Reader Question: How do you teach children grammar skills without requiring handwriting?
There are several different schools of thought on teaching grammar skills. One is to wait until about 4th – 6th grade to begin teaching grammar. The “classical” school of thought is to begin teaching grammar during the grammar stage, appropriately enough. The grammar stage of classical education has nothing to do with actual grammar, but is, rather, the period in which children readily memorize information.
Being the classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason homeschool mom that I am, I lean toward the classical school of thought with regards to grammar. I like to begin teaching grammar skills around 1st grade. At that age, many children are resistant to (putting it mildly) or incapable of doing a great deal of handwriting. That never slowed us down. Following are some ways that my kids were effectively able to learn grammar without doing a lot of handwriting:
1. Memorization. We used First Language Lessons Levels 1 & 2, most of which was done orally. I feel like this gave my kids a wonderful grammar foundation because they memorized the definitions of a wide variety of parts of speech and we still use those memorized facts nearly every day. It’s amazing the amount of information they have retained.
2. White Board. We are huge Easy Grammar fans and my younger two have used it for two years without doing their own writing. We go over each lesson on the dry erase board. I really like this better because it helps to cement the grammar rules in their minds as I go over each lesson with them. I also think that it helps them to hear each other’s answers.
3. Games. We love to learn from games whenever we can. Those little word tiles are great for learning parts of speech and sentence structure without requiring handwriting. You can even make your own by typing up some nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, etc., printing out on card stock and cutting them apart.
4. Visual Aids. We recently filled a little photo book with prepositions and pictures cut from magazines showing each of the prepositions. This could easily be done with other parts of speech and really helps kids get an understanding of what the parts of speech really mean.
Do you have any tips for teaching grammar without requiring handwriting?
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