Thursday, November 24, 2011

Do you mean Grammar or Grandma?

When The Fashionista had just turned six, The Pig's "sister-by-choice", asked her how her Grandma was. Of course we being Kiwi's and Aussie's, we don't often pronounce Grandma, with the d and say Granma. We're cute that way.  Little Miss looked up at her and asked her if she meant Grammar or Grandma (with an emphasis on the D in grandma). Thankfully Sister-by-choice was a preschool teacher at the time and was vastly amused (probably used to dealing with precocious little girls), and hopefully impressed, by her knowing the difference.

I have always thought that language is a beautiful thing and this it is important for people to know and in turn respect it and use it correctly.  That is why I ensure that the girls do grammar most days of the week. Yo; get mah drift bro ...

When The Fashionista was five we started her on Jessie Wise's First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind (Levels 1 and 2) which is a book that covers the first two years of grammar. We liked it so much that we have been using it with Agent Smelly who is just now coming to the end of it. There is no formal testing in the book but, you often revise by getting the child to recite the definition of a noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, synonym, adverb, preposition and adverb, etc and simply ensure they have a general understanding of what it is.  They also learn poems off by heart and then when they are ready to recite it without help, I video them. They are so cute, when I look back on them.

These are some of the grammar posters that Agent Smelly made for the school room wall. I type up a page with the definition but mix it all up as I go along and then she cuts it out and has to sort it out and paste it on a new sheet. A.S. simply adores cutting things up.

One of the diagramming pages from The Fashionista's work book.

The Fashionista is working on the follow up book of Jessie Wise and Sara Billington's which is Level 3. She would be on Level 4 by now but we thought we'd try another program last year which really wasn't as good as this series so part way through this year we made the decision to return to First Language Lessons. At the moment she is diagramming, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.  I can't remember diagramming at school and she finds it a little boring but, works through the problems very quickly, with very little trouble. She is memorising poetry by Wordsworth, Robert Louis Stevenson and the likes, which are a little more challenging but she enjoys them. Thankfully she has a good memory so they haven't been giving her any real trouble.

This level may be a little too easy for her at times but, I don't think we can skip anything or she will struggle with the next level. In order to catch up she will continue her grammar over her summer break. That means extra work for the Mama as I have to work through the teachers text at the same time. 

Agent Smelly will start on Level 3 next year.

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