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The Teaching Home
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement


Number 34                                        April 19, 2003
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors
You are welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

Table of Contents

  • 15-Part Series on Basic Skills: Grammar
  •      How To Teach Grammar
  •      Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage
  •      Online Grammar Resources
  •      Grammar Teaching Tips
  • Recommended Resources
  •      Sentence Combining for Composition
  •      Teaching Home Back Issues
  •      Basic Cozy Grammar Course
  •      Easy Grammar
  •      Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum
  • Sunny Side Up: Humorous Anecdote


         May the Lord bless you and your family as we remember Jesus Christ's atoning death for our sins and His glorious resurrection that demonstrated His power to give us eternal life through faith in Him.

    Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a 22-year-old, home-school family business.

    Sentence Combining for Composition:
    Significantly Impact Your Child's Writing Skill.

    * Teaches and models complete and concise sentence structure.
    * Directly applies and reinforces all grammatical constructions.
    * Encourages creative experiences with language.
    * Sequenced program for elementary school students.
    * 5 Levels. Each level contains:
         34-36 weeks of activities; two 10-15 minute lessons per week.
         An objective and two models for each lesson.
    * Available on CD for Windows applications.
    For more information or to order, contact:
    Robert Skaife, 25447 Diablo Ln., Rio Verde AZ 85263 480-471-3184 / fax: 480-471-3590

    15-Part Series on Basic Skills
    by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

         Our 15-part series is written to help you evaluate your children's skill levels and help them improve in those areas.
         Topics are listed with the newsletter number in parenthesis. These can be viewed in our Newsletter Archives at

         1. Listening (#18)
         2. Word Analysis/Phonics (#19)
         3. Vocabulary (#21)
         4. Reading Comprehension: Knowledge (#23)
         5. Reading Comprehension (#25 & #26)
         6. Reading Comprehension: Analysis & Synthesis (#28)
         7. Reading Comprehension: Application (#29)
         8. Reading Comprehension: Evaluation (#30)
         9. Spelling (#32)
         10. Grammar (This Issue)
         11. Writing
         12. Penmanship
         13. Math: Concepts & Computation
         14. Math: Problem Solving
         15. Thinking Skills, Logic, and Speech

    Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage

         Learning grammar is not an end in itself. It is a means of improving communication.
         Understanding the correct grammatical form and structure of words and sentences enables you to communicate clearly and precisely and to comprehend the communications of others.

         Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online

  • Find Information, Inspiration & Encouragement
  • Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues
  • Search for Topics You Need
  • Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed
  • Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips

    Visit the Teaching Home Website for:
    Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Home Schooling.
    Articles on Home-School Basics.

    How To Teach Grammar
    Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage

    __ Teach your children that the purpose of correct grammar is to
         facilitate clear understanding in the communication process.
    __ Demonstrate the misunderstanding that can result from
         incorrect usage by giving examples (e.g., an incomplete sentence,      "is coming at 5:00" or dangling participle, "waiting for the
         train, the newsstand caught my eye.")
    __ Explain that the use of correct grammar is a mark of education
         and incorrect grammar shows the lack of it.
    __ Bible studies can include sentence structure to better
         understand the meaning of the passage.

    __ Use a good grammar textbook or handbook as a reference book.
    __ Use grammar workbooks for practice.
    __ Christian texts and workbooks will provide edifying text as
         examples and questions.
    __ A good dictionary will give you usage information (e.g.,
         which preposition to use after a given verb).
         The American Heritage Book of English Usage.

    Correct Speech
    __ Since most of grammar usage is picked up as children learn to
         speak, make sure that you are modeling correct grammar.
    __ Gently correct your child's spoken mistakes when you are not
         in public by repeating the complete sentence back to your child
         in the corrected form (e.g., your child says, "Me and Dad are
         going." You say, "You mean, 'Dad and I are going.'") Explain
         in advance that you will be doing this to teach him correct
         grammar usage.

    Cross-Curricular Studies
    __ Grammar rules can be used as penmanship practice.
    __ Use grammar lessons in your writing assignments (e.g., ask for
         certain kinds of sentences or parts of speech to be used).
    __ Mark grammar mistakes in your child's writing and have him
         rewrite the assignment correctly.

    Multi-Grade Teaching
    __ You can teach much of basic grammar to children of various
         ages at the same time.
    __ It is better for your child to completely master one
         comprehensive grammar text than to get only bits and pieces
         all the way through school.
    __ Because of the repetition and rotation of subject matter in
         grammar texts, you may want to just do every third year
         thoroughly, including your children who are at that time in
         grades just below, at, or above that level.
    __ Some of your children may love working with words and want
         to go further than the basics in grammar.

         The Painless Alternative: Basic Cozy Grammar Course
              This comprehensive, easy-to-follow curriculum
         works for multiple learning styles and ages. Relaxed
         English grammar tutorials come complete with two videos
         and reproducible workbook containing exercises, tests,
         and answer key. 15 National and International Awards.

    How To Teach Grammar
    Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage

    __ Teach the basic rules of grammar, capitalization, punctuation,
         and usage; post and review these rules; then hold your
         children accountable to use them consistently.
    __ Although diagramming has largely been dropped in grammar
         study, it can be fun and teach logic in the construction of
         written thinking (writing).
    __ Learning a foreign language emphasizes the importance and
         function of grammar in any language.

    __ Teach and use the common proof reader's marks for correcting rough drafts of writing.
         Grammar Proofing.
         Proofreaders' and Teachers' Marks for Electronic Text.

    __ Copy or type sentences or paragraphs without capitalization,
         punctuation, or correct usage, and have your child correct
         the passage either with proof reader's marks or by rewriting
         or correcting on a word processor or e-mail.

    __ Copy and paste educational reading or Scripture *
         from the internet into an e-mail message. Then delete the
         capitalization and punctuation and change the correct usage.
         Have your child correct as above. Keep a copy of the
         original as an answer key. *

    The Basics
    __ These are some of the areas of grammar that account for the
         most common and obvious errors.
         * Incomplete or Run-on Sentences
         * Subject/Verb Agreement
         * Irregular Verb Tenses
         (some of these are different in British usage)
         * Use of Pronouns and Antecedents
         (e.g., "Send an invitation to him [not he] and his sister."
         and "A child should brush his [not their] teeth daily.")
         * Use of Modifiers
         * Double Negatives
         * Redundancies
         * Homonyms
         * Plural Forms
         * Word Order in Sentences

    British English
    __ Be aware that there are some differences in British
         punctuation (e.g., periods can be outside quote marks) and
         nomenclature (a "period" is called a "full stop").

         Easy Grammar: A Solid, Successful Grammar Program
              Easy Grammar teaching texts introduce concepts
         step-by-step. Prepositional Approach!
         * Unit reviews & tests.
         * Cumulative reviews & tests.
         Daily Grams: 10-minute daily reviews.
         * Now at grade level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.
         * Revised & improved.
         Reproducible for student use.

    Online Grammar Resources
    Lessons and practice sheets from Purdue University.
    Guide to Grammar and Writing.
    The Online English Grammar.
    The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation.
    Daily Grammar. E-mail grammar lessons.
    The Grammar Slammer.
    Grammar Bytes.
    Fundamentals of English Grammar: Description and Use.
    Game to practice parts of speech.

         Bible Curriculum: Easy to Prepare and Effective To Teach
              Teach your children (K-12) the major characters and
         events of the Bible using timelines and interactive
         chronological lessons in 15-20 minutes a day. Great for
         multi-level teaching! Free Sample Lessons on our website.

    Grammar Teaching Tips

    Visualize Capitalization
         When teaching your child capitalization rules, show him a globe or atlas with all the place names capitalized and a phone book with all peoples' names capitalized.

    Verb Tenses
         Insert verb tenses into a sing-song form:
              I (sing).
              She (sings).
              Yesterday we (sang).
              Right now we are (singing).
              And we have (sung) before.

         With some irregular verbs, you may need to slow down the ditty and insert a direct object.
              I (ring) the bell.
              She (rings) the bell.
              Yesterday we (rang) the bell.
              Right now we are (ringing) the bell.
              And we have (rung) the bell before.

         Add different tenses as you study them, e.g.:
              "By tomorrow, we will have (rung) the bell six times" for future perfect tense.

    Parts of Speech
         The first letters of the following sentence provide clues for the eight parts of speech:

         Nancy And Paula Are
         Very Pretty Indian Children.

         Noun, Adjective, Pronoun, Adverb,
         Verb, Preposition, Interjection, Conjunction.

    Parts of Speech Rhyme

         A Noun's the name of anything
              As school or garden, hoop, or swing.
         Adjectives tell what kind of noun
              As great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
         Instead of nouns, the Pronouns stand
              Your face, its ball, his hand.
         A Preposition stands before a noun
              As in or through the town.
         Verbs tell of something being done,
              You read, count, sing, laugh, jump, or run.
         How things are done the Adverbs tell
              As slowly, quickly, ill, or well.
         Conjunctions join words together
              As men and women; wind or weather.
         An Interjection shows surprise
              As oh, how pretty; ah, how wise.

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    Sunny Side Up: Something's Fishy
         My nephew Curtis was asking his grandfather where his ancestors came from. My father-in-law answered, "They came from Wales."
         Curtis, who had apparently been informed about creation vs. evolution, looked and sounded quite indignant as he replied, "They did not come from whales; they came from God!"
         Sent by L. Edwards, Tennessee
         You are also invited to submit your humorous anecdote.

    God Loves You.
         Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
         "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9).

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