I went to North Carolina where my mom
and grandmother had retired, I entered
the Air Force Reserve, and used the G.I.
Bill to earn my teaching credential. I
taught public school seventh grade language arts for several years.
Meanwhile, mom retired in 2004 and
continued selling Analytical Grammar,
which by this time, had expanded both
in product offering and audience—
private, public, charter, and homeschools all
purchased her materials.
Mom was diagnosed with cancer in
2008, and I began helping her more with
the company. She passed away last year,
in 2015, after a seven-year battle with a
rare cancer. What’s amazing about that is
she wrote The Eternal Argument and together we wrote Beyond the Book Report
during that time.
See, mom was that eighth grade English teacher. In that one year, she taught
the entire Analytical Grammar program,
taking kids who didn’t know what a noun
was and getting them to master all the
grammar (even the advanced phrases
and clauses), punctuation, and usage. She
also taught the five-paragraph essay, how
to build a research paper, Shakespeare,
Elizabethan English, and A Midsummer
Night’s Dream, as well as Johnny Tre-main and Revolutionary America. It was
an incredibly substantive year. It’s really
no surprise that more than 200 of her
former students are on a Facebook® page
called Former Students of Robin Finley.
You should read their amazing tributes.
I now run the company full time while
remaining a major in the Air Force Reserve. I’m able to carry on this incredible
legacy my mother left for my family and
me. I have an assistant, “Miss Mary,” who
has been with our family since coming
to North Carolina. We’re it. Other than a
couple of contract part-time employees,
the vast international headquarters of
AG runs out of my basement in Raleigh,
NC. It’s incredible! I wish I could go back
and thank that school for not having an
elevator, those department chairs for refusing Mom’s request, and that principal
for talking about grammar at a dinner
party. All these things paved the way for
my mother’s innovative curriculum to
help thousands of kids master our language. What a gift!
Erin Karl is the second-generation owner
of Analytical Grammar, which produces
grammar, literature study, and writing
curricula. She is also a major in the Air
Force Reserve and serves as a public af-
fairs officer. She lives in Raleigh, N.C.,
with her husband, two kids, t wo cats and a
dog. Her singing talent and authorization
to do it while wearing a military uni-
form cross often; she’s sung the national
anthem for the Carolina Panthers, Dur-
ham Bulls, and the Texas Rangers. Ana-
lytical Grammar is an award-winning
grammar and language arts company.
Founded in 1996, Analytical Grammar
offers curricula from upper elementary
school through high school, with a focus
on middle school students. https://www
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My mom began creating worksheets that taught grammar in a linear, logical sequence.