Grammar. Just the thought gives me the creeps. In spite of my love for writing and reading…this is not an area I shine in. I think parts of speech and sentence structure were covered in middle school for me…maybe half a semester? By the time I got into high school, my very own english teacher mother attempted to review things for me since it didn’t stick the first time around. It was disastrous to say the least. We agreed to disagree. My brain just couldn’t grasp what was trying to be communicated. I could “fix” my writing, and I could tell when what was written was right but if you asked me to identify parts and structures and why I’d melt into tears.
Fast forward to now. Enter fourth grade language arts with the daughter I’m trying to teach grammar to. Yeah. I’m a bit in over my head here. I’m reading the textbook ahead of time. I’m chanting adjectives describe a noun, adverbs are added to verbs in my head. We’ve only just begun. And here’s the kicker folks. I’m teaching this in-depth, hard-core, sentence-diagraming, structure identifying process for the next 8 years. Three kids. I’m hoping by the end of that 8th year, y’all will be seeing much better grammar and writing here…because that is a ton of grammar review. Perhaps in 8 years I will be able to finally learn all that I should’ve learned back in 6th grade.
I’ve claimed this as I’ve walked this path of a public school parent teaching a home school child…I’m redeeming my own education. Things that have been forgotten, perhaps were never taught, I get the privilege of re-learning as I teach my own children. Every teacher will tell you, you never really learn something until you have to explain it. Nursing has its own motto of this as we trained: see, do, teach. I laugh now because it’s just a spin-off on the Classical model that then I never knew, but now I see all around me. My favorite girl, as we work through our material, will often ask why I don’t have something memorized and yet I expect it of her. I am always quick to tell her that I’m teaching her the way I wish I had learned. Even as a good student in school so much would have been better fixed in my mind had I been taught this way.
So, as I look at banned words (some of which are in here), strong openers or closers and sentence structure…I keep telling myself: see, do, teach. And there’s grace in the process.