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Wednesday Wonders: Grammar Shows Up in Unexpected Places

February 21st, 2018

Here’s a quick wonder moment I (Jenny) wanted to share. This actually happened back in November, and here’s the story behind it: This year my youngest son Calvin is in 5th grade. In Lower Middle School they have been using Junior Analytical Grammar, which is a change after 4 years of First Language Lessons. It’s an excellent, solid grammar program but it’s a little different than what he was used to. It took him a while to adjust to learning to label all the parts of speech in sentences, asking what each word is doing in the sentence, rather than just figuring out what "list" it belongs to. For the whole first trimester, Calvin's confidence in grammar was low. I kept encouraging him because I knew he was getting it, just not as fast as he would have liked to.

Often on Saturdays I assign a few extra chores to the kids, writing them on a whiteboard which I leave on the kitchen table (please don't judge my messy handwriting...). One Saturday I walked by the chore list I had left and saw that Calvin had added a bit to my list for him (photo above). I not only got a good laugh from it, but loved that he was thinking grammatically even about the chore list! These were simple sentences, of course, but it filled my mama heart with joy that he took the time to think through how to label each word, totally on his own, and that he can be playful with a subject like grammar, which was so challenging at the beginning of the year.

Now we are a little over halfway through the school year and his perseverance in grammar is paying off – both his skills and confidence are improving. I’m so thankful that my kids are learning grammar at SLOCA (and apparently not hating it)!