For as long as I can remember, all things English—grammar, writing, and reading—have come easy for me. I was kicked out of my first college English class on the first day because
of how well I did on an in-class assignment
(even without the benefits of editing). Because of this, I figured when I began homeschooling my children that grammar and
writing would be just as easy for them.
I was wrong . . . very wrong.
After a couple of years struggling to help
my kids understand grammar, I realized
I needed a new approach and I needed to
make it fun since they were already stressed
enough. There were a lot of groans when we
pulled out the English textbooks.
I also had to remember that different
children learn in different ways. Children
are auditory (learn through hearing), vi-
sual (learn through seeing), or tactile (learn
through physical touch) learners. The best
teaching methods combine these learning
methods to help students more completely
understand the concepts. Games are a great
way to teach a combination of learning
styles and make learning fun.
One of the first things I did was to find and
purchase some MAD LIBS® books. These
were great for teaching nouns (person,
place, or thing), pronouns (a replacement
word for a noun), adjectives (a word that
describes a noun), and adverbs (another
descriptive word, usually describing adjectives, commonly ending in –ly). Take turns
with your children coming up with and
writing down the answers to these, as they
help both auditory and visual learners.
Card games are another fun way to teach
grammar facts. Make up a set of cards and
play Go Fish. If one person has the adverb
card, he can ask for a word ending in “ly.”
A matching game, like Memory, would also
be perfect for cards. Card games are espe-
cially helpful for visual learners.
Make up songs with your kids. Take a familiar song and put grammar facts to the
tune. Songs help all learners but are great
for auditory learners. I am still able to remember both the tunes and the words that
I put to memory.
Create acrostics to help your students remember facts. FANBOYS is an acrostic for
the conjunctions—for, and, nor, but, or,
yet, since. Even better, allow them to create
their own acrostics for different grammar
facts. This helps visual learners and tactile
learners as they feel the pencil as they write.
Language Arts: Grammar!
By Ruth O’Neil
After a couple of years struggling to help my kids understand
grammar, I realized I needed a new approach.