When I decided to start a series on grammar I wasn’t sure if it was best in the “For Bloggers” Category or “Homeschool.” After much thought I decided to choose both.
As writers and bloggers I believe we should be very careful about using correct grammar. It shows that we are both serious and professional. It doesn’t come easily for everybody, though. We now live in a world of texting and 140 character status updates where abbreviations reign supreme. I fear some things may have gotten lost in translation. If you work with brands and sponsors presentation is important. Poor grammar can make an otherwise great article hard to read or appear unprofessional.
As homeschoolers (or parents in general) it’s important to teach our children grammar. We may even need additional help as well to do so! It almost seems to be a lost art, but it is still relevant and very important.
I will even venture to say many business owners can benefit from improved grammar as well. Maybe it is because I am particular about the subject, but when I am contacted by a business owner that uses incorrect grammar or visit a website that uses it, I have a hard time taking them seriously. Using correct grammar tells me you care about your business and are a professional. If you don’t take the extra time to do so (or hire an editor) I question how serious you are about your business. Yes, I have passed up a purchase based on my perception of an unprofessional appearance.
Grammar can be tricky, and to be 100% all the time may not be feasible. I am, by no means, an expert. I’m just a “grammar nerd” as I like to say! I will be covering many of the common grammar mistakes as well as sharing tips for those that aren’t as common. So whether you are looking for tips for yourself or your children, I hope you find my Grammar 101 series helpful!
Before I begin my series, what are some grammar topics you would like me to cover?
For our review we received Classical Conversations PreScripts Cursive Letters and Coloring for ages 3 – 7. I was excited for the chance to use it with all three children, but I didn’t know at the time that our 3 year old would have surgery during the review. So, I used it with only with our 7 and 5 year olds.
When I received the package I couldn’t wait to get started! After looking it over I was even more excited. PreScripts Cursive Letters and Coloring starts with tracing lines, circles, and curved lines and then progresses into tracing basic pictures and cursive letters. The tracing is something that is so important for them because they both have fine motor challenges, so repetition and practice really helps. After the Progression of the first day we fell into the pattern of doing four pages per day which covered a cursive capital letter, tracing a simple picture, the cursive lowercase of that letter, and then a full picture to color from medieval and world history. It was a really great pattern, and we used it every day Monday through Friday. You can view a sample.
For each cursive letter you begin by having the child trace the large letter at the top of the page with their finger. They then have lines where the child can trace the letter than write one next to it. It continues in this pattern for 8 total letters traced and 8 letters written. Each picture drawn would start with a simple line, curve, or shape for the first picture. It would then progress adding additional details to each picture until you come to the completed picture, which they then color when finished. Our daughter absolutely loves to draw, so she really enjoyed the drawing! It was great for our son because he isn’t confident in drawing, but the step-by-step approach made him realize that drawing is broken up into small parts. He is so visual that he has trouble seeing anything except the finished picture, so this really helped him see a different perspective.
What I really enjoy about Classical Conversations Prescripts is the fact that it covers so many bases. It isn’t just a single subject. In just one lesson we covered writing, history, art, and the bonus of therapy! All of that was done in 30 – 45 minutes each day! Our daughter’s Occupational Therapist mentioned that some children with fine motor challenges actually do better with cursive letters due to the consistent motion without the the breaks or the need to lift the pencil. Plus the dynamics of cursive makes it harder to reverse, which was mentioned in the introduction of the book. Despite our daughter having an incorrect grip she has been able to compensate and still write nicely. Our son, though, has writing challenges. Even tracing straight lines can be a challenge. After the initial challenge of the straight lines and circles, though, he has done really well! He has definitely been able to write the cursive letters more easily than print. It has really helped build his confidence in writing again! Our daughter is doing well with the cursive letters as well!
Our daughter particularly has been paying special attention to the details when she is coloring the pictures, which not only is encouraging her love of art but is also opens teaching opportunities in regards to the history behind the pictures. I love that it opens the door for more learning opportunities – not only for them, but for myself as well because it was a nice review for me, too! Having three children so close in age I also appreciate that Classical Conversations is family friendly in that they allow you to print additional copies for use within your own family. They mention in the introduction that the broad age spectrum helps support the one-room schoolhouse model, and I feel like this really helps reinforce that statement as well. It also leaves room for margin of error if you have a child that may need additional practice or would like to do more. If our 3 year old hadn’t been recovering from surgery he would have been working along side us as well! I anticipate he will be joining us for the last half next week, and we may likely do it again or visit our other options!
You can connect with Classical Conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Classical Conversations Prescripts can be purchased for $11.99. They offer a variety of subjects and levels. I will be checking out more myself! See what other Crew members had to say in their reviews by clicking on the button below!
You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not very social. I know what you’re thinking! I post all these fun pictures that make me look outgoing! Plus, you know how even my “condensed versions” of stories or blog posts are still pretty long, so clearly I have a lot to say, right? Yes, I do! I love, love, love writing! In fact, I almost forgot how much I love it until I started writing on here again. (I have started finishing my books I started so long ago as well!) One of my favorite memories in college is a one-on-one meeting with my English professor. She was awesome. I distinctly remember her questioning my major (International Business) when I clearly had such a passion for writing. Well, she was right. I never did get my business degree because I wasn’t motivated to continue when times got tough. It really was NOT my passion. That truly is another story, though.
Do you want to know another favorite college memory? Being a DJ for the radio station. It wasn’t just a little radio station, either. It had a pretty decent reach! My DJ name was “Bijou Burke.” I also helped as part of the sports team in the background at basketball games to give the commentators the up-to-date stats and as a reporter for regular updates on air. It was awesome!
I also really enjoy public speaking. Give me a topic that I love and I can talk for hours, but we covered that, right? Haha Sure, I feel nervous, and I say “um” or “uh” a lot, but I love it! I’m really passionate when I write AND when I talk! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people ask me if I’m a performer, actress, public speaker, etc. when I would speak in front of people in “regular” situations like when I used to do group dog training classes or when I would introduce myself in a group situation and share a little about myself and my family. People tell me they loved hearing me speak because I’m so expressive.
So, hold on…
Isn’t this post supposed to be about how I’m NOT very social?
Yes. Here is the irony of it all. I’m getting ready for my first blog conference this summer, and I’m a little nervous! I truly am NOT very good at socializing. Put me in front of paper, a computer, on the radio, on TV, in front of a crowd of people, etc. and it’s a beautiful thing. Put me IN a crowd of people, and I freeze. It’s the one on one thing I’m not so good at. I know it’s partially because of my SPD because it is sensory overload for me. Proximity is different when you’re next to someone versus being in front of a crowd. Plus, back and forth conversation is harder for me when there is background noise whereas if I’m speaking I am totally focused on just what I’m saying, so the anxiety level is actually lower.
Beyond that, I can’t explain it. I’m just not good at going up and saying “hi” to people. Crazy, right? I will just stand there looking like a lost puppy and not say a single word to anyone unless someone approaches me. Even saying this it seems beyond ridiculous! Clearly, I won’t allow this to happen at the conference because I’m not going there to stand around looking lost, but I’m going to have to really give myself a pep talk to get over my social awkwardness and make some great connections – and hopefully new friends!