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Grammar, short/long vowels and other skippable items for the unschooler

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well, if ever there was an area where I felt that teaching interferes with learning, grammar seems to be one such area.  And definitely also "short and long vowels." 

dd speaks and writes correctly, no grammar problems.  She has no concept of short vowels and long vowels.   I have tried to explain this to her but she is not interested and doesn't remember them for more than a few minutes.  I have to admit I also dont' see the point of it esp since she can already read.  Maybe the school ppl think that it will help with spelling, but honestly I think that she would learn spelling faster and more easily just in the course of reading and writing.  She doesn't "know" how to spell all the words typically on the list for 3rd graders but if she sees a mispelled word she can spot it right away and will either correct it herself or ask for help.  I think this is as good a way to learn spelling as any.

 

However I have to show the county reviewer that we have done something in the way of grammar and spelling.   I am planning to have a bunch of spelling tests to show in the folder but if the reviewer asks something specific about e.g. short and long vowels, I know we will come up short.  Similarly if she is asked about parts of speech.  Unlike long/short vowels I can see that it is useful to know this but I truly feel she will pick it up on her own later.  Not sure if this is a satisfactory explanation for the reviewer.  You would think they would be happy to see the mile-long list of fiction & nonfiction that she reads every semester, but in the past that hasn't been regarded as a substitute for showing "work" done in language arts - including reading, writing, spelling. 

 

It is not as bad as it sound s- if I can come up with something that looks like what they want they are generally satisfied, but I have to meet them half way, can't just spout my own learning theories.

 

Any thoughts ....

 

post #2 of 7
Grammar is one of those things best learned by hearing and doing. I also think the way it's taught adds unnecessary confusion. if your kid can read, and speaks well, I don't think you will have issues with such tedious things. Good luck!
post #3 of 7

My kids have quite enjoyed the "Editor in Chief" series of workbooks. I know this is the unschooling forum, but just in case your kid is ever interested, or if you're looking for a slick and easy way to provide evidence for the county reviewer. They have you picking out spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors in short examples of text, a similar puzzle-like diversion to a word search but at a more sophisticated level. Way more enjoyable, in our experience, than "doing spelling" or whatever. MadLibs are also something my kids enjoyed a lot (readily available on-line) and they picked up parts of speech through those.

 

I think some of this stuff is useful in communicating about the nuances of writing. For instance, today my eldest corrected "Games are all on Saturdays" to "All games are on Saturdays" on the community soccer newsletter, but couldn't explain why she thought her version was better. She's someone who will likely be doing a fair bit of academic writing in the future, and I think a certain basic ability to understand and explain editing suggestions is helpful. She has a lot of the grammar vocabulary and analysis ability, but not all of it.

 

Miranda

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

My kids have quite enjoyed the "Editor in Chief" series of workbooks. I know this is the unschooling forum, but just in case your kid is ever interested, or if you're looking for a slick and easy way to provide evidence for the county reviewer. They have you picking out spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors in short examples of text, a similar puzzle-like diversion to a word search but at a more sophisticated level. Way more enjoyable, in our experience, than "doing spelling" or whatever. MadLibs are also something my kids enjoyed a lot (readily available on-line) and they picked up parts of speech through those.

 

I think some of this stuff is useful in communicating about the nuances of writing. For instance, today my eldest corrected "Games are all on Saturdays" to "All games are on Saturdays" on the community soccer newsletter, but couldn't explain why she thought her version was better. She's someone who will likely be doing a fair bit of academic writing in the future, and I think a certain basic ability to understand and explain editing suggestions is helpful. She has a lot of the grammar vocabulary and analysis ability, but not all of it.

 

Miranda



Is this the series you're referring to? http://www.amazon.com/Editor-Chief-Level-Grades-4-5-Pc/dp/0894556908/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1306443188&sr=8-5

post #5 of 7
Yes, that's the series, although we got it as workbooks, partly because my kids prefer that, but with the added bonus that they provide more tangible evidence for our umbrella school.

Miranda
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Yes, that's the series, although we got it as workbooks, partly because my kids prefer that, but with the added bonus that they provide more tangible evidence for our umbrella school.

Miranda


Thanks

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post

However I have to show the county reviewer that we have done something in the way of grammar and spelling.   I am planning to have a bunch of spelling tests to show in the folder but if the reviewer asks something specific about e.g. short and long vowels, I know we will come up short.  Similarly if she is asked about parts of speech.  Unlike long/short vowels I can see that it is useful to know this but I truly feel she will pick it up on her own later.  Not sure if this is a satisfactory explanation for the reviewer.  You would think they would be happy to see the mile-long list of fiction & nonfiction that she reads every semester, but in the past that hasn't been regarded as a substitute for showing "work" done in language arts - including reading, writing, spelling. 

 

It is not as bad as it sound s- if I can come up with something that looks like what they want they are generally satisfied, but I have to meet them half way, can't just spout my own learning theories.

 

Any thoughts ....

 


I think Mad Libs sounds like an excellent way to document learning parts of speech.

 

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