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Grammar Ain’t Easy

No matter how many programs come out that describe fun ways to teach grammar and tell kids and parents how easy it is, the fact is, grammar ain’t easy.

You can’t make it easy. Grammar is analytical and it is abstract. That makes it hard.

It also makes it a subject (really an “art” or “skill” more than a subject) that requires practice, which isn’t always fun no matter how you try to make it so.

Young children need to learn early that learning is a challenge and that it will require effort from them. Why should they be surprised later, when they are less willing to be challenged?

So how to teach grammar? Gradually, one idea at a time. Through types, one idea at a time, embodied in examples. Interactively. Present the types, then ask the students to compare them. Gradually they’ll come to understand the idea.

If their grammar studies are restricted to crutches (jingles and chants and teacher directed statements), then the child will never learn to walk, no matter how skilled he gets with the crutch. He needs to get the ideas.

What grammar program are you using? We’re involved in a research project right now, trying to find the best grammar programs for Christian classical schools. Please give us your suggestions and let us know why you like them.

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