Your kid loves to read books. You have managed to get regular book reports out of them. Now what? Use those book reports to teach them to apply grammar to their writing.
So often, grammar and literature are treated as two separate entities. Children read good books, and write halfway decent reports. Then separately, they learn grammar rules. Here is how I have decided to start applying grammar to my children’s reading programs.
Step 1, Get them to read: Like I mentioned before, first get them to read. You can make up an incentive program like the Accellerated Reading program discussed this morning.
Step 2, Get them to write reports: Valorie Delp mentions 46 alternatives to the regular boring book reports. There are ideas there for all grades, ages, and levels. Use some of her ideas to keep them writing.
Step 3, Grade their writing for grammar errors: Finally, analyze what they have written according to their level. If they have only covered punctuation, grade them for punctuation. If they have learned sentence structure, grade them for sentence structure. If your older child is aware of verb agreement, then grade them accordingly. The bottom line is don’t allow the child to write at a lower level than their grammar knowledge would dictate.
Lately many schools have shied away from grading writing for fear of squelching creativity and expression. The result has been a great many students graduating from college with inadequate writing skills. Working with my homeschooled kids I have noticed the same problems arising. The problem is that upon questioning, it is clear that they understand basic grammar rules. They just don’t apply it to their writing. We are now working to change these habits.
If you apply these rules to your children’s writing early on, you will save lots of time and energy correcting bad habits later.
*Have a question about homeschooling? Just ask.
*Want to know more about homeschooling? Start here!