursues creative writing over the next year or two.  But she’s an editor.  I’m a doctor.  I don’t teach formal science yet in my curriculum probably for the same reason she doesn’t actively teach a section on grammar.  I just promote curiosity and reinforce math and reading, skills necessary to excel in science, and teach a little science here and there as the opportunity arises in our learning.  But, I have to brush up on the grammar!  So I’m not able to remember and point out “imperative” sentences and comma rules like my friend can on a whim!

Easy Grammar works for us, and I’m glad to have stumbled onto it by the recommendation of a fellow homeschooling mom (not the editor–a piano teacher).

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