Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Favorite Early Elementary Grammar Resources

I am a big believer in the importance of grammar. I'm a professional writer, and, even now, I find myself making embarrassing grammar mistakes. I really don't remember learning much formal grammar in school; perhaps during that period of time, grammar was out of fashion in educational circles.

Either way, I am determined that my kids have a decent grounding in formal grammar. We started grammar in first grade, though everyone's timetable will be slightly different in that regard. It's generally a good idea not to begin grammar until your kids are able to read simple sentences.

There are two grammar texts we've used so far. We were introduced to both through The Well-Trained Mind. I love them both, and plan on using them with the Littles once they're ready to start grammar.

Two Good Grammar Texts for Early Elementary

1. English for the Thoughtful Child, Vol. 1


This text, by Mary F. Hyde and Cynthia A. Shearer, uses oral composition, written composition, memorization, and regular practice to give children a good introduction to grammar. We used it in first grade for Pooks, and I plan on using it again with the Littles when they are ready. It is maybe a little old-fashioned (especially if, like me, you came of age when grammar was considered "not a big deal") but it provides a good basis for the beginning student of grammar.




2. First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind


This is the book we used this year, for Sauce's first grade grammar text (she did a lot of the work from Grammar for the Thoughtful Child when she was in kindergarten, simply because Pooks was already doing it and she was interested in it. This book is a complete course in grammar. Your kids will drill, do copywork, memorize poems and lists, recite memorized poems, and do picture study. Pooks used this text even in second grade, and it was still challenging. We will be ordering Level 2 and 3 for the next two years of grammar for our older girls.

Of the two books, First Language Lessons was my favorite, because it really is an all-in-one program, and it is very easy to teach, thanks to instructions for the parent included in each lesson.

Favorite Sites for Grammar Worksheets


All of the sites below offer a selection of free, printable grammar worksheets. However, you'll have more available if you pay to become a member of the sites. So far (through second grade) we haven't had to spring for a membership, but we may end up doing so in the future. Of the three, Super Teacher Worksheets is my favorite, simply because they have such a huge selection.

1. Super Teacher Worksheets
2. Education.com
3. ABCTeach.com

Fun Online Grammar Games for Early Elementary

The three games below provide a fun way to get in some extra grammar practice. They're a nice break from worksheets, and your children will have fun while learning.

1. Grammar Gorillas (Funbrain)
2. Clean Up Your Grammar
3. Grammar Ninjas

Games to Make Grammar Fun


One easy way to put your grammar lessons to fun use is to do Mad Libs. Remember those? They'll help your kids learn parts of speech by making them come up with examples of each of them. You can either buy Mad Libs books, or look online for printable Mad Libs.

If your child is a Word Girl fan, look for the WordGirl Colossal Gazette Card Game . Your child will make headlines for The Gazette using charcters, verbs, and adjectives. The results are often amusing, and it's an easy way to work grammar into your day.

Our study of grammar has definitely made my children better readers and writers. They understand sentence structure, and this makes them better able to decipher them meaning of what they're reading, even if some of the words are initially unfamiliar. We will continue grammar studies throughout their homeschool years. And I'll pick up some of the lessons I missed during my school years, as well!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links. By clicking the links and making a purchase, I earn a small commission. These are products that we use and find useful, and I am not being otherwise compensated for mentioning them.

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