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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject

Grammar Resources for Homeschoolers

by Julie Shepherd knapp, copyright 2006



Those who purchase  School-at-Home curriculum packages will find that
grammar is included within their language arts lessons.  Many other
homeschoolers purchase one of the various workbook-based programs for
teaching grammar.  There are some non-traditional methods available, too.  
Montessori, for example, teaches grammar using a series of color-coded
symbols to stand for the parts of speech.  

There are also videos, sing-alongs, story books, and games.  While some
homeschool parents introduce grammar as soon as a child's reading skills
have reached 2nd or 3rd grade level, other parents do not see a need to  
teach grammar until the middle school or even high school years.  Others
strive to teach grammar more naturally, thru everyday spoken language,
thru writing assignments, and thru the reading of well-written books.  

Take a look at a few options to see which would be best for your student.



Workbooks and Worktexts:

Grammar Bytes - a free online work text tutorial with optional worksheets to
print out,  can be used by parents who can then present the information to
younger students, or can be read as a tutorial for older students with good
reading skills (6 -12), grammar is presented in a light and conversational
tone but with good clear examples

English Grammar 101 -- free online grammar and punctuation course, the
equivalent of 100 hours of classroom instruction, incorporates grades 6-12
content standards. Plain but effective.  No writing involved -- click to choose
answers or add punctuation.

WebEnglishTeacher.com - links to thousands of creative lesson plans
and activities for teaching language arts l


Spectrum Series by McGraw-Hill --  grade-level K - 12 workbooks for
reading, writing, grammar, reading comprehension, and math, provide clear,
basic, standards-alligned instruction, available at Borders Books, teacher's
stores, and thru Amazon.com

Catholic Heritage Curricula -- (preK - 12) complete Catholic-focused
language arts programs

Winston Grammar -- (5th and up) grammar workbook series uses
color-coded cards and learning thru multisensory exercises

Shurley English Home School Edition -- teaches parts of speech and
other grammar elements by use of jingles -- which students repeat daily to
memorize, uses a prescribed question and answer procedure to reinforce
concepts, includes teacher manual and student workbooks for 6 levels

Building Christian English Series by Rod and Staff Curriculum -- (1 -
10) Christian-focused, Bible-based grammar and punctuation program

Jensen's Grammar by Frode Jensen -- (high school) a high-powered,
fast-paced grammar worktext, lots of writing exercises

Jensen's Punctuation by Frode Jensen --  (high school) a high-powered
text gives complete coverage of punctuation rules

Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliot -- (6 - 8) basics of grammar and
composition written in a preteen-friendly style,  good as a refresher course
for teens, available thru major book sellers



Literature-Based Learning:

English for the Thoughtful Child, Vols 1 and 2 -- (lower elementary) by
GreenLeaf Press, designed to follow the methods of Charlotte Mason

Simply Grammar by Karen Andreola -- (4 - 8) an intro to grammar basics
designed to follow the methods of Charlotte Mason it is a modernized
version of one of her publications)

A Journey Through Grammar Land by Frode Jensen -- a story-based
approach to learning grammar

The Sentence Family: Introducing Grammar Through Art and Story by
Fr. Dn. James Hughes, St. Michael's School, Santa Rosa, CA -- a single text
forms a curriculum aimed at 4th graders, includes descriptions of each of
the parts of speech - not described in abstract terms, but through the  
personalities of children, the interactions of the children, and their
pictures,reflect the relationships of the parts of speech.


Ruthe Heller series  -- a five-volume series on parts of speech, all are
non-fiction picture books written in rhyme, published by Penguin Group

A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns;
Kites Sail High: A Book About Verbs;
Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives;
Merry-Go- Round: A Book About Nouns; and
Up, Up and Away: A Book About Adverbs
Behind the Mask: A Book About Prepositions


Brian P. Cleary series -- clever illustrated poems describe parts of
speech, grades 2 and up, with
Kirkus Reviews

Under, Over, By the Clover: What is a Preposition?
Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What is an Adverb?
I and You and Don't Forget Who: What is a Pronoun?
A Mink, A Fink, A Skating Rink: What is a Noun?
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?
To Root, To Toot, To Parachute: What is a Verb?


The Works of Michael Clay Thompson:  These are my personal
favorite resources for grammar, vocabulary, and  etymology (word roots), as
well as introductory studies of poetry and philosophy.   Even the lower level
books cover advanced grammar and  sophisticated vocabulary and include
references to, and samples from, classic children's  literature.   The Michael
Clay Thompson books are described as "gifted" resources, but are very
appropriate for typical students, as well.

Grammar Island Series
Caesar's English Series
The Magic Lens Series
Word Within a Word Series
Poetics Series  
Self-Evident Truths Series

The books are not labeled by grade, instead each book is suitable for a
range of grade-levels, based on interest and ability.  Gifted children may be
ready for them sooner than most children.  For example, some gifted
children (with interest and ability in Language Arts) may be ready for the
"Grammar Island Series" for use in grades 3 - 5, while more typical students
may find them useful at grades 6 - 8.  Likewise, "The Magic Lens" grammar
series may be used as either a challenging middle school resource, or at
the highschool level.  Sample Pages and Table of Contents are available on
the
Royal Fireworks Press website, student book, practice workbook, and
teacher's book available. A new Yahoo! Group,
MCLTA, has been formed
for support in using these materials!
Homeschool Packages are now
available, too -- at a slightly reduced price :-)


Karen Elizabeth Gordon series -- grammar, sentence structure and
vocabulary presented with a lavish, though ghoulish flair, grades 8 - 12

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire,
The New Well-Tempered Sentence,
Torn Wings and Faux Pas,
Sin and Syntax, and
The Disheveled Dictionary


Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization:  A Handbook for Technical
Writers and Editors -- a free online NASA document helpful to students
who prefer writing about technical or scientific subject matter



Audio/Visual Resources:

School House Rock - fun and memorable videos from the 70's introduce
children to educational topics using cartoons with songs and rhymes

Power Point Presentations on Punctuation -- part of the online Guide to
Grammar and Writing, by the Capital Community College Foundation

Stevenson Learning Skills - teaches reading, spelling, grammar, and
handwriting using a combination of visual images and mnemonic cues,
reportedly helpful for visual-spatial learners, those having trouble with
typical programs, and those with learning disabilities



Games and Hands-On Learning:

DK Games: Silly Sentences -- 1-4 players construct silly sentences using
interlocking cards, each part of speech is color-coded, aimed at ages 4-8

Languistic Legos - free lesson plan for teaching sentence structure and
punctuation using Lego bricks l

Montessori Materials Grammar Cards & Symbols -- free printable cards
for use in grammar work (does not include instructions) ...or, buy a complete
set here --
wasecalearning Grammar Boxes  or from Magnolia
Montessori Materials . Here are some free Montessori grammar lesson
plans --
Language 6-9: Function of Words to get started, but if you
Google "Montessori grammar lessons" you will find many more examples, or
join a
Montessori homeschool support group for advice

The Teaching Learning Company - card games for story-writing and
general language arts

Rainbow Resource Center - search their "(Not) Just for Fun" section for
tons of educational games, puzzles, and activities, or search by subject  
(such as "reading game").

Magnetic Poetry - for the "fridge" or play online, simple word sets available
for new readers

Learning Resources - K - 6 manipulatives, board games, and activity kits
for reading, spelling, math, and science

Kid'sPlace by Houghton-Mifflin, K-5 free language arts games

Primary Games - online games for language arts (and other subjects), free
"mini games"
Game Aquarium - 3 - 6th free online language arts games (and other
subjects)
Fun Brain - K-12 free online games (many subjects) by Pearson Education

Learning Planet.com -- a subscription service for educational games and
activities, include some free online games for grammar and math



Related Issues

50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice by GEOFFREY K. PULLUM - on the
occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publishing of
The Elements of Style

Patricia's Porch Talk: In Plain Southern English by Patricia Paris


Grammar Help, Catch-Ups for Teens,  Enrichment
(back to)
language arts